The Informed Marketer—intellectually curious by nature—strives to utilize data and facts to inform their insights and marketing ideas. This blog will reveal our passion and personality toward creating a world of Informed Marketers™ and we invite you to join the conversation.


Getting to Market 1, 2, 3

Written on January 13, 2014 at 9:00 am by Appature – View Comments

by Lynn Swanson, Engagement Manager at IMS Health-Appature

A Smart Way to Launch Quickly, Efficiently and Cost-Effectively

The impact of the changing life sciences landscape on a brand or product launch is profound, as any brand manager can tell you. The new environment means tighter budgets, faster timelines, heightened pressure to connect with customers and greater reliance on digital technology.

While brilliant creative is more important than ever in reaching target audiences, brand managers are finding that a quick start with a few basics gets brands out of the gate faster with a greater chance for success.

What do customers want?

What do brands need?

What can we do QUICKLY to meet these demands?

Our experience shows that early deployment of these three elements gives brands and their agencies a head start:

  1. Website
  2. Co-pay or savings card
  3. Call center

This basic package, which can be implemented with standard documentation in just weeks, improves the process and allows marketers and brand managers to:

  • Initiate an opt-in relationship
  • Capture customer data
  • Work through the database platform in a reasonable time frame
  • Get initial feedback

Once these basics are in place, brands and agencies can gather customer information, take a pulse and adjust their creative accordingly.

A life sciences company approached us recently for help in launching a new brand. We worked with them to implement a campaign using a basic website, call center and savings card. The initial campaign was fairly simple, consisting of two journeys: 1) people who are interested and want information, and 2) those who are starting therapy and want to register for the savings card. They became part of a designated loyalty program. We held a kick-off meeting at the end of March and were ready to launch in June.

Build Once, Implement Often

No one has to re-invent the wheel. The documentation and processes are generally the same across the board. Using a standard package to develop and implement the website, co-pay or savings card and call center as a first step enables brands to move quickly and build a solid foundation for creative.

Interested? Ask us how we can help make the brand journey shorter, faster, more cost-effective and, ultimately, more rewarding. Contact us at info@appature.com.

Orchestrate a Better Customer Experience

Written on December 2, 2013 at 8:30 am by Appature – View Comments

by Bob Harrell, Director of Marketing, IMS Health Appature

Step in to the shoes of a physician, caregiver or patient for a moment. What do they want? Generally, they want useful, relevant information that will help them manage their own health, or someone else’s health. Where will they go for information, advice, and guidance? Their ultimate decision of what path to take will be influenced by several information sources (i.e., advertisements, leaflets, online health forums, condition and branded websites, etc.).

People are looking for the ‘right information at the right time’. This means there’s a lot of information that they do not want to receive. There are messages that might resonate for one segment of customers at a particular time, which are the wrong messages for another segment even within the same treatment stage. Additionally, there are ‘right’ communication channels and ‘wrong’ communication channels. People want to receive the information via their channel of choice, whatever that may be.

Understand your customers
Today’s robust data sets and technology provide marketers with a comprehensive view of their customers. This deeper understanding enables brands to create more customer-centric communications. For example, data insights allow marketers to effectively segment their customers based on behaviors and preferences. In turn, customers receive more meaningful, timely dialogue based on their choices. Following are additional ways to enhance your brand’s relationship with existing and potential customers.

  • Opt-in or opt-out: Providing opt-in preferences demonstrates respect for your customers’ time and interests. It also provides insight into your customers’ needs for future communications.
  • Seasonal interest: The change of season creates opportunities for customer communication because customer needs also change. For example, if your brand treats food allergies, your email campaigns may include sending reminders to parents during back-to-school time when parents’ interest is at its peak. If your brand treats allergies to bees or pollen, spring may be the ideal time to communicate with customers who are interested in seasonal allergy relief.
  • Channel preference: Demographic data may provide insight into your customers’ channel preferences. Twenty-something customers may be open to communication through social media and email channels while senior citizens may prefer direct mail.
  • Call-to-action: Asking your customers to do something (download a document, take a survey, sign-up for emails, etc.) and then tracking their responses provides valuable information about your customers’ needs. This information can be used to create more meaningful campaigns and, in turn, increase brand loyalty.

Collect only what you need
Many marketers experience “data overload” by unintentionally collecting data that will never add value or be used. In turn, customers grow weary of providing that data—filling out surveys, providing preferences, downloading numerous documents. In short, “data overload” can damage customer relationships. Next time you’re planning a campaign, ask yourself:

  • Will the data I’m collecting from this tactic successfully inform future campaigns?
  • Will the customer’s time be well spent? In other words, will the data insights enhance the customer relationship?
  • Am I actually able to use the data collected (e.g., have the resources, technology, etc.)?

When you collect information from your customers, it’s like entering into a social contract with them. You’re saying, “If you give me some data about you, I’m going to give you value back.” Be sure you’re honoring your contract.

Avoid the black hole
Have you ever signed up for something or sent an email inquiry to a company but never received a response? Or, the answer came too late? Then you know how frustrating this can be. Adequate and timely follow-through is critical to growing customer loyalty. Don’t damage your customer relationships by not delivering on your promises.

Additionally, demonstrate your interest in your customers by consistently following-up with them. Create well-timed touch points, such as welcome letters, newsletters and health tips. Show your customers that you care about them.

In a recent survey¹ of relationship marketing programs of the top 10 pharmaceutical brands, only 2 out of 10 brands sent follow-up communications within 6 weeks of program registration. Having a consistent cadence of follow-up communications is critical.

Sync your multi-channel communications
If you took all of your communications (emails, direct mail, surveys, TV spots, point-of-care, etc.) and viewed them side-by-side, would you see consistent branding, imagery, and tone? Does your campaign look like a family of siblings? For example, if your brand highlights a celebrity spokesperson on your website to promote a starter kit to new consumers, ensure that this same imagery is used throughout your tactics and channels (thank you confirmation email, starter kit packaging and materials, follow-up email communication, etc.). Syncing your multi-channel communications creates brand awareness and understanding with your customers and, in turn, promotes better customer engagement.

Measure, optimize, and repeat
Does this sound familiar? You launch a campaign and have your customers complete all of the touch points. Six months later, you measure and evaluate campaign results. You suddenly realize that, if you had just changed one or two tactics, campaign results would have been greatly improved.

Avoid this pitfall by tracking and adjusting your campaigns regularly once they are in flow. Evaluate and refine the messages you’re driving, the target segments you’re reaching, and the channels you’re using. Optimizing your campaigns enables you to significantly enhance customer engagement and the quality of interaction while decreasing the cost of outreach.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to impact your campaign’s success. Consistently and proactively measure and evaluate results throughout your campaigns. Then, make real-time adjustments as needed.

Balance customer needs with brand
Remember, it’s more about your customer than it is about your brand. For instance, if customers opt-in to your campaign via an unbranded communication, ensure they’re ready for branded communications. Create a customer journey that helps you better understand why customers are seeking additional information (i.e., a short survey). If customers only desire disease information, don’t provide them recommended doctors for your medication or procedure. Ease customers into branded communications at their own pace. This customer-centric approach creates trust between your brand and your customer. As customer trust grows, so will the impact of your communications.

¹Relationship Marketing Audit, Lars Merk, DTC National Q1 2013

Jumping the Fence: From Marketing to IT

Written on November 14, 2013 at 2:25 pm by Appature – View Comments

By Kim Wilson, Engagement Manager at IMS Health Appature

Having recently been involved in a job search, one of the things that surprised me the most was the curiosity interviewers had about my career history. As I discussed the choices I made, and the resulting opportunities, I realized my vocational path mirrors the changes in business over the past 20 years.

Although I graduated with a degree in business, my first job was in Marketing Communications.  This experience led me to art school and, ultimately, a position as a Graphic Designer. I was a creative who used computers and technology for design and collateral production, which quickly evolved to include digital platforms and interactive applications. My work supported traditional brand marketing strategies, and, as eBusiness departments formed, my exposure to eCommerce and other commercial operations expanded. My growing skills and knowledge landed me a role as a functional business leader on a global ERP implementation. I had definitely jumped the fence – was in IT.

How did my career transition from strategic marketing to operational IT? It followed the changing business model.  Over time, companies have adjusted their customer engagement tactics as well as the tools they use to accomplish customer loyalty. These shifts dictated the need for resources with strong, multi-channel marketing skills, robust knowledge of customer engagement technology, and the ability to solve current and future business challenges. The same remains true today. In short, employees who can articulately communicate business technology requirements and can also deploy and manage successful customer engagement programs provide a competitive advantage when making key business decisions.

Earlier this year, I tweeted a LinkedIn post by David Edelman, a partner at McKinsey, in which he advocates the need for Marketing and IT to resolve their differences and to better collaborate. I would take this one step further and argue that each function needs to be more like the other. Marketing needs to proactively consider overall system impact and enterprise-wide data accessibility while IT needs to be a better steward of the customer experience.

Corporate functional silos are clearly the old way of doing business. My time in IT provided a healthy “wake-up call” to the impact of my technology decisions, whether it be in the support of sales, marketing, finance, customer service or manufacturing. I now understand that data, the heart of many organizations, needs to be accurately captured, effectively managed, widely accessible and easily acted upon.  In other words, the internal customer experience with data must be satisfying and productive.  My time as a marketer taught me to take a wider view of my target customer. I not only need to consider my external clients, but I also need to value my internal customers – how are my marketing decisions impacting internal resources and processes?

I feel really lucky to have had a career track that includes both strategy and process and both marketing and IT. It has prepared me to bring much more value to IMS Health Appature and our customers. At the end of the day, I am a Marketer – I have a passion for increasing reach and gaining adoption. But now, when I consider my objectives, I make sure I also consider the other “side of the fence”.

Punching above your weight – how smaller brands leverage relationship marketing technology to compete

Written on October 3, 2013 at 10:58 am by David Young, Marketing Solutions Architect at Appature – View Comments

For smaller, highly budget-conscious brands, technology needs to be an enabler, not another thing to worry about. One of the benefits of a cloud-based relationship marketing platform is that it scales to support a brand’s needs. It scales up and it also scales down to meet the needs of brands who probably never thought such capabilities would be within budget. For smaller brands, cloud-based technology buys access to the capabilities of a marketing-savvy bigger brand, but without the high implementation and running costs of on-premise marketing software.

For example, a niche launch brand of an orphan drug with a narrow target population may have only two dedicated marketing operations people. Cloud-based relationship marketing technology would allow the marketing duo to import contacts, create marketing segments, upload creative, launch campaigns and analyze results. Many campaign tasks could be automated and scheduled ahead of time based on triggering events. Plan, execute and assess results allowing for real time re-calibration and optimization, mid-campaign.

This example is reality with one Pharma customer I’m working with right now. In this case, their marketing team has engaged its agency to create one website for Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and another for Patients. With these two sites in place, just two marketing resources were able to create web forms, surveys and campaign ‘journeys’ – automating a series of marketing activities (a.k.a., “touchpoints”) against a plan. The brand is now actively engaging both physicians and patients. At the same time they are feeding new insights into the customer databases for HCPs and patients. The brand databases are getting smarter and future campaigns will benefit from the knowledge of past campaign results. Critically, rather than worrying about how to integrate the customer data or piecing together reports using subsets of siloed data, marketing teams can execute campaigns quickly and effectively. The entire brand team can see campaign results in real time.

Patient Journey - Appature Nexus

This illustrates a simple campaign “journey” that could be targeted at patients after they complete a web registration form for example. It could include just 2-3 automated “touchpoints” for each of the two segment groups. Those that are new to the brand would receive a Starter Kit shipment notification, followed by a pre-treatment survey 3 days later. Those already on the brand would be sent a co-pay card, followed by a newsletter 10 days later.

Technology is an enabler, allowing brands to focus on what they do best. For smaller brands, cloud-based relationship marketing technology levels the playing field with bigger, better-funded brands.

The experience and excitement of Startup Weekend

Written on August 23, 2013 at 11:46 am by Appature – View Comments

by Justin Emerick, Product Manager at Appature

Startup weekend, Aug 16-18: A weekend to turn a technology idea into something real. The only catch is you have to make it real in 54 hours!

The excited participants

Here is how the Startup Weekend worked. Attendees arrived at the Appature Headquarters Friday evening for open mic pitches, on Saturday and Sunday teams developed, validated and built their ideas, ending on Sunday evening with teams presenting their product prototypes to a panel of experts. We had about 80 participants with technical and business backgrounds from the Seattle area. Those with ideas formed a line and got 1 minute (yes, they time you) to pitch their ideas to the crowd. We had about 30 individuals pitch. Based on some voting and networking, this list of 30 was narrowed down to 12. All the attendees were encouraged to seek out the pitch they were most attracted too and form business teams for the weekend.

Three Appature developers and I pitched an idea and we were able to get a team of 9 to build our idea: A web service and mobile app that allowed users to create “events” that were location and time bound, and our technology would crawl and organize all the public, social photos that were taken at that location and time.

The first word that comes to mind to describe the weekend: exhausting. But I’d quickly follow it with exciting, frustrating, fun, and educational. For our team and the rest, Saturday was a 13-14 hour day that involved scoping the project, dividing into functional roles, forming smaller teams, building a “Minimally Viable Product” (MVP), and developing the business plan that we would showcase on Sunday. I was blown away by how much work a team of 9 could accomplish in just one day. By Saturday’s end, we had a working website and mobile app, a cloud-based server and database, and a crawl engine connected to Flickr and Twitter.

Here I am pitching Team Appature's idea

On Sunday the team gathered again, frantically fixing bugs, adding functionality, and surveying “customers” to prove out the business plan. At 5:00pm computers were turned off and all the teams presented their final pitches to judges, a group of local VC’s, angel investors, and entrepreneurs. Every team had an impressive MVP to showcase. The winning team, MedCam, pitched by a local physician, demoed a HIPAA compliant service that allowed doctors to take patient images with their iPhone. Second place went to a cloud-based scheduling and payment site for divorced couples to manage shared obligations, and third place was a full-fledge product using smartphones to make “Sous-Vide” cooking more affordable.

We didn’t make the top 3, but the experience and excitement of Startup Weekend was worth all the effort for Team Appature. The only regret was not taking Monday off; all four of us looked like zombies in the office.

Photos courtesy of Tim Reha of New Media Synergy

You Know It’s Broken: The Integration of Sales and Marketing Channels

Written on August 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm by Appature – View Comments

by Mark Karch, Commercialization Leader at Appature

John, the field sales representative, walks into the doctor’s office and brings in the latest whitepaper. He starts with “Good morning Doctor Jones, I’d like to show you our new whitepaper.” The doctor then responds “Yes, I already read it. I downloaded it two days ago from your website.”

If John had been equipped with this information before he walked in, his sales call would have instead gone something like “Good morning Doctor Jones, I saw that you downloaded our new whitepaper from our website so I wanted to stop by today and garner your reaction on this corresponding report showing how the use of our brand reduced symptoms by 78% on this other patient population that you treat.”

This requires having a 360° view of your healthcare professional (HCP) customers, where all touch points are shared between Sales (i.e., the field sales representative) and Marketing, 24/7. Whether it’s a webinar registration, a visit to your booth at a conference, or a file that was downloaded from your website, connecting the sales and marketing data provides an integrated and intelligent view of the customer.

Most Life Sciences organizations today operate in sales and marketing data silos. We see tactics becoming more fragmented across the organizations as more digital channels and multi-channel marketing groups are born in the life science space.  As such, marketing has been operating in autonomy from the sales force and this is not an efficient way to operate. Moreover, it is not customer oriented! Today, organizations can utilize technology to help them become more integrated across sales and marketing departments.

What’s an integrated customer experience look like? Here are 3 scenarios that can be enabled today with technology by bringing sales and marketing data together and making it actionable:

Field sales representatives can see marketing activities in their CRM tool targeting their healthcare professional (HCP).

  • Insight into marketing message, channel preference, and HCP response. The field sales representative, John, gets ready to make a sales call in the morning and within minutes of walking into the account, he’s aware that a brochure or whitepaper was downloaded last night by the HCP.
  • Reinforce message or follow up on call-to-action. John is able to see that another HCP in his territory visited the company booth last week at the medical conference and knows about the topics that were discussed at the booth. Having this kind of integration in your sales force application allows field sales representative to deliver a much more coordinated and impactful message when they walk into their accounts.

Marketing can trigger and coordinate messages based on the field sales representative activities (or lack thereof).

  • Utilize segmentation to reach a specific audience. You might want to reach your top prescribing HCP who completed a sales call in the last 30 days and were invited to the Key Opinion Leader (KOL) program last week. The simple drag-and-drop functionality of the “Find HCPs” feature in Appature Nexus allows marketers to search for HCPs in their database using over 300 customizable demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal attributes.
  • Vacant territories don’t have to be vacant. Your field sales representative, John, decides to take a 3-month leave and you need to maintain communication with HCPs in his territory. This is another great way to use technology, as it keeps your HCPs looped in, even when your reps can’t be there.

Field sales representative can use marketing tactics to reach hard-to-see or no-see physicians.

  • All HCPs in your database should belong to one or more communication streams. John just learned that there’s a new HCP in one of his large private practice accounts and he wants to make sure this HCP is included in Monday’s announcement regarding product efficacy. Within minutes, this HCP can quickly be put into an existing marketing communication stream by adding him to one or more pre-defined segments.

  • Tactics can be sent on behalf of the field sales representative. John has just been notified by Customer Service that a particular product size is on back order, so his accounts who regularly sample this size are sent an email offering samples of the next available size. The email includes two links: The ‘Decline’ link alerts John to contact the physician, and the ‘Accept’ link triggers an automatic email to the fulfillment center, which is followed by an automatic questionnaire two weeks later.
  • Multi-channel Journey campaigns sent as the result of a completed field sales representative call. John completes his sales call with a high value HCP who belongs to an integrated delivery network that will not allow him to return for 30 days (i.e., a restricted access HCP). The HCP likes his new product but has concerns about the long-term safety of the product. Upon returning to his car, with the right enabling technology, the field sales representative can select and launch a pre-approved multi-channel product safety campaign which is developed over the next 30 days. It includes triggering email communications to direct mail fulfillment houses, call centers, sampling departments, etc.

Fully coordinating your marketing and sales touch points is a must for customer engagement today. With the right processes and technology in place, you can break down the typical left-hand/right-hand problem of personal and non-personal promotion, increasing the effectiveness of all tactics and making them more than the sum of their parts.

This blog article was written in collaboration with Carolina Facciani, Marketing Specialist at Appature

Integrating Your Data: The Appature Nexus Jigsaw Puzzle

Written on July 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm by Appature – View Comments

Blog post by Ray Madara, PMP, Solutions Architect at IMS Appature

For most organizations, getting a clean view of their marketing and customer data is like dumping a jigsaw puzzle onto a table and trying to put it together piece by piece. At IMS Appature, Solutions Architects take the time to analyze the puzzle that is your data. Then we work on designing what your instance of Nexus will look like based on all of the variables. Finally, we integrate all the pieces of the data puzzle together to give you an instance of Appature Nexus that allows you to take your marketing to the next level.

The steps for integrating data into Appature Nexus are very similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When you start a puzzle, the first step is getting all of the pieces spread out and facing up so that you can start to see what it is you are putting together. The same goes for data. We need visibility into all the data elements and where they are located or collected in order to design your Appature Nexus configuration. This is facilitated through kick off meetings and information gathering with clients and their vendors. The data are typically being pulled from multiple channels and sources; websites, business reply cards, and automated phone lines to name a few. The information collected gives us the ability to start formulating business rules and use cases.

The next step in putting together a puzzle is finding all of the straight edge pieces in order to create the overall frame for your puzzle. First, we need to take all of the data we have discovered and design how that should be applied in Appature Nexus. This will make up the underlying data model that will drive the entire instance. Considerations need to be made about how you can access the data in order to segment your customers. Customer responses must be stored in just the right way so that you can tie all of the data together and be able to build out meaningful reports and analytics to measure your entire marketing performance and effectiveness. The design effort also addresses ways to improve processes. An example would be taking a client’s website data that come in batch files once a day and switching to a real time data pass leveraging the Appature API.

Once the outer frame of the puzzle is put together, the pieces start to fall into place. Obviously, the more puzzle pieces there are, the longer it typically takes to solve the puzzle. The same holds true for integrating data; however, there are strategies that can make a thousand-piece puzzle more like a hundred. Standardized layouts and processes help reduce the effort required. If all data sources are using the same layouts and business rules for capturing and transmitting data, loading the data becomes less complex. Out-of-the-box API’s can be utilized to bring data into the system in real-time. This requires little development in Appature Nexus and offers big rewards. It can allow for a more personalized customer experience – e.g., responses coming in from the API can trigger communications to allow for a continued dialogue with the customer; rather than delayed reactions due to file processing delays.

The data connections and configurations are developed and the jigsaw puzzle of data starts to come together, giving you a 360 degree view of your customers. The goal is to assemble a complex puzzle of data to reach an end solution that is surprisingly simple.

5 Tips for Creating Effective Online Surveys

Written on July 11, 2013 at 7:57 am by Appature – View Comments

Blog post by Jon Watson, senior solutions architect at IMS Appature


“How satisfied are physicians with our product?”
“How does our brand rate among groups of consumers versus other brands?”
“What do healthcare providers want in the way of product training?”

Life Sciences marketers want to obtain and evaluate the information they need concerning customer satisfaction, industry attitudes, brand loyalty, and competitive position. Conducting market research with surveys from a desktop is a quick way of gathering this information. As a senior solutions architect, I work with several customers who use our survey tool in Appature Nexus. Five useful tips that I always share with new customers for creating effective survey questionnaires are:

Tip #1: Limit the Number of Questions per Page

Have you ever taken an online survey with so many questions on a single page that you had to continuously scroll down to answer each one? Long lists of questions can be daunting to most survey takers and instantly discourages them from completing the survey. A better design approach is to limit the number of questions to just one or two per page so that they fit within the survey taker’s browser window without having to scroll to see them all. This makes the survey seem shorter, easier to complete, and less cluttered.

It also gives you more control over the flow of the survey, especially with branching questions (see Tip #2), and keeps the survey taker’s attention focused as they complete each page and go on to the next. As a result, more customers are likely to finish the survey and responses will tend to be more complete and accurate.

Tip #2: Use Branching Questions

Branching questions are used to redirect respondents to different pages in the questionnaire depending on their answer to the question at hand. For example, a question asks, “Have you used our product within the last six months?”  If the answer is “Yes” the respondent is redirected to a page containing questions about their experience and satisfaction with your product. If the answer is “No,” however, the respondent is presented with a different set of questions to uncover reasons why.

In Appature Nexus, branching questions are created using the Skip Logic feature. In order to use Skip Logic, however, you must have at least three pages in your questionnaire (including the completion page). In addition, it is only available if the last question on a page is a multiple-choice, single answer question (i.e. radio buttons not check boxes) on which skip logic will be used. More complex branching scenarios can be set up as well, but it’s important to keep track of where each branch of questions leads while designing the questionnaire.

Tip #3: Use Matrix Questions

Surveys that ask respondents to rate competing brands, products, services, or, rank things by importance are one of the most common ways to measure customer attitudes. For example, a typical question might ask “Please rank the following product features in terms of importance to your buying decision.”  The answer section is comprised of a list of features and the respondent must assign a relative rank of importance to each one.

Matrix questions are not only effective at uncovering feelings about a product or brand, but, they can also capture the intensity of feeling as well. The basic format is that the respondent is presented with a list of statements and is asked to indicate how much they agree or disagree with each one. Based on the answers to pre-determined “favorable” or “unfavorable” questions, the data can be exported to Excel for a more sophisticated analysis to determine a total attitude score for each respondent and graph the results.

Questionnaires that include matrix questions give marketers a powerful method for assessing customer attitudes with questions that capture both relative preferences as well as intensity of feelings.

Tip #4: Page Numbering

Displaying the current page number out of a total number of pages in the survey (e.g. “Page 3 of 5”) gives survey takers a sense of progress toward survey completion. An easy way to accomplish this is to type “Page x out of y pages” in each page header (where “x “is the current page and “y” is the total number of pages in the questionnaire).

To make page numbers look nicer, select appropriate font formats (example: blue, Arial, size 12 pt, bold, centered).

Tip #5: Randomize Multiple-Choice Answers

A little-known option for multiple-choice questions is to randomize answers. That does not mean that random answers will be dynamically generated; rather, the order in which possible answers are presented to each survey taker is random. Randomizing the order of the answer choices greatly reduces survey bias and gives marketers a more reliable measure of accuracy across the entire population of respondents. Each time the survey is taken, the answer choices will be randomly ordered automatically.

What other tips have you found to work well when creating online surveys?

Applying Technology and Insights for Customer-Centric Marketing

Written on July 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm by Carolina Facciani, Marketing Specialist at Appature – View Comments

Marketing has become increasingly more complex and the pressure on Life Sciences marketers has never been greater. Companies must be more efficient and effective in marketing their products and services due to changes in the biopharma industry (i.e., increased regulatory scrutiny), as well as customers becoming more self-directed and selective.

Customers will always be at the center of everything companies do, but with the explosion of social networking and technology, companies have to increase their non-personal interactions with innovative channels. But, coordinating all these channels can be challenging, so marketers need the proper tools and capabilities to be able to provide that seamless and positive customer experience. However, once marketers reach a customer are they understanding how they’re collecting the data and information about that customer to provide the intimacy needed to know about that customer?

This presentation discusses those challenges and shows how marketers can apply technology and insights for customer-centric marketing in the changing biopharma industry.

View presentation here.

Here’s to building a unicorn!

Written on May 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm by Carolina Facciani, Marketing Specialist at Appature – 1 comment

Recently our VP of Development, Derek Slager, presented at the Seattle Tech Meetup and even though the presentation was only 5 minutes long, he wanted to be sure he had the audience’s attention for the entirety of the 5 minutes. And so it began…he took the audience through some rough sketches to tell the story.

It started with an explanation of having absolutely no idea what they were going to do when they founded Appature in 2007. Mainly, the goal was to create a company that was super awesome to work at, but eventually they needed money. So…they thought, “let’s go find somebody with a problem that they’re willing to pay us to solve”. Appature built them the perfect solution in PowerPoint and it was everything they’d ever dreamed of…they bought into the perfect unicorn, but it wasn’t real yet.

And so, Appature set out to build this solution as quickly as possible. Not quite 24 hours quick, but close. The idea started off with just being a cool company to work at and now it was a company where things were created. But, they were bootstrapped and at times it meant doing things that you don’t actually want to do (you’ll have to see the video to see what Derek means by that!).

After securing venture funding, Appature invested in infrastructure, starting with a service that “takes queries, breaks them into fragments, stores the results, automatically merges them and keeps things up to date as data changes in the system”. Appature’s latest feature is called Journeys, a drag-and-drop graphic user interface that enables marketers to have one-on-one customer conversations that change with each interaction, as well as track results in real time. As Derek says, “it’s very, very cool”.

We were recently acquired by IMS Health – the leader in data in the healthcare space – and now we have an incredible opportunity to take our technology and the incredible data asset from IMS and do really new things. That also means we’re hiring! So, as Derek states as he begins to close his presentation, “we’ve done relationship marketing and we’ve created a great company to work at, but now with access to the incredible resources at IMS and their awesome data we have the chance to do really, really cool stuff in healthcare. We’ve got data, we’ve got technology…and now we need you.

Visit our website if you’re interested in exploring more about what we do and what we’re looking for.

© Appature Inc, 2009-2012