A blog exploring pharmaceutical relationship marketing, emarketing and innovation with a focus on rare disorders.
The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

No One Cares About You

Posted by | 2:09pm on Friday, August 15, 2008

Marketing isn't about pure selling anymore. It's about providing value, establishing a relationship built on trust, and then becoming their resource for the product. 


No one cares about you – they care about themselves and what you can do for them.

That is the big lesson for the shift in marketing over the past 10 years. Online marketing is not about getting attention by having the most creative concepts. It’s about having the most creative strategies. And that requires a whole new approach.

If you build a beautiful branded website all about your product, they won’t come. The whole model is not about reach and frequency – it’s all search engine optimization. You have to attract them to your site, engage them while they are there by answering their questions and get them to return by providing real value.

As Josh Klein so clearly said in his blog about television:

“The internet wasn’t built for businesses, it was built to share information, first for the military and later for academics. Business has grown out of this original purpose, but it wasn’t the intention…

The web is not a passive medium. It’s built for engagement.

Why do companies insist on putting up brochureware websites, then wonder why nobody is visiting? Who gave them the right to take up valuable cognitive space without providing anything of value? This brings us back to the line that got axed from my presentation.

‘Nobody cares about you.’”

Along the same lines David Meerman Scott makes a good point — you must create instead of interrupt. From a Marketing Over Coffee podcast he did a few weeks ago:

You truly have to think differently than you ever have before, if you’ve been a marketer or PR person throughout your whole career.

So many people have an idea of what marketing and public relations is. Marketing is typically advertising and you interrupt people and you coerce them to do something. And PR is you convince a handful of journalists to talk about your stuff. Everything we’re talking about here is about creating something interesting that doesn’t talk about your product and service – no one cares about your product and service – but gets an idea across.”

Gatorade created an entertaining video that went viral – almost half a million views on YouTube alone – where their product is shown for a total of two seconds and never mentioned.

Likewise, hometown newspaper The Chicago Tribune could have spent money on advertising, but instead invested in social media to interact with their audience. Instead of interrupting their readers, they chose to work with them. The result? More relevant news articles, important tips from readers, and an 8% increase in pageviews.

Caring only about yourself and your product doesn’t work. Providing value does.

If your marketing department is sitting around thinking of new ways to interrupt people – dreaming up jingles, traditional advertising, etc. – they are seriously misusing their time and energy (and your money!). Marketing isn’t about pure selling anymore. It’s about providing value, establishing a relationship built on trust, and then becoming their resource for the product.

What is your marketing agency doing to attract your customers, engage them in a dialog, and then retain their business? If they don’t use words like “listening,” “research,” and “conversation,” you should be concerned.

No one cares about you and that’s OK. Just attract, engage, and retain.

About Wendy White

Since founding Siren Interactive in 1999, Wendy has been recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of niche pharma brands, patient empowerment and online marketing. Her vision for how the internet can facilitate interactions and provide crucial information that patients, caregivers and their healthcare providers previously struggled to find has propelled Siren to the forefront of relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies.

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  • http://www.roninmarketeer.com John Wall

    My new favorite is the “Where The Hell is Matt” video, a fantastic campaign.

    Thanks for listening!

  • http://www.lifesaresort.com Charles Labitan

    Great blog. I couldn’t agree more. Consumers are tired of “in your face” type of marketing tactics. Also, for smaller companies, the cost of advertising and/or hiring a PR firm is too high with no assurances on ROI ad/pr spend. That is why we created a webportal using an easy to use social media platform from Ning. Our http://www.lifesaresort.com website is a “looking site” for travel, not even a booking site. We aggregate travel content and provide them for free in an easy to access format. The Web 2.0 social media aspect allows travelers to join and share their experiences with others. Why did we do this? its a non-intrusive and inexpensive way to promote our brand (as a sponsor). The content is free and of value to travelers. By providing relevant resort travel content, the viewers will tell their friends and so on and so on (viral marketing). And if they happen to see or click our Ana Romano Swimwear logo, it increases market awareness for our resort and swimwear products. For $39 a month service fee and a few hours a week aggregating content, you can’t beat it.
    C. Labitan, http://www.lifesaresort.com (beta).

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