CL Takes SXSW - Day 2

Emotional vs Rational Marketing, Open Source Technology, Improving Culture at Work

Day Two was filled with another day of great programming. The range of topics included creating better customer journeys, AR/VR, challenges facing clinical trials and using volumetric motion capturing for immersive storytelling. To round things out our team split up and visited the experiential exhibit for Amazon’s upcoming show Good Omens, attended a taping of the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and a Featured Session by Howard Schultz. Ray also had his first ever cake pop. He ate it before we could take a photo :) 

Below is a deeper dive into a few of the sessions we attended.

A Psychologist and an Ad Guy Walk into a Campaign

SXSW Session: 
As marketers, we are all-to-often operating under the assumption that data moves people to make rational decisions. But more often than not – and whether or not they even realize it themselves – people make purchasing decisions based on emotional connections, feelings and perceptions. Marketing campaigns that leverage the core psychological principles behind these connections more effectively provoke action and engender greater loyalty between consumers and their brands and products.
Proctor & Gamble’s “Thank you, Mom” ad campaign is a sterling example of how to leverage the psychological concept of Availability Bias to make this connection. The ad focusses on one of the strongest and most fundamental relationships we have – our relationship with our moms. Through a series of warm, familiar scenes between children and their mothers, the ad conveys how the little, everyday moments of sacrifice and support our mothers provide help us overcome life’s challenges and allow us to become out best selves - perhaps even an Olympic athlete. Although most of us will never aspire to become an Olympic athlete, the connection is clear. What’s also clear – based on the success of the “Thank you, Mom” campaign – is that creating an emotional bond to sell diapers, batteries and laundry detergent is far more effective and has far more staying power than focusing on the utility of these products alone.
Pharma marketing is no different. We can often become single-minded in trying to convince HCPs and patients to believe in our products based on data, such as a treatment’s efficacy or safety profile, while ignoring the opportunity to create an emotional connection. Whether it is through a concierge patient support program or a tear-jerking ad campaign, making that emotional connection with our consumers is the only true way to ensure that our brands remain top of mind (or, better yet, heart).

Open source technology breaks through stagnation

SXSW Session: 

Through open source software and hardware, which is technology that can be modified and redistributed free of cost, you can breakthrough market stagnation and make substantial quality improvements in people’s lives. For example, someone who has diabetes needs to continually calculate their insulin intake, react to their body and measure blood glucose levels. Many have tried to solve this “control loop” problem, but it was largely done in isolation. There wasn’t significant progress until the internet enabled individuals to contribute and share their own creative solutions to various parts of the problem. People started hacking their medical devices to access the data, control them remotely, track their health metrics and more. 

Systematically integrating these advancements eventually led to open-source technologies like LoopKit and OpenAPS for the entire world to use and customize for themselves. Right now, these technologies can automatically detect small changes and make tiny adjustments to insulin – similar to how a self-driving car can stay in its lanes, but cannot make dramatic turns. However, none of it is FDA approved or being offered by providers. 

This is only one example of how open-source methodology can apply pressure on the market to make consequential steps in the right direction.

Microactions can make a big difference 

SXSW Session:   

A sense of belonging is what everyone needs to feel in a healthy emotional culture. Liz Fosslien shared four simple things that anyone at any organization can do to create them. She called them microactions. 

  • Pronounce and spell people’s names correctly. This is a small thing that makes a big difference. We can’t form human connections if we don’t know someone’s name.
  • Meet new people. Once a month grab coffee or lunch with someone outside your core team or competency. 
  • When someone joins the conversation, take a moment to bring them up to speed. This is especially true for introverts. 
  • If you notice someone getting cut off mid-sentence, make a point to jump in and ask them to continue sharing their thoughts. 

Culture is a huge part of any organization, but it’s especially important at closerlook. In a time of growth, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we ensure we don’t lose our culture. Implementing these microactions along with others from Liz and Mollie’s book No Hard Feelings Embracing Emotions are easy and can have a big impact on keeping the culture at closerlook.



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