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Experian releases 2016 Digital Marketer Report

BY David Salazar
NEW YORK — Experian Marketing Services on Wednesday released its 2016 Digital Marketer Report, which takes a look at the priorities of marketers, as well as key issues and challenges facing them. According to this year’s survey, the biggest challenge for many marketers is also the top priority of their peers. Thirty-eight percent of marketers said knowing their customers was their top challenge in 2016, and 52% said that the same thing was one of their top three priorities. 
 
“Today’s brand marketers realize the significance of knowing their customers, but it’s still problematic,” Experian SVP global marketing Ashley Johnston said. “Our research found that regardless of the company size or industry, marketers around the globe still find this to be a top challenge.”
 
Marketers also noted that the other top priorities were to increase their companies’ visibility over competitors while staying ahead of the latest trends in marketing. Additional challenges that marketers mentioned were making their message relevant and making their analytics actionable, as well as overcoming internal silos to focus on the customer and linking customer data across channels and devices. 
 
About 81% of marketers reported challenges when it came to receiving a single customer view, and Experian found that personalization can help achieve a 158% increase in click rate. Marketers are also looking forward, with 66% planning to implement predictive modeling and 68% planning to run mobile campaigns. 
 
“The future of marketing is being driven by sophisticated, channel-agnostic consumers who expect exceptional experiences every time,” Johnston said. “This reality poses a real challenge for organizations, as consumer intolerance for mediocre brand interactions puts more pressure on brands to leverage their data and technology.”
 
Experian will host a webinar on April 12 about the report. To download the report and register for the webinar, click here

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Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition introduces new Myoplex line for serious athlete

BY Michael Johnsen
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – Abbott's EAS Sports Nutrition is helping serious athletes train harder through nine redesigned Myoplex products that deliver the nutrition athletes need before, during and after workouts. The new line, available now on Amazon.com and Bodybuilding.com, helps athletes improve power, sustain performance, build muscle and recover strong so they can achieve their personal best.
 
"This is our most scientifically advanced line yet," stated Steve Hertzler, EAS scientific officer and architect of the Myoplex line. "We've introduced technology like our E3 Fusion blend which has three proven ingredients that work together to help decrease muscle breakdown and promote new growth. Also, our Pre-Workout nutrition helps increase workout capacity and performance. Every product is designed to nutritionally deliver what's needed to sustain physical performance at every stage."
 
The Myoplex line included insight from athletes on what they need to be at their peak.  
 
"There are no shortcuts when you play and train like I do," said Larry Fitzgerald, professional football player for the Arizona Cardinals. "You need to give your body the nutrition it needs and for me that includes using Myoplex products to refuel so I can do it all over again the next day."
 
Products from the new line include:
 
  • Myoplex Pre-Workout is a blend of beetroot extract, beta-alanine, caffeine, creatine monohydrate and Peak ATP nutrients. It's designed to be used before hitting the gym and can help athletes train harder by increasing workout capacity and stamina;
  • Myoplex BCAA + Electrolytes is for use during a workout to sustain performance. It features a 2:1:1 ratio of branched chained amino acids to promote muscle protein synthesis and includes electrolytes to maintain hydration during intense workouts;
  • Myoplex Protein Blend aids in post-workout recovery by combining quick- and-slow digesting proteins with E3 Fusion to provide muscle-building nutrition for up to seven hours. E3 Fusion is a blend of HMB, phosphatidylserine and leucine that helps to increase muscle protein synthesis and decrease muscle protein breakdown; and
  • Myoplex Micellar Casein aids in repair and recovery and is designed to be taken at night. The slow-digesting casein protein provides sustained amino acids throughout the night and includes the E3 Fusion blend. To improve relaxation, the product has a Rest Matrix blend of nutrients.
 
 
 

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NCPA charges non-compliance with new MAC pricing standards

BY Michael Johnsen
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – With many independent community pharmacists reporting financial losses filling Medicare prescriptions, the National Community Pharmacists Association has written to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and asked the agency to take action to prompt Part D plans and/or their pharmacy benefit managers to comply with a federal requirement that Medicare prescription drug reimbursement reflect "the market price of acquiring the drug," the association announced Thursday. 
 
"It's outrageous that Medicare seniors' access to medication and the viability of independent community pharmacies are both being undermined by the practices of some PBM corporations and drug plan sponsors that appear to run afoul of federal requirements," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "NCPA strongly urges Medicare officials to take swift action to address this problem. NCPA will continue to engage with Medicare, Congress and others to try and achieve a resolution to this problem."
 
In the letter NCPA expressed "our concerns and those of our members regarding the non-compliance of multiple Part D plans and PBMs regarding the usage of drug pricing standards that are used to reimburse Medicare pharmacies that clearly do not reflect 'the market price of acquiring the drug'—in direct violation of federal statute." 
 
The letter explains how on Jan. 1 of this year a new CMS requirement took effect that requires plan sponsors/PBM corporations to regularly update and disclose so-called maximum allowable cost pricing benchmarks used to determine reimbursement for community pharmacies filling Medicare prescriptions, typically for generic drugs. The requirement was implemented by CMS in response to concerns raised by NCPA regarding below-cost payments to pharmacies using MAC values that were not updated to reflect market costs.
 
So far in 2016, there have been multiple Part D plans and PBMs that have been utilizing MAC drug pricing values that are "far below what would be considered to be reasonably approaching market prices for drugs," the letter noted, and "pharmacies are dispensing these medications to seniors at significant financial losses." Part D plans and PBMs are manipulating MAC pricing standards "as a proprietary variable that can be changed on a whim with no relation whatsoever" to real world costs, NCPA's letter said, calling that practice a "blatant disregard" for federal statute that "is serving to undermine" the Part D program and "truly jeopardizes the ability of pharmacies to serve these patients." The practice calls into question the accuracy of drug pricing information beneficiaries rely on via the Plan Finder website as well.
 

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