What beverage fuels creativity?

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Coffee vs. Beer

They say that there is no guide to creating great ideas… But maybe there is an order for one.

In some recent studies, coffee and beer were tested to determine which beverage is a better aid for idea creation. You might think that coffee, having a distinct correlation with work, would have the upper hand. But there’s a reason why some great ideas start on cocktail napkins, and lots of people have had moments of pub-based brilliance.

The Winner is…. 

When consumption was unlimited, both beverages showed very negative effects on creativity. But with a little structure (2 pints of beer and normal coffee consumption) one drink showed a significant advantage toward idea creation. It was beer.

Something to savor

Beer may have won the creativity contest, but the study showed that coffee worked best for the execution of the idea. Beer may be an author, but coffee is the editor that put projects in motion.

See the full infographic here and share with us what sparks creativity for you!

5 healthy marketing practices

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Healthcare: It’s the largest single business sector in the US – and the world

Yet most of the players in the field have never really had to communicate with consumers through traditional marketing channels (except for Big Pharma). Hospitals and insurers are leading the charge but we can expect many more players on the field soon. Here are a handful of what we think are key guidelines for entering the space of healthcare marketing.

1. Health care is about being local
National brands like Humana, Aetna, and United Healthcare may have girth, but they still need to forge trust and build loyalty with customers. Any healthcare entity entering the marketplace should know that healthcare consumers need the reassurance of feeling that the brand they engage with has a steady, local presence. That means site content that’s sensitive to geography and demographics. It means advertising through geo-targeted networks. Hey, it could even mean sponsoring a Little League team.

2. Playing the numbers game
As the consumer marketplace for healthcare evolves, insurers, hospitals, and group practices will be marketing their performance with statistics. It’s not clear what federal agency (if any) will regulate this area, so marketers should stay strictly open and transparent about what they claim and how they substantiate it. Truth and transparency – especially in medical marketing – is a value consumers can build trust upon. It’s also the easiest thing to remember.

3. Build on your core
One thing we believe strongly is this: The NPS – or Net Promoter Score, which is based on the question “Would you recommend (X) to a freind?”- will be critical. Many resort and service clients use this as the gold standard of consumer loyalty, and it will likely be relevant in healthcare. The endorsement of a friend regarding a doctor, a hospital, a pharmaceutical, or a surgical procedure will carry significant weight. This is why marketers should not lose focus on their existing base of consumers.

4. Social Healthcare Marketing: 5 must-haves
We are all bracing for how healthcare marketing, fully unleashed, will operate in social media. Clients who believe the space is a viable platform for 2-way consumer communications need 5 things:

1. A policy in place that clearly defines rules of engagement – so everyone is on the same page.
2. An internal team structure for managing workload – allocate hours/week and designate decision makers.
3. A content strategy – rooted in reality (things of interest, news, advice, and what you can realistically source or author).
4. A content calendar – forecasting 12 months of enagement.
5. Pepto Bismol – for those difficult days.

Be prepared for low engagement at first, and cling to this cliché: What’s worthwhile is often difficult.

5. Sometimes it hurts
Before the Surpreme Court ruled on Obamacare, Aetna, Humana and United Healthcare committed to adhere to key provisions of the law, regardless of how the ruling turned out. It’s a good example of 2 things: Strong loyalty-building among consumers, and creating a powerful differentiator in the marketplace. We recognize those policies are business decisions. But they appear to be good marketing decisions too. Transparency and sacrifice come with a cost.

As always, we’re ready to discuss it over a healthy beverage!

Making the most of B2B trade show contacts

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Your pre-show prep is set

You arrive with confidence. The booth looks great. Brochures are printed. The site is looking good and working well. Time for some boot-on-the-ground reminders for game day.

Review priorities.

Trade shows are a maze of logistics, production, and human contact. It’s easy to reach the day of the show and have forgotten why you’re there. Gather your team and review and remind them what the goals of the show are. Here’s a hit parade to get you focused.

– Obtain leads or clients
– Develop relationships with existing clients
– Branding
– Educating people about your company and products
– To support your industry or the people throwing the event
– For the fun and enjoyment of the team attending the event (i.e. “a junket”)
– Recruiting
– Courting investors

Remember – it’s okay to have multiple goals, but be clear about the priorities, so tactics stay tuned in to strategies.

Staff with experts

A trade show is no place for 2nd teamers. Staff the show with the best-informed, best-looking, best-sounding people you have. Review basics with them: body language, key product messages, data capture, and not getting preoccupied with your phone.

Strong signage

Create signage that is easy to notice, easy to read, and and quickly tells your attendee why they want to learn more about you. Make your message delivery about the core value that you bring– not a list of what you sell.

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Our client Vetus/Maxwell does a great job setting up their booth with easy to read signage and product samples.

Limit the literature

Lose a lot of the full-color brochures and build a 1-sheeter. Anyone checking out your booth is either coming from or going to another company’s. Make it easy and fast for them to understand why they should be interested in your company. Nothing wrong with beautiful brochures – but they should go to top prospects and people who ask.

Get attendee info

You never know what stage of the buying cycle an attendee is in. That comes down to talented sales, marketing, and product people doing their jobs.

But even if a tire-kicker stops by, do everything possible to capture their data. You can enter it via a mobile device – or create a simple sign-in sheet. Be a little shameless. Make entering your booth conditional on sharing a business card, for example. And follow-up religiously with every contact. A simple thank you will do.

Chime in with some of your favorite tricks. We’re all ears. And have a look at our Tricks of the Trade Show Part 1.