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SUMMARY: COVID-19 has killed many people worldwide, but how many really died from COVID, and how many died because they had an underlying chronic health problem as a major factor? We may never know, but we can not afford to do anything while our population becomes more obese and unhealthy.

According to CNN “a team examined mortality data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and found that of 2.5 million Covid-19 deaths reported by the end of February, 2.2 million were in countries where more than half the population is overweight”.

A study of thousands of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the New York City area has found that nearly all of them had at least one major chronic health condition, and most — 88 percent — had at least two. Hypertension, obesity, and diabetes were common.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report highlighted…


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SUMMARY: According to Pew Internet “Despite antibiotics’ vital role in cancer care, companies have abandoned their development in favor of more profitable drugs. A pull strategy is needed with financial incentives to repair the broken market for antibiotics and make it worthwhile for the pharma industry to bring promising drugs to market.

Drug resistance is a silent threat that could end up killing as many as 10m people in 2050. That would put it on a par with the number of people lost to cancer every year and mark a sharp rise from the current estimated death toll of 700,000 a year, according to a 2018 study.


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SUMMARY: Almost every pharma company seems to be posting open digital marketing positions on LinkedIn but are they really hiring? A quick check of three open positions found that they “were on hold” due to budget constraints.

Pharma acknowledges the need to get better in digital marketing, which starts with hiring the right people. The open positions for emarketing people seem to be everywhere, but almost every industry is adding more digital marketing people as people shift to buying more products online.

I’ve been asked many times to interview potential candidates and review job descriptions for marketing positions. Today’s good digital marketing people understand the difference between hype versus trends that are redefining how brands market online.

I’ve heard some pharma managers say, “we’re not selling, “ but that’s wrong. …


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SUMMARY: According to Celtra “a creative management platform is a cloud-based tool for brands and publishers to produce, distribute and measure their digital creatives” With more and more brands ditching their agencies a CMP might be right for you.

Today’s consumers are savvy and more inclined to make thoughtful decisions than ever before. This poses a big question to brands: How can they adjust their creative strategies to remain attractive to today’s consumers? One of the ways advertisers have started to shift toward a more singular customer focus is through a concentration on their digital advertising creative processes to ensure they remain relevant across regions, languages, channels, and needs, without sacrificing the quality of content or speed of creation.

Celtra further states “a creative management platform has different benefits for different groups. From a designer’s standpoint, a CMP is…


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SUMMARY: Trust is earned every day. Today, because of the Internet, a lot of attention is placed on day-to-day activities. Pharma has to undress, and that trust is an ongoing process, and leaders cannot rest on the work they have completed, like developing vaccines. More support and improvement of processes are needed.

The employees at J&J are saying, on LinkedIn, how proud they are that their company developed a COVID vaccine. Indeed the world needs all the help it can get when it comes to checking COVID but all it takes is a few missteps by ANY para company to throw that goodwill out the window.

Building trust is seen as change management, and many people question a leader’s ability when it comes to implementing new changes. Also, leaders need to recognize their employee talent and continue to find ways to grow and nurture their employees. It starts with having the right…


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SUMMARY: More than 42,000 programmatic ads from 4,315 brands are running on websites spouting misinformation about the vaccine and COVID over the past year. Included in the programmatic ad errors is Pfizer, who developed a leading COVID vaccine. When will pharma stop using programmatic online ads?

Programmatic has been a thorn in online advertisers. Brands don’t often have power over where their programmatic ads are appearing online, due to third-party vendors. NewsGuard found that 67% of the COVID misinformation sites had Google advertising tags and 30% had tags from The Trade Desk.


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SUMMARY: This month, McKinsey agreed to pay nearly $600m to settle claims that its advice had exacerbated the deadly US opioid crisis, yet pharma views McKinsey as business gurus. This has to stop, and NOW!

McKinsey is loaded with MBAs addicted to spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, so of course, they know about patients and pharma? McKinsey’s recommendations to Purdue were directly aimed at extreme sales improvement, and the analysis failed to address the potential of specific incentives to increase addictive, destructive behavior.

Milton Friedman introduced the idea that maximising shareholder value should be a company’s primary goal. That led to an insane push for profitability at all costs and fines for illegal marketing became just a line expense.

So how do we fix this? By focusing on the “ moral responsibility of enterprise”. Most of…


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SUMMARY: COVID-19 has caused substantial increases in the number of avoidable cancer deaths due to diagnostic and treatment delays. People who need healthcare are avoiding it because of COVID-related concerns, and in some cases, it costs them their lives. Where are healthcare companies?

Recent data has revealed that the increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate correlates to an increase in mortality from non-coronavirus-related diseases, including cancer.

In one retrospective study, 9.1% of lung cancer patients decided to delay their cancer treatments, of which 80% chose to delay treatments themselves rather than as a result of a clinician or family request.


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OPENING: Online health seekers decide whether to stay on your website within the first five seconds of landing on your homepage. They decide if your site addresses their questions after looking at 1.24 pages. Here are what I found in over two years of research with online health seekers.

Remember that every health condition has particular needs and wants by their audience, but it’s clear that certain qualities overlap. So let’s get right into it…

1ne: It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll stay or leave.

The homepage should be warm and inviting and should not overwhelm website visitors. Consistently we heard that they like images of real patients or a REAL doctor with one key message communicated. The message should not be “medical terminology” but, instead, put…


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AI in the pharma industry has the ability to transform certain capabilities. DTC marketers can tap into AI to help deliver relevant messages to certain audiences, but they shouldn’t let AI do all their thinking.

According to Forbes AI can be used within pharma for:

However, in DTC marketing, we should be careful about using AI in an era where too many patients feel like our healthcare system is dehumanizing them.

People want to do business with other people-as AI picks up, companies will want to give careful thought to the roles and tasks that become automated.

Richard A Meyer

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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