Minding the As & Qs of Lead Gen Technology

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Robin Robinson

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Augmented reality (AR) may sound new, but actually it has been around for at least 10 years, reports say, and it is the recent uptake in smartphone use and capability, along with funding from the Recovery Act, that have pushed AR to the front and center of pharma marketing plans. Using a smartphone, everyone now has AR at their fingertips. AR is the interaction of superimposed graphics, audio, and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment that’s displayed in real-time. It’s the same technology responsible for the first down lines… Sidebars: Augmented Reality and QR Codes in ­Healthcare Creating a Community Through Social Media Doubles Lead Gen Physicians’ QR Code Use The Advantages of Marketing Technology: Beyond Lead Gen Experts Jay Bolling. CEO and ­President, Roska Healthcare Advertising, a full-service ­advertising agency that ­integrates data and insight-driven ­marketing and advertising solutions. For more information, visit roskahealthcare.com. Boris Kushkuley, Ph.D. President, Ogilvy CommonHealth Interactive Marketing, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, a full-service ­digital healthcare marketing group. For more ­information, visit ogilvychww.com. David Ormesher. CEO, closerlook inc., a strategic ­marketing agency ­specializing in healthcare with an emphasis on strategy, creativity, and innovation. For more information, visit closerlook.com or email dormesher@closerlook.com. Rob Rebak. Chairman and CEO, QualityHealth, which ­offers a performance-based customer acquisition solutions for healthcare marketers. For more ­information, visit qhperform.com. Adriana Zeman. VP, ­Strategic Planning, Cramer, which specializes in ­developing and delivering ­innovative marketing solutions. For more information, visit crameronline.com. Augmented reality (AR) may sound new, but actually it has been around for at least 10 years, reports say, and it is the recent uptake in smartphone use and capability, along with funding from the Recovery Act, that have pushed AR to the front and center of pharma marketing plans. Using a smartphone, everyone now has AR at their fingertips. AR is the interaction of superimposed graphics, audio, and other sense enhancements over a real-world environment that’s displayed in real-time. It’s the same technology responsible for the first down lines seen on televised football games. And the same goes for QR codes. QR codes originated in Japan, and became common in other countries when automakers started using them to track vehicle parts. Then along came the mobile Web, and they evolved into the perfect way to connect mobile phone users to a specific website. Beyond their technological “wow” factor, the effectiveness of these technologies as data capturing tools will help today’s marketers generate more pertinent leads. According to Rob Rebak, chairman and CEO of QualityHealth, these tools, along with other technologies, can help with one of the biggest challenges facing pharmaceutical marketers today: the fragmentation of consumer media consumption. This is especially true when marketers need to generate qualified marketing leads on a large scale. “Traditional publishing and associated media buying models, both offline and online, continue to produce less lead scale and efficiency than they previously did,” Mr. Rebak says. “The solution lies in the ability to aggregate large-scale target audiences through new data-driven technologies.” In today’s highly competitive marketplace, sales reps need and demand bona fide leads, says David Ormesher, CEO of closerlook. Simply generating awareness with an ad campaign is no longer good enough. That important distinction relies on the ability of marketing to hand over contact information and actionable insight on a prospect. “This is where marketing and technology converge,” he says. “Any new technology that involves creating connectivity between a marketing database and a user has the potential for lead generation.” But for consumers to give up that much-desired contact information, they first must get something of value in return. “A fundamental attribute of any effective lead generation program is a fair exchange of value, or ‘give to get,’ ” Mr. Ormesher says. “If the value of the offer is great enough, whether it’s content or a tool, then the prospect is more willing to give personal contact information in exchange. When this exchange can be done digitally, it reduces the time and effort barrier for a prospect to raise his or her hand.” Adriana Zeman, VP of strategic planning at Cramer agrees. “Marketers forget that these technologies work two ways, we get interaction and information and the audience needs to receive something of value in return,” Ms. Zeman says. “For example, clinical audiences respond to valuable content, education, and clinical data.” One of the biggest struggles for marketers is how to manage all of the information gathered from all of the channels now being used. Marketing automation platforms can help marketers manage multiple channels of communications, and through a single data set, provide a holistic view of the user, Ms. Zeman adds. “Everything starts with segmentation targeting and understanding the audience, and one of the things we are most excited about is marketing automation programs,” she says. “New technologies allow marketers to target audiences across a number of different channels, driving cross-channel conversion. The nice thing about automated platforms is that they allow for the integration of all the communications across those many touch points.” AR is the Perfect Match for ­­­ Life-Sciences Messages Unlike other new technologies, augmented reality seems to be perfectly matched to the healthcare field. This interactive technology has many applications: it can educate physicians and patients on how a medicine works; or how to use medical devices; or help with surgical procedures through live interactive imaging. It can help save lives, but from a marketing perspective, it can also drive traffic and generate leads by collecting pertinent data. Mr. Ormesher says augmented reality has become his favorite new marketing technology. It blurs the line between what is real and what is computer-generated by enhancing the experience or the person’s immediate view of reality. Unlike virtual reality, which replaces the real world with a virtual one, AR overlays computer-enhanced information on the viewer’s perception in real time. More interesting for marketing folks, Mr. Ormesher says, are tools that combine the real world with dynamic, interactive information. Examples include iPhone apps that help locate the nearest bar serving Stella beer, or the Wikitude app that gives real-time information on a person’s location, or the in-store Legos AR kiosk that shows kids what the kit inside the box will look like when it’s assembled. Health-related applications include assisting physicians with surgery, explaining patient treatments and diagnosis, and training both physicians and patients on the correct use of medications and devices. AR is effective because it engages consumers and patients by making patient education personal, relevant, and entertaining, says Jay Bolling, president and CEO of Roska Healthcare Advertising. “I’m a big believer in the value of AR as a powerful communications tool,” Mr. Bolling says. “The persuasive nature of augmented reality pushes patients to a new level of awareness, helps them move out of denial about their health and disease state, and sparks them to action critical to affect positive change.” Applications could include video demonstrations of how a disease affects specific organs in a patient’s body or an interactive mechanism-of-action animation cued from the packaging on a pill bottle, he explains. According to Boris Kushkuley, Ph.D., president of Ogilvy Commonhealth Interactive Marketing, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, the use of AR is growing rapidly within companies that want to drive physician traffic to booths at medical conventions. “AR is a really exciting area and it is being used much more for conference interactivity,” Dr. Kushkuley says. “Vendors are using fewer broadcast messages that are less engaging to physicians and more interactive techniques that pull the doctors into a dialogue.” The ability of AR to target audiences with greater efficacy and reliability is one of its greatest attributes, Mr. Bolling says. “The disadvantage of AR is that currently, it is limited to a Web cam-enabled laptop,” he says. “That being said, this limitation will be short-lived with the launch of new mobile technologies.” QR Codes Bring Health Info ­Directly to a User’s Phone Smartphone technology, like text and QR codes, represents a significant development in marketing and lead generation because it allows marketers to integrate media. This technology enables healthcare marketers to intercept patients in the office, in a pharmacy, or wherever they are. “Smartphones are changing how we interact with and respond to information in our daily lives,” Mr. Bolling says. “We can offer real-time information and collect customer-specific data so we understand their specific needs and can qualify them as a lead.” For example, a poster on the wall in a doctor’s office has a QR code; patients use their smartphones to click on that two-dimensional code and they can download a wealth of relevant information in real time. “Technology is blowing communications channels wide open and fundamentally changing every element of healthcare marketing from lead generation to patient education and adherence,” he says. “The result is increased cost-efficiency, more effective communications, and, most importantly, better healthcare outcomes.” The use of QR codes in the industry is high. Almost every pharma company is now integrating QR codes into print initiatives, Dr. Kushkuley says. Companies are using QR codes to communicate with both consumers and healthcare professionals and they are appearing on print materials and on posters on convention floors. “Virtually every client we are working with is starting to use QR codes,” he says. “The cost to integrate QR codes is little to none, but using them will require companies to create a new experience for the end user and not just link to a corporate or product website that already exists.” The point to using QR codes is to expand the experience and the information value. “QR codes need to take the customer to a new page that gives them a unique experience,” Dr. Kushkuley says. “Marketers should not just repeat what consumers will see in traditional media.” If this goal is accomplished, then QR codes can deliver valuable leads. “Mobile apps that provide on-demand content or a QR code that takes the prospect to a website with a compelling offer are both effective ways to increase lead gen,” Mr. Ormesher says. Mobile Texting Gains Ground Another channel that is experiencing great promise is short code texting to reach consumers on their phones. “We are starting to see increased use of short code texting; as a channel it has been largely ignored so far,” Ms. Zeman says. Texting should not be used for ongoing messaging but rather to deepen the relationship with consumers by informing them of other places to go for more information, she adds. Marketers can incorporate texting into the overall plan as a way to reach audiences and get them to opt into a campaign effort and move them into a different communication channel. “An example would be messages that prompt patients to opt-in using a short code that drives them to a mobile website,” Ms. Zeman says. Mr. Rebak says mobile also has the best conversion possibilities. “Mobile in particular is hotter than hot and for good reason,” he says. “Opportunities exist in even the basic reminder delivered via mobile, especially if it contains prepopulated data that helps patients talk effectively with their doctors or perhaps provides product survey opportunities. Or data that assists patients with finding the best doctor to treat a rare condition or provides suggestions for relevant products or services, which are covered by insurance.” “I am a big fan of anything that is going to move somebody across channels, such as Web keys,” Ms. Zeman says. “The benefit of Web keys lies in the much higher than normal response rates — usually in the double digits, far above traditional methods of interaction.” Ms. Zeman says no other channel produces this level of response, not even traditional direct mail. “This is especially a big deal when targeting brand new users,” she says. “With an e-mail campaign directed at new users, 1% or 1.5% is considered a good response rate. A double-digit response is outstanding.” Web keys also work twofold: they create an impression as well as prompt people to register and take deeper action. “In a client campaign using Web keys, almost half of the people who activated the Web keys ended up opting into the campaign, which provided pertinent lead gen information,” Ms. Zeman adds. “It’s a good tactic when the goal is to create a deeper level of engagement with the audience or to drive a traditionally offline audience to engage online.” Minding the As & Qs of Lead Gen Technology “Everything starts with ­segmentation targeting and ­understanding the ­audience. ” Adriana Zeman / Cramer Augmented Reality and QR Codes in ­Healthcare Genzyme’s Calcified Heart website uses augmented reality to show a virtual version of a ­calcified heart in an effort to ­educate healthcare professionals who treat chronic kidney disease about the cardiovascular harm that can be caused if these patients are prescribed calcium-based medications. { For more information, visit calcifiedheart.eu. Bayer Healthcare’s ­Questival site uses ­augmented reality to engage young adults suffering from hemophilia to go to the site as a source for ­information and advice on issues such as sex, alcohol, smoking, drugs, tattoos, and depression. { For more information, visit questival.com. The American Cancer ­Society has used QR codes to promote its hyperlink “http://www.cancer.org/ Involved/Participate/Making StridesAgainstBreastCancer.” ­Making Strides Against Breast ­Cancer walk and its ­smoking cessation ­program, iwillquit.org. As part of the ­integrated campaigns, ACS incorporated QR codes into PSA outdoor displays. { For more information, visit ­cancer.org. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery is using QR Codes on ­selected editorial pages, articles, in a special advertising page, and as part of print/online sponsorships for free access to premium videos. { For more information, visit ejbjs.org. Source: PharmaVOICE Creating a Community Through Social Media Doubles Lead Gen The online marketing platform Hyperlink “http://www.hubspot.com” HubSpot reports that not only can hyperlink “http://www.emarketer.com/ Article.aspx?R=1007534” inbound marketing bring leads for less money, but it can also double average monthly leads for small and medium-size businesses. Creating a community of ­followers through Twitter and a regularly updated stream of content on a blog builds engagement, boosts the company’s presence on Google, and ultimately brings in more potential ­customers. Among small and medium-size business-to- consumer (B2C) companies studied, more than one-half of those using Twitter generated double the median monthly leads of non-Twitter users. That result held across company size. According to the study, Twitter reach was critical to increased lead generation. Companies with 100 to 500 followers generated 146% more median monthly leads than those with 21 to 100 followers. Beyond the 500-follower mark, though, there was no further gain. Blogging also increased median monthly leads, and, ­unlike Twitter, the effect was about the same for B2C and B2B companies. Source: HubSpot. { For more information, visit hubspot.com. “Any technology that ­connects a marketing ­database and a user will ­provide lead generation. ” David Ormesher / closerlook “Almost every pharma ­company is now integrating QR codes into print initiatives. ” Dr. Boris Kushkuley / Ogilvy CommonHealth Interactive Marketing “Technology is blowing ­communications channels wide open, changing every element of healthcare marketing. ” Jay Bolling / Roska Healthcare Advertising “Today’s technologies ­help meet the biggest challenge ­facing ­marketers: the ­fragmentation of consumer media consumption. ” Rob Rebak / QualityHealth Physicians’ QR Code Use Physician awareness and use of quick response (QR) codes were recently determined by a survey conducted by ­Medical Marketing Service, a provider of healthcare lists and e-mail marketing services. The survey’s results show that physician use of QR codes is low. It may take more time for physicians to become familiar with the ­technology ­before they realize the value of using QR codes to lead them quickly to more information online from their ­smartphones. Matching The Right Technology to the Brand Marketers need to choose the correct channels for the message as carefully as they identify their target audience. Selecting the right technology for a marketing program should always start with a deep understanding of the target audience, not the whims of the brand, says David Ormesher, CEO of closerlook. User research into customer habits, age bracket, and familiarity with new and existing communication channels, and the role of influential communities should be used to determine not only the right combination of marketing and communication technologies but also how they can be used to bring value to the user, he says. Next, the marketing goals of a pharmaceutical brand should be considered: is the brand for an acute or chronic disease, is it in launch, growth, or harvest mode, and what resources are available when a prospect shows interest? The answers will all have an impact on technology selection. “Those technologies that become transparent or seamless in the lives of customers will hold the most value in the long term,” Mr. Ormesher says. “Consumers look to technology to entertain or save time or money at the lowest personal investment, and the more that marketers can use existing consumer channels or devices that already enjoy broad user acceptance the better.” Boris Kushkuley, Ph.D., president of Ogilvy CommonHealth Interactive Marketing, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, encourages marketers to do their homework and put some hard research behind deciding who the target audience is. “In this new environment, marketers can tailor the communication to the audience in a much more precise way than before, so clearer segmentation of the target audience becomes very important,” he says. “Another important component to keep in mind is that the plan needs to be done within the context of what the brand’s competition is doing. “To determine the best place to gain share of voice, determine whether the competition is already fully involved in a certain channel, and it will be very hard to penetrate and gain share of voice in that same space,” Dr. Kushkuley adds. “In that case, marketers want to identify areas that are potentially underserved where the brand can make huge difference in marketplace. It’s very important to assess the landscape before deciding how to invest. There is no best practice, it is whatever works best for the brand within the context of its competition.” The process can be made easier by knowing clearly what the marketing objectives are. “Remember that it’s not about developing technology for technology’s sake,” says Jay Bolling, president of Roska Healthcare Advertising. “It’s about developing the right technology to meet the brand’s objectives. Different tools work in different ways.” Mr. Bolling also says understanding the audience is crucial. “As marketers, we need to understand how the audience wants to receive information, when they want it, where they want it, and how frequently they want to receive it,” he says. “While text messages might work really well for teenagers, they may not work at all for aging baby boomers, who may be more responsive to messages communicated via the Internet. Finally, once the the best channels to talk to the target audience have been determined, the message content must reflect a thorough understanding of each audience’s needs to effectively drive awareness, acceptance, and action.” “Achieving massive targeted audience scale isn’t easy,” says Rob Rebak, chairman and CEO, QualityHealth. “And turning that massive scale into leads, which marketers can ultimately convert into sales, can be even harder.” Mr. Rebak suggests that while there are many conversion factors that contribute to the effectiveness of a marketing channel, there are three that are most critical. First, content must be meaningful, engaging, and relevant both for the initial consumer acquisition experience and for the brand’s consumer campaign experience. Second, permission-based consumer data collection must be explicit and data-driven optimizations must be enabled for both initial consumer acquisition and conversion. And third, the consumer healthcare experience must introduce or reinforce appropriate healthcare brands at the right time using integration of other resources, tools, or channels. “The right data used the right way can really help with both marketing efficiency and effectiveness, but they can also be a potential liability if handled incorrectly,” he says. According to Dr. Kushkuley, it is very important to plan platform agnostic programs as communication technology is constantly changing. “The platforms being used today may not be as popular in just a year or two,” he says. “A good example is the social media outlets: MySpace was the hottest thing in world and now the consumer focus has shifted to Facebook and Twitter.” Success lies in having that right mix of communication channels, says Adriana Zeman, VP, strategic planning, Cramer. “I wouldn’t discount any new channel without trying it first, and I also wouldn’t over focus on newer technologies and completely forget some of the traditional channels that are tried and true.” Ms. Zeman says she encourages clients to try new technologies to see the results they create, but sometimes the traditional direct mail route is the right way to go. “It sounds crazy but a lot of times the best way to reach physicians is still direct mail with business reply cards,” she says. “The results shock me every time so it really is a channel not to be forgotten.” “I wouldn’t discount any channel and I wouldn’t overly focus on newer technologies. ” Adriana Zeman / Cramer “Content must be meaningful, ­engaging, and relevant. ” Rob Rebak / QualityHealth “The only best practice is ­whatever works best for your brand. ” Dr. Boris Kushkuley Ogilvy CommonHealth Interactive Marketing Getting the Whole Picture A benefit of using new technologies along with ­automation software is the ability to give a complete picture of the audience landscape. So many ­different users want to ­interact in different ways, so marketers have to test the waters to identify which is the preferred way the audience wants to interact with the brand. Automated programs provide a holistic view of the audience. Automated marketing platforms usually have built-in mechanisms that allow marketers to create lead scores, which allow for segmenting the audience by the ­actions they take. For example, if someone takes action A, B, and C, they are good prospects, but if someone only does A and then D, that would put them on a different level. This holistic view allows marketers to focus on prospects most likely to take action, while making sure they are communicating messages that are going to resonate with the audience. Measurement is the Holy Grail Measuring is at the heart of everything and technology allows for the measurement of a lot of success metrics. With so many diverse channels and new ones emerging all the time, it is important to be able to measure what works and what doesn’t. Technology has shifted the ability to ­optimize tactics and in real time reallocate funds to best performing channels. This is the holy grail of marketing. Efficiency and Relevance are the Future The benefit of using the right ­combination of marketing ­technologies for generation-qualified marketing leads ultimately comes down to ­efficiency, ­relevance, and ­performance. Lead ­generation and ­performance in online pharmaceutical marketing have ­traditionally referred to relevant health consumer leads ­delivered into a relationship-marketing database followed by fulfillment tactics such as e-mails, ­direct mail, or other means. However, things are changing. The future of ­performance-based pharmaceutical ­consumer marketing will entail going further down the marketing funnel to drive large-scale specific marketing actions that align ­directly with brand objectives. Payment will be made based on reaching agreed upon marketing actions. These actions could range from more basic purchase intent actions, such as the download of co-payment mitigation materials, all the way to downstream actions such as paying for ­patient-initiated conversations (PICs) with physicians. Driving PICs on a large scale and pay-per-PIC performance-based ­pricing is likely to be the future of lead generation and may very well be the future of permission-based DTC marketing. Immediacy and Depth Can’t Be Beat The primary benefit of using marketing technology is immediacy. Consumers can opt in for more information at the point of sale; this opens a world of ­opportunity because now marketers can leverage consumers’ impulse ­responses at the point of sale. Another enormous benefit of using technology is the depth of information that can be offered to key audiences, as well as the level of insight that can be attained. A third asset embedded in marketing technology is the myriad communications tools now available to reach the disparate audiences. The Advantages of Marketing Technology: Beyond Lead Gen Targeting, measurement, and relevance are all part of the benefit package. Overall, the biggest advantage of using marketing technology is that marketers can finally automate many of the initial activities in developing qualified sales leads. Targeting, engaging, identifying, and differentiating are important steps in attracting and sifting prospects to present the most likely new customers to the sales team, and database-driven interactive technology can streamline this process.

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