A conversation with Alfred O'Neill, SVP, Group Director, Ryan TrueHealth (see bio), about the new Customer Manages Relationship marketing strategy, which is one way that pharma marketers can create a new beginning with patients and phsyicians.
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The new marketing strategy of CMR - Customer Manages Relationship - is one way that pharma marketers can create a new beginning with their patients and customers.
How? By letting the patient in. Let them add their voices to your communications. How do you do this? First you must embrace the reality that people-to-people communications are more powerful than any DTC ad or unbranded education Web site. And that by letting the patient have the venue to create a community or state an opinion facilitated by your company is the best way to channel the power of peer-to-peer communications.
Customer Manages Relationship is taking off fast; it was inevitable once marketers saw the power of community and CMR sites (Myspace, Youtube, even Dove.com and Hellmans.com.) that they would figure out a way to embrace this as a tool to harness the power of peer-to-peer recommendations. And this can also be done offline, too, through grassroots and other community efforts.
Now it is Pharma's turn to not "turtle" behind regulatory over-caution, and instead find a way to incorporate the power this new strategy brings and the positive impact it could have on both your company, your brand and to helping consumers manage the relationship.
Who is the customer as far as pharmaceutical cpmpanies are concerned? Some think it's the physician. Others say the patient. Which are we talking about?
What's the difference between CMR and CRM (Customer Relationship Management)? Is CMR just new wine in an old bottle? Hasn't CRM been a disaster at pharma companies?
Some of CMR's concepts like peer-to-peer relationships, customer voice, people-to-people communications, sound like social network marketing. Are we talking about blogs, podcasts, etc?
Explain how you see a CMR marketing strategy helping pharma companies regain consumer trust. You mention advocacy. Hasn't this been part of pharma's marketing strategy for a long time?
Alfred O'Neill has had a rich and varied 20-year career in the field of marketing, having been a copywriter, creative director, CRM strategist, and president of an interactive agency. He is today Senior Vice President, Group Director of Ryan TrueHealth, the healthcare division of Ryan iDirect, an integrated Relationship Marketing agency that has been around for more than a decade. Ryan TrueHealth focuses on patient-centered Relationship Marketing designed to build trust and sales by providing educational programs that motivate consumers and patients.
O'Neill has experience across a number of therapeutic categories, from oncology to immunology, and unbranded disease support programs. Prior to joining Ryan TrueHealth, O'Neill was lead strategist for Wunderman NY on all pharmaceutical accounts, including Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer, working on unbranded disease programs, product launches and retention programs. Before joining Wunderman, he was president of Euro RSCG's pharmaceutical interactive agency, Euro life Interaction. At Euro, he applied his experience creating CRM strategies and programs for companies such as BMW and IBM to the world of pharmaceuticals.