INBOUND and Pharma: Don’t be pushy, be human

bigstock-abstract-puzzle-people-backgro-13869878Is the pharmaceutical industry ready for inbound marketing? 

That was my burning question prior to the start of INBOUND 2013.

Initially I thought yes, today I think yes – beyond a doubt. 

I came back with a few takeaways to share with the pharma industry.

INBOUND Takeaway: Be Human 

Historically marketing has been pushy. As a company marketer your job was to push out product information and offerings regardless of timing or customer need.

In today’s connection economy these efforts are typically less than successful. 23 Reasons Inbound Marketing Trumps Outbound Marketing tells us:

  • 44% of direct mail is never opened
  • Communication is ‘one-way’ with old marketing efforts
  • 91% of people have unsubscribed from company emails they previously opted into
  • Old marketing efforts provide little to no added value

So how can we be successful? How can we connect with our customers? Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot co-founder, summed it very eloquently when he said, “inbound marketing solves for the humans.”

Your customers are not a database of contact information; they are individual human beings. I think this is even truer in the healthcare space. These are patients, caregivers, family members and they want to be treated with respect. Inbound marketing provides the pharmaceutical industry with a wonderful opportunity to connect with individuals vs. a patient population.

My week spent at INBOUND 2013 confirmed what I thought from the start, inbound marketing can be a great asset for the pharmaceutical industry and the time to begin these efforts is now.

This post originally appeared on CROWDTalk. 

INBOUND and Pharma: Entering the connection economy

INBOUND 2013 had me wondering… Is the pharmaceutical industry ready for inbound marketing?

I said absolutely and the inbound perspective is needed now more than ever. I came back with a few takeaways to share with the pharma industry.

INBOUND Takeaway: It’s All About the Connection

Seth Godin was the opening keynote at INBOUND 2013. Personally I can’t help but be motivated and inspired when I hear Seth speak and this time was no different. His main message was that like it or not – we’re all inbound. Gone are the days of it’s all about me or my company, people don’t want to do business with the self-absorbed. It’s all about the connection. Successful companies will be those that make an effort to understand and truly connect with their customers.

We are leaving the industrial economy and entering the connection economy. Seth told us, “building connections is the asset of the future.” I can’t think of a better takeaway for the pharmaceutical industry – connect with your customers.

I see another perfect opportunity for pharma to go inbound. What do you think? How can pharma connect with the health consumer? What pharma companies are already making the connection?

INBOUND and Pharma: Who has the power?

Last week, as INBOUND 2013 was getting ready to start, I pondered the question…  Is the pharmaceutical industry ready for inbound marketing? My answer then was yes; my answer now is absolutely.

INBOUND 2013 was an awesome week of networking, new ideas and exploring different perspectives. It was enabling and motivating. I came back with a few takeaways to share with the pharma industry.

INBOUND Takeaway: The Audience is the Hero

Communications expert Nancy Duarte, told us the audience is the hero in the stories we tell, not the speaker. The audience holds the power, not the speaker. She went on to tell us that successful presenters and communicators will keep this dynamic in mind when sharing information. If the audience rejects your information, you communication fails.

This got me to thinking about the health consumer. They are the heroes; they hold the power, not the pharmaceutical industry. They want non-biased information they can use to make personal health decisions, they want to be educated and supported. Health consumers are driving the engagement; successful pharma companies will listen and respond with content that provides value.

I see a wonderful opportunity for pharma to go inbound. What do you think, should pharma be engaging with the health consumer?