Pre_Scribed Series Chapter 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan


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This webinar is focused on selection criteria for choosing partners and vendors, enacting a detailed task analysis, and developing measurable objectives.

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  • Heading: About VodoriSubheading: Strategy, Creative, and Technology for Full Lifecylce
  • Strategy:Branding, business objectives analysis and alignmentCompetitive analysisUser needs and persona developmentSearch Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Email marketing campaign managementSocial media marketingOnline content planning, development and publishingAnalytics, targeting and trackingTechnologySystem integrationContent managementCustom application developmentCreative
  • Pre_Scribed Series Chapter 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan

    1. 1. 6 doses for a healthy global online marketing launch<br />Webinar 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />Presented by: Rob DeMento & Matt Helf — March 30, 2011<br />Questions? Reach out:<br />via Twitter @Pre_Scribed<br /> via email at<br />Pre_Scribed is a webinar series sponsored by:<br />
    2. 2. Webinar Series Overview<br />6 Modules about Developing a Successful Online Marketing Program for Biotech, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Companies<br />Please stay in touch with us through Twitter by following us @Pre_Scribed and also by checking our Pre_Scribed page ( for updates.<br />1<br />Define Goals for Your Global Online Marketing Program<br />2<br />Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan<br />3<br />Design Content to Fit Your Goals<br />4<br />Coordinate your Channels<br />5<br />Implement Your Program<br />6<br />Evaluate Your Success, Maintain Momentum, and Grow Your Program<br />Step 2: Find Partners and Devise a Game Plan<br />March 30, 2011 | 2<br />
    3. 3. About Vodori<br />Understand: <br /><ul><li>current interactive portfolio
    4. 4. business objectives
    5. 5. user needs
    6. 6. competitive landscape </li></ul>To create a plan for relationship building online<br />Create: <br /><ul><li>wireframes
    7. 7. visual design
    8. 8. content for all written and visual media</li></ul>To cohesively express brand personality online<br />FULL LIFECYCLESUPPORT<br />Apply:<br /><ul><li>Vodori methodology coupled with best-in-class technologies </li></ul>To build the online presence<br />Provide:<br /><ul><li>training
    9. 9. ongoing support
    10. 10. online marketing program management (SEM, Social Media, etc.)</li></ul>To ensure continued success<br />Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 3<br />
    11. 11. 10 Steps for Finding Agency Partners & Developing a Game Plan <br />Today’s presentation:<br /><ul><li>Content density is high</li></ul>This compilation knowingly breaks every PowerPoint presentation rule. It is intended to provide a written playbook to assist in the Agency selection process.<br /><ul><li>Based on collective experience</li></ul>Assembled based on many years of experience in dealing with diverse clients and their selection processes as well as best practices we’ve observed in our clients’ arsenals.<br /><ul><li>What this document is not: all-encompassing</li></ul>There are certainly criteria and considerations we may have overlooked that are specific to your process. But we hope to have included many of the considerations you’ll want to take into account as you search for your Agency.<br /><ul><li>Also included:</li></ul>How you can help your Agency respond<br />Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 4<br />
    12. 12. The 10 Steps <br />Assemble your Agency Selection Team<br />Identify your Objectives, Potential Initiatives, & Goals<br />Make an Inventory of Existing Capabilities<br />Select your Candidates<br />Evaluate Capabilities and Roadblocks<br />Evaluate Portfolios and Reputations<br />Evaluate the Team and Working Relationship<br />Make your Agency Selection<br />Establish a Game Plan and Set Milestones<br />Revisit your Plan Early and Often<br />Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 5<br />
    13. 13. About Today’s Presenters: Rob DeMento & Matt Helf<br />Rob DeMento: As the head of Vodori's Strategy practice, Rob helps clients develop immediately-actionable plans in interactive media. Rob's work includes online strategic planning, online promotion (Search Engine Optimization and Marketing), user needs and persona development, business needs analysis, web analytics, and offline business integration. Rob has a breadth of experience across diverse industries, with depth in the medical device and biotechnology verticals. Rob holds an MBA and in his "former life" he was an IP attorney at an international law firm where he assisted clients with patent litigation, prosecution, and transactional matters.<br />Matt Helf: Matt is the Strategic Web Marketing Manager for the AMA Insurance Agency. He has over nine years of experience in the health and wellness industries and has played integral roles in company re-branding efforts and coordinating the online and offline channels. He has experience with online strategic plan development and identifying the necessary tactics to increase brand awareness and online presence, such as SEO/SEM, website analytics and social media.   <br /> <br />Our Work Together: Rob and Matt have worked together for 18 months, developing and executing the AMA Insurance Agency’s online strategy. Through their combined efforts the AMA Insurance Agency/Vodori Team has successfully implemented a number of high value changes to existing web properties, including impactful updates to content and site infrastructure, effective SEO updates, and a far-reaching SEM campaign. Their teams are currently working together to spearhead the AMA Insurance Agency’s foray into Social Media. <br />Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 6<br />
    14. 14. (1) Assemble Your Agency Selection Team <br />Assemble your Agency selection team with the following guidelines: <br /><ul><li>Avoid making an Agency selection in isolation - enlist colleagues that will eventually be working with your Agency to assist in the process.
    15. 15. Depending on the scope of your initiative and decision-making authority, consider including appropriate team members from the following functional areas:
    16. 16. Marketing
    17. 17. Sales
    18. 18. Information Technology
    19. 19. Finance (?)
    20. 20. Other functional areas as needed
    21. 21. Best practice for creating a manageable selection team:
    22. 22. Assemble a smaller core team comprised of 2-3 individuals for initial vetting process
    23. 23. Final round evaluation should be based on smaller core team recommendations
    24. 24. Final round should include entire team with all key decision makers participating
    25. 25. Your organization may have an established Request for Proposal (“RFP”) procedure; if that is the case then follow company guidelines for the RFP Process as it pertains to your selection team. (*Note that a “formal” RFP Process is not necessarily required in the Agency selection process.) </li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 7<br />
    26. 26. (2) Identify your Objectives, Potential Initiatives, & Goals<br />Depending on the current business state, objectives may fall within a wide spectrum. For the purposes of Pre_Scribed, assume we are launching a presence that is either brand new or a significant upgrade from the existing presence:<br /><ul><li>Business objectives. These include such things as:
    27. 27. Support for offline marketing initiatives
    28. 28. Grow product awareness among patients and physicians
    29. 29. Market education and/or growth of market-willingness
    30. 30. Provide informational resources for patients and doctors
    31. 31. Digital initiatives. These include such things as:
    32. 32. A .com presence through branded product site or unbranded disease-state site
    33. 33. Social media presence
    34. 34. Content re-crafting for an existing site
    35. 35. Goals - key website metrics:
    36. 36. CONVERSION: Request for Information, sign-up for market-willing database, etc.
    37. 37. Visitors: Unique visitors; returning visitors, etc.
    38. 38. Site metrics: Time on site, time on specific pages, pageviews, etc.
    39. 39. Goals - Social Media metrics:
    40. 40. Twitter “Followers”; number of tweets; number of retweets
    41. 41. Facebook “Friends” or “Fans”; number of “Likes”; number of “Shares”</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 8<br />
    42. 42. (3) Make an Inventory of Existing Capabilities<br />Early in the process it is important to identify your company/brand’s existing capabilities. As a team you’ll need to complete a self-inventory to determine which tactics you’ll be handling internally, which tactics you’ll be handing off to existing Agency relationships, and which items will be assigned to your new Agency. This exercise helps to pair your needs with Agency capabilities. Some areas to consider include:<br /><ul><li>Content development: copywriting, image production/selection, Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) etc.
    43. 43. Ongoing site updates and content changes
    44. 44. Hosting and day-to-day website operations
    45. 45. Technical application development capabilities
    46. 46. Technical support
    47. 47. Ongoing site-related promotion: Search Engine Marketing (SEM), eNewsletters, etc.
    48. 48. Analytics: measuring site traffic and SEM/SEO effectiveness
    49. 49. Social Media content creation and monitoring</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 9<br />
    50. 50. (4) Select your Candidates<br />Selecting your list of Agency candidates is challenging but it does not need to be an impossible process. Here are just a few recommendations on how to create your list:<br /><ul><li>Recommendations from colleagues, past and present
    51. 51. Recommendations from former classmates
    52. 52. Recommendations from other divisions within your company
    53. 53. Seek recommendations through your online networks (e.g., Linked In and Facebook)
    54. 54. Industry meetings and trade shows: talk to the competition!
    55. 55. National business journals
    56. 56. National Agency publications with significant digital coverage (e.g., Advertising Age)
    57. 57. Local business journals (in Chicago, Crain’s for example)
    58. 58. Sites you like: if possible, find out who assisted with the development
    59. 59. Generalized online search: through the web and social media channels</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 10<br />
    60. 60. (5a) Evaluate Functional Capabilities<br />The criteria that you use to evaluate Agency capabilities will depend on the depth and breadth of your marketing initiative and what you’ll need to support your launch. Here are some of the functional capabilities you’ll want to evaluate (as categorized by Vodori):<br />Strategy<br />Technology<br />Creative<br /><ul><li>Branding & Identity
    61. 61. Visual design
    62. 62. Illustration
    63. 63. Wireframes
    64. 64. Copywriting
    65. 65. Video
    66. 66. User Experience Design (UX)
    67. 67. Information Architecture
    68. 68. Heuristics Analysis
    69. 69. Persona development and application
    70. 70. Mood boards
    71. 71. Color theory
    72. 72. System integration
    73. 73. Content management
    74. 74. Custom app development
    75. 75. Mobile app development
    76. 76. Front end development
    77. 77. Hosting
    78. 78. Security
    79. 79. Monitoring
    80. 80. IT Governance
    81. 81. Performance Analysis
    82. 82. PCI/HIPAA Compliance
    83. 83. Branding & Identity
    84. 84. Business objectives analysis
    85. 85. Competitive analysis
    86. 86. User needs & persona development
    87. 87. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    88. 88. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    89. 89. Email marketing
    90. 90. Social media marketing
    91. 91. Online content planning, development and publishing
    92. 92. Analytics
    93. 93. Targeting and tracking</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 11<br />
    94. 94. (5b) Evaluate Agency Capabilities and Potential Roadblocks<br />In addition to the functional criteria identified in the previous slide, there are other less-tangible capabilities and potential roadblocks you’ll want to evaluate. Here are some additional capabilities and issues to consider:<br /><ul><li>Industry expertise: has the Agency ever worked in healthcare before?
    95. 95. Geography: If your project is multilingual and international in scope, does the Agency have a multicultural, multilingual track record?
    96. 96. Technological platforms in use:
    97. 97. Web and mobile
    98. 98. Content Management System(s)
    99. 99. Open Source vs. Proprietary vs. Mix – does it matter to you?
    100. 100. Potential business conflicts with existing client base
    101. 101. Multiple agencies: if your new Agency will be working closely with an existing bench of Agency talent, do they have a track record of doing so successfully?
    102. 102. Company certifications
    103. 103. Agency size: do you matter?
    104. 104. Geographic proximity
    105. 105. Budget: To the extent it is possible to determine in the early stage, will the Agency be capable of delivering the results you seek within your budgetary constraints?</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 12<br />
    106. 106. (6) Evaluate Portfolios and Reputations<br />An Agency’s prior work and client relationships are indicative of its quality. Review previous work and examine existing client relationships. <br /><ul><li>The Agency’s work should be reflective of their overall strategy, technology, and creative capabilities. Examine:
    107. 107. The Agency’s own site
    108. 108. Their clients’ sites
    109. 109. Results in other relevant areas (e.g., SEM or eNewsletter campaigns)
    110. 110. Request case studies of completed work
    111. 111. Explore how the Agency measures its successes and compare to your objectives. Do they measure success in number of new ideas?...Or rather service? Process? Results?
    112. 112. Attempt to uncover details about the Agency’s existing client relationships.
    113. 113. Does the Agency have long-term clients?
    114. 114. Do you know of clients that have left the Agency? If so, why?
    115. 115. Ask for references to confirm:
    116. 116. Reliability
    117. 117. Timeliness with deliverables
    118. 118. The Agency is a trusted partner with envelope-pushing ideas and not just an executor</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 13<br />
    119. 119. (7) Evaluate the Team and Working Relationship<br />Even more important than vetting the Agency’s capabilities and prior work is evaluating the actual team that you will be working with. These are criteria that you can tease out during the evaluation process but also explicitly question:<br /><ul><li>Examine communications during the Agency evaluation period. Does the responsiveness and attention give you confidence that you will be a valued client?
    120. 120. Are you meeting the people that are going to be on “your” team?
    121. 121. Leadership: who will be your main points of contact? Are you confident in them?
    122. 122. Communication plan:
    123. 123. Weekly team status checks and updates?
    124. 124. Bi-weekly or monthly analytics reporting? Or whatever frequency you desire?
    125. 125. Transparency:
    126. 126. Does the Agency utilize phase-gating to enable ongoing recalibration as necessary?
    127. 127. Will the Agency provide you with appropriate logins (e.g. Analytics, AdWords, etc.)?
    128. 128. Is the team capable of creating, articulating and defending a point of view?
    129. 129. Does the Agency clearly foster growth and development of its own employees?
    130. 130. Chemistry:
    131. 131. Are you excited to work and learn from these people?
    132. 132. Would you be excited to share a beverage of choice with these people?</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 14<br />
    133. 133. (8) Make your Agency Selection<br />You’ve compiled your final list of agencies and are interviewing your finalists. Through a multi-faceted screening process and review, here are some final considerations in making your Agency choice:<br /><ul><li>The final selection process should include a variety of activities for each Agency:
    134. 134. Agency pitches, presentations, and Q & A sessions
    135. 135. Review of Agency portfolios
    136. 136. Interviews with key team members from each Agency
    137. 137. Agency case study reviews
    138. 138. Reference checks (if provided)
    139. 139. Treat the selection process as if it is the more complex version of a final interview for an employee
    140. 140. While Agency selection is not scientific, you should make your selection based on empirical evidence related to your assembled team’s findings regarding:
    141. 141. The Agency that has the best capabilities to fit your overarching goals and objectives
    142. 142. Chemistry: what “feels right” based on your meetings with the Agency team
    143. 143. The Agency’s ability to execute on budget and within a suitable timeframe
    144. 144. The Agency that will continue to meet your ongoing promotional and support needs</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 15<br />
    145. 145. (9) Establish a Game Plan and Set Milestones <br />You’ve selected your agency. Now it’s time to get down to work. Here are some initial items you’ll want to consider as you move forward:<br /><ul><li>Establish roles and responsibilities between your team and the Agency team
    146. 146. Consider hosting an all-day strategic kickoff:
    147. 147. Team building opportunity between your team and newly-hired Agency
    148. 148. Create an immediately-actionable short-term plan covering first fiscal quarter
    149. 149. Develop a preliminary long-term plan that provides year-long guidance
    150. 150. Develop a finalized (and itemized) budget
    151. 151. Set goals for your online marketing initiatives
    152. 152. Create a Statement of Work that enables the initial phases
    153. 153. Establish a content update and publication schedule for initial and immediate updates </li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 16<br />
    154. 154. (10) Revisit Your Plan Early and Often<br />Take advantage of your new working relationship with your Agency to set a precedent regarding expectations. Take the opportunity to get to know their team even better before high-pressure situations have an opportunity to present themselves. Make sure to seek updates early and often from the Agency team. In addition, consider requesting the following:<br /><ul><li>Frequent analytics reports (if applicable)
    155. 155. Weekly team status meetings (at least initially)
    156. 156. Revisit both your short term and long term plans frequently during initial launch period
    157. 157. Request occasional in-person meetings to continue to develop the personal relationship
    158. 158. Ask for budget status and any revised expectations on a monthly basis
    159. 159. Review invoices closely during first three months and have any “frank” conversations early in the process in an effort to avoid any future misunderstandings</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 17<br />
    160. 160. A Client’s Perspective on What Really Matters<br />These are some of the reasons why our clients choose Vodori. These same reasons should be be applicable to all agencies:<br /><ul><li>Having a full bench of personnel across disciplines to fill out the client team roster
    161. 161. Access to all levels in the organization: from junior-most designer to company president
    162. 162. Unique combination of agility and process
    163. 163. Meaningful and constant communication
    164. 164. Delivery of tangible results
    165. 165. The ability to think strategically and then go execute tactically
    166. 166. Responsiveness and a feeling that the work matters to Vodori
    167. 167. The ability to not only recognize market opportunities but also the ability to act
    168. 168. A relationship that feels more like a true partnership
    169. 169. An understanding of and facility in developing a brand strategy
    170. 170. An understanding of the need for cross-channel coordination between the offline world and its online counterpart
    171. 171. One-stop shopping
    172. 172. Pricing
    173. 173. Chemistry</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 18<br />
    174. 174. Help your Agency Candidates Better Respond to Your Needs<br />Good agencies will put a lot of time and effort in responding to your requests. In some cases they prepare speculative creative work at their own expense (and at the request of the client). There are a number of ways that clients can help their agency candidates be more relevant in responding to their needs. Here are a few recommendations on helping your potential partners:<br /><ul><li>A well-defined RFP can go a long way in helping your Agency candidates to respond to your marketing needs. From the agency perspective, a well-crafted RFP has the following attributes:
    175. 175. Specificity: As much detail around requirements as possible
    176. 176. Brevity: 10 page maximum
    177. 177. Concise: The RFP should be direct and to the point
    178. 178. Candor: Open dialogue about what the client doesn’t know
    179. 179. Restrictions: brand guidelines or other limitations?
    180. 180. Technical Requirements: Any “must haves” or “can’t haves”?
    181. 181. Make sure that you’re accessible and overly-responsive during the RFP process
    182. 182. Provide details around what the process will entail
    183. 183. For pitches on large projects that will entail speculative creative work at your request, consider reimbursing RFP participants for at least some of their work</li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 19<br />
    184. 184. Thank You!<br />Ask questions:<br />via Twitter to @Pre_Scribed<br /><ul><li>via email at</li></ul>To learn more about this series, visit:<br /> further information about this presentation, contact:Rob DeMento<br /><ul><li></li></ul>Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan <br />March 30, 2011 | 20<br />