Archive for September, 2010
Another set of fantastic quotes from the floor of the ePatient conference. Read the best of Day 1 here.
- “The idea that I can pretend I know everything is just wrong. There is huge power in being willing to say I don’t know. Let’s look it up together.” – Danny Sands, MD, on how medicine needs to open up to empowered patients
- "“I wanted to understand the literature as well or better than any physician I would go to see” – Craig Lipset, Pfizer, on his own experience as an ePatient
- "…And expect the patients, now informed and comprehending,
To sit idly by awaiting your instructions?" – part of a poem delivered by patient advocated Regina Holliday
- "Health activists are the top 10% of epatients, reaching 15,000 patients on average." – Jack Barrette, with WEGO (Cool quote but I'm a little dubious of his overall POV – one of his slides showed the "1% Rule" – data date: 2006. Forrester has updated that to almost 25%)
- “Our generation of physicians was never satisfied not communicating well with people. These tools give people choices and an ability to be there with patients.” – Ted Eytan, MD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente, on why better tools make practicing medicine more fulfilling
- “Because of this site, now I know what my doctor is talking about”- Jeanne Barnett, CysticFibrosis.com on what community members say to one another
- "Are we expecting them to broadcast that they like their herpes medicine … and then someone to comment back?" – Jonathan Richman, Dose of Digital Blog, Bridge Worldwide, on the limits of what pharma can really expect from social sharing
- “I’m not in the business of changing systems; I’m in the business of helping people use the system as it is.” – Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, on what it takes to navigate the healthcare system today
- “It would be nice to talk about sex and stuff with a doctor who hasn’t known me since I was seven years old” – one simple, but really powerful line, from Novartis' Becoming Christopher film
- "Instead of trying to tell an entire story in one commercial – what about a series of three?"- Jonathan Mayberry, author of Patient Zero, on how to make better connections in advertising
Seth Quillin (the EVP of innovation in GSW's digital lab) and I were in Philadephia this week for ePatient 2010 – a conference that brings together lots of people like us who are dedicated to reaching, engaging and educating epatients and caregivers. Who are they? Patients and caregivers who’ve become empowered and engaged advocates for their own care through the social web and connected communities.
We were both live blogging from the conference floor on WhatsYourDigitaliQ.com, but of all the great talks we heard, these are the essential ideas -
Ten big ideas from Day 2:
- Medicine is moving online (fast). Kaiser Permanente has over 3 million people enrolled in its online health management system. In the second quarter, those people sent over 2.6 million emails to their physicians.
- Pharma's selling cycle hurts digital investments: Product launches inspire big investments, but they're often quickly abandonned once a list is built or a product matures. Patients don't trust that pharma-sponsored destinations will be/stay there.
- Big trend in wellness = powerful sensors. Products like Zeo let engaged patients be active participants in their own health. More engaged patients need better tools.
- Medicine will only change by example. Docs have four years of medical school. That sounds like a long time until you think – the amount of medical information doubles every 3-5 years. Docs have a lot to learn and keep learning. New skills (like writing, video conferencing, sharing) can't be taught that way (what would be left out to teach them?) We need to get to a critical mass of doctors who think this way and practice this way to teach by example.
- We're ready for quick response: Kurt Mueller at Roska Digital said that 45% of US is QR ready; 95%, Japan; 75%, Europe
- Your competition online isn't other products. It's everything else on the internet. People are watching the Family Guy on Hulu, not camping out on your competitor's new blog.
- Medical journalism is "sideways." Twenty years ago, medical journalists tended to open their advance copies of JAMA and New England Journal of Medicine to write stories. The medical news was top down. Now personal stories reflect bigger challenges in navigating the healthcare system.
- Nonspecific guidance IS coming. Barabara Chong from DDMAC reported that the agency will release multiple rounds of online and social guidance – the first of which should come out this year. But, the guidance will be general, not targeted to specific destinations, like Facebook
- We need to think about ePatients when we design clinical trials. The big opportunities are making them more participatory (enroll from anywhere) and more patient centric (share clinical data back with enrolled patients to allow them to increase their own health and wellness or decrease their medical costs)
- Storytelling breaks through. Novartis reported that 78% of docs were motivated to change their behavior after seeing a film about life with cystic fibrosis. The difference? Real storytelling that followed the three-act format of compelling entertainment (The three acts)
Also see: Ten big ideas (Day 1)
I used Keepstream.com to curate the ‘meatiest’ tweets from Shop.org Summit 2010, which just ended today. It was another great show. Over 3,000 attendees! Social, mobile, and local are still hot themes as they were last year…because few retailers have figured them out. I led a couple roundtables on social commerce and social media ROI. However, other discussions around the show suggest there’s a lot of money to be made getting the basics right…email, SEO, SEM, content, testing/targeting, and customer service.
As a stats freak, I am constantly examining sites that claim to tell me more about my social media efforts. For example, I follow a few sites devoted to analyzing my Twitter network and giving me more info on my network, who is following me, how many followers I am gaining, etc.
My name is Martijn Verstrepen. After nearly a year of silence things are going to change here at Web Analytics Facts. Jethro has indicated that he could no longer find the time to actively blog and that he was looking for a successor. Therefore I have offered Jethro to take over Web Analytics Facts and bring new life to this weblog.
Starting October 1st I will be posting articles to this weblog on a regular basis. These new articles will be focused on web analytics best practices, tips & trics and industry news. I would very much love to actively discuss these articles in the comments and I am always interested in hearing suggestions for topics, improvements and enhancements to this weblog. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the coming days I will try to publish my first article and a small biography of myself for those of you interested in knowing more about me.
I would like to thank Jethro for all his hard work on and dedication to this weblog and wish him all the best with his future endeavors.
Why? Because, from Google’s perspective, your site ranks better if lots of your well-respected peers consider your site worth linking to. It’s like being friends with all the cool kids in high school. That makes you popular, too.
Unfortunately, the importance of generating quality links to your site opens the door to nefarious SEO practitioners who send out mass, evidently automated comments to a range of sites that have nothing to do with your company or your online presence.
A perfect example arrived in my e-mail this morning as a link to my article, "Six Reasons Why Your Blog Is Your Most Important Social Media Tool."
The SEO spammer left this absurd and ungrammatical comment:
"I’ve implies looked at it by way of that point of view and happen to be enlightened. I will have to obtain some extra information and report it back again. Thank you."
I don’t know about you, but that sure doesn’t motivate me to connect with the ‘commenter.’
How to Avoid Falling for This Kind of Black Hat SEO Spam Link Building Technique
- If an SEO company promises they will get you a ton of links from external sites, make them explain exactly how they will achieve this result.
- Have them show you one or more examples that illustrate the way they go about delivering those external links.
- Ask to see actual comments that they have left on sites which, in turn, resulted in an external link.
- Ask them if they use the automated spamming process–perhaps showing my example of a stupid comment–and see if they think that’s a good idea. It may well be that they think that kind of stupid comment is actually worthwhile.
- If you don’t get the right answers to these questions, toss them out the virtual door.
External Links Are Important but You Can’t Get Lots of Them Easily or Overnight.
Convincing other sites to link to you or letting it happen organically will take time.
Here’s a good basic approach:
- The first and most obvious step is to have great content on your site that is well worth linking to.
- Keep your content current and relevant for a well-defined set of potential customers within equally well-defined market niches.
- Research websites and bloggers who cover your content, product, service or knowledge expertise.
- Subscribe to their RSS feed and/or use Google search tools to deliver regular reports on news items in those topic areas. That will keep you current and give you the opportunity to connect with the folks from whom you ultimately want links to your site.
- Begin to participate in the conversations taking place on those sites to demonstrate your knowledge. You will have an opportunity to leave a link to your site to make it easy for bloggers or website content creators to explore your site.
- You can also send them a polite request, perhaps with an example of your content, to add a link to your site from theirs.
This slow but steady approach works. But it will take time, perhaps several months. Remember, as with so many things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it almost always is.
Share and Enjoy:
What's a conference without great turns of phrase and new buzz words that you can totally make you own?
Here are some of the sticky little maxims that I know I'll be borrowing:
- "Mobile has a multiplier effect" – Susannah Fox, Pew Internet & American Life Project on the activating effect of mobile (People with mobile devices are more likely to comment, to contribute, to participate in the online conversation)
- "The interface of healthcare is broken" – Ben Sawyer, Digital Mill, on why the frontend interactions (in person, online, in game) we have with healthcare, in short, suck
- "Pervasive equals persuasive" – David Rose, VItality GlowCaps, on why we need to spread information thinly throughout people's lives
- “The obligation of the cured” – Lance Armstrong’s oncologist Dr Craig Nichols on Lance’s role post remission. In short: if you can make an impact, you must make an impact
- "In August, 28% of visitors to health and wellness websites were 55+" (Index 129) – hot little fact from Heather Dougherty, Hitwise. Yeah, you read right – people of all ages are digital.
- "We call ourselves social anthropologists – a lot of artifacts can lead to insights" – Reid Connolly in an otherwise very awkward presentation about evoke interaction
- "Advice doesn’t change behavior" – Victor Strecher, HealthMedia, on why storytelling matters
- "There's a huge disconnect between our long-term aspirations and moment-to-moment choices" – Margaret Morris, PhD, Intel Digital Health Group on the tension between diet and health (or: why we have no collective resolve)
- "Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig" e-Patient Dave's self Rx for fighting cancer
- “There’s an opportunity to make interactions with healthcare devices a lot more delightful” – just another well said moment from David Rose
Joe Shields, Director of Worldwide Innovation at Pfizer, came to ePatient 2010 to ask for our crowdsourced help. He's starting a new job on Monday where his chief responsibility will be to recast his company's role in healthcare. He knows that truly advocating for the patient is different from marketing to them. And, he knows he wants those patients at the center.
But, where to focus?
What are the key questions in eHealth?
Who should he talk to?
Joe really wants answers. If you've got one – finish the following sentence and email it to Joe.Shields @ Pfizer [dot] com
In the next six months, Joe should focus on ________________.
He's pledged to read all the emails. So start typing.
Seth Quillin (the EVP of innovation in GSW's digital lab) and I are in Philadephia for ePatient 2010 – a conference that brings together lots of people like us who are dedicated to reaching, engaging and educating epatients and caregivers. Who are they? Patients and caregivers who’ve become empowered and engaged advocates for their own care through the social web and connected communities.
We both did a slew of live blogging from the conference floor (you can read those detailed posts at WhatsYourDigitaliQ.com). I guess this would be called slightly delayed blogging – the kind you reflect on in the hotel bar.
Ten big ideas from Day 1:
- The new ROI for pharma is sustained behavioral change. Every speaker I heard today talked about it.
- We have new opportunities today to reach people where they really are. Ben Sawyer, Digital Mill mentioned a really compelling example: New York state is looking at how to put the emergency broadcast system into Xbox Live because that’s what people are interacting with in real time
- When it comes to games (for health or entertainment) perceived competence is a big barrier and also a big myth. Two presenters showed how quickly most people pick up games – once they stop saying "I can't."
- Healthcare is increasingly focused on innvoation outside the research lab. We met Joe Shields – the new innovation chief at Pfizer. The announcement of his new global innovation role mirrors similar recent hires at J&J, Lilly and elsewhere along the cooridor.
- Challenge for innovators is designing information into the things around us; changing daily behavior with packaging. In a case study about GlowCaps, David Rose showed how something as simple as a night light can bump adherence from 71% to 98%
- The age of ubiqutous peer influence is over. Susannah Fox, Pew Internet & American Life Project, and others talked about how much more balanced the value we put on inputs is today – 9:10 people say healthcare professional are the most valuable source for getting an accurate diagnosi; 5:10 say HCPs for daily tips and advice (same number as friends, family, other expert patients); vast majority choose friends, family, other patients for emotional support
- Making stories and messages more personal really has an impact. Victor Strecher with HealthMedia showed case studies from campaigns that connected people's personal core values to desired changes in behavior. He not only showed head-to-head compare stats, but also MRI scans. The more tailored the message, the more likely to activate the medial prefrontal cortex – the decision making part of the brain – and the precuneus – where ideas are attached to long term memory. Real science? Totally cool.
- We need to pass on valuable communities. 4,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every day. Tools like CaringBridge can make that terrible diagnosis easier for almost everyone. The weight on the shoulders of people with cancer isn't just fear, it's figuring out how to tell and support their loved ones.
- Big trend for 2011 is providing value to patients beyond pills. Brian O’Donnel from Klick talked about the big market pressures on pharma (the elephant: end of the blockbuster drugs) and figuring out how to support brands in this new climate
- Love this one >> Myth: patient communities are all about sharing and emotional suppor; Fact: they see themselves as being about science, about making people better. Not about hugs. Here here. (Susannah Fox, Pew Internet & American Life Project)
On his blog, @CurrencyTim (using real names is so last decade) commented on the number of inactive blogs he found in his RSS feed before launching the “great blog purge of 2010.”
@financialbrand commented “I have room for about 50 RSS feeds in my life. If I want to add a new one, I have to find an old one I can delete.”
This led @CurrencyTim to respond:
“It would actually be good for marketers to think about their social media effort in those terms. ‘Is my blog good enough to be in someone’s top 50 news sources?’”
Well, is your blog good enough? It’s an important question, not just for credit unions, but for banks as well.
To give you a sneak peek into some research I’ve been doing, the 170 financial institutions I’ve recently surveyed are pretty evenly split into three categories: Those that have a blog, those that don’t but plan to in the next 12 months, and those that don’t have one and don’t plan to. Of the credit unions surveyed, one in four has a blog today, and nearly half plan to in the next year.
What do FIs expect to get from blogging? Customer awareness, preference, and engagement. Across 9 different types of social media tools/technologies, blogs are seen as the 2nd most effective for generating awareness (behind Facebook), 2nd most effective for influencing customer preference (behind customer review sites), and 4th most effective for engaging customers.
But for any of that to happen, customers have to read your blog, don’t they? And if they only have room for 50 — or even 100 — blogs to read, the question remains: Is your blog good enough?
I’m willing to bet that 95% of FIs can’t reliably answer that question.
To know if your blog is good enough or not, you would need to know:
- Which of your customers reads blogs and which don’t? The numbers I’ve seen suggest that about 60% of Americans still don’t read blogs, (although that number is down from 74% in 2006).
- Of the customers that do read blogs…which ones do they read, why do they read them, what aspects of those blogs are they satisfied or dissatisfied with, and what other types of blogs would they read if they existed? The 40% that read blogs are reading news blogs, political blogs, personal blogs, sports blogs, travel blogs, music, you-name-it blogs. Tell me again why you think they’re going to read your blog?
- Of the customers that don’t ready blogs….why not and what would it take to get them to read blogs? People who don’t read blogs can’t be influenced or engaged through your blog.
What’s a budding bank/CU blogger to do?
I’m sure that the first inclination of many is to survey their customers/members. What could be wrong with the voice of the customer? Potentially, two things:
1. People who don’t read blogs can’t tell you what they like/dislike in a blog. They might be able to tell you why they don’t read a blog, but if you ask them “if we wrote about yada yada, would you read our blog?” you’re almost certain to get misleading data. People almost always underestimate what it would it take to get them to change their behavior.
2. The people who read blogs will tell you what they want in a blog, but — to the @financialbrand’s point — it will tell you nothing about whether or not they’d make room in their limited span of attention for your blog.
So, is your blog good enough? Is it good enough to get people who don’t read blogs to read one? Is it good enough to get people who do read blogs to add another one to their list?
Based on the research I’m currently conducting, I’d conclude that many banks and credit unions expect a blog to help them create awareness, influence preference, and drive engagement. I think many of those FIs are going to be very disappointed with the results (if they could measure them in the first place).
I’m not optimistic that general-purpose, broadly-focused blogs about the institution or financial products or even about managing one’s financial life are going to drive a lot readership — and hence, bottom line results — for many banks and credit unions. If you’re going to publish a blog, its got to be focused and its got to stand out. It has to be GOOD enough.