Impression of the New Media Expo

Just finalized the impression video for the New Media Expo. Check it out:

The future of pharma e-marketing

Just read an interesting article on eyeforpharma’s social networksite about the future of pharma e-marketing. They talk about social networking tools and advanced physician portals, streaming videos and closed loop strategies.

Len Starnes, Head of Global Digital Sales for Bayer Schering Pharma indicates that: “Over the next few years, the biggest external impact will be seen on pharma’s interactions with patients, followed closely by the influence on the industry’s online relationship with doctors.” Even more interesting is that Starnes indicates that “social media also is poised to drive significant change internally in pharmaceutical organizations as they strive for productivity and efficiency gains”.

Well, we all know that this is exactly the message we have been preaching. Good to see that Starnes agrees with our vision.

The article continues with saying that US advertising budgets are changing, focussing less on television. Nothing new here, since less and less people are spending time behind this passive medium. Online spending therefore is “up with a lot of room to grow”. Could be. However I still feel that advertisement on TV is the same as advertisement on the web: make it too commercial and people won’t believe it anymore. Wake up, something is going on. Forget about the smooth and slick commercials, time for something different. Also in pharma.

The article then continues describing the power of online video, as explained by Kathleen Oneial, a former vice president of marketing channels at Novartis and Merck. “It’s a wonderful format for consumers and physicians and now that we have such widely available broadband, video will become a big part of how we communicate,” she predicts. “We’ve seen the profound impact of YouTube and others. Video will become an important tool for marketers and we’ll need agencies that have this capability.”

The article of course ends with the usual ‘it’s-so-difficult-in-pharma’ but “those innovative and dedicated enough to do it have greater competitive advantage”.

Say no more.

Full article here.

The New Media Expo – Our first impressions

Just returned from one of our most exciting trips in our relatively short existence. Started in New York with the participation of an Expert Group about social media in the pharma industry, followed by an intense three days of all things new media at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas. I will try to give a brief summary of our experiences, more detailed blogposts about the content will follow later, once we have edited our interviews.

The New Media Expo (NME) was located in the Las Vegas Convention Centre, home of about 20,000 expos per year. According to Tim Bourquin, Founder of the NME, some 2,000 participants made it it the Convention Centre this year. Each day there were 5 different streams to choose from, varying from Podcasting 101 to New Media Strategies. Since we were with the three of us we could, theoretically, split up but we often ended up in the same lectures since our interests are pretty equal. Fortunately we will receive audio files of all sessions later so we don’t have to miss a thing, content wise (why this is not a standard service in many congress organizations is beyond me).

The exhibtion floor was crowded with companies providing goods and/or services to new media producers. We do have a ’30 Seconds Shameless Self Promotion’-video in the works, showcasing most of the vendors. Stay tuned.

For us last year in Ontario the focus was on learning; this year it was on networking. The lectures did provide a few new insights, but less than last year (we tend to believe that this is because we are learning too in the remaining if the year ;-)). We met some great people and we spend more time discussing new media concepts and the future of these exciting developments (yes, and in the US that starts with an early breakfast meeting at 7:00 hours, thanks Paul)

It is good to see that internal podcasting got a place in the program too this year. Robin Maiden, a pilot of Delta Airlines did a presentation about his project within Delta Airlines. The project is quite similar to our internal podcast concepts and it is interesting to see that Robin is facing the same challenges as we do, as he discusses in our interview we had with him.

Paulo Tosolini, New Media Business Manager in Microsoft presented the final product he showed us last year: the Podcast Kit for Sharepoint. With this (free) add-on to Sharepoint, companies can create a ‘YouTube’-like experience whereby employees can upload company-related videos they made themselves. I was pretty excited when Paulo presented the concept last year and I’m pleased to see that Microsoft decided to make it into a commercial product. We have a vivid interview with Paulo about the Podcast Kit, so check back later.

Last but not least I want to mention Shwen Gwee, a podcast host of Med 2.0 and active in the pharma world as well. We got to know Shwen as one of the most extended networkers in new media and definitely sharing our vision for the use of new media in the pharma world. He has interviewed some interesting people in this industry, known to approach these new technologies with utter care. Watch out for our interview with Shwen as well.

René, Mikki, Erik and Shwen

Together with Paulo Tosolini from Microsoft, Robin Maiden from Delta Airlines and Schwen Gwee from Med 2.0 we are dedicated to give internal podcasting a more prominent place in the next NME.

We look back to a fullfilling expo with lots of ideas to bring home. It was motivational and inspirational for us. Although less ‘intimate’ than last year (Las Vegas is so big, at the end of the Expo everybody ‘disappears’ in the city) there was sufficient content and networking possibilities. We therefore highly recommend this congress to new media producers and related companies. Rumor has it that in 2009 it will be in San Fransisco, We for sure can’t wait…

New Media Expo takes off like a rocket with Gary Vaynerchuk

The New Media Expo 2008 took off like a rocket. First keynote of Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV. Gary, a first generation Russian immigrant who loves the NY Jets and dreams of buying the tam one day, just gave a very energetic presentation. He produces and hosts a very successful podcast show on one of his biggest passions, wine. His key to success:

  • Know your DNA, and do what you want to do
  • Know the 2 C’s: Community and Content
  • We all know it, Content is King, but don’t forget that Marketing is Queen and the Queen runs the household.
  • Be everywhere, on every platform available
  • Love your fans, and answer all their e-mail
  • Patience, patience, patience and you will get there

His biggest mistake: his twitter name, garyvee. Why? Nobody can find him, it’s damaging his brand.

This kick-start sets the tone for the rest of the coming three days.

Here we go…

The team is complete, the plans have been made. We’re ready for a two and a half day of intense sessions on all things new media. Outside it’s 38 degrees Celcius, inside in the Las Vegas Convention Centre a plethora of subjects will be discussed. Join us digitally in this exciting journey and read here first hand our impressions. Videos will follow later (depending on the speed of the internet connectivity…duh!)

New Media Expo in just 3 days!

Packed and ready! Tomorrow morning I will follow Erik to Las Vegas for the 4th annual New Media Expo. I am very much looking forward to it, for many reasons.

First is to meet up again with him and to hear about his New York experiences first-hand. Good to see him again. It’s in this business marriage almost as with my wife in my real marriage…after a few days you start missing each other…

Second reason is to enjoy the madness of Vegas, the most artificial city in the world. A bit of black-jack, enjoy the Stratosphere Insanity Ride, go to the Blue Man Group and more. Fun guaranteed.

But most and for all it is to suck up all the new energy, ideas and inspiration form the New Media Expo, the best conference in it’s kind. Looking forward to see what the Podcast Brothers have organized for us and to see where New Media stands, one year after our first visit to this exiting meeting.

We will try to create some great footage for all of you who cannot join but still want to taste a little bit of it. We will update you on the most interesting new ideas and we hope to bring you some nice interviews with some of the big guys in New Media. Who knows we can catch up with Paul Colligan, who we interviewed earlier at the Corporate Podcast Summit in London in 2007 (part 1 and part 2), or with Leo Laporte, one of our heroes from MacBreakWeekly, the guy who can talk marathons and make the most exiting combination of top class BS and up to date Apple talk. And of course we hope to have a chat, as last year, with Tim Bourquin, founder of the Expo, and ask him what has changed in the past year in New Media. But no doubt there are many more interesting people we could try to get in front of our camera…more celebrities? And last but not least…the After Parties…

One thing is very different from last year, this time we have an ace in our hands that might be of help (in Vegas for sure)…I won’t say more than Blond and Beautiful…

To remind you of last years event, please take another look at:

– our interview with Jim Louderback:

– our report on New versus Old Media shot at the New Media Expo 2007 (with Tim Bourquin):

– and our interview with Ryan and Dorkman:

Stay tuned.

Macca of Mac Zealots

You really didn’t believe that I was going to leave New York without a visit to the Apple Store? The Apple Store? I heard that during daytime the crowd was too overwhelming and the line to get in obnoxious long. So I thought I paid the Glass Cube a visit around 11 pm. Conveniently located nearby my hotel on 5th Avenue, there it was, in the middle of a little square. 

The Apple logo clearly lit and the place buzzing of people. You go down the well-known glass stairs, entering the divine place of The Apple. Several priests walk around with little devices in their hand. It later turned out that you can pay at those priests. The Apple Store has no cashiers so basically you can pay anywhere. 

There was a line waiting to catch a glimpse of the latest Apple Relic: the iPhone 3G. A direct descendant from Lord Jobs, this little device once owned will change your life forever. Each day this line forms again since there are only a few hundreds of iPhones arriving each day. The faithful followers receive a voucher with which they can stand in line for about 5 to 6 hours. After the necessary ceremonial monetary exchange they go home. Happier, fullfilled, and yet again an increased status.

Everybody who knows me a bit better realizes that I will stand in line for a few hours as well, obeying the Reality Distortion Field (RDF) of Steve Jobs. Unfortunately it isn’t possible anymore to just buy the iPhone, get it through customs and hack it away. Now I have to learn to live with the fact that there are people in Oss (of all places) who surpass me in this ever frantic race of coolness…

Brainstorming @ Google

Yesterday was the final day of the workshop in New York. This part of the workshop was executed in the office of Google (well, part of it). Many people were excited to go to this place, including myself. Don’t know exactly why that is. Could be that Google represents the ‘new’ business model regarding the interaction company/employee, or because we use it everyday?

What I do know is that Google pays a lot of attention to the well-being of the employee, or I should I say ‘well-feeling’ since so many candy bars freely available might hinder your well-being at a certain moment. They give the employees the idea that ‘work’ and ‘play’ can be combined, no doubt hoping that the employees are more productive and/or make longer working days. The latter is no doubt the case, although I also believe that New Yorkers in general make their fair amount of hours on the workspace.

The offices are well designed, combing modern elements with the old elements of the building. There is food everywhere, varying from candies to sushi. People may eat and drink for free. There is writing on the walls and it all looks a bit campus-like. Which is intentionally, so I’ve heared.

After the meeting we had a short tour around the premises (thanks Lisa, I know you’re reading this).

For the last day Kevin Colleran, Director of Media Sales and Employee Number 8 at Facebook joined the team of Experts. Kevin had some interesting facts about Facebook (now number 1 social network in the world, having 92 million subscribers and growing with some 400,000 per day) and a jaw-dropping presentation of one of the new features (see later post). I did a short interview with Kevin, and hopefully I can put that online as soon as possible (needed to borrow somebody else’s camera. Mine broke, remember?)

After a good dinner in what was for me the most chique Chinese restaurant I’ve ever been in we spent some time absorbing cocktails in a dito club somewhere high up on a terrace overlooking the city. Well deserved for all the people involved I think.

Afya Serengeti Project – episode 2

I am glad to announce the second episode of the video series The Afya Serengeti Project. As you probably know, the Afya Serengeti Project deals with the prevention of rabies in and around the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This research group, lead by Sarah Cleaveland, has demonstrated that rabies, a terrible and lethal disease that can affect all mammals (yes, including people), can be prevented when you vaccinate all the dogs in the area. So, it’s about saving lives!

The video series gives you an impression how this vaccination team works. In this second episode Kaneja Ibrahim, one of the team members, shows us around the so called CDP House or Disease House. Here the team resides during the vaccination campaigns. Get to know them a little better and see what impact this work has on their personal lives, but also how dedicated they all are to make rabies a memory.

Hello from the Big Apple!

We usually start our US New Media trip with the intention to meet some celebrities. Last year we met Ryan and the Dorkman, kind of celebrities in the new media space, this year we wanted it to upper it a notch. So I met Leonardo DiCaprio in the plane. I was thinking to do a short interview with him about new media (after all, he was using a MacBook Pro) but I was too busy preparing myself for the upcoming workshop. Sorry Leo, may be next time.

I won’t dive too much into my first impressions of this amazing city called New York (we are not a traveling blog) but let me say that I think Peter Stuyvesant did a pretty lousy job giving the city away to the English in 1664. I can see why the workshop about innovation in communication is held in this trendy place.

It’s now 11 pm and I look back to an inspirational first day. We started off by introducing ourselves to the group. The group is split into two, a group of end users (the target audience) and a group of people who know a thing or two about digital media (the experts). What followed was a mapping of the digital media the young women are using on a daily basis (yes, I did take some notes since some of it was new to me) and other available tools brought in my the experts.

Obviously I can’t go into details about the outcome of these sessions but in general I observed that some of the new tools like Twitter for example were completely unknown and not seen as very relevant, and that reading books which they buy -of all places- in a bookstore (“since you can wander around there”) is still very popular. So may be this generation is not completely lost after all? ;-).

When you look at the overview, it’s really amazing what a modern human being has to deal with on a daily basis to get all the information he or she wants. We identified 19 media touch points, and I’m sure this list is not complete. 

In the second half of the day we brainstormed about ideas based on these digital media touch points, trying to relate that to the marketing of a pharmaceutical product. These ideas were later presented to the target group who could score the ideas. Interesting to see that augmented reality was scored quite high.

Like I said, it was inspirational. It’s a special experience to be in a group and talk about digital/new/social media where everybody is on the same level. A lot of geeky talk about new iPhone apps, the newest and coolest website technologies but also about the social implications of social media on society and the never ending discussion about privacy and the internet (always interesting if someone from Google participates in the discussion).

Gave a lot, learned a lot. A fair balance of this first day. Tomorrow we’re heading to the Google offices for the final part of the workshop. Need to buy a new camera too, since I realized that the internal mechanism can not handle a 1 meter drop on a wooden floor…

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