Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the Award for Best Supporting Actor Goes to All the Extroverts

In the spirit of tonight's Academy Awards acceptance speeches, I figured what better time to offer my personal thanks to all the wonderful folks who have helped Extrovertic grow so quickly into the kind of agency that we had hoped for when we started it just over two years ago.

At the risk of getting all verklempt, we have an amazingly talented, smart, dedicated –and just plain nice– group of people in our New York  and Cambridge offices.

There are a few things that separate our extroverts from the employees of the standard healthcare agencies:

First, while our people recognize that we're in the business of helping our clients' businesses, they understand that the best way to do this is to truly make a difference in the lives of patients. When an extrovert says he or she is passionate about patients, this isn't corporate speak. It comes from the heart. Every one of us feels a responsibility to immerse ourselves in the lives, lifestyles, and challenges of the patient populations we aim to help. And this need to understand and feel the pain, problems and joys of patients carries through every part of our organization, from our interns on up.

Second, everyone has a say at Extrovertic. We have a weekly staff meeting in which everyone gets to hear what 's going on with the agency and share what's going on with them. Nobody is too big or too small. And as extroverts, nobody is afraid to speak their mind.

Third, we all want to be the very best at what we do, whether it be creative, marketing strategy development, RM – anything. We all support each other in our collective quest to be the very best possible partner to our clients.

Fourth, we all work very hard, but we have fun doing it. What can be more fun than being involved right at the start of something that is growing as fast as our company?

A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all the extroverts. And an invitation to anyone who thinks there's an extrovert inside of them, just dying to get out...


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Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Power to Remove Despots and Keep Customers

It’s being said on all the political talk shows and op ed pages that the past week’s people’s revolution in Egypt could not have happened without the power of Facebook and Twitter.

Yet while social media is proving itself time and time again to be a positive force in people’s lives, pharmaceutical clients are still a little nervous about adding it to their marketing toolbox.

Why? Because they fear that they could lose control of the discussion. That someone may step over the line in terms of adverse events. They feel they have to wait for the FCC to make good on its promise to establish guidelines for the industry to follow.

They don’t get how to assign the dialogue a monetary value. ROI is understood; ROE (return on engagement) is something pretty foreign to them.

But the perception is not the reality. Reportable adverse events are far less common than assumed. Nielsen randomly picked 500 postings on Yahoo Health boards. Only one of them qualified as a reportable adverse event. That’s a rate of 0.2%. The fact is, most comments don’t qualify as an adverse event.

As for the ROI question, Dorothy has been preaching since even before we opened Extrovertic that “ROE should be your new ROI.”

Back then the “E” was for “engagement.” Now, many in the industry have broadened it to mean, “experience.”  Regardless, there are a number of ways to quantify the monetary return on it.

I guess the irony is, that while social media can help rid a country of a dictator in 18 days, it has been slow to convince marketers to take up the cause.

Still, I have no doubt: the revolution will prevail.


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