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March 15, 2022 admin0

DTC Perspectives, the leading forum for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders names its 21st Annual list of the “Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year.”

This year’s class will be honored during a ceremony dinner on the evening of April 20th sponsored by PatientPoint, at the 2022 DTC National (part of the Xpectives.Health Summit taking place in Boston, April 19-20th). It includes representatives from more than 15 different manufacturing companies, with each marketer championing both the interests of the patient and brand.

“PatientPoint and I congratulate the Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year. These industry experts lead by example, always putting the patient at the center of everything they do and achieving incredible outcomes as a result. We look forward to recognizing their accomplishments at the DTC National Conference,” says Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer of PatientPoint.

Health Marketing Awards

The Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year for 2022 are…

Kim Abbasi, Consumer Marketing Director, Xeljanz US Marketing, Pfizer

Katie Baldwin, Director, Consumer Marketing, US COVID-19 Vaccine, Comirnaty, Pfizer

Brittany Blair, Head of Patient Strategy & Solutions, US Immunology, UCB

Kelly Bock, Director, Consumer Marketing, Urovant Sciences, Inc.

Tanya Bowstead, Marketing Director, Altreno, Ortho Dermatologics

Kevin Conway, Director US Marketing, Alexion

Julie Cosgrove, Marketing Director, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Patricia Crowell, Sr. Manager Obesity Strategy, Omnichannel Patient Experience, Novo Nordisk

Heather Gilbert, Marketing Manager, Inspire Medical Systems, Inc.

Farrah Goldsmith, Marketing Manager, GSK

Sylvie Gondouin, Associate Director, Digital Customer Engagement, IPSEN

Ashley Hallett, Group Product Director, IMBRUVICA DTC Lead, Janssen Biotech Inc.

Craig Huber, Associate Director | Patient Marketing – Mavacamten | Cardiovascular (US), Bristol Myers Squibb

Tammy A. Karas, Director, Consumer Marketing Lead for the Prostate Cancer Franchise, Pfizer

Julie Loving, Insights Director, TherapeuticsMD

Shannon Mitchell, Associate Director, US Media and Integration, Merck

Harleen Parmar, Associate Marketing Director, ILUMYA, Sun Pharmaceuticals

Mara Rastovsky, Associate Director, Global Customer Insight/Diabetes Franchise, Merck

Kaitlin Russomano, Senior Manager, Consumer Strategic Marketing, Horizon Therapeutics

Asako Sakae, Senior Director, Consumer Strategic Marketing, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Silvia Schneiders, Associate Director of Marketing, Antares Pharma

Stepheny Stordahl, Associate Marketing Director, Women’s Health, AbbVie

Alexandra Tudoran, Associate Director, Franchise Marketing & PR, Galderma

Bert Van den Hooff, Project Manager, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Jaela Williams, Associate Director, Merck

“These elite pharmaceutical marketing professionals are this year’s top contributors to the advancement of patient outcomes via direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical education and marketing,” adds DTC Perspectives Chairman and CEO Robert Ehrlich. “We would like to recognize the faces behind prominent DTC campaigns, because their hard work and dedication to fostering the industry is often not recognized. The awardees were selected from many worthy candidates.”


Established in 2001, the Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year award recognizes extraordinary DTC marketers from pharmaceutical companies who drive innovation and work towards better patient health outcomes. Marketers are selected based on actual accomplishments, influence on future patient launches or campaigns, or recognized contributions and service to patient communications. The Top 25 festivities include a cocktail party, followed by a special ceremony presented by PatientPoint during our DTC National Conference. Each member of the Top 25 DTC Marketers is also profiled in the annual conference guide publication.

Celebrate with the Industry’s Best

DTC Perspectives offers reserved tables with seating for 10 at the Top 25/Hall of Fame and Advertising Awards ceremonies as well as congrats ads opportunities in our DTC Perspectives Magazine/DTC National Conference Guide, on our website, and in Email announcements. Click here to view awards packages.


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March 8, 2022 admin0

DTC Perspectives, the leading forum for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders, honors a dynamic group of pharmaceutical companies and brands at the much-anticipated DTC National Advertising Awards. The awards are a part of the annual DTC National Conference, on April 20-21; all events are a part of the Xpectives.Health Summit in Boston.

Sponsored by Phreesia, the 2022 Advertising Awards showcase the best marketing and advertising across more than 15 categories. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners will be announced during the Advertising Awards ceremony held on April 21st.

“Phreesia Life Sciences is excited to participate in DTC National as a Platinum sponsor and to present this year’s Advertising Awards,” said David Linetsky, SVP of Phreesia Life Sciences. “As a leading digital point-of-care company focused on engaging patients in their health, we believe in the power of DTC to activate patients, enhance the HCP-patient dialogue, and improve health outcomes. We applaud this year’s finalists for their innovation and creativity.”

Some media for judging provided in association with MediaRadar.



March 6, 2020 admin0

After careful consideration of the health, safety, and enjoyment of our attendees, we have decided to postpone this year’s DTC National Conference until August 20-21. Rather than hold an event that, despite our best efforts, would not be up to par from an attendance or engagement standpoint, we felt it best to postpone the event to a time when COVID-19 is less likely to make an impact on people’s travel plans and enjoyment of the event.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Last year’s DTC National had record attendance and our registrations to this point this year are vastly exceeding it, even with the bad news about the virus on the top of everyone’s mind. The conference will be full of outstanding content and networking opportunities at an even better time of year to be in Boston, as it remains the leading conference on pharmaceutical marketing for now 20 years.

Please update your calendar with the new DTC National dates. An updated agenda will be posted ASAP as we reschedule speakers.

If you have any questions about the status of our event please contact our COO Scott Ehrlich at scott@dtcperspectives.com. It’s important for us to bring to you the quality of events we have brought you for the last 19 years and we are quite confident that we will be able to do so in August.



January 27, 2020 admin0

DTC Perspectives, the leading forum for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders names its 19th Annual list of the “Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year.”

This year’s class will be honored during a ceremony dinner on the evening of October 20th sponsored by PatientPoint, at the 2020 DTC National taking place in virtually. It includes representatives from more than 15 different manufacturing companies, with each marketer championing both the interests of the patient and brand.

“PatientPoint and I congratulate the 2020 Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year. These industry leaders have positioned their brand as true partners to patients throughout the care journey with innovative solutions that enrich the entire healthcare experience. We look forward to honoring their impressive achievements at the DTC National Conference and partnering with them on continued success,” says Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer of PatientPoint.

The Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year for 2020 are…

  • Jay Appel, Executive Director, Worldwide Engagement and Channel Planning, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Carrie Chaffee, Media Strategy Lead / DUPIXENT, Sanofi Genzyme
  • John Colucci, Assistant Director, Urology, Astellas Pharma US
  • Laurie DeMille, Marketing Director, Respiratory, GSK US Pharmaceuticals
  • Karen Femino, Consumer Lead, US Brands, Upjohn, A Pfizer Division
  • Renee Giangrasso, Senior Associate Director, IPF Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Martha Harper, Director, Consumer Marketing, Eliquis, Pfizer
  • Jenn Harrington, Director, GLP-1 Patient Marketing, Novo Nordisk
  • Lyndi M. Hirsch, formerly Senior Director, Head of Consumer Marketing, Dermira (currently Chief Marketing Officer, AdhereTech)
  • W. Akil Hunte, formerly Senior Brand Manager, INGREZZA, Neurocrine Biosciences (currently Director, Patient Empowerment, Retrophin)
  • Michele Kemp, Senior Director, Patient Marketing, Harmony Biosciences
  • Ali Kresge, Director, US Oncology Consumer Marketing, Merck & Co.
  • Nicholas Lucente, Associate Director, Marketing, BRILINTA, AstraZeneca
  • Stephanie Maresh, Director, Migraine Consumer Marketing, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Kathleen McGinley, Otezla Consumer Marketing, Associate Director, Amgen
  • Nicole Merlo, Director, Patient Marketing, Insmed Incorporated
  • Bonnie Perkins, Lead, Patient Engagement and Marketing, US Commercial, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • Kusal Senanayake, Director – Lupus Nephritis Launch and Life Cycle Management, BENLYSTA, GSK Pharmaceuticals LLC
  • Sandy Sexton, Senior Director, Consumer Marketing, DUPIXENT ®, Regeneron
  • Denise Vosseller, formerly Associate Director, Consumer Marketing, Sage Therapeutics (currently Associate Director, Consumer Marketing, Biogen)
  • Josie Waters, Sr. Director Consumer Marketing, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
  • Kristie Whitehouse, Consumer Brand Lead, Neurodevelopment, Takeda
  • Molly H. Wilson, MBA, Senior Director, Sleep Marketing, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Chrystie Yodice, Director, Customer Activation, Cosentyx Marketing, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Peter Zenobi, Deputy Director, Consumer Marketing, Sanofi Pasteur

“These elite pharmaceutical marketing professionals are this year’s top contributors to the advancement of patient outcomes via direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical education and marketing,” adds DTC Perspectives Chairman and CEO Robert Ehrlich. “We would like to recognize the faces behind prominent DTC campaigns, because their hard work and dedication to fostering the industry is often not recognized. The awardees were selected from many worthy candidates.”

Click here to register for the DTC National Conference or contact the DTC Perspectives office at 770-302-6273.

Celebrate with the Industry’s Best

Congratulate the Top 25 DTC Marketers in-person and in our publications! DTC Perspectives offers reserved tables with seating for 10 at the Top 25/Hall of Fame and Advertising Awards ceremonies as well as congrats ads opportunities in our DTC Perspectives Magazine/DTC National Conference Guide, on our website, and in Email announcements. Click here to view awards packages and congratulate a Top Marketer/DTC Hall of Fame inductee today.

Print congrats ad deadline: Friday, March 20, 2020

Purchase Tables & Congrats Ads



February 12, 2019 admin0

DTC Perspectives, the leading forum for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders names its 18th Annual list of the “Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year.”

This year’s class will be honored during a joint ceremony dinner recognizing the 2019 Top 25 DTC Marketers and Hall of Fame class on the evening of April 16 sponsored by PatientPoint, at the 2019 DTC National taking place in Boston. It includes representatives from more than 15 different manufacturing companies, with each marketer championing both the interests of the patient and brand.

“PatientPoint and I congratulate the 2019 Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year. These industry leaders have positioned their brand as true partners to patients throughout the care journey with innovative solutions that enrich the entire healthcare experience. We look forward to honoring their impressive achievements at the DTC National Conference and partnering with them on continued success,” says Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer of PatientPoint.

The Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year for 2019 are…

  • Janice Adewuyi, Director of Product Management, Aptensio XR®, Rhodes Pharmaceuticals L.P.
  • Christa Albeck, Patient Marketing Director, XELJANZ®, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Matthew Arm, Associate Director, Multi-Channel Promotions, Merck & Co.
  • Anthony Atanasio, Senior Marketing Manager, Lytics Marketing, Genentech
  • Gail Boyden, Associate Director, IO Consumer Marketing, AstraZeneca
  • Becky Chow, Director, Consumer Marketing, NUPLAZID® (pimavanserin), ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Tara D’Andrea, Senior Director, HCV DTC/P Marketing, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Sarah Dooley Durant, Associate Director, Vivitrol Consumer Marketing, Alkermes, Inc.
  • Raymond Foust, III, PhD, MBA, Director, Diabetes Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Antoine Grand-Clément, Consumer Marketing Manager, GSK
  • Gisell Guzman, XELJANZ Patient Marketing Team, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Debra Hagan, Director, Psychiatry Marketing, Allergan
  • Tejal Jhonsa, Product Manager, Opdivo Patient Marketing, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Jenna Kelly, Director, I&I Consumer/Patient Marketing, Celgene Corporation
  • Fleur Lee, Director, Banzel, Eisai Pharmaceuticals
  • Christy Lopé, CHANTIX Consumer Marketing Lead, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Eric Nelson, Marketing Director, Women’s Health, AbbVie
  • Tom Nowlin, Director, U.S. Oncology Consumer Marketing, Eli Lilly & Company
  • Rhonda Peebles, Executive Director, Head of Marketing, COSENTYX Dermatology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Dan Pinto, Product Director, Consumer Marketing, Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Betty Rhiew, Senior Director, Marketing, Biogen
  • Elizabeth Rosato, Consumer Marketing – Repatha, Amgen, Inc.
  • Delta Schonhoft, Rexulti Consumer Marketing Lead, Lundbeck
  • James Smith, Associate Director, Marketing, AstraZeneca
  • Betty Webb, Manager, Patient Marketing & Digital Health Innovation, Novo Nordisk Inc.

“These elite pharmaceutical marketing professionals are this year’s top contributors to the advancement of patient outcomes via direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical education and marketing,” adds DTC Perspectives Chairman and CEO Robert Ehrlich. “We would like to recognize the faces behind prominent DTC campaigns, because their hard work and dedication to fostering the industry is often not recognized. The awardees were selected from many worthy candidates.”

Click here to register for the DTC National Conference or contact the DTC Perspectives office at 770-302-6273.

Celebrate with the Industry’s Best

Congratulate the Top 25 DTC Marketers in-person and in our publications! DTC Perspectives offers reserved tables with seating for 10 at the Top 25/Hall of Fame and Advertising Awards ceremonies as well as congrats ads opportunities in our DTC Perspectives Magazine/DTC National Conference Guide, on our website, and in Email announcements. Click here to view awards packages and congratulate a Top Marketer/DTC Hall of Fame inductee today.

Print congrats ad deadline: Friday, March 8, 2018

Purchase Tables & Congrats Ads



July 27, 2018 Fred Church0

Whether you’re new to the DTC pharma space in the US, or an industry veteran, what you need to know to stay ahead.

The advertising of prescription drugs on TV and in magazines is a uniquely American phenomenon. Turn on the news or flip through a magazine and you’re likely to notice a pharmaceutical commercial or ad. In fact, prescription drugs are now among the top 10 most advertised product categories in the US.

In the 15 years I’ve helped pharma brands forecast and test their direct-to-consumer (DTC) ad campaigns, I’ve seen a shift in the content. Where ads originally focused on drugs for widespread medical conditions (e.g. high cholesterol, depression), today’s campaigns address health problems suffered by much smaller populations, such as Crohn’s Disease and lung cancer. But that’s just one example of how the DTC pharma market has evolved in the US.

My SKIM healthcare colleagues and I recently attended the DTC National Conference in Boston to explore the industry’s latest trends and innovations. Here I’m sharing our top three takeaways from the DTC conference:

1. The Promise & Pitfalls of the 6-Second DTC Ad

Often referred to as “bumper ads,” the 6-second YouTube ad is a popular option for consumer marketers. But can these work for pharma brands? With their long length, complex messages, and side effects requirements, pharma DTC commercials may seem like unlikely candidates for this media.

However, 6-second DTC ads are not only plausible; their utilization is expected to grow. While the 6-second length is prohibitive for branded DTC ads with product claims and side effects, “reminder ads” are compatible with this short format.

What’s the ideal scenario for this type of media buy?

Woman on tablet

Since reminder ads only emphasize the drug brand name and contain no information about product benefits or side effects, we recommend their use in supplementing larger, branded campaigns. Brands spending at least $50 million in annual advertising will see most success with bumper ads. Since these 6-second ads typically employ the same creative look and feel as the longer commercials, they can aid viewer recall. However, without that level of ad spend, these 6-second DTC reminder ads are risky as they lack context and meaning when they’re seen by patients who haven’t been reached by the associated branded campaign.

2. Consider Addressable TV for Advanced Targeting

Successfully targeting and reaching the intended audience has always been a challenge for pharma marketers planning DTC campaigns. The population of patients who are eligible for the medication may be relatively small, meaning that a high percentage of advertising impressions are “wasted” on viewers who have no interest in the advertised product and will never be candidates for treatment.

“Addressable TV” is a digital innovation that allows marketers to target specific households using algorithms based on demographic and geographic data, similar to digital video. With nearly 50 million US households ‘addressable’ via cable set-top boxes, advertisers can now identify those homes whose members have a greater likelihood of having the medical condition that is treated by their pharmaceutical product.

Couple watching TV

Take as an example osteoarthritis, a medical condition that primarily affects an older demographic. Marketers can use Addressable TV to advertise an osteoarthritis drug directly to households with individuals 60+ years old vs. those with younger viewers who may be tuned in to the same programming next door.

When we work with pharma brands to forecast the impact and ROI of DTC campaigns, we model the awareness-generating ability of Addressable TV differently than we model traditional television. Current industry analysis indicates that Addressable TV is more effective; we will see if this trend remains evident as more and more data becomes available.

3. Explore Ad Concepts with Real Patients vs. Actors to Enhance Campaign Authenticity

Pharmaceutical DTC campaigns are sometimes criticized for using actors who don’t resemble actual patients, presenting an unrealistic depiction of the medical condition. Perhaps with this criticism in mind, some advertisers have opted for real patients in campaigns instead of actors.

“Before and after” photos are a staple of advertisements for dermatological medications. These photos become more convincing if real patients are depicted. Not only does the portrayal of the true efficacy of the medication become more accurate, the authenticity of the message is enhanced.

Nervous to ditch the actors? In our pharma DTC concept testing research, patient groups evaluate different ads and rate them according to standard metrics, such as their expected likelihood of asking their doctor to prescribe the medication. Patients can often sense when an advertisement is inauthentic and the message is more likely to resonate when authenticity shines through.

 

This article is republished with permission. Click here to read the original posting.



May 29, 2018 Linda Ruschau0

Sponsored Content

PatientPoint had the honor of sponsoring the Top 25 DTC Marketers and Hall of Fame awards at last month’s DTC National. During Hall of Fame inductee Christine Sakdalan’s passionate acceptance speech, one of her quotes really stood out, as it touched on some very relevant topics within our industry. She said: “More than ever, we have the great privilege and responsibility in healthcare to positively impact people’s lives. To make a meaningful difference in patient outcomes, we must purposefully lead with compassion and empathy, engage in relevant dialogue and foster partnership across the healthcare ecosystem.”

These values that Christine noted need to be at the forefront of decision-making during planning season. Lead with empathy. Engage in meaningful dialogue. Foster partnership. If your marketing strategy is built on these foundational tenants, and delivers relevant messaging to the patient at the time he or she needs the information the most, a positive impact is a near guarantee.

I see proof of this daily as I work with our client partners to create plans that enable their brands to be a part of the important discussions between patients and physicians. Sharing compelling testimonials, savings offers, clinical trial results and other similar information in the doctor’s office offers patients the guidance and empowerment they need at this time, making your brand a true partner to not only patients but their healthcare providers as well.

With all the news about consumers losing trust in brands today, it seems now more than ever is the time we collectively focus our efforts on what truly matters the most—the patient. This may involve a change from your tried and true marketing tactics, instead thinking outside the box to focus more on the channels, like point of care, that enable you to truly connect with patients and physicians and, as Christine so well noted in her speech, make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. PatientPoint can help you do just that.

 



The word “cancer” has become a household word, used by cancer centers, drug manufactures and the non-profit community in aggressive and extensive DTC marketing initiatives. But, historically, marketing cancer products directly to consumers rarely (if ever) happened; it was one of those areas that was deemed to be “pushing it too far.” What has contributed to this significant shift? And what role does DTC advertising truly play today? As the cancer conversation continues to grow across national television and other channels, we believe understanding this shift is imperative. As such, we initiated research to uncover insight into the impact and role of today’s DTC efforts in this once taboo category. Our work included a combination of quantitative and ethnographic research with cancer patients and their oncologists.

We recently had the privilege of presenting our findings to an audience of industry peers and colleagues at the 2018 DTC National Conference in Boston and, not surprisingly, our presentation hit a nerve. In fact, during the presentation, one audience member spoke out, sharing his experience with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis and how he could directly relate to the research findings we were presenting. This powerful moment was followed by a few others, including multiple audience members approaching us after our presentation to share their personal cancer anecdotes. We were moved by this level of audience engagement, and, of course, thrilled that our content had transcended professional relevance to make personal connections with people who had themselves experienced cancer. What follows is a summation of some of the more salient points from our presentation.

We are in the age of consumer-driven, patient-centered healthcare. New tools are empowering patients and shifting US consumer expectations. Take the Internet, for example, easily the broadest and most common tool…

  • 70% of people use the Internet to figure out what condition they may have before visiting the doctor1
  • 52% use the Internet to understand what they need to discuss with the doctor1
  • 84% use the Internet to learn about treatment options after receiving an initial diagnosis1
  • 61% use the Internet to learn about treatment choices and side effects1

Information sources proliferate. Think about it: there is so much available, both online and offline, from government agencies, manufacturers, pharmacy services, health plans, hospitals, cancer centers, non-profit organizations, clinical trial recruitment, advocacy groups, support services, and even social media.

As such, healthcare has become an everyday conversation. And this includes the once taboo c-word, cancer. Can you remember a time when you would hear a friend or family member whisper that someone has cancer? Now, you hear people talk about it openly at home, at work, and even at the local market or Starbucks.

The Mighty is a social media platform where consumers create message boards and share content. Within the platform, there are about 40,000 people following the broader topic of cancer today, with about 50 separate cancer communities. This demonstrates exactly what we were saying—people are no longer afraid to talk about cancer. Patients and care partners seek out these communities for emotional support, education, information, and often for some much needed self-expression.

In 1996, when DTC advertising began with blockbuster drugs like Lipitor and Claritin, there was a total spend of $555 million behind prescription medications. It was a market dominated by allergy, cholesterol, migraine, and dermatology treatments. At that time, and even just a few years ago, DTC about cancer treatments wasn’t a thought. However, DTC today reflects a different mix for a different time. Every time you turn on the TV, there’s a good likelihood you’ll see a DTC ad focused on a cancer treatment. This includes some great work from brands like Ibrance, Keytruda, Neulasta, and Opdivo. Not surprisingly, $504 million was spent on oncology DTC in 2017 alone. Yes, that is close to the whole DTC spend across all categories back in 1996. And the cancer conversation is not limited to just advertising. Cancer has become a topic in mass media and news environments as well. From Robin Roberts’ very public cancer journey on TV, Time Magazine’s cover pages on how to cure cancer, and even US News and World Report ranking the top cancer hospitals in 2017-18, there is no shortage of daily headlines about cancer.

So why the shift?

  • Talking about cancer is no longer taboo.
  • Consumer expectations of cancer have changed. For example, there is now an understanding and expectation that—in many cases—you will survive a cancer diagnosis. In addition, treatments can go on for an extended period of time.
  • The information age has helped to drive shared decision making.
  • There’s an increased level of patient involvement in the physical treatment. In fact, from targeted oral therapies to patches, some patients can now engage in chemotherapy at home.
  • There is increased competition and “noise” in the cancer space, from the proliferation of treatment options, to discussions of rising healthcare costs, and the rise in the number of interested and invested parties (i.e., health systems, advocacy, etc.).

Yet, despite all of these changes, people still lack a voice when it comes to cancer conversations with their oncologists. With our 20 years of experience in ethnographic in-office dialogue research, we have recorded well over 4,000 visits, with over 400 in oncology. That, combined with the over 800 post-visit interviews with oncology patients and their oncologists separately, has provided us with a real-world view of these poor communication interactions.

During our presentation, we shared two video clips of interactions between oncology patients and their oncologists. Unfortunately, one can’t really call them conversations, as they are completely dominated by the oncologists. These videos helped to demonstrate some of what the patient has to deal with. The visits are wrought with emotion, and the oncologist not only dominates the interaction, but throws out medical jargon and technical terminology that even the brighter than average patient cannot understand.

Witnessing this, we asked ourselves a couple important questions:

“If today’s patient is more informed about their health overall, and cancer is far less stigmatized in today’s society, why isn’t the cancer patient having more of a voice? And, what does this say about the role of DTC in advancing the cancer conversation?”

To help us gain a better understanding, we conducted an online survey with our WPP partners at Lightspeed, and reached out to 100 people ages 18-65 who are either going through cancer treatment or have completed cancer treatment. We focused the survey mostly on people who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, lung cancer, or melanoma, as many of the DTC ads out today are focused on these topics; however, other cancer types were also included.

We learned that DTC contributes to a more level playing field. Seeing a DTC ad helps cancer patients become more comfortable and educated. It also supplements the research they are already doing, and provides a comfort level.

Over half of the respondents replied that they agree, or strongly agree that seeing a pharmaceutical ad for a cancer treatment reminds them that they’re not alone.

Our research also demonstrated that DTC supports a more common, better understood language about cancer. It helps provide patients with information in their own language. It also helps to identify that there are choices available so they can balance what they’re being told by their oncologists.

In addition, DTC helps improve overall feelings of trust for cancer patients. Those we surveyed told us they feel more informed, more comfortable with medical conversations, and less alone as a result of exposure to DTC advertising.

Trust is a topic that was of particular interest to us, so we dug deeper into this data. We found 84% of our survey respondents said they are extremely or very likely to trust their oncologist. And while pharmaceutical companies ranked the lowest when patients were asked about trusted sources of cancer treatment information, they did report that DTC advertising itself improves their trust in the specific product or brand that was advertised.

Regardless, it was not a surprise when 93% of patients surveyed said they have not asked for an oncology treatment by name. This is a consistent finding with our ethnographic research experiences across other categories.

In summary, cancer has become “Primetime” for a reason. At a high level,

  • Patients today expect to be informed
  • They demand information at their fingertips
  • They don’t want to be blindly led

What does the future of oncology DTC look like?

  1. We must continue to tap into and align with cultural values.
  2. We should look to be even more informative and balanced, not less.
  3. We need to find ways to connect with patients on their terms.

As DTC marketers, there is an incredible opportunity in front of us to help fuel an evolving and improved two-way conversation.

While patients will continue to look to and trust their oncologists and the cancer community for expertise and guidance, DTC can also continue to stimulate patient awareness and understanding, provide an often needed feeling of inclusion and support, and, thereby, support a more level playing field.

If you have questions or clients who you feel would benefit from knowing more, please reach out to Catherine Goss or Ashli Sherman.

 

Reference

1 – Manhattan Research, Google Consumer Study 2015 among online patients.

 



April 25, 2018 Rob Blazek0

If you’ve been asking hard questions about the data provided by your DTC and POC campaign partners, you’re not alone. Although the heightened scrutiny is new, the challenges aren’t. The good news is that trustworthy solutions are established, proven, and available.

Treatment decisions and research are guided by data that meets exacting standards for quality, reliability, and accuracy. The campaigns you use to reach patients should be no different. Take charge and build confidence in your marketing results by aiming for the gold standard in verifiable, trustworthy performance metrics and applying these standards to your brand messaging.

Use statistically valid matched-panel experimental design. Long before any of us learn the intricacies of marketing disciplines, we learn the fundamentals of any sound experiment: the test and control groups. Yet those principles are often overlooked when budgeting significant sums of money to reach patients with information that can significantly improve their quality of life. Get back to basics by working with partners that can demonstrate that the demographics and media exposure in both test and control groups are the same. Your partner should also isolate for seasonal and market factors, and measure results in weeks both pre- and post-campaign.

Ask for third-party validation that’s part of the campaign fabric, not a quick fix. The widespread industry focus on third-party validation is as welcome as it is overdue. But it should be part of your partner’s business model, not an afterthought, bandage, or public relations move. The independent third-party analyst should be working with timely sales data and presenting reports to clients in a timely manner. That means weeks, not months. And if the independent analyst hasn’t been working with your partner for years, it bears asking why.

Demand shorter waits for data and analysis. Understanding the health and success of your campaigns needs more than just raw data. It needs data in a timely manner, soon enough to be able to make sensible adjustments before seasonal effects and other market forces can overwhelm your ability to act. Yet delays of 45 to 60 days just to get a data snapshot are common among many campaign partners and data providers. The right partners have relationships with POC operators and data aggregators to make delivery a priority.

Get data that supports your comprehensive marketing mix analysis needs. As the range of DTC and POC outreach channels grows, it’s becoming increasingly important to follow the lead of other industries and conduct detailed marketing mix analysis. Ideally, you want to understand just how much each channel’s investment contributes to the overall success of your marketing plan. That’s harder to do if your data partners can’t provide detailed analysis of the periods before and after your campaign or can’t isolate for the effects of your other media investments. Work with your trusted providers to ensure that the proper metrics from their respective campaigns are incorporated into your marketing mix analysis template.

For tangible results, look at actual sales figures, not estimates. Because of concerns ranging from patient confidentiality to a lack of interactivity, many POC and DTC channels only allow results to be measured in broad strokes. Inferences and estimates, not hard conversions and sales, are the best you can get from broadcast or with in-clinic messaging. Invest some of your campaigns in channels that can deliver actual sales figures, not just assumptions and correlations. Partners that can analyze prescription sales data, obtained in cooperation with the largest retail pharmacy chains, can capture actual incremental script volume at the location or market level. It is more straightforward to attribute ROI to actual sales volume changes than to softer measures like ad recall or reach. And when you can isolate results at the individual store level, you get a much clearer picture of campaign lift than regional or nationwide trends can reveal.

Invest in POC campaigns with fully transparent implementation protocol. It’s tough to argue with the old international diplomacy adage “trust, but verify.” Partners should earn and maintain a level of trust that means you, the client, don’t feel the constant need to send secret shoppers to check every last rollout of every single campaign. But when verification is important, you want to be able to get answers as quickly and unobtrusively as possible. POC campaigns that reach into semi-private or off-limits areas, like clinic rooms, are cumbersome and difficult to verify. Campaigns in public spaces with growing importance as a hub for coordinated care, like the retail pharmacy, are much easier to verify. Ideally, your partner will provide signoff from its own field force, so you can confirm the date each new campaign launched at every location.

Improve the size of your data set by reaching more patients in more measurable locations. Studies show that a typical patient visits a pharmacy to purchase self-prescribed OTC products eight times more often than they visit a physician in clinic. And outcomes in the retail pharmacy setting are much easier to measure than in a stand-alone clinic. Increase your exposure there, and you increase the size and robustness of your data.

Make a habit out of granular analysis, especially with highly targeted campaigns. Fine-tuning campaigns down to a region or market lets you reinforce your presence where performance is already strong, and elevate it where your performance is weak. You can also use these campaigns to test how entrenched a dominant competitor is. These focused experiments should be measured as carefully as a national rollout, but the results should be kept in the proper context. A high-performing test can be used to model the rollout and expectations for a broader campaign.

Help your partners design reports around your clear, transparent goals. In the long run, partners gear the depth of their analysis to the demands of clients. Early DTC campaigns focused on recall, so data reflected that. As the demand for clearer ROI and more repeatable results grows, partners will shift to accommodate. The clearer you are about your analytics needs, the more the industry will shift to match.

This is a terrific inflection point for the POC and DTC marketing industry, an essential channel for strong patient communication. But it’s not a doom-and-gloom moment. If anything, the renewed emphasis on verifiable results, validated figures, and trustworthy insights is causing us all to be more mindful of the work we do and the impact it has. And that’s a powerful, tangible result in itself.



April 25, 2018 Mathew Reynders0

Point-of-Care media must take responsibility for its trust and accountability because patient health depends on it.

According to the CDC, American patients visited the doctor nearly 1 billion times in 2017 – over three trips per person. In many of those doctors’ offices across the United States, patients found educational materials to aid them in their heath care journey.  In fact, Point-of-Care media reaches not only physicians’ offices and clinics but pharmacies and retailers, offering patients and their families valuable information at salient moments of diagnosis and treatment.  Recent questions about the validity and transparency of Point-of-Care companies have challenged the efficacy of these programs and put this vital channel in jeopardy.

Since its inception, Point-of-Care has aimed to provide equitable access for patients, caregivers, and consumers to find valuable resources in a wide array of locations. This information is frequently provided free of charge and often accompanied by sponsor messages. Accompanying these resources, advertisers gain premium access to key consumer groups in targeted, turnkey settings. Consequently, it is imperative that this media channel be held to the same standards as any other mainstream channel. Trust and credibility are key attributes for brands and agencies to feel confident that precious advertising dollars are put to good use.  Without this confidence, marketers have no choice but to seek other locations for their campaigns, and the Point-of-Care channel will be lost. Such action would be devastating for the industry, but even more impactful for those it serves.

Patients are struggling like never before.  Faced with complex insurance requirements, ever-changing government health policies, and rising costs, consumers in the waiting rooms and pharmacies have more questions than any prior generation. To make matters worse, the well-being of the population in the United States continues to decline, driving additional people into the healthcare system and increased overall strain. The tales of overworked physicians, exasperated patients, and a structure in peril have been well documented. The healthcare journey can now feel more like a frontier expedition, riddled with anxiety, uncertainty, and fear.

While Point-of-Care media can’t eliminate all of those emotions, its role in educating patients can create systemic benefits that can ease stress on the entire process.  With access to a wide array of print and digital-based resources, patients can become more knowledgeable about symptoms and disease states and learn about appropriate treatments that may be available.  With this knowledge, doctor-patient conversations can be more targeted and efficient, focusing the physician’s limited time on the most pressing concerns for the patient. Information is then available at home for reinforcement, boosting the prospects of adherence, and pharmacies can act as valuable outposts to complement patient care. Equally important, caregivers can find invaluable resources to maintain the health of loved ones.

Patient education is a crucial step to improve patient outcomes. But in order to take advantage of those benefits, the industry must require accountability for those who work within this domain.  Educational resources must have value for the intended audience and provide information in a clear, responsible manner. As such, that information must be distributed according to a strategic, thoughtful plan. The availability and targeting of assets purchased by marketing partners must be achieved and validated with full compliance.

Sponsors deserve the trust and credibility that should come with any other purchase. Programs must be sold and executed as promised, with proof of performance.  Point-of-Care must establish clear standards that match those of other media channels, such as television, radio, or outdoor advertising.

Different from those channels, however, is that failure to provide such credibility at Point-of-Care would deprive patients of critical information when they need it most.  It is incumbent upon the Point-of-Care industry to improve its standard of excellence and demand accountability from within. Patient’s lives depend on it.