When it comes to online business services, did you know that according to our friends at econsultancy.com, social network interaction and blog reading represent the fourth most popular online activities, beating out personal e-mail. 10% of the time that we spend when interacting on the web is spent within social media sites. As a measure of the importance of social media sites, search engine giant Bing revealed that second in its list of the top 10 world trends for the year was Twitter. This just goes to show the sheer level of interest in social media and in this case, the new boy on the block Twitter. We have already indicated that Facebook is essential and we suggest that you must pro-actively figure in Twitter to your lives as well.
Twitter has been widely referred to as a micro-blog and has really found its own niche. Pretty much everyone now knows that you can send status messages of up to 140 characters through Twitter and this has really caught the interest of the business world. It is possible to notify clients about special deals, to handle customer relationship matters and to exhibit a sense of visibility that was previously unheard-of.
A Twitter presence for your online initiative should be more than just a straightforward account. Those who are serious about this medium create a targeted background design rather than the generic offering, set up their profiles and links correctly and really consider how to build followers. It is possible to accurately target followers (using keyword research and other tools) who have a vested interest in your particular niche. This, like Facebook, requires regular maintenance and management for best effect. Messages sent through Twitter are known as tweets and you should be sure to get online and interact in this way, once again on a daily basis, as well as checking and responding to direct messages. If you think this is quite a lot of work, just realise that a majority of corporate members do not meaningfully interact through these mediums, and you can set yourself apart. You should aim to be one of the educated few, who really take advantage of what this fantastic medium has to offer.
The world of Internet marketing is obviously dynamic, but it has changed almost beyond recognition in the last few years. Since the effective arrival of “web 2.0” and the social media revolution, marketing online has become much more of a subtle and thoughtful approach. These days you must put every effort you can into making a good name for yourself through a subtle and more considered approach, branding yourself as expert in the field. When you interact through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, do be careful as you go about it - and rarely, if ever, approach prospects with a hard sell. It is highly recommended that you maintain a blog in addition to your main sales site. You can certainly link them and you can even create a subdomain within your website development to actually host your blog, but you should maintain an element of separation.
Consider your core operation. Education is critical as you expose your products or services to prospects. You may know how great your offerings are and may be convinced that they represent a great bargain for people out there in the real world. However, you need to convince others and this is where you must establish yourself and your organisation as experts. A blog is so important and must be well-designed, thought out and presented professionally. You can use a content management system or website development platform such as WordPress, the leader in this field, as you establish your presence.
Michelle Dale is The Managing Director of Virtual Miss Friday, a cutting-edge Executive Virtual Assistant Service which assists organisations and enterprising individuals with every detail of their entrepreneurial aspirations. Do you want to peruse some further information on these incredible online business building success strategies? Contact VMF Now!
Recent revelations from some of the largest pharmaceutical sales companies indicate how pharmaceutical marketing is likely to change in the years ahead. The United States Congress is pushing these companies to tell them how much they pay healthcare professionals as part of their marketing initiatives, during the process of selling their wares. In many instances, key doctors have been engaged to act as consultants, to spread the word about particular drugs and their benefits; these levels of engagement are now being revealed.
Congressional health reform will require pharmaceutical companies to declare any payments, fees or gifts made to doctors, practitioners and hospitals, beginning in 2012. This information will be correlated and will be made public from the following year, onwards. Some organisations are choosing to pre-empt this requirement, by making information public already. These payments are being defended as vital, as pharmaceutical sales companies educate people about the benefits linked to their specific products. Although these payments are defended as necessary for ultimate patient care, the public does view them with a certain amount of negativity, in their perception. This is where pharmaceutical sales and marketing must enhance its game, in order for a clearer and more descriptive picture to be painted.
The healthcare field is changing significantly and company executives and pharmaceutical consultants alike must devote much more time to specific sales and marketing initiatives and their pharma training. Whether direct payments are part of an association or not, key account management training must ensure that both parties to the arrangement are clearly focused and understand the depth and breadth of the association. In certain circumstances, due to legislation, changes in the industry and varying public opinion, the position of the relationship may have to be revised. At the very least, changes dictate that key account management training must focus on the dynamic and be right on the mark for best efficiency.
Doctors invariably want to assure observers that they are not crossing ethical boundaries and that they concur with the findings of the pharmaceutical companies. When they are in discussion with others, doctors make a point of revealing that they have a relationship with these companies and go out of their way to make sure that they're not being seen as partisan.
The result of the turmoil is likely to ensure that direct payments become far less important in the overall marketing mix, especially as new reporting requirements are established. Some perceive any change as a challenge, while pharmaceutical companies that pay constant attention to the marketing mix, to the way that they treat their key account management, will always be ready to apply change for the good.
Pharmaceutical consultants understand how many external forces are in play, in this case due to political initiatives and from changes in public perception. They will ensure that pharma training keeps up with differing trends and requirements and further ensures that staff are ready to be proactive in a new field of operations. In short, the consultants will always ensure that the organisation is adequately prepared for any eventualities that may transpire.
Alan Gillies is the Managing Director of L2L Consulting, specialising in enabling pharmaceutical companies to achieve new heights of productivity and performance, throughout all levels of management and revenue generating activities.