Filed under: behavior, brands | Tags: business week, david allen, economy, product manager, time, workweek
As a product manager during these challenging economic times, you are probably faced with one or more of the following situations:
• Your budget has been cut
• Your staff has been cut
• Your forecast has not been cut
• You have more responsibilities than you did last year
• Your company did not get a government bailout
No matter what else they attempt to accomplish, it is also extremely unlikely that Congress and the new administration will add any hours to each day—24 is all you will get this year.
If you are like most of us, you are busier than you have ever been. You have a wireless card for your laptop and a smart phone grabbing all your emails around the clock. The only time you are unplugged is when you are flying somewhere (and even that will soon change). Your daily to-do list stares back at you at the end of day, mocking all your efforts to cross off just a few items.
What’s the solution? How about doing away with daily to-do lists?
Blasphemy, you say? Not so, says time management guru David Allen, the author of “Getting Things Done.” Allen suggests replacing the daily to do list with a “Next Action” list, divided by category and project. He says that the problem with daily to-do lists is they almost always contain items that really don’t have to get done that day. Tasks that must be done that day belong on your calendar—all other tasks should reside in the launch pad of your Next Action list. Allen’s system preaches that you should decide multiple times during the day which of these Next Actions are the best use of your time at that moment.
Allen even provides clever instructions on how to set up your Task function in Outlook to accommodate his system. Whether you use some of his system or all of it, the Getting Things Done model may help you gain a greater sense of control over the long list of tasks that you face.
Business Week editor Ellen Joan Pollock recently underwent a David Allen Co. individual coaching session and set her goal as “10 extra hours in my week.” Impossible? Not according to the GTD system. Failure to make decisions about tasks and projects can be incredibly time-consuming. Once the system is in place, 10 hours of newly-found time is quite conceivable. Evidence of Pollock’s inefficient system was her in-box of over 6,000 emails.
These ideas may sound radical, but let’s face it—is your current system working well? If not, it may be time for some radical thinking. Let’s see…does banning to-do lists require Congressional approval?
- Ed Leon
Filed under: advertising, brands, pharmaceutical marketing | Tags: app, Big Pharma, doctor, healthcare, iPhone, ipod, J&J, manhattan research, medical app, pharma, pharmaceutical app, physician, smart phone
The iPod app store has topped 1 billion downloads in just nine months. And during the last 12 weeks, the medical category, although small, was the 3rd fastest growing application segment (a 132.9% change). This type of growth is understandable when you look at the latest numbers from Manhattan Research which show that physician use of smart phones has jumped to 64% in 2009.
Apple has even targeted healthcare use with the iPhone through the introduction of its new 3.0 operating system, which allows for easier development of application programing interfaces (API). J&J has already taken advantage of the new OS with their LifeScan application, but where is the rest of Big Pharma? Developers are waiting for your call.
Watch the iPhone 3.0 OS presentation here.
Filed under: brands | Tags: advertising, agency, Big Pharma, brands, ideas, marketing, product manager
I once started working for a Commercial Vice President at a large pharma company who told me he kept a yellow sticky note on his bathroom mirror where he could see it every morning. The note had one word on it: “PUSH!” After I had spent several months in my new position, I understood the reason for this daily reminder. In any organization, good ideas will never be developed and executed without someone relentlessly pushing them every day.
As a pharma product manager, you have certainly experienced this first hand. No matter how brilliant your idea, somebody in your company (or multiple somebodies) will tell you that your idea is:
• Too risky
• Too expensive
• Not a high priority
• Too early
• Too late
• In need of more consideration
• In need of revision
Today’s pharma business model depends on ideas and projects being subject to the consensus opinion of stakeholders. Unfortunately, your team of stakeholders includes talented, well-meaning colleagues and supervisors whose job it is to throw cold water on your idea, or at least modify it beyond recognition. Even if your idea survives the consensus test, you soon realize that it is your priority, and often yours alone.
This sets up the next problem—ideas, like stalled cars, have inertia. Unless they are pushed continuously, they stop moving. Once they stop, it takes much more energy to get them moving again than if you hadn’t stop pushing in the first place. But enough amateur physics—the point is that the progress of an idea, even a great one, will grind to a halt unless it has a champion. That champion is you, the product manager.
It’s tempting to play it safe, to only push projects that are likely to have consensus and not ruffle any feathers. But the safe path is only an illusion—in the end, you will primarily be held accountable for the success of your brand, not how well you avoided conflict with stakeholders.
So keep thinking big! Work with your agency to develop great ideas. Be bold and challenge your stakeholders to do the same. And keep that sticky note where you can see it every morning.
Filed under: brands | Tags: advertising, brand, breakthrough, clutter, creative, impact, impression, innovative, marketing
Especially when it’s memorable. Impact, stopping power, memorability, recall factor, name recognition, clutter-cutting, etc. You hear the buzz words all the time when trying to create that ‘it’ campaign. But how much does breakthrough creative move the needle for your brand? Toxel.com had a post during the summer about 20 brilliant creative ideas for 2008. Judge for yourself here.