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Can Pharma Build a Movement? Passion & the Importance of First Followers

Although a lot of experts weighed in at the #FDASM hearings on how pharma can engage in social media, the biggest mistake pharma can make is to lose focus on the passion that drove the development of the pharmaceuticals it is marketing in the first place.

In a recent post from Seth Godin entitled, “A sad truth about most traditional b2b marketing,” Seth comments:

“I was at a conference recently where the senior executives spent the entire day talking about profits, market share and growth… they never once mentioned that the pharmaceuticals they were selling were saving lives, or that changes in the product or its pricing could reduce side effects or the load on the patient and her doctor.”

The above 3-minute video, “Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy,” demonstrates how a passionate individual successfully engages the all important first and second followers that ultimately start a movement, “The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader.” The second follower is a turning point.

If you want to start a movement and build a community through social media, it is important to treat your first followers as equals and remember why you started dancing in the first place.

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2 responses to “Can Pharma Build a Movement? Passion & the Importance of First Followers”

  1. The best communities are built to answer an under-served need, providing a conduit through which followers may pass which opens out into a democratic arena wherein discourse may be shared, ideas nurtured, and change affected.

    All the founder needs – and indeed – should do (IMO) is have the idea in the first place, and allow as many hands to hold the tiller as offer to help steer a course.

    Even though I’m more of a stage-diver than a dancer: I love the sign off to this post, Angela 🙂


  2. Love your metaphor, yes, I can just see you, a stage-diver! And, the one everyone happily passes around. 🙂

    I also think the importance of “the idea” cannot be underestimated. But, once you have the idea, the “democratic arena” you mention is key.

    Loved this video by Derek Sivers. It had me research who were our first followers! My primitive research yielded some interesting results: first followers are sticky, even if they subsequently start limiting the number of people they are following!

    Thank you, Andrew!