Years ago one of my friends who had an entrepreneurial career that had spanned both sides of the legal divide shared his wisdom on business negotiation with me:
If you walk into a meeting and you can’t work out who the chump is, the chump is you
I was reminded of that this morning when I read some of the feedback around Facebook’s UK advisory board: that the board lacked inclusiveness.
The reason for this is quite simple; outside the major advertisers on Facebook, everyone else is product. Content that advertising inventory that can be displayed against, insights that can be mined to further improve targeting.
Many of the smaller advertising clients only started using ads on Facebook because they didn’t have a choice as the platform scaled up and news feed algorithms kicked in. They are to a certain extent unwilling customers and who really wants to hear from an unwilling customer? This revenue is incremental because of the relatively high transaction costs for Facebook vis-à-vis larger ad purchases. Giving them a voice would likely increase account servicing costs even further.
Traditional marketing disciplines are co-opetition for Facebook media spend. Whilst PRs may set up, manage Facebook pages and do advertising; they also do activities on other platforms and offline that could be ploughed into Facebook advertising instead. Why give them representation?
Social platform users tend to develop a sense of entitlement which doesn’t match their place in the food chain.
Giving a wider representation on the board would be like Bernard Matthews giving turkeys a say on the running of his business.
Facebook has managed to create a council that shows consultative behaviour, probably with an eye to future regulatory interest; whilst remaining largely unfettered to profit handsomely off data willingly provided by brands and consumers.
Only by depriving Facebook of the oxygen of data and eyeballs are the 99 per cent likely to be listened to.
Facebook names UK advisory board and forgets the 99%
Earlier thoughts on Facebook:
Why Facebook is a dead man walking
Why Facebook is a dead man walking part II?
Why Facebook is a dead man walking part 2.5?
Facebook and advertising or why Facebook is a dead man walking part III?
Having worked with clients in the pharmaceutical sector, it was obvious that marketers were aware of the benefits that social media could bring for a good while.
However there were a number of barriers to get over:
- Pharmaceutical companies didn’t know how much was being said online. A number of the clients that I worked with had attempted to do discussions sizing projects using the likes of Nielsen to undertake the work
- Regulations around the area left a void, it has taken a few years for the ABPI to try and bring itself into the social web
- Pharmaceutical companies needed to understand the implications and resources required for adverse reporting events. Research released by both Nielsen and Visible Technologies indicated that adverse reporting events were not going to overwhelm existing reporting processes
There are pressures for pharmaceuticals companies to use social marketing:
- Social platforms are becoming part of everyday life
- Physician-only communities have ridiculously high CPM numbers; it would be hard to justify these prices
- Marketers increasingly have to get creative with their spend; pharmaceutical companies are now restricted in what they can spend on events and tchotchkes such as branded pens, mugs or post-it pads
- Pharmaceutical marketing spends are under pressure in companies that have previously enjoyed a blockbuster portfolio that insulated marketers from to a certain extent from economic considerations. These companies now face a ‘patent cliff’ where products lose their protection from cheaper competition and yet have nothing to replace it
For agencies all of this offers a number of challenges and opportunities. The old ways of working with process-field PR campaigns that weren’t outcome-driven or lazy media buying will no longer do.
Instead there are a number of opportunities:
- Field sales force teams with greater actionable intelligence based on healthcare professional (HCP) social media profiles
- The ability of pharmaceutical companies to move beyond drugs to a solution sell for medicines to manage chronic conditions. Patients can be encouraged and treatment reinforced through specialised communities
- Programmes in partnership with patient groups can be more more outcome-driven with near real-time measurement and optimisation
- Issues programmes can co-opt unengaged groups utilising network analysis to find the best targets
Pharma Challenges: Adverse Event Reporting and Social Media – Bloomberg Law
Adverse Event Reporting – Visible
the realities of adverse event reporting in social media
Patients, social media, and adverse event reporting | eyeforpharma
Pharma’s Social Media Trials and Tribulations
White Paper: Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry – Astra-Zeneca – (PDF)
Social Media and the Future of Adverse Event Reporting
How Pharmaceuticals Can Avoid the Side Effects of Social Media | MIT Sloan Management Review
Listening to consumers in a highly regulated environment – Nielsen – PDF
UK pharma won’t have to ‘trawl internet’ for adverse event reports – PMLiVE
Hesitant Pharma Marketers Risk Losing the Social Audience – eMarketer
Things that have made my day this week:
The soundtrack of the week was Reinforced Records Callin For Reinforcements; a compilation of the drum and bass labels earlier works when the beats whilst rough and rugged were in a 4/4 time. These also reflected more of the eurphoric nature of rave prior to the fragmentation of dance music into a myriad of styles so pianos sit next to dub reggae baselines and samples blow up all over the place.
The end of the week saw Baselworld kick off which is for watches what CES is for cars. Like CES the show is showing a bit of bloat as exhibitors have moved beyond horology to include blinged-up iPhones, precious stones and ring designs. Highlights of the show so far for me was Girard-Perregaux’s Sea Hawk in a ceramic case and Sinn’s new EZM 14 in titanium. Rolex worked technical wonders to create a version of the ‘pepsi’ dial GMT Master with a blue and black ceramic bezel on the new GMT Master II – not my cup of tea, but I respect the game. The biggest disappointment was Burberry’s Britain limited edition in titanium which looks suspiciously similar in case design to a Patek Philippe Nautilus. The UK edition of GQ magazine have been documenting their favourite watches at the show on an Instagram gallery, Chronomaster have had carefully selected highlights on their blog and and the show does a decent news site here.
I have been looking at a Swiss Army knife of e-book formats for the iPhone. eBookMobi is a cool application that allows me to read a number of different format books such as Cory Doctorow’s Homeland which you can download from the author’s site craphound.com.
Psy became a two-hit wonder with his new track Gentleman had well over 230 million views this week. The dance seems to have become less of a meme this time around so expect less from the Gangnam Style performer.
I finally got around to having a play with Twitonomy which provides a phenomenal amount of information for a free tool.