Philadelphia, PA — Fabrizio Caranci, Director of Channel Innovation at Merck, started out with this super fact from John Chambers, CEO at Cisco: by 2020 over 30 billion objects will wirelessly be connected to the internet. Even if you count everyone in the world, that’s 4 to 5 devices each. Many of the people in the room were already over that number when they added internet-connected televisions, wearables, alarm systems and even baby monitors to their more obvious lists of smartphones, computers and tablets.

Caranci says this is creating new expectations. People expect to be able to pick up their internet-connected devices to do anything. Of course, one of the most picked up devices is the smartphone. The average person picks up their phone more than 200 times a day to cary out tasks (Forrester, “The Future of Mobile Engagement”). Many have high expectations for native brand experiences there:

  • 62% expect a mobile-friendly website
  • 42% expect to find mobile app
  • 23% expect that experience to change based on location.

To evaluate new technologies and new expectations, Merck uses a program called BYOBC: bring your own business challenge. Caranci invited 35 Merck attendees and 8 outside speakers to define the most significants business challenges the brand teams were facing, including issues in adherence, reimbursement and access.

They ultimately identified 8 shared challenges and developed a point of view about how digital health trends might impact solutions for each. The solutions were plotted by business impact and feasibility of implementation. The resulting chart looked a bit like the how, wow, now framework:

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 8.52.12 AM

The workshop launched a variety of pilots and new ideas including one with virtual reality that will be coming to market soon. They’re also looking at possibilities in personalization and data-driven intelligence.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.