Practical Perspectives


Build Your Creativity System

Build Your Creativity System

Despite Hollywood mythology, real-life creativity doesn’t usually happen randomly in a surprise flash of brilliance. Let’s take a look at some ways to dramatically boost our creativity each day. Even those with true natural talent often use these tips to increase the quantity and quality of their ideas, as they regularly feed their minds and souls with inspiration to solve important problems. How do they do this? Well, many design a simple system that helps them continuously discover, collect, connect and synthesize new ideas that they can apply to the problems on which they’re working. In order to summon creativity

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Social Media Logos

How Much Content Is Too Much for Your Brand?

Content strategy came into fashion in Marketing circles nearly a decade ago, driven mainly by a need to ‘fill the pipes’ created by the multitude of new digital and social platforms. Agencies and consultancies soon began to pitch it as a complex, expensive and essential gap to fill, and they were happy to oblige. To me, ‘content strategy’ initially was just a modern euphemism for ‘editorial plan’ – but it has since transformed into something else. An editorial plan or calendar lays out which content we must develop, for whom, and in which channels it must be delivered (by when)

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Secrets to Product Mgt

3 Secrets of Product Management

The craft of product management continuously changes. I’ve invested over 25 years in new product development and product management roles at several multinational biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. My responsibilities included blockbuster biologics, small-molecule cardiovascular drugs, digital therapeutics, and many things in between — yet across this diverse portfolio there are fundamental concepts that remain constant. In my current role as President of the biopharma Marketing agency, Health Accelerators, we coach many product managers on how to do their job more effectively, more strategically, to have more fun and continuously learn while doing it. No matter the product or category,

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Marketing Funnel vs. Cylinder

Is the Marketing Funnel Still Relevant?

A few Marketing concepts have weathered the past few decades pretty well. However, it may be time to give the ‘Marketing funnel’ a fresh look and see if it’s still relevant in our mobile-social-digital-data world. Before precisely-addressable channels like the internet, email, SMS and digital cable – there were primarily mass media like broadcast TV, terrestrial radio and print publications. The Funnel Is Inefficient I’ve worked in product management roles in which I spent upwards of $100M per year to buy broadcast TV media that provided a base level of brand awareness that we needed to stay competitive with peers.

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Do less, get more done

Do Less. Get More Done.

We spend hours each week speaking with pharmaceutical executives and managers on their way up the career ladder. Our conversations often focus on the work they are doing, and how to do it better. We don’t claim the title of “coach,” however several of us have been in this industry for a long time and have had significant roles in building companies and brands, so it appears we qualify as reasonable sounding boards or shoulders to cry on, depending on the person and topic of the moment. After more of these conversations than we can count, we’ve started to see

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Amsterdam Canal with Tour Boat on Fall Day

Selling the Value of New Technologies

The airline industry does a masterful job of selling travelers on the destination, not the actual bundle of services its companies provide in getting you there and back. Their evocative communications show sundrenched beaches, iconic architecture and carefree vacationers having the time of their lives and creating lasting memories together. I took the photo above during a business trip to Amsterdam in 2017, and it reminds me of the picturesque Sunday afternoon walk I was able to squeeze in among a week of meetings. Not surprisingly, I didn’t photograph the security line at the airport on a Saturday night, waiting

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System that uses gears

Why You Need a Marketing System

One of the strangest concepts to me when I started in biopharma marketing is that of the POA, or Plan of Action, which many brand teams that focus on healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the Sales team refresh every six months or so. And by “refresh” I mean throw out all of the plans, insights, programs and creative assets and start over. Every six months, year after year. One reason for this is the belief that the target audience (primarily doctors) doesn’t change much over time, therefore the messages need to change regularly to stay fresh, relevant and somehow different to

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Entrepreneur in Frankfurt Train Station

What ‘Close to the Customer’ Means Today

The picture above was taken just after the weekday rush hour in the Frankfurt Am Main train station. The people, symmetry, shapes and colors in the composition caught my eye immediately. For me it’s also a perfect metaphor for customer closeness, where the man in the snack shack stands literally in the stream of people that buy from him, every single day. Many solo entrepreneurs like him have the benefit of talking directly to prospects and customers regularly, and gathering continuous feedback about their offerings, pricing, communications and overall experience. However, as businesses grow in size and complexity, only a

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Amsterdam Rijksmuseum Fountain with Boy

Photography Principles, Reframed for Business

Thanks to smartphones and social media, most people now think and communicate in pictures. It seems that everyone is a photographer now. The smartphone revolutionized capturing images even more than George Eastman did with his roll film and Kodak Brownie camera, introduced over a hundred years ago. And social platforms provide virtual galleries and massive audiences for the kind of work that appeared only in real-life galleries and museums, for the elite, just a few decades ago. I started shooting photos in high school, when 35mm film was the only option. Because shooting film and making prints were both expensive,

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