Listen Globally, Act Locally

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There is a paradox at play in the world of global marketing. We live in an age where the expectation is that messages can be shared instantaneously across the boundaries of time, language and location. We are more connected than we have ever been, yet we still are not a unified world. What motivates us, what inspires us and what drives a brand to succeed is vastly different between continents and cultures. Yet we talk about “globalization” as if that undertaking is possible in a meaningful way with our physicians and patients around the world. The goal in marketing global brands is to seek the highest common denominator in verbiage that can resonate with targets despite their location or culture. So as we begin …

Listening Is the Key to Becoming More Than Just Better Marketers

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We’ve all read articles addressing the question of how to be heard in the age of information. But while we’re all focused on being “heard,” many of us fail to address its essential complement: listening. At a recent pharma meeting, I spoke with some pharmaceutical marketing executives about their experiences with their agencies and uncovered a common complaint: While their agencies spend dozens of hours demonstrating their ingenuity and creativity, especially during pitches, marketers themselves are frequently frustrated at the failure of these agencies to genuinely listen to what their clients are saying. In a market as fraught with regulatory challenges as healthcare, listening is absolutely vital — and a skill too often overlooked in favor of “wowing” a client with strategy or creative. We are busy showing and knowing rather than listening and learning. Certainly creativity is …

Healthcare Marketers Say Few Ad Agencies Are Really Good Listeners

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New HCB Survey Finds Failure to Understand Client Needs Leads to Inferior Work, Cost Issues and Diminished Agency Value Healthcare advertising agencies need to sharpen their listening skills, according to a new survey of marketing executives commissioned by HCB Health. Respondents in four industry sectors — pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology and medtech — correlated good listening with the ability to understand and meet their business needs but said that only a small percentage of healthcare agencies listen really well. This failure can lead to misunderstandings that produce …

Point-Of-Care Innovation: The Evolution of Medical Interactions

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Point-of-care interactions between patients and healthcare professionals are undergoing significant changes. Whether in the doctor’s office, hospital or pharmacy, new care models are being established that are designed to bring fundamental change to the doctor-patient relationship. At a time when new drug product innovation has slowed down considerably, digital technologies and behavioral …

Marketers Be Aware: We Need to Start Listening Better

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Rewind to “Mad Men,” Season 3, Episode 9. Don Draper is confidently introducing a new campaign idea to hotelier Conrad Hilton, offering Americans the thrill of international travel along with all the comforts of home. How do you say ice water in Italian? Hilton. Fresh towels in Farsi? Hilton. Hamburger in Japanese? Hilton. Hilton — it’s the same in any language. It’s good, the hotel magnate says, but where’s the moon? “I wanted Hilton on the moon. I couldn’t have been clearer about it. You did not give me what I wanted. I’m …

Siri Speaks: A Conversation with the Human Behind the Voice of Siri

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We usually see Siri spelled in caps and lower case, as if she’s a real person with a very weird name, instead of an application on your phone. But SIRI is in fact an acronym for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. If you require a more intimate relationship with the voice on your phone, take comfort knowing that Siri also means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory” in Norwegian. One of its inventors, a Norwegian named Dag Kittlaus, once considered Siri as a name for his daughter – hence the original name of the technology – but the acronym soon followed as a more officious moniker was deemed necessary. And if you want a sample of …

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