Monday, November 28, 2011

“Designing” the Service Business Model.

With the passing of Steve Jobs, the central place that design has played in infusing everyday products with value has received tremendous airplay. That got me thinking, how could a design mentality create additional value in the service business? Specifically, the healthcare agency business?

What would a well-designed contact report look like? 

Would the structure of our meetings change?
How would our creative product be affected?

So, for the remainder of 2011, our Extroverts will be devoting time and energy to wrestling with these questions. We will start by immersing all New York and Boston Extroverts into the world of design. Extrovertic leadership will be giving presentations, taking the agency on a field trip or two, and bringing beautifully designed items into the office. We plan to culminate this effort with an Extrovertic idea storm, where we will apply the principles of design to generate ideas on improving our environment, processes, services, products, and work lives.

The inspiration behind Extrovertic idea storms is to look beyond the world of pharmaceuticals for interesting ideas and initiatives. Using a structured brainstorming process, we then develop ways these ideas can be applied to specific business challenges. In this case, how can Extrovertic raise the bar and offer a distinctively different level of agency service? Our clients have told us Extrovertic is different, that we offer a higher level of strategic thinking than most agencies. But we want to take that further.

Until the end of this year, we will be using the world of design as inspiration to offer a distinctively different level of agency service. The world of design has already provided us with a lofty template for our initiative. It comes from Mauro Porcini, 3M’s Head of Global Strategic Design, who was featured in Fast Company’s October Design issue.

“The designer’s goal…is not customer satisfaction. That’s a terribly low bar. You’re just meeting someone’s needs. If you’re a designer who loves your customers, you surprise. You enter the sacred field of the magic, of the extraordinary, of the memorable.”

At Extrovertic, we love our clients, their patients, and the healthcare space. So we will be idea storming on how we can surprise and delight them in 2012 and beyond. Please follow our blog, add your thoughts, and enjoy a design-infused end of year.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Very Extroverted Halloween.

As Extroverts, we are naturally inclined to go a bit over the top when given the opportunity to do so.

Take Halloween for instance. Some people go minimalist—
A pair of kitty ears = a cat costume.
Horn headband=devil.

Not so when it comes to Extroverts.

Instead of merely dressing ourselves in a costume, we take it to the next level. 

So for Halloween this year, we hired face painters to come to our New York and Boston offices to kick our otherwise “non-extroverted” costumes up a notch.

Although the initial concept had been to create offices full of “walking stiffs”, the Extroverts had other ideas. While some zombies were seen walking around Cambridge and 21st St., looking like the dead, others took creative license (as we are known to do) and went a bit rogue with our designs. 

Jr. Art Director, Nathan Noyes took it upon himself to photo-composite the pictures to maximize the effect.

We had beautifully butterflied account folks.

As well as creepily two headed ones.

Copywriters gone morgue.

And project managers turned pro.

Fiendish art directors made an appearance, too

And the creepiest? Nathan (the very Extrovert who compiled this whole creepy slideshow) was the scariest of them all with a ghoulish Batman inspired clown getup.

Last but not least, Chief Extrovert, Dorothy, took us off the charts with her lovely Arab Spring ensemble.

Looking pretty darn fabulous, The Halloween festivities continued late into the evening (as did the face paint). And the take away? If you want to have a good time, all you need are a bunch of Extroverts and some face paint.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If Facebook were a country…

It would be the third largest in the world. In fact, “there are 750,000,000 people on Facebook, worldwide.”

What is it about Facebook that has gotten people so obsessed? Why do people log on over and over each day, frantically checking for news updates, party invites, offers, games, likes and relationship status changes?

These were some questions I was hoping to have answered at the Social Media Strategies Summit I recently attended. 

I was able to participate in this great conference because of a recently instated policy at Extrovertic. This program allocates a very generous annual budget for each employee to attend conferences on virtually any topic. It enables us to learn about cutting edge practices in different areas of the business. When we come back, all Extroverts are then expected to translate what we’ve learned into innovative ideas for our clients.

So why did I choose this particular conference? Even though Social Media has not yet found its niche in Pharma, if and when it does make an appearance, I want to help prepare Extrovertic. Notebook in hand, off to Boston I went.

At the conference, we had the chance to participate in one of three tracks (Non-profit, Business-to-Business and Business to Consumer). I opted for business to consumer (since it was most relevant) and, I think I made a good choice. I got to attend talks given by the VP of Technology for Tasti-D-Lite, the PR and Social Media Manager of Dunkin Donuts (yes, she brought donuts), and the Director and Interactive Media Manager of the Boston Celtics (to name a few). Over three days, I got to attend lectures on everything from the NCAA marketing approach, to the Marines' social media platform. 

The conference was an amazing opportunity to meet people in different areas of the business, all around good time and a great chance to learn about effective social media ventures that other brands have produced. I was also pretty excited about the fact that I won a Definition 6 moleskin notebook and pen because of my frequent participation in their Snaptag contest. It was the first time I’ve ever won something! 

At the end of it, I walked away with a broader understanding of social media marketing initiatives. For people who are even somewhat involved in the development of social media programs for their companies, this is a great conference series. 

I think social media and pharma are unfortunately a ways away from intersecting. But, in the future, it seems like the first place social media may find it’s home in pharmaceutical marketing is in the unbranded sector. Because of this, it’s important that we keep up to date on what is going on in the social media world. 

What do you think might be a good way in? Do you agree with social media’s heavily regulated nature in the medical world? Leave a note with your opinion!