Tag Archives: Technology

Why I don’t care what’s next

Innovation, by David Hunt

Firstly, I do care, and perhaps should be less flippant. However, commentating on the next pioneering technology is a really good excuse to ignore our deficiencies with the current tools at our disposal. I’d argue that we already have the technology necessary to build meaningful relationships, and our focus should be on maximising these.

Fully leveraging new technology during its infancy is unlikely. In the gaming world, it typically takes 12-18 months for engineers to fully utilise the power of the hardware offered by the latest generation of console. It’s okay for us to take our time, assuming we are making progress, building expertise and confidence. If we are getting closer to adopting the technology and enhancing the breadth of our communication platform – that’s okay. Progress doesn’t always have to be quick, but it should still be progress. Ask Yahoo, MySpace and Blackberry if they’d have sacrificed being first to be the best.

And, while we’re exploring what we already have, let’s play with what the future holds. I’ve always considered myself to be curious, and therefore quick to try the latest technology. Today, at Havas Lynx, I’m surrounded by millennials. To my astonishment, they are more demanding than me and more impatient than me – no mean feat. They are also much more agile in their take-up of technology. Aligned with experience, it is meaningful innovation beset on making a difference.

Do we need more technology? Or do we need to be better at using it? I’d argue that, if we ensure the latter, the former will bring more value.

Orchestrator

Ideas

Creativity, More Important Than Ever by David Hunt

You can have a strong brand & commitment to fulfil it. You can have the necessary culture to respond in a real fashion. You can have a relevant, quality, dynamic content strategy. And most importantly, you can share a genuine ambition with your community. But you can still, and most likely will, fail in social media.

In a world that besieges individuals with content, news & entertainment across all manner of devices & channels, standing-out from the crowd is more important than ever. Pharma has spent so long wrestling with social, that when we finally do arrive, we expect that they will come. The world has not been waiting. The world is oblivious to our fraught self-interrogation. That is not to say, we can’t add significant value to our respective communities, it is just that we need to earn the right to be socially significant. Turning-up, standing on the periphery, is not enough.

In my opinion, you need an idea that grabs attention and acts as a catalyst for your social campaign. It requires insight into the community, imagination to be unique, the potential to be valuable & engaging, but it also requires appreciation of social dynamics. It is not an advert, but it is creative. It is an idea that drives participation & interaction, from incremental approval & shares, to endorsement & actions. It takes great talent, with great ideas to unlock the great social opportunity.

In South America we have seen the Colombian League Against Cancer “Cancer Tweets” campaign demonstrating the creative opportunity social media represents.

Great ideas that leverage the social opportunity are still the exception in healthcare. I’m excited to work with clients and colleagues with the imagination and bravery to seize the initiative and make a difference.

lightbulb

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

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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.

 

 

#LionsHealth – A great few days in the South of France

The first ever Lions Health took place on June 13th and 14th 2014, at the famous Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.

Cannes

No one knew quite what to expect. Who would be there? What would we learn? Who would win? And what would become of the #LionsHealth?

The speakers were mixed. But importantly, when they were good, they were great. Events such as this often have one or two highlights. At #LionsHealth there were multiple. The event was opened by the brilliant @JimStengel. He spoke passionately about creating a culture of creativity & the importance of team engagement. It was impossible to not be impacted by Jim’s ideas & results. They will certainly shape my thinking as we plan for the continuing success of HAVAS LYNX.

Equally great, if a little more unorthodox, was R. John Fidelino. When I sat down for a session labelled, “Chasing Cool in Healthcare”, I was ready to be unimpressed. I’m proud of pharma & would choose significant over cool everyday. Fidelino’s presentation convinced me otherwise. He was meaningful, authentic and immersive – he embodied all the values he felt health communications must represent. He convinced me that perhaps we can have even more significance on people’s lives, if we are just a little cooler.

Not too many people have heard or considered narrative medicine. The always brilliant Dr. Rita Charon mesmerised much of the audience on day two. Having spent much of the event discussing technology, it was very refreshing to then consider content, emotion and stories. Technology is a platform, it’s the experience that counts. As Fidelino had explained, we must be meaningful, authentic and immersive. Dr. Rita Charon talked from the heart of her patient experiences & the importance of relationships. As we look to the future and our digital world, it is clear that HCP interactions will become ever more fragmented, and as such, relationships will be critical to improving outcomes.

We joined Havas to help drive our strategic thinking & creative pedigree. We were delighted to be part of a network that claimed three lions; a bronze, silver & gold. The network has amazing talent & we love the collaboration. It fuels our growth and ambition. We were also delighted for the team at Langland. A great agency, that represented the UK with great success.

So what will become of #LionsHealth? For me, that question remains unanswered. Much worked, but a lot didn’t. Did it meet year one expectations? Yes. Does it need to evolve significantly for year two? Almost certainly. Will we be there to support that growth? Absolutely.

 

The death of traditional consumerism: what does it mean for pharma?

HAVAS Worldwide’s latest paper, The New Consumer & The Sharing Economy, outlines a growing sentiment against over consumption. Seven in ten of us believe it to be putting our society and the planet at risk, and the majority feel that current models of consumerism are not sustainable. More than this, we feel weighed down by the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ we own.

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Put simply, we’re tired of consumerism and bored of adverts that try to manipulate us by pushing products at us like they’re the answer to life’s problems. We want to be in control, we want to be able to make informed decisions about how we spend our time and money and we don’t want others telling us what to do.

This goes for healthcare as much as consumer markets. Patients no longer expect to merely be prescribed a pill that they unwittingly swallow down once a day and hope for the best. Facilitated by an abundance of information technologies, they are knowledgeable about treatments and want to be actively involved in managing their own health care.

The wealth of monitoring apps across treatment areas (AsthmaCheck, MoodPanda and Diabetes In Check are but a few) is a fair indicator of a general desire for information and authority regarding personal treatment regimens. For financially hamstrung public health providers such as the NHS, this is a welcome trend. Empowering patients with greater control of their treatment reduces the burden of care placed on public providers, and has the potential to garner much better results by actively engaging patients.

So where does pharma fit into all this? The patent model and subsequent relationship with healthcare providers has always followed traditional models of consumerism; ‘we are a drug company and we’ve produced this drug which you can buy from us’. So how can we who work in pharma support and facilitate patients’ desires for greater inclusion and authority in their care and still turn a profit?

Firstly, we need to reshape our relationship with the people we serve. Pharmaceutical companies can no longer act as vendors and must become partners to professionals and patients alike. In doing so, we need to provide solutions, not pills, and increasingly this will mean delivering holistic services and systems of care. ‘Beyond the pill’ solutions are an arena in which there is massive potential for pharmaceutical companies to add real value.  At HAVAS LYNX we’ve worked on a series of patient care programmes that have been shown to half the number of days patients spend in hospital.

When pharma partners its expertise with other parties, it opens up a world of new revenue streams. Start-up accelerator organisations such as Healthbox are stimulating the sort of innovation and collaboration that pharma should be looking to more and more. Even amidst the context of Pfizer’s efforts to secure the acquisition of AstraZeneca, pharma companies need to look beyond traditional development pipelines when seeking to expand their offering.

We need to innovate past the sector mainstream and recognise outsider trends, much in the same way that Facebook is making moves to expand beyond social by purchasing of ProtoGeo. There are so many exciting and disruptive technologies being developed that have the potential to transform the lives of patients. Far more than offering supplementary revenue, these areas that currently lie on the fringes of the market are likely to be the mainstay of pharmaceuticals in the future.

 

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.