Posts Tagged ‘Steve Woodruff’

What is the Impactiviti network? It is where Steve Woodruff helps life sciences training professionals get clear on their outsource needs, and get connected to optimal vendor-partners.

This unique “matchmaking” network works so well because Steve also helps training vendors get clear on their message, and get connected to new training clients.

Steve is the eHarmony of the Life Sciences Training community, saving everyone from wasted time and effort.

Working on new training initiatives? Whatever you need, ask Steve!

Our training consultations are free – just ask Steve at steve@stevewoodruff.com.


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It’ll make or break any project. Clear alignment (or lack thereof) at the kickoff of a new initiative.

How to gain alignment among ALL the stakeholders, on both the client AND the vendor side? In my Successful Vendor Management workshop, I advocate for a one-sentence summary:


Believe it or not, a majority of projects don’t start out with a clearly-defined charter like this, which is the main reason projects go off the rails during the development process.

Here’s a one-minute video on the importance of the one-sentence summary:

(Hint: I find that that most challenging part of the process is coming to clarity and agreement on the project goal, which is an actual business outcome, not merely a description of project features).

There may be some steps you can skip along the way during a given project. But the one-sentence summary is not one of them. Up-front clarity among all involved parties is not a luxury – it’s a necessity!

Other one-minute videos:

Successful Vendor Management – Be Realistic

Successful Vendor Management – Communications

 Successful Vendor Management – Work for Hire


Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors through our unique trusted referral network. Need something? Ask Steve.

Learn more about us here.


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Yes, I believe in the power of network-building (the entire Impactiviti business model is based on it!) So I’m happy to announce that I’ll be presenting on that theme at the upcoming SPBT (Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers) conference in New Orleans (June 4-7).

The workshop title? Build Your Own Professional Opportunity Network.

Let’s face it – there is no job security anymore. The one security we can build is our network – that is where future opportunities will come from. In this workshop, I’ll give you all the practical steps and advice you need to build your circle of contacts into an opportunity network.

Look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!


Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors for training, eMarketing, social media, and more.

Learn more about us here.


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Last week, I had the privilege of once again attending the Digital Pharma East conference (put on by my friends at ExL Pharma). I have attended most or all of these annual events in past years, and have enjoyed watching it grow and morph. Grow it has – this time there were about 600 attendees, and a very full exhibit hall! Kudos to the team (Bryon Main, Jason Youner, Jayson Mercado) and  the two co-chairs (Marc Monseau and Shwen Gwee) for an exceptional job organizing and running the show.

When covering these events, I tend to give immediate, real-time impressions and factoids via my @Impactiviti twitter account, then after a few days reflection, write up a blog post giving higher-level observations and thoughts. This post is that!

1. The Mobile Bandwagon – The exhibit hall was filled with companies showing off mobile tech, and one entire extra conference day was dedicated to mobile. As well it should be – mobile is rapidly becoming the new normal. Frighteningly, we saw plenty of statistics showing how woefully behind the 8-ball many pharma (and other) companies are in having even their basic web sites mobile-optimized – let alone having a well-thought out mobile strategy. The awareness that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are rapidly moving into first-screen status simply has not sunk into the place where practical implementation is being done. That will change!! (note to pharma clients and vendors – this is the lowest-hanging fruit imaginable).

2. Mobile is huge – The adoption rate of mobile devices among doctors (especially iPhones and iPads) is breathtaking. These devices are being integrated increasingly into the healthcare delivery chain. Pharma companies are (or should be) looking for ways to add value and provide service outside of merely peddling drugs. Get some innovative thinkers working on mobile approaches – not mere e-detailing or e-signature apps, but whole new ways of providing information and connectivity among patients, healthcare professionals, and industry. This will happen and is happening via mobile – be part of it or be left out of the equation (hint: you don’t want to do that).

3. Compliance and mobile – Not only is mobile-optimization a far easier task to tackle than thorny culture-shift issues like social media, but it may even become a regulatory issue. Did you know that information optimized for a standard website may not show up properly on a mobile device? It’s not hard to foresee a time in the near future when digital information presentation has to be vetted for fair balance, accuracy, etc. across platforms.

4. Sales forces are going to go mobile. And, most exciting to me, I’ve been in contact with a company that reached out to me after I wrote this post in August about having an intelligent “middle layer” engine to make sense of iPad apps/deployments in pharma. They showed me last week what they’ve developed, and I am very encouraged…if you’re looking at deploying iPads to the field, we should talk! Maybe we can keep you from the iPad “freaking mess” I described in that post…

OK, have I made my point? MOBILE IS HUGE! Now, we did discuss many other digital initiatives at the conference, including social media and the like, but I really want to highlight the lowest-hanging fruit that will have the most near-term impact. And that’s mobile. Mobile is not simply “another channel.” It’s the new normal.

Now, onto two other observations – categorize these under “soapbox ramblings”:

– A lot of folks still don’t effectively engage the audience when presenting. We really need to improve. Please read this post and apply as needed. I know we can do better. Some of the presenters, however, were outstanding (including Olivier Zitoun, Aaron Blackledge, and Seth Perlman – I’m sure there were others but I couldn’t be in every track!)

– As these conferences get larger, it’s increasingly difficult to foster an environment of open sharing and discussion. I did lead one “unconference” session, which was quite lively (and could have gone on for much longer – we were just getting warmed up!). Over the past 18 months, I fear that we’re starting to slip back in our more cutting-edge pharma events into the old default mode of up-front presenter and passive audience. We’ve got to pro-actively design sessions to maximize engagement way beyond the old, “I think we have 5 minutes left for questions…” mode.

Oh, and for those who care about such things: Shwen Gwee and I finally found our Texas-style BBQ “home” in Philly. It’s called Percy Street BBQ. Highly recommended!


Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors for training, eMarketing, social media, and more.

Learn more about us here.


Sign up for the Impactiviti Connection weekly e-newsletter (see sample), chock full of news and resources for pharmaceutical professionals

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…and you need to Uncheck the Box in order to keep your name and face from being used by third-party advertisers.

LinkedIn just unveiled new privacy settings, and they default to some things you probably don’t want.

Over on my Connection Agent blog, I provide you with the 3-step instructions (including screen shots) for how to preserve your privacy. Facebook tried this stunt months ago and provoked an uproar. Given that my blog post has been viewed over 18,000 times in 5 hours, it’s clear LinkedIn users are quite concerned (and changing the settings!)

Go to the instructions NOW.


Impactiviti is the Pharmaceutical Connection Agency. As the eHarmony of sales/training/marketing, we help our pharma/biotech clients find optimal outsource vendors for training, eMarketing, social media, and more. Learn more about our free services here.

Recently on the Impactiviti blog:

>>  Pharma and the iPad


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Merck has laid off 750 sales reps so far this year. Ouch.

Genentech to Roche: No. Again (translation: move us from “no” with “dough”…)

Endo brings Indevus into the fold.

PLUS – who is actively involved in social media in pharma? I’m assembling a growing list…here’s what we have so far on this expanding community.


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The training event has happened. And now you’re left wondering – will they remember it? Will the learning be applied? How can this be reinforced over time?

We can help.

Impactiviti’s Preferred Partner network includes a company with a uniquely useful offering – a template-driven tool that allows you to create mini-scenarios (1-3 minutes), which can be e-mailed. These quick hit reinforcement and application exercises are perfect for follow-up to training, and the back-end analytics allow you to see where the gaps and successes are. These simple and compelling mini-bytes can be deployed at any time (pre-event also)!

If this type of offering is what you’re looking for, contact Steve Woodruff at Impactiviti. We’ll introduce you to an optimal vendor/partner with a proven track record of success.

(And, if you’re in need of a robust and engaging on-line testing and assessment service, we know where you need to turn for that also!)


Impactiviti is a consultancy focused on helping companies identify optimal partners for training/marketing needs. This vendor/client “matchmaking” service is provided free of charge to client companies (preferred partners pay a referral fee when a new business relationship is established).

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Last week I had the privilege of attending IIRUSA’s ePharma Summit in Philadelphia. If you missed my live-blogging posts, they are here: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday. (UPDATE – here is a summary post of pharma/social media issues, written for the MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog).

epharmaaud-smHere are some overall impressions of the event:

1. Organization of the event was excellent. Social media was used pre-event and during it to communicate and community-build. Planning and execution were smooth, things ran on time, and the inevitable little mid-course corrections were handled well. Each evening had a social mixer. There were plenty of opportunities to network. The organizers listened carefully to the Twitter back-channel talk about the need for more power outlets, and more afternoon coffee, and showed a readiness to learn and adapt.

2. The material in Day 1 (pre-event workshops) was a bit basic for my taste. And, there was an over-reliance on panel discussions during the conference. Needed a few more provocative and/or practical speakers showing case studies of what works, why, and how.

3. A couple presentations were off-base from the emphasis on eMarketing. Everyone who was there knows what I’m talking about.

4. As with all of these conferences over the years, there’s a lot of angst and risk-aversion regarding legal/regulatory issues. But that’s life in pharma-world. Baby steps are being taken. A growing number of people inside and just on the periphery of pharma companies “get it” and are pushing change.

5. The exhibits didn’t have anything too remarkable. But the massage booth sponsored by IMC2 was a very nice idea!

6. Attendance appeared to be about 250 or so during the two main conference days.

7. Josh Bernoff’s presentation was the best. The Wednesday afternoon overview of three award-winning marketing campaigns also was an audience favorite – there was some good stuff there.

8. For the panel in which I took part, regarding social media, I sought to underline the cultural aspects of social media communities, urging the marketers not to simply view these communication approaches as one more “tactic” aimed at a certain “demographic.” Hopefully, I didn’t come across too much as a Kool-Aid drinking idealist. I might have, though!

twittercorner9. About 6-8 of us (including the conference organizers) were live-Twittering during the conference, interacting with a virtual global audience throughout. There was a LOT of back-channel interaction going on – it was a snapshot of how social media will increasingly be wrapped into events.

10. The venue – Hyatt at Penn’s Landing – was quite pleasant.

This event, like every conference I’ve been to, had some room for improvement, but it was well-executed overall, and the organizers were eager to hear how things can be better for next time. That bodes well for future events. The best conferences always end with an exhausted smile. By that measure, the ePharma Summit was a success.

PLUS – here is a collection of recent links on the topic of pharma eMarketing – enjoy!

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This is the last day of the ePharma Summit in Philadelphia. Yes, I know that the agenda says it’s Day Two, but I was here for the pre-day, which was Monday, so for ME, it’s Day 3! Here is the agenda for today’s sessions, with a list of all speakers/details (so I don’t have to reproduce it and risk carpal tunnel syndrome). You can also see a running list of Twitter posts on Shwen Gwee’s Med 2.0 blog.

I was on the first panel (Social Media, Blogs and User Generated Content: What’s Working Today, What Will Work Tomorrow?), so, no entry for that one, except to say that I think it went pretty well – hopefully I didn’t sound like some kind of Kool-Aid drinking social media zealot.

(btw, you find out how to connect with me at all my various on-line networks at: SteveWoodruff.com)

Panel Discussion – Working with Agencies, Is There a ‘Right’ Model to Service Your Interactive Needs?

Christopher Neuner, Consultant

Lyndsay Younce, Marketing Consultant, ELI LILLY & COMPANY
Bill Drummy, Founder and CEO, HEARTBEAT DIGITAL
Dorothy Wetzel, Chief Marketing Extrovert, EXTROVERTIC

  • Best type of agency to do this type of interactive work is being built now
  • “How digital is your lead account person?”
  • Skill sets and structures different for digital agencies
  • Traditional agency vs. pure digital agency mild smackdown!
  • Having people who use new technology, and who have digital curiosity/innovation, very important in creative strategy
  • Must think beyond Reach & Frequency
  • Q: Do you want a fully integrated agency, or do you (as the client stakeholder) want to play the role of integrator?

Panel Discussion: Efficiency and Integration Of Your Media Mix

Kathleen Onieal, President, HAYES ONIEAL CONSULTING, Former Global VP of Marketing Innovation MERCK

Amy Cowan, Industry Health Sales Manager, GOOGLE
Shawn O’Hagan, Senior Manager, eMarketing, DAIICHI SANKYO, INC.
Mitzi Reaugh, General Manager, NBC DIGITAL HEALTH NET WORK

  • The emotional impact of video
  • MR: NBC developed health properties because it is such a concern for a very broad audience. Have about 2,000 health video clips, adding about 50/week. Multiple delivery channels/platforms = better ROI bang.
  • SO: niche product, no sales force; used video detail plus direct and e-mail sample, etc. Could provide a template for future promo w/o sales force, or to reach no-see docs?
  • AC: 245% growth in on-line video budget spend
  • AC: Taking action after watching on-line video – wish I could reproduce the slide here.
  • AC: FDA has a brand channel on YouTube to speak to consumers about health issues – even allow comments. 23% of YouTube viewers are age 55+. AstraZeneca just launched Symbicort channel, and Sanofi the Go Insulin channel.
  • AC: J&J’s extensive YouTube channel also noted (a BabyChannel also – youtube.com/baby), and GSK’s corporate brand channel (more corporate than brand).
  • AC: Novartis Consumer Excedrin Express Gels health contest. 250 user videos submitted.
  • AC: YouTube now 2nd most used search engine in U.S., and 4th most visited site in U.S.!

Using the Web to Humanize Your Message, Reach Your Target Audience and Deliver ROI – Translation: Keeping your Patients, the Boss and Investors Happy! Marjorie L. Martin, Senior VP and General Manager, EVERYDAY HEALTH

  • Major growth of on-line networking/social medai sites – the usual impressive numbers!
  • Example campaign on Everyday Health – Vaseline Clinical Therapy. Embraceable brand advocate (Petal, a lady from Kodiak Alaska as brand spokesperson). “Prescribe this product to others” (viral spread to friends). Friending activity so popular it temporarily slowed server.
  • Send eCards to others; opportunity to get coupon
  • People really identified with Petal, the “face” of the campaign. Wanted to interact with her.
  • Innovate / You’ve got a friend / Fresh is best

MARKET RESEARCH PANEL: Influence of the Internet in Pharma

(substitute, didn’t get name, sorry), WYETH

Mark Bard, President, MANHATTAN RESEARCH
Melissa Davies, Research Director, Healthcare Practice, NIELSEN BUZZMETRICS
John Mangano, Senior Director, comScore, Inc

  • MB: half of information physicians get is digital in some form/format
  • MB: E-mail an not-as-well tapped resource. 40% physicians have e-mail relat. with pharmas
  • JM: The effort to tie SM campaigns to prescriptions
  • Patient trust – third party HCP experts, and disease organizations – of course, these rank high
  • JM: How to isolate the ROI of specific e-initiatives when there are so many other influences? comScore can isolate on-line because of 1M people whom they track (can do test-and-control); measuring the off-line is more difficult

(sorry, had to duck out for an interview with a local radio station – now have to figure out where we are!)

Anatomy of Great Pharma Online Creative

James Chase, Editor-in-Chief, MEDICAL MARKETING & MEDIA

MM&M 2008 Award Winning Panelists:

Raya Dubner, Senior Manager, US Marketing, SIEMENS CORPORATION
Fabio Gratto, Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, IGNITE HEALTH
Rob Likoff, CEO, GROUP DCA

(this is a beauty pageant of recent award-winning marketing campaigns. Nice to watch; almost impossible to live-blog!)

  • Siemens – Win an MRI – 101 community hospitals create their own videos; most votes win the MRI. Snippets were great! Huge number of views/media impressions and 1.4 million votes cast. Winner was announced by simulcast – a hospital in upstate NY (Lockport Memorial), and they also gave one to a storm-ravaged hospital in Georgia. Subsequent sales of these new MRI units double what expected.
  • Advanced Medical Optics (Lasik – reaching Gen Y) – 18-34 year olds having Lasik least, but most  likely to want it. 77% of that demographic using Internet to research. Have to overcome user-generated negative rants, and FDA website warnings. How to speak to these digital natives on their own terms? Use B-reality show female star (Kristin Cavallari), surround her with hand-held cameras, messages, etc., and have her undergo Lasik (all recorded via video). Website with her blog, and with time-release of the video episodes. Doctor-finder on site. Win-a-Lasik. Partnered with established Vision website. Ning social platform. Sponsored Facebook group and advertising. MySpace video ads. Plus off-line components for doctors’ offices – consultation rate for those docs went up 500%. Huge number of views and PR placements. Results: 11.48% increase in procedures, 1.2% market share growth, during the 3-month campaign.
  • OMP Levaquin eDetailing solution – Employ Active Learning strategy for physicians; keep it respectful. Try to restore image of a mature brand. Doctors: Create your own commercial. Ask docs some basic info about practice (with some rank order choices). Present data in the format of patient case studies; have doc “build” a video timeline by choosing data, approach, etc – voila, video commercial “built” (all in Flash).

Mobile Marketing for Pharma

Chris Field, North East Business Development, 3CINTERACTIVE

  • The standard massive stats about mobile use (271MM mobile phone users in US, 2.5BN text msg’s sent per day, 91% keep phone within reach 24/7, 94% of msgs are opened and read).
  • 42% of 50-64 yr. olds are using SMS, 68% of 25-49 yr olds
  • Reaching out to patients and/or doctors via text. Get a short code and let audience text for more info.
  • Create, Capture, Convert data
  • Take medication reminders. Broadcast product news. Appointment reminders. Polling.
  • Reverse pregnancy calendar – messages to expectant Moms while pregnant, appropriate to pregnancy cycle.

…and we’re done! Thanks for tuning in!

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forrecordIf you’ve read my posts and tweets over the years about the pharmaceutical industry, you could easily come to the conclusion – based on which ones you’ve read – that I’m either pro-pharma, anti-pharma, or deeply conflicted.

In case you’re wondering, the answer is Yes. All of the Above.

I emphatically do NOT sympathize with those who wish to portray the pharmaceutical industry as some sort of evil empire, a hopelessly degraded industry that only exists to rape the public, and a convenient whipping boy for opportunistic politicians and ignorant snake-oil promoters. I also strongly disagree with those who short-sightedly wish to ban pharmaceutical sales – as if this industry does not have a right to create and promote its products in the marketplace. If you ban pharma from “selling”, what is the next business you’ll put on the chopping block as unworthy of free-speech constitutional rights? Software companies (huge profit margins, by the way, and often defective products)? Sports teams (talk about inflated prices and corruption!) How about we start with tort lawyers? Hmmmm – OK, better stop there…

On the other hand, I seek to practice a very clear code of personal and professional ethics, and it grieves me whenever I see (in ANY industry, but I happen to have been involved in pharma/medical devices for 23 years) mindless greed, manipulation, lying, lack of transparency, and wasteful spending. There’s plenty of that in Pharma, and I despise it. But remember – there’s plenty of that EVERYWHERE (yes, including among politicians…). If you’re a pharma-hater, just step back and recognize that this is a human problem, not a pharma-specific issue.

Finally, for all the flaws and problems with the industry, there are life-changing products that come out of it. A smile comes to my face every time I think of the awesome efficacy of the cancer drug Gleevec. My children have an opportunity to know their grandmother (my mother) because of drugs that control her high blood pressure. And my own life has been transformed by use of an anti-depressant. So, if you wonder why at times I praise, excoriate, question, and seek to serve this industry, now you know – it’s because the pharma business is a flawed human endeavor JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER, and I’m a flawed human being just like every other. For the record…

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