Tag Archives: Digital

Highlights from a decade of global travel in Digital Healthcare Communications

Global Healthcare Communications, By David Hunt

If you’re flown from Manchester to a far corner of the globe to lead a workshop and build digital expertise, you should be arriving with insight & expertise. You should be offering an opinion that counts, the room should be learning something new, and you must make a difference. In addition, without fail, every experience has also made a difference to me.

I arrived in Japan to develop expertise in digital communication. As lead facilitator it’s my duty to have the best case studies. That being said, it would have been impossible to top the work of Honda. They combined insight, innovation & cause to the benefit of their brand, customers, but ultimately society. On the 7th April 2011 Japan was struck by the tsunami. The devastation was catastrophic. The country desperately struggled to navigate communities & services around the area. In less than 24hrs, Honda had mapped working roads onto Google maps, allowing critical movement across the region. Inspired by this, my goal is to help big pharma demonstrate the same agility & conviction. For further information please watch the case study here.

Only recently I delivered a social academy in Scandinavia. It’s a region I have long admired for it’s innovation & ambition. In many ways the geography of the region implores a digital first approach, however the history & associated diversity, makes the whole endeavour far more complicated. As a region they will win. They will use digital communications, social media and technology to improve outcomes. At the heart of their success will be their culture, it inspires innovation. They are open to ideas, and encourage others. They explore the possibilities & lead with imagination, not rules. I’ve worked with a number of companies in the region, and enjoyed it every time.

We delivered our first true CLM initiative in 2008, I didn’t expect that, in just a few years, it would lead to CLM academies in Shanghai. I only hope the participants took the same value as I did. Being simultaneously translated is a unique experience, made more so with little or no feedback from the room. In the EU or US, the feedback is instant & rewarding – comforting, even easy, perhaps not always genuine. China is different. Every minute counts. The participants WANT knowledge, and it’s utterly inspiring. They’re not looking for occasional insight, but comprehensive detail they will employ religiously.

This Summer saw the inaugural Lions Health. As previously mentioned on this blog, there were a number of highlights. Of equal insight were the results of the awards. The overwhelming victors were from South America. Not only did they collect numerous awards, but there ideas were creatively outstanding & use of digital exceptional. We’re often guilty of assuming that the US or EU are the most technologically advanced. Perhaps our maturity and sophistication or rules & rigour actually stifle innovation & the improvements it can herald. In 2010 the Arab Spring used social media as a catalyst for seismic change. Motive & technology aligned. It re-affirms my belief in the power of morality & innovation. And as always, rewards travel & observation with learnings & insight.

world

Closed-Loop Marketing is simply not difficult

Closed-Loop Marketing, by David Hunt
Part II, a roadmap to success

Please first read Part I, Start and therefore finish with insight

map

It’s a well-trodden path, yet very few make it to the ambition – high value customer interactions that build long-term brand equity. What happens? Where does it all become too difficult? When do organisations default to the status-quo?

Below are five tips established through more than a decade’s experience of hits and misses (from which you tend to learn more, ask Google).

 

Is imagination more important than perspiration in the pursuit of CLM?
Of course not. It takes commitment, it takes expertise & it takes total belief across an organisation. But how do we ensure dedication? How do we engage exceptional talent? How do ensure buy-in? Through case studies – we’ve seen them. Through stats – we’ve heard them. Due to awards – big deal. You win by imagination, you win by inspiring your organisation, you win by conceptualising an experience that really will be exceptional.

Tip 1 – Lead with an idea, lead with a vision, lead with imagination.

 

“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it.”
David Ogilvy
The smartest people know to surround themselves with knowledge & expertise. I’m often amazed at individuals appetite for adventure, their brazen embrace of the unknown, and utter conviction in succeeding where others fail. It’s even more surprising when their qualifications are at odds with their latest challenge. Find someone with the t-shirt, someone with the battle scars, someone who knows how to succeed in CLM. Work with an expert, someone who can realise the ambition & become a catalyst for your success.

Tip 2 – To be the best, you need to work with the best.

 

The more you put in, the less they need to
Today we need almost instant gratification. We are spoilt in our interactions, and accept nothing less than an exceptional experience. As such the field demands an intuitive, flexible & rapid interface. The more we invest, the more 1% improvements we drive, the more we will engage the field, build their confidence and improve their performance. The more we do, the less they have to.

Tip 3 – The field force are your consumers, they need a consumer digital experience and not a pharma digital experience.

 

All platforms are equal, but some are more equal than others
I have never heard: “We’re really pleased with our platform, it’s exceeded all of our expectations!” Equally, I’ve never heard someone describe their OS, office software or email package as exceeding their expectations. Bizarre that whilst we are ambivalent to bugs from software power houses like Apple, we expect flawless solutions from software service providers to pharma. I’m not saying we should expect shoddy work, just that perspective will ensure we focus our efforts most appropriately. It’s easy to identify flaws in a platform, and easy to blame. Be brave and focus on the real issues limiting success.

Tip 4 – Remember it’s just a platform, and only part of the answer.

 

Perfection is enemy the enemy of good
In a digital world the best we can hope for is #FinalForNow. There will always be something new on the horizon. Waiting & wondering, standing on the side, reserving judgement – that’s easy. Being bold, seizing the initiative, capitalising now – is much more difficult. Guaranteed, in less than 12 months there’ll be better hardware, better software, more developed philosophies. Also guaranteed, the company that acted will be the company that leads.

Tip 5 – Don’t wait for the next technology push, it will always come round the corner.

 

 

Technology is the means to an effect, it is the idea that counts.

Healthcare Digital Communications, by David Hunt

HAVAS LYNX celebrates 28 years of business this month, and a decade in healthcare digital communications – so what’s changed in the last decade?

Closed-loop marketing (CLM) has never been far from the agenda. Promising more efficient use of resource & more rewarding customer interactions. The ambition has barely changed, but unfortunately neither has the reality. There are some notable exceptions & I am very pleased with our work in this area, but it could & should be so much more. And it will be. The release of the iPad acted as a catalyst for an important shift in ownership from IT to Business. As a result, we are now driven by function & value, not constrained by fear & naivety. In 2014 merely embracing new hardware is not enough. In a world whereby the paper sales aid has become unique, and digital tools are omnipresent, points of differentiation must be earnt through innovation and ideas.

HAVAS LYNX Celebrates 28yrs

HAVAS LYNX Celebrates 28yrs

It would be hard to categorise the broader Pharma marketing community as innovators or early adopters. But as Facebook has celebrated its 10th birthday, I think we should recognise the progress made in social media. It has always been a hot topic of debate, but now we are starting to see more frequent, more tangible outputs. In addition there has been a noticeable increase in the social media briefs that we receive. The usual tone of caution has been replaced by one of courage, underpinned by a belief in ethics over our previous fascination with rules.

I believe in Pharma sponsored healthcare professional product websites, but I am definitely in the minority. The last decade had seen limited change, limited innovation and unsurprisingly limited success. However, poor execution & a lack of imagination should not render the tool redundant. If I’m looking for a car, I check the manufacturers website before validating the information in social media, the same is true for hotels, new trainers & my next laptop. I don’t discount the company’s website just because they are marketing to me, in the same way doctors don’t discount reps. It is true, the product website is not a silver bullet, but with renewed passion & a dramatic improvement in user experience, it can play an important role in integrated campaigns.

In 2004 I wasn’t addicted to my mobile. I didn’t use it for news, I didn’t ask it’s opinion on the new local restaurant & I didn’t use it to broadcast my opinions. The biggest change in the last decade is EVERYONES digital behaviour. It is absurd to think that healthcare professionals use digital for finance but not research, that they use digital to follow news but not medicine, that they connect offline but not online. Today, more than ever, we are not limited by our customer, but by our imagination. 

LYNX London; What is the ambition for an agency start-up?

Agency expansion, by David Hunt

Emergence of a great team? High profile account wins? Excellent financial performance? Awards? 18 months in and HAVAS LYNX London have ticked every box.

The team is spread over two locations. I’m sure management consultants would describe it  as on-shoring and outline the benefits in cost efficiencies. Being very smart, they would also talk about even greater savings with alternate locations – quality is not everyone’s priority. Quality is LYNX London’s number one priority. We describe it as an agency, a modern agency, defined by expertise and not geography. Combining the creative & digital pedigree of Manchester, with the strategic and scientific expertise of London. We know the benefit is a best-in-class service.

HAVAS LYNX London

HAVAS LYNX London

The teams don’t share an office, rarely take lunch & have entirely different accents, yet they are tight knit & getting closer, creative & getting bolder, innovative & getting smarter. At the heart of their success are the people. From junior developers in Manchester through to account directors in London, the team is blessed with intelligence and drive.

The team that a client sees is important, but so too are the experts behind the scenes. Last year HAVAS LYNX London collected a number of high profiles accounts, through their exceptional service and high quality product. The team front-of-house and the guys in the kitchen aligned to the needs of the client. And fiercely determined too.

But it would be wrong to say it has all been easy, it has not. They have to make every communication count, but in a world when meetings are often bloated & ineffective perhaps this represents another strength. The creative leads are not just across the office, but equally they have few disruptions and an atypical opportunity to focus. Cultures are more difficult to align, but more rewarding when they do. Maybe it is harder, evidence would suggest it’s certainly worth it.

Since 2009 and a record award haul of 6 wins at the PM Digital Awards, HAVAS LYNX have had unprecedented success at industry events. Before that first glorious night, I remember attending countless events without success. As the saying goes, good things come to those that wait. It is with a slight twinge of jealousy, that LYNX London only had to wait 12 months to win their first significant gong – Digital Campaign at the PM Society Awards. Entirely deserved.

But their greatest achievement? Every member of the team contributing to a culture of success. From the top to the bottom, from the Manchester-based studio to the account team of London, from ping-pong to pitches, they want to win every time (and so far do).

10, 20, 50, 100 or 1,000; what’s the perfect size for an agency?

Client / Agency relationships, by David Hunt

178, the size of HAVAS LYNX. Ask anyone that manages an agency of 178 & they will say the same – it’s perfect. I imagine that in a few weeks 181 will be even more perfect. 

For years we were perceived as being too small. Now we are too big to be innovative, yet still too small to be a player?!? I disagree with both opinions.

Innovation & creativity is not about headcount. Never has been, never will be. It’s about people, passion & culture. With a background in digital, technology & creativity, I was appointed CEO at the age of 33. I’m driven by ideas & not numbers. Supported by a management team that believes in great work, we  now invest in more diverse expertise, try more unique technologies & chase more ideas than ever before. We are constantly looking for new concepts for ourselves, for our clients, for HCPs & for patients.

Can you be small, commercially motivated & technology agnostic? With the correct approach and the right people, perhaps. However, are you more likely to settle with the specialist you shared lunch with, or the unknown you still need to locate? With a big agency comes diverse expertise under one roof, providing seamless access to broad ideas. But can you be big & still bright? Certainly, but only by breaking down silos & embracing diversity. Different experiences, points of view & interests inspire innovation.

Like the story of Goldilocks, some agencies are too big, some agencies are too small, and some agencies are just right – it depends on your taste.

Three Bears

It is a matter of taste

Another strange question – do you have enough capacity? Does a prospective customer really want an agency that’s quiet? I’ve never walked into an empty restaurant, however if it’s heaving I want a reservation – evidence suggests that the product will be great. Do you want a partner that is free, or do you want a partner that is expert? A well run agency will have the infrastructure, process & connections to scale smartly and meet the fluid needs of their customers.

I’m proud to say that we are very big and we are very busy. And our clients choose HAVAS LYNX for our  ideas, innovation & ability to exceed expectations, and we are grateful for their patronage. 

Addressing the needs of pharmaceutical marketing and embracing 2014

2014, what are the strategic priorities for HAVAS LYNX? By David Hunt

Embracing 2014 and building on our strengths

Embracing 2014 and building on our strengths

Agency life is exciting, fluid & often unpredictable. I believe that the success of an agency depends on the team & the culture, and the ability they afford an agency to respond to change. However, whilst responding to the market, competitive landscape & technology is essential, so too is a bold strategy. As we embark on 2014, what are the strategic priorities for HAVAS LYNX?

People make an agency. Their talent, expertise & commitment deliver great campaigns, great innovation & great service. In 2014 we are launching the LX Academy to develop expertise & knowledge.

And it’s not just our people that shape our fortunes, the impact of good & bad clients is immeasurable. A good client values your opinion & respects your service. A bad client jeopardises your product, profitability & most importantly your people. In 2014 we will be as selective as our clients.

HAVAS LYNX Medical was launched in 2013. 2014 will be their year. Combining scientific expertise, digital innovation & ethics, they will provide unsurpassed medical education & scientific exchange. Led by Dr Nick Broughton, they will deliver significant ROI through smart, integrated campaigns that are defined by customers & not tradition.

The fantastic teams in LYNX London, LYNX Local & HAVAS HEALTH Software will continue to prosper & build on robust foundations. They are each unique & entirely designed around the needs of pharmaceutical marketing. LYNX London are shaping global strategies for Novartis, Janssen & Roche. In their fourth year, LYNX Local continue to ensure global campaigns have a local impact. And HAVAS HEALTH Software are a technology start-up that is redefining healthcare communications.

Founded in 1986 as Creative Lynx, HAVAS LYNX were driven by ideas & strategy. In the early noughties we embraced & defined digital in healthcare, but we never forgot our roots. As we move forward many of our clients partner with us for their strategy, ideas & innovations. Our ambition for 2014 is to continue this trend, delivering best-in-class campaigns that are defined by customer needs & not technology. 

An Agency’s Ultimate Priority – Experience, Their Customers & Their Customers’ Customer

Experience; Why it is everything, by David Hunt

For my wife’s Birthday we stayed at the Sanderson, in London. I had heard of its reputation, and the location was great. It was expensive, but I wanted the trip to be special. A month later we travelled back down to London, and without hesitation booked the Sanderson again. It was that good. Equally, I’ve stayed in a number of budget hotels and the experience has been just that.

Distinctive design

Distinctive design

As a business you must define your proposition and price point, you must then honour that commitment in everything you do, both in service & deliverable. Every detail of my stay at the Sanderson was considered; from the fresh fruit & water awaiting our return from a night out, through to every member of staff knowing our names & preferences. I am sure that there are exceptions, mistakes and the occasional frustrated client, we are human after all. However, I am also confident that the energy, courtesy and passion of the staff will ensure that the majority of experiences are exceptional.

When I selected the Sanderson I understood their rates. I recognised that it would be a premium experience, with an appropriate cost. As an agency, should we expect the same of our clients? Are they looking for an exceptional service, or something simply adequate? The Sanderson would not have expected me to challenge them with the rates of the local economy hotel, but equally I would not accept an economy service from the Sanderson.

If I book a flight with Virgin, I know it will be more expensive than the low-cost alternative but whilst both will get me to my destination, I know that it will be a better experience with Virgin. If a client briefs an agency on a website in the majority of instances the cost will be an indicator of quality, both in the experience with the agency and in the ultimate experience of their customers. No doubt both websites will function, but the superior expertise, insight and time associated with the premium offer, should shine through in the final solution and the experience of the users.

“Just because it is more expensive, doesn’t mean it is better!?!” A strange point of view, not one I would share with the Sanderson, but for completeness – with higher cost comes the opportunity to include more talented staff and motivate their performance. With higher cost comes more experienced personnel that understand your business and can discuss your opportunities. With higher cost more time to craft a solution around the user and deliver a premium experience. 

I was under little doubt that the staff at the Sanderson were experienced & expert, they were motivated & passionate, they took pride in their work & were rewarded for their endeavour.