Monday, July 27, 2009

Using Social Media in Health Sciences

It's no big secret -- marketers in the health sciences are certainly not pioneers in the field of social media marketing. To put it simply, marketers in the health sciences are control freaks and many of these marketers perceive social media as an evil marketing tool that requires them to forfeit all control of their product or brand. I understand the concern -- the health sciences are constantly being monitored by regulatory administrations like the FDA. Major pharmaceutical companies like Abbott, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson have a lot at stake if negative feedback is made public about their products.

****Newsflash, health marketers, SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT AS SCARY AS YOU THINK!****
(if you know how to use it properly)

The first step for marketers is to decide if your target audience is using social media and whether or not they will benefit from using social media. The perceptual map below was developed by Forrester Research and serves as a good gage as to whether or not your product might be a good fit in the realm of social media.

Remember though, KEEP YOUR INTENDED TARGET IN MIND! For example, individuals with diabetes might benefit from using social media, but their participation in social media is low. Or is it? Those with Type I Diabetes, or Juvenile Diabetes, are a much younger demographic and are much more active in social media than those with Type II Diabetes. So, while this map is a great starting off point, it is important to always keep your target audience in mind.

Once you've determined your target market and their rightful place on the Forrester perceptual map, it is time to decide how much you are willing to risk with social media. Below are three approaches Forrester Research suggests for using social media in the health sciences:

If social media still makes you nervous, no worries. Baby steps are just fine. In fact, it is a good idea to start out slow, measure your social media efforts and progress if things are going well. Give social media a chance and good luck with your efforts. Social media isn't going away anytime soon, so you might as well embrace it.

Look to these sites for inspiration:

To learn more about Forrester's research on social media and the health sciences, visit:
Follow-up: Similar Post from Ad Age (8/3/09)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Typography Pt. III: Graphic Design

After my last post, I have decided to leave the typographic design up to the professionals. Below is the work of London based type designer, Seb Lester. I love how the type design of the first two designs looks literal and very appropriate, while the last three are very ironic, hilarious and sarcastic. Who knew typography could be so fun?!

Typography Pt. II: Text Shape Assignment

I'm a little shy about putting my designs on display, but this is one assignment I'm fairly proud of. I haven't had much education in actual graphic design and I also created this assignment at a time when I was fairly new to Photoshop. There are certainly ways that I could have tweaked this design to improve the overall look and design, but I'm happy with the outcome and I enjoyed the assignment.


Make two designs in Photoshop. For each, choose 1 letter. Your task is to lose the letter’s textual identity. Treat it as a shape only. Use the letter as many times as you like, as large or as small as you like 20 layers minimum. Maximum of 1 color for a color grouping, otherwise, use grayscale.

One design will emphasize CONTINUATION. Create visual movement around the image, but keep it balanced. The other design will create 3 GROUPS based on 3 METHODS OF SIMILARITY. This design should also be well balanced. Make your designs INTERESTING to look at. But: DO NOT form your letters into any recognizable shapes, faces, creatures, etc.

Here they are...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Typography Pt. I: Helvetica

I do not for one second doubt my decision to go to DePaul University. I love my alma mater and I strongly believe that my college experience offered me some great opportunities that I would not have gotten anywhere else. With that being said, there are a few more courses that I wish the school had offered. In hindsight, I may not have sought out these said classes as well as I should have, but there are some fundamentals that I think the school misses out on. One such fundamental, especially for advertisers and graphic designers, is the use of typography.

I happened to have taken Animation 105: Introduction to Visual Design as one of my electives this past Spring as a means to familiarize myself better with Photoshop and Flash. In one class period we watched the documentary Helvetica by Gary Hustwit. This documentary examined the aesthetic and psychological appeal of specific typographies, particularly, Helvetica. It was an interesting documentary that I would certainly recommend to any advertiser, marketer or graphic designer. Watching that film made me realize what a strong, yet understated impact type-face can have on a particular product, signage, advertisement, etc.

She what designer Massimo vignelli has to say about typography and Helvetica:

Of course, you may be one of those people that completely disagrees with this documentary. If that is the case, this might be more your speed -- I Hate Helvetica. Apparently there are quite a following of Helvetica-haters!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guerilla Marketing: Airport Edition

This video clip demonstrates a clever way to reach a very targeted audience ... the business traveler. Jan, our Guerilla Guru, infiltrates the Hamburg Airport by offering free Wi-Fi networks named after advertising offers. Furthermore, the landing page leads the unsuspecting business traveler to an online advertisement or website for the particular product. Watch the video to see more:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Allow me to introduce myself -- I am a 2009 DePaul University graduate with a B.A. in PR and Advertising and minor in Marketing. I am interested in the idea of integrated marketing communication, and specifically, how to utilize the Internet and social media tools to achieve an cohesive message.

This past Winter I took MKT395, Interactive/Internet Marketing, and it really heightened my interest in the potential of the Internet. In this course we focused on SEO, banner ads, and affiliate marketing, as well as how to evaluate response metrics.

In MKT395 we also spent a significant amount of time covering current news topics related to Internet marketing. As a result, social media sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. came up regularly in conversation. When it came time for me to register for Spring classes, I was thrilled to see MKT398, Special Topics in Marketing: Social Media Marketing, so I could continue to learn about this up and coming industry.

I currently work as a marketing associate at a Chicago Interior Design firm. While I enjoy the work I I perform, I would prefer to work less in traditional marketing and more into Internet and social media marketing. Ideally, I would love to work as an interactive account coordinator and consult on ways that companies can utilize Internet and social media tools in addition to traditional marketing and communication strategies and tactics.

I am hoping that the knowledge I have gained from MKT395 and MKT398, as well as my experience from working as a marketing communications intern will help supplement my future career and increase my chances at acquiring a job in this industry.