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March 3, 2015

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...

December 13, 2014

A few evenings ago I was attending a work function and the guests included several senior members of the extended organization who don’t normally interact with our group. Amongst the various conversations that were going on, a very interesting comment was made to me by one of those senior attendees. He joked (I assume), that “digital stuff is just garbage produced at the speed of light.” He wasn’t referring to the quality of the work, or the depth of the creative. His...

October 15, 2014

In the movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise’s character has a crisis of conscience. One evening during a league meeting crafts a manifesto of sorts about how sports agents, colleagues, and competitors, could all do a better job serving the best interests of their clients. In the fever pitch of finishing this document, he distributes copies to every single person at the meeting and is greeted with uproarious applauses of approval by his fellow agents.

A week later Jerry had l...

September 20, 2014

So I’ve spent a fair amount of time testing a number of wearables over the past few weeks. Some of this I’ve done for my own edification, some for my own self-improvement, and all of them because I wanted to better understand the market prior to the launch of the Apple Watch. After over a year of using the likes of Google Glass, Microsoft’s Band, the FitBit Surge, and the Fitbit One, I can safely say that the wearables ecosystem is a fragmented and unreliable quagmire...

September 12, 2014

As someone who grew up with the internet and made it my career I can tell you, the era we’re in right now looks and smells oddly familiar. How? Well ‘back in my day’ the Internet was just a thing. Conceptual. New. No one understood it but everyone was talking about it. Consumers played with it. Brands tried to use it. The media talked about it endlessly. Like with most new things, objectives for success were often poorly defined, but money, gobs and gobs of money were...

March 25, 2014

Social media has been a big focus for pharma marketers for a while now. By my count, at least 30-45% of ePharma’s agenda from the 2014 NY conference was focused on the subject, and there is a whole cottage industry of other conferences specifically for social media fin the pharma industry. If you spend any time following pharma folks on Twitter, you can find tons of tweets on the subject and create whole feeds for hashtags like #socpharm, #hcsm, #pharmsm, etc.

I say it’...

November 26, 2013

According to the ancient Greeks, Prometheus took pity on mankind. He walked among men and noticed that they were no longer as happy as they were when Kronos the Titan was their king. He saw them living in the dark and shivering in the cold because they had no light to help them see and no fire to help them stay warm.

So Prometheus stole a spark from Zeus’s own lightning and brought fire to mankind. It was the dawn of civilization and enabled mankind to flourish.

But whil...

September 13, 2013

Recently, a former colleague of mine posted on Facebook that a notification showed up on his page suggesting he become friends with someone who had passed away a short time ago.

As poignant as a moment as that was, it prompted a series of questions in my mind given the how we as consumers rely more on web based services than ever before, namely:

  • Who gets access to your profiles when you die?

  • What happens to your URLs, user names, etc?

  • What happens to your c...

June 11, 2013

It’s that time again. Brands are starting their annual cycle of planning for the coming year. One of the quirks of pharma, that I haven’t experienced when working with other industries, is that brand managers responsible for digital turn over (through promotion or responsibility change) at an alarmingly high rate. As such, the institutional knowledge and learning for the role gets easily lost. Since a decent portion of pharma marketers enter a digital management role w...

April 9, 2013

On March 25th the Human Rights Campaign launched a social campaign to raise awareness for the marriage equality debate currently being deliberated by SCOTUS. You probably saw the campaign, which asked users to change their profile picture to that of a red square with a bold equal sign.  When I checked Facebook Wednesday morning, my entire feed was covered with these logos, as a good portion of my Facebook friends had decided to participate. As I thought about it over m...

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