Let me start with a cliché. Happy New Year! Here is another. After 2020, you wager any brand-new year will be better! Here is a 3rd, and I guarantee the last one. When life offers you lemons …
I did not understand that chances provided by lemons extended well beyond the l‘ade. My buddies Mark and Carol revealed me. During that extremely year, we will not call. Before I inadvertently let slip yet another cliché, let me inform you about those 2 buddies.
Let me inform you Mark’s story initially.
To understand infection, have fun with it
As the marketing supervisor of a pharma significant, Mark had actually set out on a challenging objective. He wished to establish a video game to teach and guarantee infection control. Another time, he may have reached his objective faster, yet he did not let the Year of the Infection lock his pursuit down. He merely set about his job methodically.
His target market consisted of medical workers (from medical professionals to support personnel) in medical facilities. His job was to inform them about the avoidance of the well-known hospital-acquired infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are triggered by the lots of kinds of intrusive gadgets and treatments contemporary medication utilizes to deal with clients and to assist them recuperate. These consist of main line-associated blood stream infections, catheter-associated urinary system infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and surgical website infections.
In other words, the extremely gadgets and treatments utilized by medical facilities to conserve your life can likewise provide you a lethal infection. Yes, it is preventable if the healthcare facility experts take enough care and Mark wished to teach them how. And for that, he welcomed them to play a video game.
Making his mark
Mark’s target market list consisted of cosmetic surgeons, doctors, nurses, etc. These were however identifies that represented what they provided for a living. Beneath the labels were individuals like you and me. Mark wished to create a service that would attract the individual and yet relate to the expert the label determined. So, Mark stated, “Game on!”
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Everyone understands where to discover the info to avoid HAI, however where is the enjoyable in checking out books and standards, right? Mark decided to keep it simple and deliver boring but essential education through an exciting gaming interface.
How would they access the game? Mark decided to make it a web-based game so that anyone could access it on any device at any time.
How would they know about the game? Mark deployed his sales team to create enough excitement. They talked about it all the time. Every channel of communication appeared to be excited about it. Soon, everyone knew about it. He roped in some early adopters and their testimonials added substance to the buzz.
Just the right opportunity to go to town with your brand, right? Maybe I would have been tempted to splash my brand all over the place. Mark had other ideas.
He kept the branding to the minimum. Just a mention in the launch screen under “Supported by” section and on the certificates and awards for the winners. And the deliberate underplaying worked. Everyone knew who had made the game—the game that helped with the important job of preventing deadly infections and saving lives.
Like every good leader, Mark knew one cannot manage what one cannot measure. Mark kept a close eye on the metrics. Was there a justifiable return on investment? Where was it a hit? Why? Where was it a laggard? Why?
Optimum use of resources
Mark decided to use our team for his job but did not sit back after delegating the job to us. He knew precisely how to channelize the right resources and for all practical purposes, he was a true partner right through the design and development. He kept his leaders posted after every milestone so that there was no need to backtrack or rework at any point.
We assign a subject matter expert (SME) to every project and for Mark, we had a doctor on call. During the ideation phase, Mark provided his inputs to this doctor, who could immediately identify with what Mark was after. After all, he had been in the shoes of Mark’s target audience and could, therefore, quickly arrive at the messages to be delivered. That took care of the scientific content.
Then the technical team comprising our coders, developers and designers started on the fun part. Mark was all for fun, but he knew he had to strike the right balance. It would have been easy to go overboard and lose sight of the context and purpose. While the user interface had to be logical and exciting, Mark had to be doubly sure that it would pass regulatory scrutiny at every stage. There was no running away from data-based evidence.
It would have been easy to ram the right answers down the throat of the player. But to be credible and successful, there had to be enough room for the player to think and make honest errors. Every answer option had to have a valid reference to pass the regulatory check. It was not just a shoot-and-run game.
For all members of the development team, including Mark, it was an experience that yielded many learnings. There are not many fun games out there carrying serious, life-saving medical messages. We had to discover our way and often make new trails. Finally, technology, science and gaming were blended in a healthy smoothie—energizing to the users and lethal to infections!
Spot opportunity, tap rewards
After we completed the project for Mark, I asked him once: had there been no virus-induced disruption, would he have done anything differently?
“I knew for sure, it had to be a game and an interesting game which did not dumb anything down,” Mark replied. As Mark saw it, the people who use it, the medical personnel, were already overworked. It was unfair to expect them to go back to textbooks and to plod through circulars. At the same time, they needed to stay current. So, why not make the exercise more enjoyable?
“The timing could not have been more perfect. Everyone was ultra-conscious of infections,” Mark observed. It was a great time to remind and educate everyone about the problem that had been around long before the virus arrived. And was not likely to go away unless we put in some extra effort. This was Mark’s bit for the cause.
Mark pointed out:
In terms of the design and the launch, I do not think I would have done anything differently. And I am grateful for the restrictions on account of the pandemic. There were less distractions and hardly any parallel project.
Mark was kind enough to add:
Most importantly for me, it was great enjoyable to work with your Ethosh group. To be honest, when the task was completed, I felt a little disappointed. We were having so much enjoyable through all the Eureka minutes and the heated arguments!
Next up: Pandemic or not, lockdown or not, Carol should go on with her launch.