The 4-Step Process for Digital Marketing

I know all of us have our own method or we adopt what we think is the best for us.

I like to share this time the process that I built for all the Digital projects in where I participate. This is not an official method from the company I work for, this is what I do on my DM projects.

Also, I had the chance to present these ideas on March 24th at the Eye For Pharma, Latin America Online Marketing Summit.

Intro: Nowadays we can find a lot of Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, Facebook pages and some other Social Media efforts from the Pharmaceutical Companies. I do celebrate the effort and experimentation, but each one of them knows what they are trying to achieve. Social Media is an open forum in where we should drive the conversation. For corporate or personal use, these forums are not to talk to all, about all or participate in all the discussions. There are specific channels for specific conversations or process. As a personal human… we won’t answer a request that could impact our security or jeopardize in any way… I AM NOT TALKING about openness, I am talking about defining the GOAL of this channel or platform and then improve and adjust on the way, but based on a goal. I think that it is not healthy for any one to listen, communicate or interact about all topics in the same channel, because this will create noise and the benefits will be lost for all the participants. Well, my point here is that Big Pharma is testing the water and now, some of them are publishing corporate news, investor relations, general info and some other actions, but I am sure no one already found out the best way… and I think is because we are “testing” the channel and not supporting a goal, so that is why I “think” it was relevant to re-enforce the method and not promote the experimentation for experimentation. I do agree with pilots, but Pharma has been experimenting and killing digital opportunities, because we tend to think in the opposite way “pilot the channel with out an specific goal, different of experimenting the channel will always fail”.

I want to say again that I acknowledge the efforts from JC, J&J;, AZ, PFE, etc… but I do not think the brands or other Pharama companies should think that they (the ones above) have a best practice… they are just practicing .

That is also why I want to share my process (which is from my own perspective and it could be wrong from some others perspective… I am not saying this is the holly grail)

Digital Marketing Process

1.- The steps are easy:

  • Identify Challenges
  • Define Actions
  • Produce
  • Distribute

I always add an extra one which is Optimize, but for the purpose of this blog it is not relevant

2.- Identify Challenges

Marketers, Communicators, Sales, Customer Service all of these areas have challenges, opportunities, risks, etc… and that is why the Marketing, Sales, Brand plans are for… to define strategies to helps us achieve our goals, right? so why I keep hearing that the goal is to use Twitter???? that can not be a goal. and believe me, we still hearing the “let’s do SOMETHING in Twitter, lets USE it”instead of being open during the plan development process or the optimization process to these and other Digital alternatives. That is why I remember always to my clients and team that we should understand first the GOAL and then… the next step

3.- Define Actions

I am not proposing to limit our actions just to one… The beauty of the Internet is that we can do all 3, but if we not define which one will help us to tackle our goal, then, we will be lost trying to do all of them.

  • Research (Listen)
  • Publish (Communicate)
  • Interact (Engage)

These are the 3 only activities that we can do online… all that you can think or want to add is inside on one of them and we should think what will need to produce or set up for each one of them. We can limit our selves to just Listen, but then we wont deliver or we can communicate without listening, but that will be like just talking in an empty stadium. Or we can communicate different things from what we listen and then we wont engage with our audience. We should think very well how and which actions will help us to achieve our goal

Digital Marketing

4.- Produce

Utility, Usability and Likeness… All the above actions should have a process and a deliverable with these 3 principals. It has to be useful (the content, process, topic, ALL); it has to be usable (the GUI, the IA, the PROCESS behind each action, the access to our information or the process to engage…) and it should be attractive (the style, look and feel, everything) should be as our audience is expecting it from us

5.- Distribute

Finally! identify how to distribute your actions. a Website? a micros site? a Twitter account? a Fan Page on Facebook? Search marketing? it could be a lot of these, but now you know that these are going to be distribution or gathering channels, but NOT the goal

In the presentation below I post some examples:

a.- M3 in Japan is the #1 physicians site and its a site in where physicians find video presentations from different Pharma companies… distributing through content partners or this kind of sites it is important, we could have the BEST web site with live video support from sales reps… but our audience goes to other place to do so and not just from you, but from all pharma companies… So do not hink that ALL your actions should be in a website… maybe is just creating content and publishing somewhere else

b.- Be up to date. Telepresence is a technology that allow us to have a better distance collaboration experience, not just for corporate meetings, but to interact with our partners and customers… that is also Digital! Digital is not only a PC, the internet lives every day more and more outside the PC as we know it

c.- Adjust the experience to your audience. A video or webcast its not for every body or the Graphic User Interface to find the content could not be the most friendly to all our users or for all our purposes. If you know what you want to do, understand your audience and define your actions, then when defining the utility and usability + likeness, you will define the best scenario to deliver your action and this is a very good example in where the content was posted in a 3D environment that allowed the audience to find the presentations in a way they knew how to do it! because they go to multiple life congress, then.. for a month, a virtual congress was set up for them d.- When delivering a message or listening your audience, go where they express them selves in the same environment wish you could listen or help. Do not approach a client when he or she is with he or her family or friends, or resting, or entertaining… in this case… try professional networks, like Sermo, Ozmosis or Symposier. But you also need its proper attachment for good results. If you need more info related to consumer experiences, visit here: