Marketing is a powerful tool.
Just ask any global drug company.
It is their primary tool that underwrites the evidence base for their patented drugs.
It’s a powerful tool to build cultural awareness, so that makes it a great tool for introducing the concepts that will take us down the pathway for a new paradigm pharmacy.
Leadership with a dash of charisma and a marketing plan can take charge in this current climate of uncertainty.
What can we do and how can we do it?
So why can’t our principal leadership organisations subtract a small part of their marketing budget and direct it internally, to let the troops know you are there, and share some ideas as to where your leadership role is taking you, and by association, the troops as well.
I notice that the AuspharmList Bulletin Board has now been absorbed by the Australian Journal of Pharmacy (AJP).
But I also noticed one thought leader commenting that not one leader of an Australian leadership organisation has expressed a view, a thought or a commentary on any activity, except for Anthony Tassone, who fills in for the PGA, and Jarrod McMaugh, who does a similar job for the PSA – both articulate commentators and both obviously on the road to higher leadership responsibilities.
With the AJP being pharmacy’s journal of record, and now taking control of the AuspharmList bulletin board, it may now be acceptable for the ethereal and shadowy leaders to emerge and share some thoughts with the “infantry” – you know, the troops already stationed in the front line and waiting expectantly.
If you don’t come out of your isolation you will not earn the respect of your members who are then entitled to ask, “What do you actually do?”
Ask yourself the same question, “What do I do?”
If you can’t answer the question then ask somebody else “What should I do?”
If you ask from the right source you might get a good answer.
The troops really haven’t got a clue as to what to do and how to do it.
Answers are scattered all over the place but it takes a leader to rally the troops and lead with a clear purpose.
Something out of the box may cause stimulation and rally the troops.
i2P frequently asks Seth Godin what he would do and he always satisfies with a good answer.
Self awareness in the face of marketing
“I know that this expensive herbal tincture homeopathic remedy is merely an expensive placebo. But I’ll take it anyway, because placebos work.”
A friend used to wear a fur coat in the winter, telling me that it was the only thing that kept her warm. Of course, if the goal was warmth, she’d probably be better off wearing it inside out.
We buy luxury goods, take placebos and engage in all sorts of actions that aren’t going to hold up under the rational analysis of a double-blind study. But they work because we want them to. And often, we want them to because of marketing.
We end up conflating the things we believe with the powerful marketing that got us to believe those things. We feel like questioning the role of marketing is somehow questioning who we are and what we hold dear.
Mostly, marketing is what we call it when someone else is influenced by a marketer.
When we’re influenced, though, it’s not marketing, it’s a smart choice.
Do you use that toothpaste because they ran ads that resonated with you, or because you think it actually makes your teeth whiter?
It doesn’t have to be this way… The thing is, placebos work even if you’re smart enough to know that they’re placebos.
Are there primary voters who say, “I know that he craves attention, hustling and manipulating to sell emotional promises, not realistic action, but I’m going to vote for him anyway, because it makes me feel powerful to do so…”?
As soon as that self-awareness kicks in, it’s possible to be more discerning about what you believe and why.
Or are there mindful people who say, “there’s no clear right answer in this conflict, but my people, my folks, we have always supported this side, so I’m going to keep doing that, because breaking with them is too painful…”?
As soon as you ask that question, it’s a lot easier to have a civil, productive conversation, because instead of wearing yourself out arguing tropes, you can talk about the actual issue, which is belonging to a tribe. We can talk about how we work through the cultural change to get to a new place, not have an argument about history.
Marketing works. It’s powerful. We’re able to acknowledge that and see it for what it is without giving up what we choose to believe.
We can create better decisions and more amity by being clear with ourselves and others about how marketing is changing what we believe (and vice versa).
It’s a lot harder to be manipulated if you accept that there’s a manipulator, and it’s a lot easier to see a path forward if you acknowledge that you weren’t looking for one before.”
What’s missing in contemporary pharmacy are two words – creativity and innovation.
They have been missing for about twenty years.
Good leaders stimulate creativity which leads to a two-way quality conversation that can become meaningful and have depth.
Leaders can then lead others down the pathway of innovation where something can be made and applied, building strength in the core business of pharmacy and a tangible product that can be seen and understood by the “troops”.
With these tools the troops will take the good fight forward because they will have good leaders and the tangible equipment to do the job and fend of the enemy – be they global pharmacy predators or the internal variety like Woolworths or Coles.
To do nothing is a leader facing defeat, with a high casualty rate among the troops.
Can you live with that on your conscience?