Here Comes 2010!

2010Welcome to the last quarter of 2009! And you know what that means.

Well, yes, it does mean that the Aughts are about to end and now we can start listening to people argue over what the next decade should be called. (Can you call it the Teens before 2013?)

But that’s not the point here. The point here is that 2010 planning has begun.

This is probably not news to you. You’ve probably already been in creative sessions, developing plans, crunching budget numbers. It’s the same (lengthy) process every fall, isn’t it? I bet you had reminders pop up on your calendar so you’d be ready for it.

But what are you doing differently for it?

Probably not enough.

Too many people in the pharma industry have fallen into the trap of thinking of digital media as a separate category. It’s not marketing. It’s not sales. It’s not public relations. It’s the domain of a special group of experts.

Ridiculous. Of course it isn’t. It’s not digital “totally new stuff.” It’s digital media.

Thinking that way, in that old silo-ed mindset, is going to hurt you. Here’s how to fix that in three easy steps.

(Before you begin, a reminder of something that should be second nature to you. All of your planning should be done with the overall goals at your elbow. Not what your boss or your client mentioned last week – not what you just read an article about – not what you recommended two years ago and are still dying to implement. What you do needs to directly line up with the overall goals for your team, your brand, your division, your company. You need to be able to draw a straight line that hits every one of those on the way up. But you know that already or you wouldn’t be smart enough to be reading this blog.)

1. Rethink your everyday work. Those consistent tasks that are always part of the job? There’s probably a digital-media component that you can integrate.

Do you review news about the products you work on? You can add blogs, Twitter searches, checking out relevant Facebook groups.

Do you assemble periodic reports? Don’t tell me you’re still only creating text reports or static presentations. Why aren’t you doing short videos that really bring your work to life?

2. Rethink your digital media ideas. Upper management is enamored with one thing and terrified of another. But that doesnt necessarily dictate which new tactics will be best for your brands.

Who are your audiences? Where are they?

Think about them not only as “decile-one prescribers” or “adult men with disease X” but also as people. Moms, dads, juggling life and work and their vocation and/or their condition. Reach them where they are.

3. Rethink your big ideas. Now that you’ve brought your standard operations closer to digital media, and your digital media closer to your standard operations, look at your big creative ideas.

You don’t need to make them only digital, but you do have to consider how digital media can fit into them. And if you already are, you’re not off the hook – you need to be thinking about what’s coming next.

If you’re doing a sidewalk stunt, are you building in a component to involve mobile phone photos? If you’re developing an iPhone app, are you keeping an eye on rumor boards to see what you can do with upcoming features.

Ben Bernanke’s recent opinions aside, global finances are in the worst place in 80 years, and that means the industry is harder and hungrier than ever.

Staying on your game is not good enough: you have to be more effective than ever.

The thing is, it’s more interesting than ever to do that.

(Thanks for the idea spark from @wendyblackburn‘s post at

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