Reflections from Eyeforpharma

I survived my fist marketing conference.

I am a researcher, and I am passionate about it. So to this date I have attended to a few conferences. Academic ones. I was recommended at work to attend to this conference, a non-academic one, and so did I.It was an experience for me. In all aspects. And I am happy about it. Honestly, it has been a long time, if ever, since I have seen 2000 extremely well-dressed (with very expensive looking shoes in particular) people in one place.
In eyeforpharma this was the case.

It has been long time, if ever, I felt like a ‘celebrity’ and I could totally understand how stressful  it can feel like…Actually, it feels a bit like being a tourist in a south mediterenean country, take Turkey, when everyone wants to sell something to you. If you work for a global Pharma company, and go to a pharma marketing conference, it is pretty much the case. At the same time, this was a good conference. I attended to many tracks and listened to many lectures. Because I was curious, and I wanted to learn. I learned indeed.
I like it when things are tangible, when there are ‘use cases’. Meaning that, when I can clearly see someone in the end will benefit from what is being developed or implemented.
With that said, again in my essence, I am a researcher. I am experimental, I take risks, I create, I like exploring the unknown. But then I like to see that my conduct will have an impact. Someone will feel happy, or grateful or helped out, directly or indirectly, as a consequence. This is where my industrial part leans in. I am practical.

In this respect, this conference was a good one, as the ‘customer’ is in the focus (maybe a little too much), it is all about him. Here is what I took home with me:

Closed Loop Marketing (CLM) is Dead:
To me it was only born on the first day of the conference. On the second day it was dead. CLM is about digitally tracking customers’ (doctors, GPs etc.) behaviors and preferences. The loop is closed when the behavior changes as a result of the marketing strategy. CLM was claimed to be dead because it currently lacks Big Data/Predictive Analytics.

Is People:
Listen more and talk less. Dare to innovate. Trust your data, not only the gut feeling.

Collaborate with Academia (which makes ME feel at home again…):
If you want to get your statistical models right to do proper predictive analytics, you have to collaborate with research and academia.  They do the real maths!

All Trends Have Big Noise:
We did an interesting experiment in one lecture, where the presenter told us that he was going to count to 3 and to introduce ourselves (say the name + where we come from), all at the same time. 1-2-3 and and everyone buzzed. Then he said, now we all know (app.40 people in the room), where each one of us came from and what our names are. Of course, we didn’t. 40 people talking at once. Big Data has noise…

GLOCAL =  Think Globally, but Execute Locally:
Radhika Kaizada of Pfizer shared her experiences for reaching out the users/customers and the key factors for a successful product development strategy: think global, capture moments and experiences and share, standardize so that you can compare one thing to another, engage people. develop champions, make it fun, engage, take time to celebrate your success, enjoy

Patient is Dead Long Live the Person:
Patients are not a list of clinical problems.
They are viewed as a collection of  ‘bills, prescriptions, treatments, diseases, symptoms, complaints, visits’ etc. No-one sees there a Person behind. It is not about the ‘things that need to be done’ to the patient, but it is about the Person. That Person has also other lives and other roles: Mother/father, a professional,a son/daughter, and since his/her diagnosis the Patient. So it is about Me and You, it is about the Personalized Medicine. Patient value can be increased by adherence to treatment. Pharma loses yearly 350 billion US$ due to poor adherence to treatment. A new research field emerged ‘Adherence Research’ to mitigate this problem.

Prevent, Not Cure:
The trend is on keeping the people out of the hospital. Making sure that they remain healthy  and they live healthier lives.  Hence, pharma and healthcare collaborate to explore new ways to increase awareness about the importance of leading a healthy life, e.g. by following a healthy diet.

Open Data:
All data published
Contribute to Big Data
A change in the mindset of the governments and the pharma in Europe.
Transparency and sharing are welcome and are fostered
UK seems to be pioneer in this trend.  The logic or the assumption behind
it is whatever belongs to the public has to be accessible to the public. Fair enough. Open Data is Big Data, as you open your data, share it and it becomes bigger. The best quality Pan-European Open Data is provided by OECD and WHO (and can be acquired from their websites), while the most ‘open’ European countries are: UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy

Final Sentences that Stuck:
Medicine is social
Truth well told
Let the patients speak
Prevention not cure
All data published
Reconciliation
The patient is dead, long live the person

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