No offense to Android or Windows 8, but when it comes to healthcare, it’s still an iOS world. As the FDA announced today that it has approved the AliveCor iPhone based EKG monitor (http://ht.ly/fM1n2), I’m left to wonder about another recently announced technology, Apple’s Passbook. Is this the future of Consumer CRM for pharma?
For those of you that are unfamiliar, Passbook is Apple’s built in coupon and payment card organizer. Passbook enabled apps, like Starbucks and Fandango, allow purchases to be added to Passbook for later use. No printing tickets or getting cards in the mail any more. Have a $25.00 Starbucks card? Scan it into the app and it appears in Passbook. Just bought tickets online to Skyfall? Open Passbook and there they are. In practical terms, this solves an enormous problem for users, namely organization and integration into your mobile life. And that integration isn’t just about keeping everything in one place. As a system level app, Passbook interoperates with most of the other functions on the device. Let’s stick with the Fandango app for a second. Let’s say you bought tickets to a Friday night show. Not only are the tickets waiting in Passbook for scanning at the theater, but you can automatically add a reminder to your calendar and text friends the show times. With location based services activated, users can receive proximity based notifications about traffic conditions on the way to the show or be notified of offers as you walk into the theater. Given it’s relative infancy, it’s safe expect the Passbook’s feature set to get more sophisticated and more valuable for users and brands alike.
The holy grail for any digital marketing program is the often-touted, rarely-validated ROI calculation. I’ve seen ROI for programs touted all over the industry, but the dirty little secret is this: if you can’t tie any program back to a validated sale, you can’t truly calculate ROI. Brands correlate ROI all the time, but correlation isn’t a true indicator of actual sales. This is why redemption and coupon cards are so important, as they give marketers direct numbers that validate the performance of a program. Brands can talk engagement until they are blue in the face, but if digital is ever to be taken seriously as a business driver, ROI calculations must be accurate and proven.
It’s estimated that almost 50% Rx brands will have some form of coupon or discount card program by 2021. And why not? Even by modest calculations coupon programs typically generate a 4:1 return. So, why don’t all brands have discount card programs? The answer to that is a simple one. Discount card programs are insanely expensive.