Trouble Connecting? Take it Offline

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Have you ever received an email that you had to read a few times? The first time you read it, you detect a subtle attitude from the author. The second time you think it’s just sarcasm. Finally, you decide it’s not attitude; they are actually mad. Yup, their clipped language and lack of a friendly sign-off mean they are angry. So what do you do? First you react. Then you respond. You phrase your response perfectly so that the reader knows “I know you are mad, but here’s why I am right” or “Gosh, I am sorry you are mad. I am such an idiot.” But what happens if the writer isn’t mad at all? He just writes in short sentences and doesn’t do the common pleasantries. Here’s the problem: Email sucks at tone. It’s not always hard to detect tone, but I know you have …

Cultivating a Culture of Listening

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Hi there! Welcome to HCB’s first ever culture post! I bet you didn’t know you were coming to a healthcare marketing blog to read about culture, huh? Well you actually came to the right blog, because I happen to be heavily steeped in all things “culture.” Corporate culture? Check. Pop culture? Sure! Cheese curds? OH YEAH. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Amber, and I’m the office manager/social media …

What Does It Mean to Be the Listening Agency?

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A few years ago, I began doing executive coaching as a new discipline for the agency, after a few C-level clients asked me to work with some of their senior staff members to improve their leadership and communication skills. “Me?” I thought, “Why me?” But then I thought about the common theme that almost every former client had shared about working with me and the team at HCB Health — that we were good listeners. Since then, …

Listen Globally, Act Locally

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There is a paradox at play in the world of global marketing. We live in an age where the expectation is that messages can be shared instantaneously across the boundaries of time, language and location. We are more connected than we have ever been, yet we still are not a unified world. What motivates us, what inspires us and what drives a brand to succeed is vastly different between continents and cultures. Yet we talk about “globalization” as if that undertaking is possible in a meaningful way with our physicians and patients around the world. The goal in marketing global brands is to seek the highest common denominator in verbiage that can resonate with targets despite their location or culture. So as we begin to think about global …

Listening Is the Key to Becoming More Than Just Better Marketers

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We’ve all read articles addressing the question of how to be heard in the age of information. But while we’re all focused on being “heard,” many of us fail to address its essential complement: listening. At a recent pharma meeting, I spoke with some pharmaceutical marketing executives about their experiences with their …

Healthcare Marketers Say Few Ad Agencies Are Really Good Listeners

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New HCB Survey Finds Failure to Understand Client Needs Leads to Inferior Work, Cost Issues and Diminished Agency Value Healthcare advertising agencies need to sharpen their listening skills, according to a new survey of marketing executives commissioned by HCB Health. Respondents in four industry sectors — pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology and medtech — correlated good listening with the ability to understand and meet their business needs but said that only a small percentage of healthcare agencies listen really well. This failure can lead to misunderstandings that produce lower quality work, poor communication and a tarnished agency image. The blind survey, conducted by …

Point-Of-Care Innovation: The Evolution of Medical Interactions

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Point-of-care interactions between patients and healthcare professionals are undergoing significant changes. Whether in the doctor’s office, hospital or pharmacy, new care models are being established that are designed to bring fundamental change to the doctor-patient relationship. At a time when new drug product innovation has slowed down considerably, digital technologies and behavioral shifts are …

Marketers Be Aware: We Need to Start Listening Better

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Rewind to “Mad Men,” Season 3, Episode 9. Don Draper is confidently introducing a new campaign idea to hotelier Conrad Hilton, offering Americans the thrill of international travel along with all the comforts of home. How do you say ice water in Italian? Hilton. Fresh towels in Farsi? Hilton. Hamburger in Japanese? Hilton. Hilton — it’s the same in …

Siri Speaks: A Conversation with the Human Behind the Voice of Siri

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We usually see Siri spelled in caps and lower case, as if she’s a real person with a very weird name, instead of an application on your phone. But SIRI is in fact an acronym for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. If you require a more intimate relationship with the voice on your phone, take comfort knowing that Siri also means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory” in Norwegian. One of its inventors, a Norwegian named Dag Kittlaus, once considered Siri as a name for his daughter – hence the original name of the technology …

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