Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Rogaine - lesson learned from innovation blunders

Here’s another great story with lessons learned from innovation blunders.

In this series of case studies, Hodock shares insight on avoiding 8 common mistakes in new product development. 

In the case of Rogaine, it was mismatched positioning.

Fifty million American men experience male-pattern baldness. In 1996, they received some very good news.  The Food and Drug Administration cleared Rogaine, a topical 2 percent minoxidil solution, as an over-the-counter hair regrowth drug for men and women with common hair loss. Hallelujah! Men suffering from hair loss often experienced “anxiety, loss of self-confidence and even depression”. Rogaine gave hair-challenged men a dual benefit—a full head of hair and the restoration of self-esteem.

Rogaine had a natural contagion, because the preliminary buzz purported it to be nothing short of a miracle. As a result, it had an avalanche of positive publicity prior to its market introduction. Wall Street was especially euphoric about Rogaine’s prospects, and its parent company, Upjohn (now Johnson & Johnson), did nothing to temper the financial cheerfulness coming from the street. In this situation, Rogaine’s positive buzz turned out to be destructive rather than helpful. Here’s why.

Balding males naively believed their departed hair follicles would return instantly by rubbing Rogaine into their scalps twice a day for a month or so. Rogaine initially attracted the most extreme cases of male-pattern baldness, primarily older males in their fifties and sixties desperately grasping for their youth. Rogaine could not deliver for these extreme cases. There was a deep ravine between positioning expectations and product delivery. 
Rogaine is a complex product, as explained to me by a Pfizer marketing executive. It is only effective in about 40 percent of the cases. It can take eight months to see the best results. The product is not particularly effective in cases of frontal baldness or receding hairlines. Compliance is essential to see any results. It must be used twice a day. If treatment is stopped, reversal occurs, losing any benefits from treatment. The application process—rubbing it into the scalp twice a day—is awkward.  Rogaine later attempted to make it easier with an aerosol foam version.  

Since many of the initial users represented extreme cases and a desire for instant gratification, they dripped out; their perceived expectations—“where’s my new hair??—weren’t instantly achieved. The buzz-worthy product was still talked about, but the talk turned negative from a large segment of disappointed men, dampening Rogaine’s prospects for marketplace success. 

Rogaine currently does target younger men with a more forthright approach that the product works for a certain type of male-pattern baldness, but it is not a panacea for every conceivable case of male baldness.
The makers of Rogaine made two major mistakes:

  1. Rogaine made no attempt to dismantle the early perceptions that it was a miracle product. This set an unrealistic level of expectation with respect to its product performance with the brand’s early bird customers.
  2. Rogaine required an extensive educational process to help men understand its strengths and limitations; this was never acted upon.

The net result was a wide gap between positioning expectations and product performance.

The product must be able to deliver on the positioning’s benefit promise, or there will be inevitable consumer backlash.  It’s hard to get the toothpaste back in the tube. That’s why marketers must get the positioning strategy right the first time out of the staring gate. 

Second chances are very rare. 

Rogaine never lived up to its potential, because the initial positioning and target segment were wrong from day one.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Motrin IB - lesson learned from innovation blunders

Here’s a great story with lessons learned from innovation blunders.

It’s an excerpt from Why (Smart Companies) Do Dumb Things by Calvin L. Hodock 

In this series of case studies, Hodock shares insight on avoiding 8 common mistakes in new product development.

Johnson and Johnson still needed an ibuprofen brand in its product portfolio, and it obtained it by swapping brands with Upjohn.  Motrin IB acquired in the swap, became a companion brand to Tylenol. The brand was so reasonable successful, riding the coattails of Advil, which had established the ibuprofen beachhead. Upjohn did not want to continue playing the expressive, high-stakes marketing game, which was absolutely essential in order to survive the competitive over-the-counter pain reliever market.

Motrin IB was viewed as a potentially strong global brand within Johnson and Johnson, but there remained the same issue that confronted Medipren—how to position Mortin IB in a way that protected Tylenol’s flanks.  The company understandably wanted to keep the milk flowing from the cash cow. This time Johnson and Johnson did some very good homework.

A segmentation study of the pain relief market revealed a segment of women who medicated aggressively. Very importantly, Tylenol was not heavily represented in the segment. This became Motrin IB’s target segment, and its initial “kick butt” advertising campaign worked brilliantly with these aggressive mediators while minimizing Tylenol cannibalization. It is possible to “have your cake and eat it too” with smart positioning.

Score another one for David Ogilvy. Positioning is one of marketing’s most important decisions. It is always out there in the marketplace, ready to perform miracles.

Monday, December 02, 2013

BOI Airport - where the on-time departures live

Remember those days when your plane landed and took off on time? They live on in Boise, which ranked No. 1 for fewest flight delays. 

TRAVEL + LEISURE readers gave it second place for location and third for check-in, suggesting that it’s the very model of an efficient airport. 

Admittedly, food and shopping are not good reasons to linger, but its small size and free Wi-Fi make it one of the easier airports to handle.

And for me, now that it offers TSA Pre-Check, the lines are even shorter and the experience is even better.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chartering New Lands & Appreciating the Holidays

Here's a note shared with me by Nick Neonakis, a consultant with FranChoice and author of The Franchise MBA

 It is my belief that as Americans, we have an innate entrepreneurial drive.  All of us have our roots somewhere else and our forebears all came to this country seeking freedom and independence.  If you want to think of the entrepreneurs in your family, your ancestor who first came to this country certainly is an important one!  Whether shown through the entrepreneurial bravery in coming here or in starting a business, ours has always been a country that rewards ambitious immigrants.  In fact, 40% of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring.  It was here they met Squanto the Abenaki Indian who taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer.

The bravery these people showed in picking up their belongings and sailing over the horizon to start a new life is embodied by the thousands of men and women who start a new business every year in the USA.  As we wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s be thankful for all of their (and our) sacrifices as we make this world a better place.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The secret to going after your creative dreams (from SARK)

Do you know the secret to going after your creative dreams?

Whether you want to paint, bake, dance, write, play an instrument or make a movie, do it badly, says SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), who is known for her colorful, inspirational work.

You don't need to strive for perfectionism to make your dream happen.

In fact, doing things “badly” frees you to create, says SARK, the bestselling author, artist and teacher, who has helped millions of people learn to act on their creative dreams.

Do you know the secret to going after your creative dreams?
Whether you want to paint, bake, dance, write, play an instrument or make a movie, do it badly, says SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), who is known for her colorful, inspirational work. You don't need to strive for perfectionism to make your dream happen.
In fact, doing things “badly” frees you to create, says SARK, the bestselling author, artist and teacher, who has helped millions of people learn to act on their creative dreams.
- See more at:
Do you know the secret to going after your creative dreams?
Whether you want to paint, bake, dance, write, play an instrument or make a movie, do it badly, says SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), who is known for her colorful, inspirational work. You don't need to strive for perfectionism to make your dream happen.
In fact, doing things “badly” frees you to create, says SARK, the bestselling author, artist and teacher, who has helped millions of people learn to act on their creative dreams.
- See more at:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CEOs Need to Be Chief Story Officers

The CMO is in charge of the brand's story at most companies. This can be a mistake, says Ty Montague writing for Harvard Business Review.
Marketing, you see, should only be one part of a company's story efforts. Take Amazon. Story is its lifeblood. In fact, it drives everything that the company does — from product development, to advertising, to HR policies.

Montague is the author of True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business and a founder of co:collective, a consultancy that helps clients develop their strategy and brand story using the principles of storydoing.

Amazon, of course, isn't the only company that does this. Red Bull, Jet Blue, and TOMS shoes follow the same strategy as well, and their CEOs, just like Jeff Bezos at Amazon, are the ones who oversee their company's story — not their marketing departments. 


They're the only ones who have the reach to do so.

If you are a CEO or an aspiring CEO, the evidence is clear: 
  1. Become a student of the underlying narrative of your business;
  2. Learn how to manage and tell that story through coordinated action;
  3. Make understanding and telling your company's story both a shared responsibility across the whole organization and a core value of the company. 
If you do this, you (and more importantly, your shareholders) will reap the rewards.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2012 supplement of Standard Highway Signs: branding guidelines for the road

On a recent road trip, I observed that all highway signs are the same design, font, colors, etc. 

As a branding guy, I asked: Who makes them? Where are graphic standards?

So I researched to find the Federal Highway Administration has developed the design details of the new signs added in a book called "MUTCD" (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices).

The signs are published in a special section of Standard Highway Signs.

The contents of the 2012 Supplement incorporate new additions of signs and markings, with details for all signs and pavement markings, expanded sign design guidelines, and details for symbolic traffic and lane-control signal indications.

It's everything you'd expect in a combination of a brand standards guide and a government publication.

Click on the link to check it out at


Monday, August 12, 2013

3 investing insights from Edward Jones -- what you'd expect from their solid brand

I really appreciate the straight-forward financial insight I get from Jennifer Wilken – and from the firm that supports her, Edward Jones.

Her personal brand is unrivaled, and the Edward Jones brand is solid in my view.

The Edward Jones ads invite consumers to “join us,” if for example, “you buy the renegade idea that investing should be done face-to-face, not just inbox-to-inbox”; “if you believe that your relationship with your investments shouldn’t be long-distance”; or “if you endorse the radical theory that investors should spend less time playing the market, and more time understanding it.”

Here’s some of the latest advice Jennifer has shared with us from Edward Jones:

U.S. stocks again reached new record highs in the second quarter, as earnings and economic growth improved. However, long-term interest rates began to rise – and, in response, stock and bond prices fell. We expect a choppy third quarter because every economic indicator is likely to provoke an outsized, or abnormally large, reaction – up and down – as markets try to guess when the Federal Reserve (Fed) will start to slow its bond purchases. Remember, you don’t control what the Fed will do, but you can ensure your portfolio is ready.

  1. Stocks still near new record highs – U.S. stocks largely shrugged off the Fed’s signal of possible policy shifts and the increase in long-term interest rates, since continued economic growth tends to be good news for stocks. In our view, the fundamental drivers of rising stock prices remain in place, but the focus on every economic indicator means greater volatility.
  2. Rates start to rise – Long-term interest rates rose sharply in the second quarter, although they remain at quite low levels historically. Bond prices move in the opposite direction from interest rates, and you may have been surprised by their declines. We think long-term rates are likely to continue to move higher over time, reducing bond values, but don’t be surprised if interest rates fluctuate.
  3. Policy shifts move all markets together – The Fed’s monetary policies have always affected financial markets, but for the past few years, the Fed has been a steady, calming hand. As a result, Fed announcements – especially any signs of policy changes – tend to provoke sharp reactions. U.S. markets reacted, and international stocks, especially many in emerging markets, dropped sharply. Although policy changes may move all markets together short term, over time they’ll react differently.
Action for Investors
You can’t control interest rates or the stock market. But you can control the quality and diversification of the investments you own and your reactions to market ups and downs. Make sure you’ve constructed a properly diversified portfolio with the right mix of stocks, bonds and international investments based on your situation, your financial goals and your tolerance for risk. Then prepare to stay invested as markets shift in anticipation of policy changes ahead.

Friday, August 09, 2013

4 percent of doctors have made at least one blog posting in the last year: Vanguard survey

On the heels of a report by Pew Research Center revealing that 35 percent of Americans use the Internet to figure out a medical condition, an independent survey finds that only one-third of physicians in three American cities offer direct website help to health care consumers trying to understand their symptoms.

In an analysis of 300 doctors with the highest patient-satisfaction ratings in Boston, Denver and Portland, OR, the medical marketing firm Vanguard Communications found 69 percent of the physicians have websites.

However, only 33 percent of those doctors’ sites provided much more than online biographies and general practice information – just 99 doctors have websites offering patient-centered information on medical conditions and possible treatments.

The portion of physicians using their websites to update patients on research and trends that could affect their health was even smaller: only 4 percent (12 doctors) had made at least one blog posting in the last year.

“Doctors in these cities are still using their websites primarily as electronic brochures about their practices rather than as online health resources,” said Ron Harman King, Vanguard CEO.

Doctors certainly have no legal or ethical obligation to do any more, King noted, especially when online health encyclopedias abound on the Internet. Nonetheless, offering more health information online could create a win-win for providers.

Vanguard’s analysis spanned three medical specialties: urologists, orthopedic surgeons, and obstetricians-gynecologists. To select the physician sample, the firm chose doctors with the highest patient-satisfaction ratings on, an Internet company that provides quality and safety ratings of health providers. All 300 physicians had “100-percent patient satisfaction” ratings.

More details of the survey are at

Thursday, August 08, 2013

3 types of collaboration with customers as "co-researchers"

There will always be a gap between what a consumer is sharing and how a researcher understands it, according to authors of a recent article in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.

This disparity is created by a gap in culture, generation or objective knowledge.

These different gaps make it difficult for a researcher to put things in the right perspective.

But consumers can help us out.

By becoming our co-researchers, they complement the researcher’s tasks and help to find more and new insights that would otherwise not have been captured. Customers feel empowered and honored when they are asked to become co-researchers. There are many ways to collaborate with co-researchers throughout the research process, from moderation until reporting.

In this article, the experience of research firm InSites Consulting using co-researchers is illustrated in three case studies from Campbell’s, Air France and KLM, and Philips.

Here is a summary to 3 types of collaboration:


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

5 innovation to take medical care home -- to make it more patient-centered, outcomes-driven and collaborative

Chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems are reaching epidemic levels. 

And as the population ages, the drain on our healthcare system is only going to get worse. 

So to alleviate some of the bloated costs of caring for the chronically ill, we must take some of the burden away off institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. 

One way to do that is to bring back a relic of the past: house calls. 

"Years ago, as a family physician in Louisiana, I made house calls," writes Michael Fleming M.D., chief medical officer of Amedisys and past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"Certain patients were too sick or too hurt to get to my office. Sometimes a condition or injury had worsened, requiring my evaluation bedside. I would visit patients at home for the simplest of reasons: home was where they needed care," he says.

Here are the things Dr. Fleming suggests:
  1. Define the discipline better
  2. Get in sync
  3. Physician, educate thyself
  4. Adopt new technologies
  5. Remove policy obstacles

If doctors (or nurses or aides) visited patients at home on a more regular basis, say, to monitor blood pressure, diet, and activity, there's a great chance that ER visits, hospital stays, and re-admissions would drop.
Click to read more on this point of view at

Monday, August 05, 2013

Olympic-size tactical thinking

Photo Credit: Reuters/ Lewis Whyld/Pool
I recently facilitated a tactical ideation workshop in which we applied “Olympic” thinking to the client’s media planning.

Digital media spending by London 2012 Olympics sponsors amounted to as much as 20% of budgets.

Digital outlets attracted funds that might have gone to television in prior years.

And while ad agency and brand representatives don’t provide budgets or spending estimates for their Olympic campaigns, it’s believed that a comprehensive multimedia Olympic campaign cost between $30 million to $50 million.

The pricetag was worth it, most brand executives said, because they believe they were able to weave tighter connections between their brands and target customers during the Olympics compared to other events.

Here are some of the media ideas inspired by our Olympic-size thinking:

Friday, August 02, 2013

How a premium brand experience anchors a business model: case study of SV Travel

When Studio Velo, a high-end bicycle shop in Mill Valley, California, wanted to give its business a competitive edge, it created SV: Travel. 

“Our new division lets us offer our customers on-the-road travel adventures that create community, strengthen customer loyalty, and drive sales,” says founder and owner Scott Penzarella. 

“And the focal point of that experience is our Studio Velo Sprinter. From the moment you depart to the moment you arrive, the Sprinter becomes your home away from home. It’s what you see from the distance, awaiting you at every turn. It’s the safety blanket for our clients and our staff on a long, challenging ride down the California coast.”

Scott Penzarella first became enamored with the idea of leveraging high-end cycling as a business model in the U.S. while studying in Spain. During his time there, he worked at Suraventura, the leading high-end cycling shop in southern Spain, and he became convinced that a European approach to the cycling business could work here. 

Launching Studio Velo in Mill Valley, California, proved him right, and he credits the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a central factor in helping him build the brand image he was after and driving subsequent growth.

Studio Velo has been growing at a 20 percent annual clip during the past two years, with much of that growth driven by its travel division, SV: Travel, which conducts single-day and week-long trips for cyclists. 

"SV: Travel introduces our brand to new clients whose business is acquired via impromptu in-store purchases," Penzarella says. "These same clients tend to frequent our store more often, pre- and post-trip. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a dream vehicle for our business concept. I wouldn't consider anything else."

The SV: Travel Sprinter started out as a 2011 Model 2500 High Roof Passenger Van with 144-inch wheelbase. The vehicle is outfitted to provide "the same professional, comfortable, and premium brand experience we offer in our store," Penzarella says. "To put our highly discerning clients in anything other than a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter would rob them of the premium-brand experience Studio Velo built its reputation on."

Penzarella's most important considerations in choosing a van were reliability, driver and passenger comfort, and fuel efficiency, and the Sprinter has surpassed his expectations in all three areas, he says. The combination of Sprinter's outstanding standard features and the ability to customize it to Studio Velo's specific needs just sealed the deal. 

"Our tagline is 'passion, precision, and performance,'" he says. "The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter gives SV: Travel the exact premium-brand experience we desire and our clients expect."

Selecting a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for Studio Velo's travel business was "a no-brainer," says Scott Penzarella, the company's founder. The high-end image it projects was important, but equally critical was the scope of options it presented for customizing. 

The SV: Travel Sprinter had to be functional and fashionable at the same time. Studio Velo achieved that with a full graphics wrap; a wireless hotspot; front and rear receiver hitch mounts welded to the frame for bike racks, portable work stands, and equipment racks; a custom cabinetry system; and full mobile kitchen, which includes a commercial espresso machine, where the professional chef who accompanies every outing prepares gourmet meals for the cyclists.

From "Sprinter Chronicles" by Mercedes-Benz in INC.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

8 words to inspire more SHOW in your brand story

Here is one of the most important concepts I promote in N-of-8 story development:  the difference between SHOW and TELL.

A complete brand story SHOWS a customer how, not just TELLS them what.

Look for ways you can add more persuasion in your story.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Balance believes WHERE the shoes are made matters

Over at the New Balance headquarters in Brighton, Mass., the ad campaigns have traditionally focused on the shoes’ performance and their appeal to athletes.

But performance is taking a backseat these days to where the shoes are actually made. Unlike its competitors, New Balance can claim that a substantial chunk of its shoes sold in the U.S. (about 25 percent) are made or assembled here.

And the company is striving to put that fact in the spotlight with its latest campaign, developed by Arnold Worldwide of Boston.

See the website at

New Balance kicked things off with ads in May, along with in-store signage. That was followed by ads that appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, urging other companies to follow New Balance’s lead and produce more goods here in the U.S.

There’s now an ongoing Facebook campaign, telling people which companies they “like” actually use domestically produced goods.

And last week, New Balance uploaded a series of short, humorous videos showing their workers “competing” against their rivals’ U.S. factory workers in basketball, table tennis, table hockey and a hot dog eating contest. The “winners” in these solo contests are a foregone conclusion.

“We do have American manufacturing workers and frankly, none of our competitors do,” Kevin Tripp, marketing manager for New Balance’s domestic manufacturing operations, tells me. “Instead of doing it in a way that comes across as serious or self-serving, we thought (this) would be fun. … Since our guys and girls are going up against nobody, we win hands down.”

These spots are notable in that they don’t feature athletes or models. Like the Sports Illustrated ads, these videos feature workers from one of New Balance’s five New England factories. (The company employs 1,300 at plants in Brighton, Lawrence and in Maine.)

“We have played the ‘Made in the USA/domestic pride’ story before, but not to the extent that we have done it this year,” Tripp says. “We really want to put a stake in the ground and tell the story consistently moving forward.”

New Balance’s promotion of its manufacturing capabilities comes amid a growing interest in the United States among consumers in buying domestic products, and a number of high-profile disasters involving overseas suppliers.

There are also a couple political elements: New Balance is trying to protect tariffs on imported sneakers during ongoing international trade talks, and is also trying to persuade Congress to require the U.S. military to buy American-made shoes for recruits.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"20 Logos We Love" from Entrepreneur magazine

Thousands of logos compete for our attention every day. 

Clearly we care about logos. But what makes a great logo?  And how can you make one that not only stands out, but also cultivates a loyal following?

In a recent issue of ENTREPRENEUR magazine, designer Andrew Shea, published some great examples.

Experts note, he says, there are at least three necessary traits: 
  1. distinct from other logos (especially those of competitors), 
  2. instantly recognizable (imagine it on a neon sign in Times Square), and 
  3. legible at all sizes (from billboards to mobile devices). 

That said, there are many ineffective logos that follow these rules. What sets the great ones apart is that they help audiences connect with the organization's mission or personality in a meaningful way.

See the slide show of the 20 favorites at

Thursday, July 25, 2013

61 percent of KOLs use diagnostic and reference mobile apps: implications in my interview with Med Ad News

Last month, I was interviewed by Med Ad News about a new study showing that key opinion leaders are far more digitally savvy.

Here are some highlights of the article:

The Kantar Media Sources & Interactions Study, March 2013 – Medical/Surgical Edition included key facts that pharma marketers and healthcare agencies need to know about key opinion leaders in order to refine digital marketing and advertising plans.

Key opinion leaders are more likely to use smartphones and tablets for professional purposes than all doctors surveyed. About 84 percent use their mobiles for work reasons. In addition, 57 percent reported that they use a tablet for personal and professional purposes.  When using their smartphones, key opinion leaders are more likely to use medical apps compared with all physicians. About 61 percent use diagnostic tool/clinical reference mobile apps and 49 percent use drug and coding reference apps.

Kantar Media collected the data in two waves for the study, which allows them to provide more up-to-date monitoring of rapidly changing media areas, including mobile, according to a company spokesperson. Although the core report continues to show data based on both the fall and spring data collection waves, the supplemental data are based on the spring wave only.

“The survey results help document what we’ve been experiencing over time, that leading physicians have higher utilization of smartphone apps, digital media, social networking, and email communications with patients,” says Mark Stinson, SVP, brand strategy, GSW.

According to the study, more than half of key opinion leaders use the Internet for professional purposes more than four times per day. On average, they use the Internet almost 14 times per week for work. About 55 percent of key opinion leaders say that their time spent on the Internet per use is between 1-15 minutes, while 20 percent say a session typically lasts between 16 and 30 minutes.

Regarding the insights derived from an agency perspective, Stinson tells Med Ad News, “I think the insight is further confirmation that the traditional term of KOLs describing key ‘opinion’ leaders is becoming obsolete. In the past, agencies might have viewed them as ivory tower, academic sources of medical thoughts. What the Kantar study underscores – and what we’ve found with brand experiences – is that a more active and desirable group of clinical leaders has emerged with more than just opinions. These new key practice influencers are using technology and digital media more in direct patient care, protocol development, clinical trial design, treatment guideline creation, and institutional practice procedures. With the application of digital media as described by the Kantar results, we can identify the shift from key opinion leaders to key practice influencers (KPIs), with far-reaching scope of expertise and decision-making effect.”

When it comes to the frequency of smartphone and medical app usage, Stinson says that GSW has seen other data to confirm that prescribing information is the most searched. “However, so many more innovative applications are quickly being integrated into practices,” he told Med Ad News. “What the Kantar survey suggests is that these influential physicians are poised for expanded smartphone use.  It’s another indicator that they aren’t just thought-leading, but actually practice-ready.”

It would be interesting to learn more from the survey, or from future research, if other characteristics common in influencers are at play in how much time key opinion leaders spend on the Internet, says Stinson. “These might include: colleagues in digital forums regularly seek them out for advice; they use blogs or other digital platforms to share insight from specialty conferences; and, they participate in more formulary or protocol review committees by virtual means.”

Key opinion leaders tend to use social networks for professional purposes more often than other physicians, as 39 percent use consumer social networks, 42 percent use professional social networks and 50 percent use medical association/society social networks. “At the heart of a brand strategist’s role is the ability to listen to what customers know, how they find information, and how they use it,” Stinson told Med Ad News. “The Kantar survey provides more evidence that physicians’ views in social media could provide a powerful qualitative research modality. Today, we can observe and learn from online communities by following the real-world conversations that take place on networks (LinkedIn, Facebook), forums (WebMD, PatientsLikeMe), bookmarking (StumbleUpon,, visual content communities (Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube), and micro-blogs (Twitter).  Most of all, we can construct a more complete picture of how these fit into a health care professional’s life and practice. We have to remember that these key practice influencers are often members of Clinical Advisory Committees (CACs). Most payers will consult with CAC members before rendering a decision on whether or not to cover a proposed treatment.  That extends the influence of a leading-edge physician who shares his or her experiences in social media.”

Key opinion leaders are multimedia journal readers with 57 percent reading both print and digital versions of current issues of medical journals, 86 percent read print editions, and 55 percent read full digital reproductions, meaning PDF or “flip view” versions.

“The Kantar results further encourage us to evaluate forums where an influential physician is posting or reading – or even where their patients with similar conditions may be interacting with the physician,” Stinson told Med Ad News.  “In this way, we can identify channels for community management, content planning, and media engagement.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 insights about corporate creativity from J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler

"I talk to so many people about the lack of creativity in companies in America. Part of creativity is contrarianism, " says Mickey Drexler, CEO of J.Crew.

"Creativity battles common wisdom. Because if there's common wisdom, there's an opportunity. In my own experience, whatever was a good idea was a bad idea to most people," he says in a recent interview with Fast Company.

Here are ten of his insights on what it takes to be creative.

  1. "Every business could be creative."
  2. "Companies are in the Stone Ages organizationally."
  3. "Most companies should have a rule about how big they get."
  4. "America's companies are built to destroy creativity."
  5. "You have to keep moving forward."
  6. "I'm a very proud micromanager."
  7. "You cannot copy high quality."
  8. "You can drown in data."
  9. "It's aggravating to be a public company."
  10. "Simplicity is very difficult to achieve."

Read the full article at