ore time is now spent
on the Internet through
smartphones than on PCs;
that includes both work
and leisure time. But it’s
not necessarily easier to connect with
your customers – in fact, the opposite
is often the case. The problem, according to Nielsen and other sources, is that
86 percent of mobile usage is through
mobile apps, with the mobile web representing only 14 percent.
Why is that a problem? While the mobile web is searchable because of URLs
and links, mobile apps are for the most
part discreet little boxes that are neither
searchable nor connected. The problem is simple to define: you can’t access
what you can’t find. “Deep linking”—
hy-pertext that links to website content beyond the homepage—is much harder to
achieve in apps. Deep links on the web
use a standard format based on HTTP
guidelines, but mobile deep links have
no standard format. In most apps, deep
links simply don’t exist at all. According
to the blog URX, of the top 200 apps
only 17 percent of Android apps and 18
percent of Apple apps provide deep link
tags, and the numbers deteriorate after
the top 200.
But consumers love apps. There are
over 1.3 million apps in the Android
store and 1.2 million apps in the Apple
store. And the categories of interest to
most marketers—Education, Business,
Lifestyle, Entertainment, and Health
and Fitness—represent 40 percent of
all apps. Advances in mobile technology
have produced an ironic consequence.
As people spend more time on their
mobile devices and in their apps, the
Internet experience is regressing, becoming more isolated, disorganized and
ultimately harder to use—like the web
before search engines.
The isolation of content, data, and interactions within apps hobbles some of
the most crucial marketing innovations.
For example, the retrieval and analysis
of Big Data is limited on mobile platforms as the engines that gather the
data are shut out of billions of mobile
interactions. Content marketing and
distribution is similarly handicapped as
the curating and aggregation of online
content is largely restricted to web-based
sources. Similarly, programmatic media
buying that drives targeting and retar-geting is not possible with the majority
of apps that live outside huge ecosystems
like Facebook, which offers its own powerful version of programmatic buying
(but within a closed environment). Proxy
analysis – the analysis of relationships
between seemingly unrelated behaviors
– is difficult if not impossible in a system
dominated by walled-off entities.
Basically, the web is divided into layers,
with up to two-thirds of it unsearchable.
According to worldwidewebsize.com,
search engines have indexed about 4. 4
billion pages. While no one knows how
large the total web actually is, Forbes estimates that Google indexes between 30
percent and 40 percent of it. About 13
percent of those searches are erotic in nature, to put it nicely – off limits to mainstream marketers – so the practical reach
is more like 20 percent to 30 percent.
Using the layers analogy, below the 4. 4
billion pages that are presently indexed
there is a subterranean world called the
“Deep Net” that is virtually unreachable.
Within the Deep Net the “Dark Web”
represents websites that are broken, outdated, abandoned, or inaccessible using
standard browser technologies – a virtual junkyard. The “Dark Net,” a place you
don’t want to go, is an invitation-only underworld populated by criminal activity
of all stripes. Considering that 86 percent
of all mobile activity is through apps, the
portion of the Internet inaccessible to
mobile users is vast.
There are other fundamental problems with apps’ dominance. As the
columnist Jim Edwards points out in
Business Insider, Apple and Google
maintain tight-fisted control over what
apps are allowed to exist and what apps
are promoted. The result is a censored,
paid, controlled experience. Apple and
Google also take up to a 30 percent cut
of download revenue from apps – basically a tax on new media – representing
another ironic example of advanced
technology that runs counter to the spirit of the web.
But let’s get real: apps are here to stay,
so marketers have to learn to deal with
them (or around them). Software companies large and small, from Google and
Facebook to tiny start-ups, are scrambling to solve the “app problem.” While
efforts vary in scope and practicality,
one thing is certain: a lot of players are
emerging with starkly different business models. When Google revolutionized search as we know it, the web was
a much less complex world that adopted
what is basically one standard; but there
will initially be multiple standards and
platforms for deep linking. Facebook is
attempting to create an open standard
of deep links that connect apps to one
another, but we know who the winner
would be if they’re successful: Facebook. Google has deployed Google App
Indexing, a Webmaster tool that is used
to search and return deep links within
apps. However, only about 15 percent of
apps are now indexed with this tool, and
only on the Android platform.
Many apps do import data through
links, but that data resides within the
app’s specific environment. And there
are some ingenious apps that integrate
the best features of multiple apps, presenting an opportunity to collect valuable data from external sources. One
example is Venmo ( venmo.com), an
app designed to easily transfer and collect money from friends and family.
Owned by Ebay, it’s a great alternative
to Ebay’s aging PayPal service. What
Venmo discovered is that users – especially millennials, its primary audience
– like to share comments and photos
as they reimburse their friends for pizzas, Uber, and just about anything else
– and they can do so via SMS, the medium they love to use. Since Venmo uses
Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail contacts
to set up exchanges, Venmo is a mash-up of social media and financial transaction tools. Such integration provides
access to not only the user’s financial
data and buying habits, but to a wealth
of first-party and third-party information that is just waiting to be harvested.
According to Forbes, Venmo has hinted
that it may start lending money – leveraging the data that reflects directly on a
borrower’s responsible use of money as
well as their attitude toward money. But
Venmo is another example of a walled-off world that will share access and data
only on its own terms.
There are clear advantages to directing
users into an app environment. According to comScore, 46 percent of U.S. shoppers are less likely to shop around for
other options when they’re using a company’s mobile app. By driving a customer
into an app when a purchase decision is
about to be made, loyalty is established
and enforced. And by driving a customer into the app via the web, technologies
such as programmatic buying and proxy
analysis can be employed and used for
further transactions within the app.
It’s clear that “the app problem” will
someday be solved, though it will be a
process that’s neither neat nor efficient
in the short run. Meanwhile, marketers
need to do what they do best: recognize
the problem and find unique solutions
that mitigate the limitations and – in the
best scenarios – capitalize on the competition’s inability to do the same.
Robert Palmer is executive VP of Juice Pharma.
Choreo Market Access has a new brand and two
new leaders. The agency’s parent, The Healthcare
Consultancy Group (HCG), a division of the DAS
Group of Companies, announced the changes
early in November.
“Market access, the discipline of de;ning and
communicating the unique value of medications
and medical devices in order to facilitate their
prescribing and use, is a necessity in today’s rapidly
changing healthcare marketplace,” executives say.
“Choreo Market Access addresses this need by
providing clients a comprehensive suite of services
that can be tailored to meet their needs through-
out a brand’s lifecycle. These services include
strategic consulting; market research and analytics;
branding; data visualization and information
design; payer marketing; provider and patient
access and reimbursement support; and payer
The agency was founded in June 2015 as Gua-
rino Haskins Market Access. According to Roger
Haskins, founder and executive creative director,
“Our vision is a world where people have access to
the healthcare they need and this vision inspired
us to evolve our brand to Choreo Market Access.
We are an agency that brings strategy and creative
together for access success.”
Kimberly Rawlins has been promoted to senior
VP, director of strategic services, and Diana Maldo-
nado to senior VP, director of client services.
In addition to leading content development,
Rawlins oversees medical and integrated strategy.
She has more than 17 years of comprehensive
pharmaceutical and biotech experience in the
manufacturer space. Having worked in sales, sales
leadership, and brand and payer marketing, exec-
utives say Rawlins is an expert in the development
and implementation of strategic marketing plans
for the launch and sustained performance of
products, including developing payer brand plans,
creating suites of launch materials, and imple-
menting sales strategies and tactics.
“At Choreo, Rawlins contributes not only with
a well-honed perspective on the access and reimbursement issues facing manufacturers, providers
and patients, but also with leadership skills, which
stem from her con;dence in the agency and its
mission,” executives say.
Maldonado will now lead the project management team in addition to account services.
Executives say she is as experienced with agency
operations as she is with client services, ;nancial
management, and the strategically nuanced
content of market access. Her client work spans
the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries
and has covered numerous therapeutic categories
including oncology, nephrology, rheumatology,
infectious disease, and cardiology.
“Skilled at successfully integrating market access
marketing teams with clients’ professional, patient
and digital agencies, Maldonado has mastered
allocating resources e;ectively and e;ciently, such
as when she led six product/indication launches
and executed tactics to the ;eld within a week of
the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date,”
according to management.
“At Choreo, we have a team of experts who
address some of the most critical issues our clients
face today – issues of access and reimbursement,”
says Denise Bottiglieri, PhD, CEO of HCG. “This
group’s ability to transform complex information
into messages that are simple, memorable, and
actionable complements HCG’s expertise in
marketing, medical professional, and regulatory
communications.” Kimberly Rawlins
New brand, promotions at Choreo Market Access