What Aikido and Patient Relationship Marketing have in Common

What does Aikido and Pharma RM have in Common?Everything!

Aikido is a Japanese martial art which is a synthesis of martial arts, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying with life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.”

The purpose of Aikido training is not perfection of a martial skill, but rather the improvement of one’s character.  The objective of Aikido is not necessarily to defend yourself or to hurt attackers, but ultimately to contribute to the making of a better society through the united training of body, mind and spirit.

The four key principles of Aikido are:

1.) “Seiryoku Zenyo”, makes certain that your training is efficient. What you learn must work. In martial arts, the difference between what works and what does not could mean the difference between life and death.

 

2.) “Jita Kyoei”, ensures that your training is beneficial to you and your partners. If it is to be beneficial, it has to be safe. Alternatively, if it is unsafe, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to train realistically.

3.) According to Professor Tomiki, “mushin” is a state of mind that is free — that does not dwell in any particular place and is thus everywhere. He once likened it to water; water can follow natural terrains and go everywhere but can at the same time be overwhelming. It is the state of mind that can perceive everything around you; you are ready for anything and everything. Sometimes, “mushin” is narrowly translated as “no mind” but that does not convey its meaning well.

4.) The term “mugamae” literary means “no posture” or “no stance”. It is to be understood that it will take years of dedicated practice before one can hope to attain this enlightened state. It is proper to enter the practice of aikido through “jigotai” (defensive posture). From that modest beginning, one endeavors to graduate — through years of training — to “shizentai” (natural posture), or “mugamae”.

So how are these principles synonymous with Patient Relationship Marketing Programs?

The essence of Pharma RM is reaching the right person, at the right time, through the right channel, with the right message.  Let’s evaluate each one of these principles in the context of the Aikido:

“Seiryoku Zenyo” is synonymous with delivering the right message.   What you learn from your customers will work. In Aikido, the difference between what works and what does not could mean the difference between life and death.  In relationship marketing delivering the right message could mean the difference between knowledge and personal growth versus frustration and abandonment.

“Jita Kyoei”, is synonymous with engaging the right person.  Training with the right person will be beneficial and safe.  Alternatively, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to train realistically if you do not have the right partner.  The same holds true in patient relationship marketing,   if you do not target the right person they will not engage.  The objective for Pharmaceutical marketers should be to identify patients that will not convert those that convert that will not be adherent and avoid them.

“Mushin”, is the ability to be prepared.  It is critical to be ready for anything and everything that will come your way. Timing is of the essence, which is a key principle in patient relationship marketing.  This principle is about understanding when the timing is right to deliver messaging that facilitates the desired behavioral change.

“Mugamae” literary means “no posture” or “no stance”.  This dovetails well with the idea in patient relationship marketing of being channel agnostic.  Understanding channel preference and delivering messaging and content via that that channel.  Again, it’s a learning process and one that does not happen over-night.  Mugamae defines it beautifully, “From that modest beginning, one endeavors to graduate — through years of training — to “shizentai” (natural posture), or “mugamae”.

Are you a Patient Relationship Marketing Aikidoist?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that Pharmaceutical marketers got into this industry because they believe their product could help improve the quality of people’s lives.  Mmmmh, if that is the case then I think it’s safe to assume that you are a Pharma Marketing Aikidoist.