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

What’s In Your Toolbox?

Posted by | 10:22am on Friday, August 14, 2009

When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail 

There’s an old saying: When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

It’s a wrong-headed approach, but a tempting one when solutions aren’t clear, and it’s too often the approach that is recommended to those looking for ways to reach audiences online. Companies that specialize in search are prone to thinking that no matter what the question is, Google is the answer. Those that are focused on social networking will tell you it’s Facebook or Twitter, and those that specialize in email and database management will tell you CRM is the solution.

But the truth, as usual, is a little more complex. Solutions have more to do with what you are trying to accomplish, than what tool you happen to have on hand. In order to reach your audience, you have to know who you are trying to reach, what their challenges are, where they look for information, what sorts of relationships they’re interested in, who they trust, and where they are spending their time online.

The solution may well be Facebook or Google or CRM or all of the above. Or it may be something else you haven’t thought of yet. But you won’t know which tool is best to use until you know the answers to all of those audience questions.

If you start with the determination to understand your audience and their needs, the how will become clear. And it’s highly likely that the how will involve your whole toolbox, not just the hammer.

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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.

View other posts from Wendy

  • http://www.friedmanandwexler.com marietta baglieri

    I so agree .. I grew up with a dad and brother who loved the hammer .. if it doesn’t work, bang on it ..

    I prefer to walk softly, do more listening than speaking, and assess the real need of what’s to be done ..

    The older buck and younger buck are stood at the top of the hill .. and the young buck sees all the females in the valley .. “let’s run down and get one!”, he says .. the older, wiser buck imparts his lesson .. “no, let’s WALK down, and get them all!”

    It’s all in the approach .. first, choose the toolbox carefully .. then, fill it with even MORE care .. and perhaps you need more than one tool box, for different purposes ..

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