The False Economy Of Digital Metrics


Data, data, everywhere – but none to help me think.

The term ‘Big Data’ is the jargon du jour, but little operational excellence has come about in the pharma industry to justify the buzz. Partly this is due to the fact that leveraging ‘Big Data’ is an internal and operational challenge, one that the typical agency is unqualified to surmount. The other is that, and let’s be real here, the ‘Little Data’ around digital marketing is mostly bunk, and you don’t get permission to do the big things unless you do the small things well.

What do I mean by ‘bunk’ you ask? I believe that pharma has been blindly living in an accepted false economy of digital metrics, and unless a concerted effort is made to correct the problem, digital will continue to remain a second or third class citizen in the overall marketing mix. These challenges center around three specific issues: The mythology of ROI, a lack of integrated analysis, and the continued ignorance of the industry to pay anything but lip service about wanting to fix the problem. I’ll unpack these one by one. Read More…

YTT Podcast – EP 07: ‘ePharmapalooza’

YTT thumbnail

It’s our 2015 ePharmapalooza spectacular, with special guests Sean Hartigan, Zoe Dunn, and Christine Truelove. We discuss the sad state of the ePharma conference, how customer centricity is a myth, the lack of content curation for conferences, the industry family reunion, the lack of technology integration around the topics, how many years of attendance it takes to learn something new, the lack of digital proliferation, and why the industry deserves better.

Download link | RSS feed | iTunes link

Show Notes:
Music by the Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder
ePharma Website

IMS Health: Lots of Health Apps, Little Value

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 3.24.09 PMFirst published on, IMS Health has a robust report on the state of the app economy around healthcare, and the picture isn’t pretty. John Mack and I discussed this a bit on a recent podcast and this report validates a lot of our perspectives on the issue.

There is a significant skew in download volume for healthcare apps, with more than 50% of available apps achieving fewer than 500 downloads. Conversely, 5 apps account for 15% of all downloads in the healthcare category. The reason behind the limited downloads, and hurdles to improved uptake, span all stakeholders. Patients currently face a dizzying array of healthcare apps to choose from, with little guidance on quality or support from their doctors.

As I discovered when I first started collecting apps for the mobile wiki, theres a ton of crap out there. Given how many health apps there are and how little value most provide, these numbers don’t surprise me. This shouldn’t dissuade you from making an app, especially if you’ve done the leg work to clearly understand the value proposition you wish to fill and have carefully thought though how to make and additive experience for your customers. The take away for me is this: Have a promotional plan for your app. The app economy isn’t a build-it-and-they-will-come environment. The scale of this report illustrates that you’ll experience a high degree of failure if you simply want to put something in the App Store and hope it will catch on.

Download the full report here (Via IMS Health).

Friday Follow Ups

Smoking Will Kill You

A Pill That Boosts a Woman’s Sex Drive Is Almost Here. But Do We Need It? – The entirety of this article should just simply be the word, “yes.”

FDA Grants 23andMe Approval to Test For Rare Genetic Condition – Hopefully it’s for the cognitive defect that keeps parents from getting their kids vaccinated.

There’s a Wearable for Your Sex Life Now – Super. And you thought people tweeting about going to the gym was obnoxious.

WNYC Says Why It Deleted Its Controversial Podcast on Women in Tech – Sketchy.

Settlers of Catan to be Made Into a Movie or TV Show – I’ll trade you 2 wood and 3 brick for a guarantee that I don’t have to watch it.