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The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Micro-Targeting Health at SXSW

Posted by | 4:04pm on Monday, March 21, 2011

We use micro-targeting: focusing on a specific audience and establishing a direct relationship with them 

Last week I was fortunate to be one of the 19.364 geeks who attended the interactive portion of South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. One of the key themes that emerged for me was micro-targeting.

Working in rare diseases, we are always targeting very small subsets of patients, caregivers, physicians, etc.  We use micro-targeting: focusing on a specific audience and establishing a direct relationship with them. It’s the focus of quality over quantity – having a deep relationship with a small, but very important, group.

I heard Greg Verdino talk about his book, MicroMarketing: Get Big Results by Thinking & Acting Small, and it was interesting to see how this micro-targeted approach is now successfully being used for larger brands, such as the Ford Fiesta campaign. He first explained that we have moved from mass communication to masses of communications: “Your audience has an audience because they are creating content.” In response to this huge communication shift, Verdino recommended moving from reach to relationships. This resonated for me because that’s the approach we take at Siren.

He recommended finding the “micromavens” and turning them into enthusiasts who will inspire and elevate your brand. For me, it corresponded to finding and enabling patient ambassadors to increase disease and brand awareness.

Verdino’s message was, “Think and act small, because in the era of microcontent and microcultures the biggest marketing opportunities lie not in the one big thing but in lots and lots of small things.” It was an interesting application of the long tail search concept.

This also ties in with another SXSW theme: local targeting and geotargeting. See a previous post on geotargeting to learn more about FourSquare.

SXSW Health
It was also the first year that there was a health track at the event (thanks to work done by Shwen Gwee and Dana Lewis among others). For me there were two themes during the health sessions: behavior change and data transparency. I’ll explore these in an upcoming blog so check back.

(Image courtesy of Eileen O’Brien.)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

5 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    21 March 2011 at 9:03pm
    #sxsw post re microtargeting ...
  • Eileen O'Brien
  • 21 March 2011 at 9:03pm
    nice application of long-tail ...
  • Ellen Hoenig Carlson
  • 21 March 2011 at 9:03pm
    RT @ellenhoenig: nice application of ...
  • Chris Iafolla
  • 21 March 2011 at 10:03pm
    RT @ellenhoenig: nice application of ...
  • April Foreman
  • 23 March 2011 at 3:03am
    @eileenobrien loved the insights ...
  • Harvey Brofman
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