Latest News



December 9, 2021 Kathryn Ticknor Robinson0

For years, the DTC National Conference has showcased the best in direct-to-consumer Rx marketing. At the heart of DTC is the “Patient Experience,” essentially the sum total of each person’s unique journey from illness to treatment and, if the experience is successful, back to some kind of health or “new normal.”

Companies use various metrics to characterize what a good patient experience is like. Many of them are similar to a personalized eCommerce experience where buyers’ needs are met, expectations exceeded. Today’s end-users demand convenience, responsiveness, and ongoing support.

For patients, the stakes are even higher because their health and often their very lives are at risk. Healthcare brands understand this urgency, and they devote significant resources to market research with the hope of understanding patients and optimizing their healthcare experience.

Market research at its best helps pharma brands thrive by providing actionable insights into unmet needs, personal attitudes, treatment options, audience behaviors and triggers, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. To accomplish these goals, research agencies traditionally use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. But challenges persist, and hybrid approaches often fall short of the insights brands need to succeed.

Recent advances in digital technology have revolutionized market research, and healthcare brands are taking notice. Many of the techniques used by Big Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon are now part of our DTC market research toolkit.

The global pandemic has accelerated progress in digital health, exemplified by increased telehealth adoption and the digitization of market research for pharma brands. From data collection to analysis and reporting, let’s take a look at how digital is changing the game.

Image courtesy of inVibe Labs

The Digitization of Data Collection

A challenge of traditional market research is similar to that facing the health system itself: How do you collect biometrically rich and accurate data to best inform diagnostic and treatment decision making? The human body is speaking to us through data, but are we able to listen?

Patients are speaking, too, and the time has come for market research to do better than fill-in-the-blank surveys and questionnaire bubbles, unnatural interviews and focus groups, and other self-limiting formats. Even rigorous observational studies are subject to bias.

In contrast, consider the power of a patient voice recording compared to a written response from a survey or questionnaire. Patients are already sharing their thoughts and feelings about their experience with a disease state, vaccine, or treatment from their own smartphones.

Not only does a voice recording contain 100x or more data than the written word, but no data is lost or filtered during the input process. The data is also acquired conveniently, candidly, and efficiently, and in a manner that can seamlessly and relatively rapidly scale to need.

Unlike eye-tracking widgets, heat mapping, and other tech, voice offers a comprehensive window into the thoughts and feelings of your patients. By letting them speak for themselves, researchers can listen to the unfiltered essence of what’s on patients’ minds.

Image courtesy of inVibe Labs

A Human & Machine Approach to Data Analysis

After market research data is collected, the information must be analyzed to extract actionable insights. For quantitative research, the application of complex mathematical algorithms is usually involved; for quantitative, human researchers take a much more subjective, and often laborious, approach.

Given these differences between quant and qual data analysis, brands again feel tradeoffs are necessary: mountains of quant data is anonymized and statistically processed for generalized insights, while more dimensional, deeper data sets from smaller qual samples are extrapolated for more nuanced analysis of smaller sample sizes.

Innovative voice technologies offer a better way: trained language scientists conducting qualitative analysis assisted by an AI-powered processing interface that utilizes machine learning tools. Such a hybrid approach reveals insights lost or never inputted in the first place through mere checkbox surveys.

Layering advanced sentiment analysis on top of transcribed textual responses reveals added dimensions of subtle nuance and behavioral indicators. These emotional responses reveal the why behind patient behaviors, providing pharma brands unique insights.

Learning from the likes of Big Tech, a combination of sophisticated software and human-powered analytics can reveal the underlying needs of patients and fulfil unmet expectations for an ideal experience with your pharma brand.

Image courtesy of inVibe Labs

The Digitization of Market Research Reporting

The whole point of conducting market research is to better understand and hopefully improve their experience. Extracting key insights are just the first step – brand teams need effective recommendations to translate data into action.

From Google AdWords and Analytics to Microsoft Azure, Big Tech again leads the way. The presentation of data results in a visual, intuitive, and compelling way is the hallmark of digital supremacy, as PowerPoint decks are replaced by visual, interactive, and intuitive digital interfaces that tell stories.

Layered, dimensional output is another benefit of collecting voice data as opposed to text or other limited inputs. Voice data lends itself well to a dynamic dashboard with insights that drive action, from study design structure to endpoint recommendations to a health-literate lexicon.

The more patient biometric data you collect and analyze, the more nuanced your reporting opportunities. Being able to play original source audio files instantly connects brand teams back to their key stakeholders; hearing the subjects speaking for themselves infuses the output with transparency, credibility, and passion, which gives the research unparalleled credibility.

“Without data,” W. Edwards Deming once said, “you’re just another person with an opinion.” And without a visual, intuitive, and KPI-driven way to dynamically report actionable recommendations back to brand teams, your market research results could get lost in the noise.

Image courtesy of inVibe Labs

Bringing the Patient Experience to Life

Adept brand stewards identify research opportunities across functional teams and the product life cycle, from clinical trials and R&D to primary and health economics and outcomes research, et al. Tailored combinations of quant and qual are the norm – now enhanced with digital.

To best understand patients and their unique needs, you need a market research approach with agility and power. The current opportunity demands a capability with the fluidity and speed of quant and the depth and dimensionality of qual. Digital innovation fills that gap.

Opportunities abound for innovative approaches, such as when patient recruitment is time consuming or tricky; you have more questions and need another layer of insights but have minimal ramp up time; or campaign stimuli need to be tested during the creative development cycle.

By harnessing the natural power of the patient’s own voice, a fresh approach to market research gives additional flexibility and strength to the arsenal of tools already at a brand’s disposal. By embracing the potential of voice for market research, the patient experience is revitalized.

When done with empathy, personalization, and innovation, market research helps explain what the optimal patient experience should be like, and it recommends how healthcare brands can assist in creating it. The digitization of market research adds to the arsenal of digital health and maximizes the power of DTC marketing.



December 9, 2021 Jessica Obriot0

Social media users respond to voice and human connection. People like people. This makes working with influencers an excellent way to impact your target audience.

When the words “social media influencer” are thrown around, it can sometimes trigger thoughts of makeup brands, clothing companies, or even beauty supplements. However, the vast world of social media changes every day, and one of the more recent changes is that anyone can be an influencer. If an online user has followers that hit your target audience, and their content is “brand friendly,” you have the perfect pairing for an influencer partnership that will get you ROI. Healthcare marketing is no exception.

During the pandemic, we’ve seen doctors become even more interested in being connected to brands they love and to their fellow health care professionals. Doctors are open to sponsoring products and devices they’re passionate about, just as a beauty influencer would promote a mascara they love.

Finding the Right Influencer

A lot of brands focus on the number of followers a person has and want to select influencers just based on this number. Don’t get me wrong, having a lot of followers is a great start, but it’s not everything. Influence isn’t just about follower count. Micro-influencers can actually have the biggest impact if they’re the ones who are engaging with the audience you most want to reach.

We are looking for KOLs – Key Opinion Leaders. Whether you’re on the hunt for patient or physician influencers for your brand, you want to ensure that their followers (no matter the number) are within your target audience and are engaging with the potential influencer’s posts.

You also want to make sure the influencer is “brand friendly.” Are they putting out relevant content that aligns with the brand’s message? Are they posting competitor products? Are they using profanity or language that the brand doesn’t want to be associated with?

Analyze an influencer’s profile and feed to determine who fits the brand’s bill. It’s important to establish with the brand’s marketing team that these points are what’s important when choosing influencers. Create a checklist with the marketing team that everyone signs off on. This way, once scouts are sent in to hunt down potential influencers, you are working off a consistent, agreed-upon standard that aligns with the brand strategy.

Choosing the Best Channel

Sometimes there will be questions about which platform to use for influencer programs. I’ve found that researching hashtags is the best way to find out whether a platform is appropriate. For example, if we’re looking for an influencer for a diabetic macular edema drug, we’ll search “DME” or “diabeticmacularedema” in hashtags across platforms. This not only helps give a sense of the conversation but also may provide insight into who is talking about your product or disease state the most.

At the moment, we’re running campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. That’s where the influencers are. But there’s always new players, right?

Enter TikTok. The channel is still new territory in terms of the medical field, but we’re keeping our ear to the ground because of the number of our target audience members that use it. More physicians are moving to TikTok to talk about procedures and patients’ stories. Patients are also going viral with their own stories. This is the kind of platform that can make a campaign go viral.

Image source: Shutterstock

Content That Matters

When it comes to building the content, we put a lot of focus on staying within FTC and FDA guidelines for distributing information for sponsored content. However, we also try to cultivate a strong, trusting relationship with the influencers.

Get an understanding of their aesthetic on Instagram and how they speak in their posts. Content development is much more of a collaboration than a plug and play. Don’t say, “Okay, we’re going to make this post for you. Here it is. We’re paying you to put it on there.” It’s more that you are getting the influencers’ true thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

It’s important that the posts are in the influencer’s voice. Their audience needs to feel the person behind the post, and the influencer needs to feel they are being properly represented. This is why the working relationship with the influencer is so important.

Encourage influencers to follow along with prompts that are given to them to best align their posts with the goals of the campaign. For example, say, “Tell us about the first time you prescribed X to a patient.” Then take their answer and create a post for them, ensuring that all FTC and FDA language is incorporated. A copywriting team will ensure that you are retaining the influencer’s voice, while also staying compliant. Designers can then add the brand’s logo or important safety information as needed.

Legal Review Can Be a Breeze

To some, especially your MLRC or legal teams, it can be daunting to consider having influencers as branded partners who are not tied to the brand in the way an agency would be. Working with a team member experienced in social media marketing helps marketing teams approach their internal and the legal teams to communicate both the importance of social media influencers and the safeguards put in place to meet FDA and FTC requirements.

A good way to frame it is that this influencer is a kind of contractor. They are working with the brand, they signed a contract, and they are being compensated accordingly. Be careful about who you select. Once that person is on board, they should be trained and monitored the way an agency would be, and their duty to comply with company standards is included in their contracts. It’s important to make these teams comfortable with the idea of influencers and to reiterate that the risk is low and the potential ROI is high.

Once you have the influencer’s posts compiled and the influencer has signed off on them, put the post through internal or MLRC review. Any changes made from this point forward are communicated to the influencer, and work with them to ensure that the post is still in their voice.

After the MLRC team approves the post, provide a post distribution schedule to the influencer with the dates and times their post should go out. They’re given all the assets they need to post it on social media and be successful in doing so.

Ensuring Compliance

On the date a post is scheduled to go live, check that the post is live, that everything looks compliant, and that everything is posted as it was approved.

All branded language in these posts is tied to compliance the same way it would be in a normal post that goes out on a brand channel. FTC requirements have become very direct over the years and their requirements are easy to incorporate. For example, at the top of the post, you need to have “#ad” or you need to disclose that this is a paid partnership.

The biggest question for brands is always about how influencers interact with the community once they have distributed these posts. The post goes live and people are commenting on the post. How is the influencer going to interact under that post? How are they going to interact in direct messages? There’s always a big question about adverse events (AE), too. How is this person going to report an AE?

Consider creating a training document that can be molded to your brand. It can include approved responses that the influencer agrees to use under all sponsored content, and also a full briefing and overview on AE reporting and the steps an influencer needs to take to ensure an AE is reported to the brand.

If the brand prefers, the influencer can turn off Instagram comments under their posts so that all interaction on the post is restricted to direct messages. This isn’t ideal as we WANT engagement under the influencer posts, but it’s a compromise we’ve seen in order to push programs through approval.

Brand Impact

Working with social media influencers is new to many pharmaceutical and medical device brands. I’ve found that a key to success is having clear, strategic steps that not only help retain control over the outcome, but also make all internal brand teams comfortable with the process.

It is vital for the brand to be properly represented and for regulatory authorities to be satisfied. It is also important for the influencer to feel authentic, which should happen naturally when you select doctors who truly love the brand.

To take full advantage of the potential in these campaigns, the personal voice must stay in the posts. People respond to specific, relatable facets of other human beings.

Again, I think it is important to emphasize that for these campaigns the reward is so much higher than the risk. We’ve seen amazing responses to influencers and from my POV, HCP and patient influencer campaigns deserve to be a standard part of brand planning moving forward for pharmaceutical and med device companies.



December 9, 2021 Eric Peacock0

For the six in 10 Americans living with a chronic health condition, the COVID-19 pandemic took an especially difficult toll. 69% of people living with chronic disease report the pandemic has made it more difficult to manage their condition, and one in three say the symptoms of their condition worsened during the pandemic. Just as they were beginning to venture back out to in-person appointments with their doctors and to pre-pandemic exercise regimens and social engagements – the Delta variant swept in and put a damper on returning to life as normal.

(Image courtesy of MyHealthTeams)

There is a huge opportunity to engage and help patients with chronic conditions right now by giving them the content and information they need and want, in the setting where they feel safe and comfortable. Follow these six strategies to get an unfair advantage in engaging patients in Q4 and 2022 (all while feeling good knowing you are helping patients).

1. Answer the questions they have – not the questions you want them to have

On the surface this may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how often the healthcare system and pharmaceutical companies fail to address the most important, pressing questions on the minds of the patients they are trying to reach. Case in point – COVID vaccine recommendations. Exactly nobody with Crohn’s disease, or Multiple Sclerosis, or leukemia, or multiple myeloma were comfortable following the CDC’s general guidance about getting the COVID vaccine. They wanted to know whether it was safe for them, given their diagnosis, and their current medication (often an immunosuppressant). If you spend all your time marketing to people with leukemia, then get in their heads. Understand the pressing questions and figure out a way to get them to content that has trusted answers. Doing so will show that
you are on their side and interested in helping them achieve better outcomes – not to mention catch their eye, get them to stop what they are doing, and engage with the content you are sponsoring.

2. Bring the experts to the masses

The number of people utilizing telehealth services surged during the pandemic, and while that is a good thing, it is still one patient at a time and reliant on everyone having access to good specialists via telehealth. But now is a great time to bring the specialist, leading experts in a disease, to the masses. Not every patient with vitiligo has access to a dermatologist involved in clinical trials and research in that condition, for instance. So why not do a Live Q&A with the vitiligo expert and make it available to thousands of people with vitiligo (or whatever condition you are serving)? In one hour or less, a doctor can address about 10 hot topics that are top of mind for thousands of people facing the same disease and grappling with similar day-to-day challenges. And for those who can’t make the live event you can always record it for later viewing. Here’s the thing – hospitals don’t typically do this. Insurance companies don’t typically do this. Pharma companies absolutely should do this to engage patients – just make sure you do it with a partner, in a way that is at arms-length, so you don’t have to spend half of your life in MLR review.

3. Empower patients with virtual rehab sessions

Sheltering in place for months on end drove many people living with a chronic condition to try ondemand, at-home opportunities to care for their health – and it worked. The Home Rehab Network, for example, created virtual pulmonary rehabilitation sessions for COPD patients when the pandemic stopped all in-person sessions with respiratory patients. Short, two-minute video tutorials proved especially effective, with 71% of patients who regularly practiced the techniques reporting improvement in their shortness of breath. The content was engaging. Two-thirds of those who tried the techniques made them a daily habit. This type of approach opens up opportunities across many chronic conditions, serving patients who are seeking tips for how to incorporate simple condition-specific rehab exercises into their daily routines.

Image courtesy of MyHealthTeams

4. Think beyond the pill to serve the whole person

When surveyed, chronic condition patients consistently point to two factors that most influence their satisfaction with doctors: “Listens to me and understands me” and “Spends enough time with me.” In most cases, what they’re really seeking is recognition and practical advice for some of the things they are facing due to their chronic condition such as stress, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, bladder issues, sleeping issues – or – tips on how to eat healthy and workout safely while living with their specific disease. Filling this gap is a valuable patient engagement opportunity. Resources such as condition-specific nutrition recommendations, recipes and shopping guides, and even destigmatizing topics around mental or sexual health for example, can go a long way toward serving the whole person.

5. Foster strong social connections

There’s a growing body of evidence that strong social connections improve health outcomes. Finding ways to foster communication among people who share the same chronic disease diagnosis helps them share their unfiltered truth – firsthand experiences with treatments and side effects, practical tips for navigating challenges at work or home, emotional support for getting through the tough days, guidance for questions to ask at the next doctor’s appointment. This can happen through traditional patient support groups, of course. But in today’s digitally-driven world, it increasingly happens online – especially in condition-specific patient social networks.

6. Prioritize direct relationships with diagnosed patients

For marketers tasked with reaching diagnosed patients, it’s more important than ever before to prioritize audience quality when evaluating media partners. As Google phases out third-party cookies in a couple of years, these partnerships will be key to reaching and engaging target consumers. First-party data will be king, and the time is now to start building those trusted relationships. Connecting with patients when and where they are actively discussing and seeking information about their health will be essential to patient engagement success in 2022 and beyond.

Ultimately, following these strategies will not only get you strong results, they will also help improve health outcomes by empowering people to make informed health decisions and take the actions that are right for them.



November 18, 2021 admin0

Sponsored Content

Our networks, connecting with patients, and our measurement capabilities set us apart from other media partners. InStep Health is the only fully integrated marketing platform combining the power of digital activation programs with a proprietary network of over 250,000 HCPs and 24,000 pharmacies.

At InStep Health, partnerships throughout the life sciences have created 1000+ successful campaigns for over 200 brands in 92 therapeutic categories. The key to success is an innovative philosophy based on solutions encompassing the entire continuum of care with a lens on targeting, exemplary execution, and accurate, meaningful prescription pull-through. This means our massive scale for health marketers and the industry as hyper-targeted initiatives reached more relevant HCPs and their patients.

Services and Offerings: Completely Connected

InStep Health has created an exclusive digital-to-physical continuum that spans patient visits to their physician, local pharmacy, home, and workplace in the ordinary course of maintaining their health. Our approach starts with custom audience models and geolocation data to locate a campaign’s footprint using advanced digital tactics. InStep Health Arrivals provide just-in-time impact, allowing clients to reach their target audience as they enter our network physician offices and pharmacies.

We know engaged HCPs are critical to any program’s success. InStep Health Emails provide a day-to-day connection with HCPs who opt-in to our in-office programs, reaching them in their email boxes throughout campaigns. Added to this is our ability to target opted-in HCPs on a 1:1 basis as they access the internet on work and personal devices.

Pharmacy

InStep Health was the first to recognize the pharmacy’s extraordinary effectiveness as a media channel. Our Pharmacy Displays, placed at the shelf in targeted health and personal care aisles of the retail pharmacy, engage consumers as they seek health information. Our aisle-by-aisle targeting approach leverages patient behaviors related to their health conditions.

The Pharmacy in 2020: Reliable, Essential, More Valuable than Ever

The stay-at-home orders from COVID-19 response nationwide interrupted many typical doctor-patient relationships as access to clinics and hospitals were curtailed or discouraged for non-emergency, nonessential concerns, and public transportation was interrupted. So pharmacies became an even more natural and logical healthcare destination. And pharmacies leaned into that responsibility.

As CVS CEO Larry Merlo said in the company’s second-quarter earnings report, “The environment surrounding COVID-19 is accelerating our transformation, giving us new opportunities to demonstrate the power of our integrated offerings and the ability to deliver care to consumers in the community, in the home and in the palm of their hand which has never been more important.”

Pharmacies opened thousands of on-site COVID-19 testing centers and became de facto leaders in transmission reduction for retail stores. In concert with the Department of Health and Human Services, pharmacies expanded vaccine services by broadening the range of vaccinations approved for administration by a trained pharmacist. In hard-hit communities, pharmacies stepped up their telemedicine and delivery options, even launching drone services to minimize contact and spread. Some locations even opened customers’ eyes to the full scope of services for the first time when they applied their compounding skills to make hand sanitizer during shortages.

Healthcare Providers

Our network of 250,000+ HCPs is the largest in the industry and includes all provider types in virtually every medical specialty nationwide. InStep Health’s Professional Education Kits and Patient Activation Bags, delivered throughout network offices, are ideal for educating HCPs, staff, and patients about new or established treatments. They are also a strategic solution for supporting pharma sales forces and overcoming reduced personal interactions with providers.

Measurement

We employ a flexible platform that utilizes best-in-class data and third-party partners to deliver metrics and insights for every program across whatever channel we execute with our clients. For example, prescription lift and ROI, changes in prescribing at the physician level, physician recommendations and awareness, response to digital ads, and digital audience composition are among the performance indicators measured.

Learnings from a time of uncertainty

Today, we can see clearly that although COVID has accelerated the rate of change in healthcare, many of the essential priorities have remained the same. The role of technology will expand to reach more patients faster to achieve better outcomes. The pharmacy played a distinct role in the pandemic response and emerged as the quintessential essential business. Across all disciplines, health care professionals will require new ways of reaching patients–with a better ability to serve them ondemand and in any setting. Consumer appetite for convenient access to trusted providers will only grow.

We recommend creating adaptive plans using your answers to these questions as a guideline:

Learn more about the InStep Health platform and marketing solutions. A continuum of care. Meet with an InStep Health team member at DTC National or visit completelyconnected.life.



November 18, 2021 admin0

Sponsored Content

It’s clearer than ever — health inequities exist, and they need to be addressed. So how can we, as marketers and content creators, help bridge the gap? Which methods and strategies are most impactful?

In this Q&A, Verywell’s Chief Medical Officer, Jessica Shepherd, MD, shares her thoughts on creating positive change and evolving our thinking around how health content is created and disseminated to be inclusive for all audiences.

Verywell: What has happened over the past 18 months to bring health inequities to center stage?

Jessica Shepherd, MD: The COVID-19 pandemic shined a strong light on American health disparities — we saw firsthand differences in access to testing, care, treatment, and more across communities and populations.

At the same time, we saw the mighty power of information in narrowing the existing gap. We needed technology and reassuring messaging to empower people and drive them to take action, whether it was getting tested, staying home, wearing masks, getting vaccinated, or seeking help.

These events were eye-opening in these regards. They highlighted existing health inequities and the power — and responsibility — that we, as health information disseminators, have to address them.

At Verywell, we did our part by providing information that was credible, easy-to-understand, empathetic, and relevant — pillars that KR&I, in research sponsored by Verywell, found matter to people in their moments of need.

Verywell: As both a physician and CMO, you have unique insight into this topic. Where do you think publishers and advertisers have the most opportunity to create positive change?

Jessica Shepherd, MD: As a physician, I have countless opportunities to give my patients information that is understandable and relatable, and as CMO I see that opportunity extended to the online publishing space. Over the years I’ve seen changes to where people are getting information and how they’re interpreting it, and unfortunately what they’re finding is not always as relevant as it can be, which makes it less impactful. That is the gap we need to fill.

When we think about “equity,” we know it refers to fairness and justice. Addressing “equity” means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and adjusting our content accordingly. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and address intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or system structures, including health-specific barriers like cost of care, lack of culturally competent care, socioeconomic status, race, location, and more. This is how we can create resources that are relevant to everyone.

Verywell’s Anti-Racism pledge, shared publicly, outlines the goal best — we offer a detailed promise to all who visit Verywell, so they may see themselves in the voices and content that are shared. We took this commitment as a first step to driving positive change, to ensure that anyone and everyone feels represented.

Verywell: What steps can publishers and advertisers take to ensure they are properly representing all communities? In other words, what does “getting it right” look like?

Jessica Shepherd, MD: To accurately address the problem, you first need to understand the problem, so it’s important to ask questions and lay the foundation for why this work needs to be done. At Verywell, our first step is always research. We evaluate the existing literature, asking questions like “what is the prevalence” and “who is affected, and why?” We also partner with our Anti-Bias Review Board — a group of physicians, DEI experts, psychologists, and more. They help us gain a deeper understanding of what we don’t know and how we can best address it.

This base-level understanding often naturally leads to solutions that support the real people who are experiencing a health-related issue and seeking answers in their moment of need. For example, if lack of education and awareness are in play, we make sure new and existing content fills that gap. If resources are an issue, we help connect people with leading organizations who are there to help. And if representation is lacking in clinical materials, we’ll make sure to offer specific imagery, voices, and more.

The most important aspect of “getting it right” — the outcome you want to achieve — is making sure that every reader who visits your resources easily finds the credible, relevant, and empathetic information they’re looking for. KR&I, in the same study sponsored by Verywell, found that users are more likely to feel better and take a positive health action when they encounter content that embodies these four factors.

Verywell: What are some of the challenges in making sure everyone is represented in online health content?

Jessica Shepherd, MD: Most challenges relate to one simple truth — we don’t always know what we don’t know. Representing “everyone” is a complex task, which is why research, partnership, and highlighting diverse voices is so important to “getting it right.” The health inequities affecting different communities require attention and detail and collectively we are stronger, can learn from one another, and can all help each other live healthier lives.

Related to that, we’re working towards changing how content has been written for a long time. As with any change, it’s important to maintain a caliber of curiosity and openness to learning what matters to different groups of people. The more we can put a human lens on our users’ needs, the better we can meet them where they are and humanize their health experience.

Verywell has one specific purpose—to help others feel better and more empowered about their health. To learn more about Verywell’s approach to addressing health inequities online, or for more information on partnership opportunities, contact us at sales@verywell.com.



November 18, 2021 admin0

Sponsored Content

WHILE “NEW” MAY SEEM AN OXYMORON FOR A COMPANY THAT IS NEARLY FOUR DECADES OLD, IT IS TRUE. HERE’S WHY:

Today, the pace of change in healthcare communications is not just fast, it’s hyperspeed. The brand marketing plans of just two years ago are more than out of date. As the world evolves beyond the pandemic crisis phase in the US, pharma brand marketers are evolving the way they reach physicians and patients. Every day. And, at Health Monitor, so are we.

In the first six months of 2021, we introduced three new products – all digital offerings – to reach both physicians and patients in new ways. These products are, of course, a complement to the award-winning existing communication platform we have built in our industry-leading largest physician office network of over 200,000 offices.

In addition, during the first six months of 2021, we added several key new senior leaders across the organization – from network sales, industry sales, marketing, and data analytics and technology. All the investments are in the service of continuing to build our platform, serve our physician office and brand marketing customers, and continue to further enhance our offerings.

Some things, though, have NOT changed.

Our commitment to bringing the highest quality, bespoke educational content to patients and physicians through our in-house content studio and our own medical advisory board of leading KOLs across virtually every specialty remains unchanged.

Our company values of transparency, initiative, and teamwork remain unchanged. Transparency means we always do what’s right in support of that physician and the patient communication in the exam room. Every time.

Finally, we are in a business that demands transparency and accountability. That’s why all our marketing programs come with our industry-leading ROI guarantee and measurement.

I am immensely proud of our four decades of history. Our products. Our people. I am very excited about our future, with the major investments in people and new products. I believe strongly in the #HealthMonitorDifference.

David M Paragamian
Chief Executive Officer



November 18, 2021 admin0

Sponsored Content

Healthcare marketers who target consumers by age, gender, race, and ethnicity, or income, are potentially over-spending on media and missing a key to unlock both motivation and action.

That’s because our current marketing and advertising ecosystem is built on demographic targeting instead of what consumers think.

For decades, marketers have been limited to media buys such as radio and television ads targeted based on audience age and gender. It’s possible to reserve ads in time slots which attract adults at least 65 years of age, for example, or in programming aimed at women between the ages of 25 and 34.

Who’s to say that the women within either of those groups hold a core set of common beliefs which influence how favorably they will respond to a particular message?

Thanks to attitudinal research, we now know that they don’t.

Marketers who want to stand out can gain a competitive advantage by accessing insights uncovered by our research showing that age, gender, race and ethnicity, and even income are transcended by shared attitudes that have no demographic distinction. These powerful beliefs, if understood and used as the foundation for segmentation and personalization, can transform any brand.

Here are the top four things attitudinal segmentation makes possible.

Reach the right customer, with the right message, at the right time

Of course, every marketer knows the importance of reaching their target audience with an appealing message at a time when it will motivate them to take action. What isn’t as obvious is the attitudes and beliefs which need to be addressed in these messages and how target audiences break down in terms of holding common beliefs.

That’s where attitudinal segmentation marketing research shines.

LAVIDGE, which serves numerous healthcare industry clients, conducted a nationwide survey in early 2020 and amended in May 2020, to learn the attitudes of healthcare consumers and define segments that share those attitudes—pre-pandemic and during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The “LAVIDGE Healthcare Industry Marketing Report” revealed four distinct attitudinal segments which bubbled up to the top based on survey responses.

The study uncovered four key healthcare consumer segments:

  • Team Players – like and trust their doctors and are confident in the healthcare system.
  • Bystanders – are intimated by the healthcare system and healthcare providers.
  • Crusaders – feel that everyone should have equal access to quality healthcare.
  • Boss – conducts their own healthcare research and challenges their doctors.

In the process, LAVIDGE uncovered six insights tied to how motivating beliefs impact healthcare consumers’ decisions on how they do or don’t interact with healthcare providers.

The segments, combined with the additional insights, have proven to be an invaluable resource for serving the needs of numerous healthcare industry clients, which has grown since LAVIDGE published its findings.

Optimize budgets through better targeting

It’s important to note that LAVIDGE didn’t know going into its study how many segments would bubble up or which attitudes would be most common among respondents who answered a series of thought-provoking questions.

Once the four segments revealed themselves, however, it became clear that all of them exist across all demographic criteria, with slight skews for different segments.

The revelation that shared attitudinal segments do not adhere to demographic criteria turns traditional healthcare marketing targeting strategy on its ear.

LAVIDGE learned that healthcare consumers respond to content that resonates with them emotionally and aligns with their beliefs. This gives healthcare marketers a significant leg up on the competition.

While others are busy crafting messages for audiences with common characteristics (whose core beliefs about healthcare are not necessarily aligned), marketers with attitudinal segmentation insight can launch laser-focused campaigns based on what makes healthcare consumers tick.

Better targeting leads to more efficient budgeting, which makes it possible to get the most out of marketing funds allotted to each campaign.

Improve media efficiencies

Knowing what makes an audience tick can make knowing where to reach them easier.

  • What types of media will reach them?
  • Do they drive or use public transportation?
  • What mix of traditional and new media will be most likely to not only be seen or heard, but to make an impact on them?

While our survey didn’t ask these questions overtly, knowing what healthcare consumers in each attitudinal segment believe about a variety of lifestyle choices makes it possible to choose media with messages aligned with those core beliefs.

And when marketing messages resonate with the intended audiences, improved media efficiency isn’t far behind.

Inform opportunities across the organization from product development to customer service

Marketing isn’t the only department which can benefit from seeing a clearer picture of what motivating beliefs drive the business’s consumers to action.

In fact, the more departments that can be made aware of what will attract and retain patients and clients—as well as what will turn them away—the more effective each organization can be in implementing effective strategies companywide.

After all, being consistent in what is promised all the way from the first touch in a multi-touch marketing campaign to the actual service—and if applicable—clear through to any follow-up satisfaction surveys following service, is a sure way to bake authenticity into your brand.

Meet LAVIDGE: We specialize in discovering and communicating insights which engage, motivate, and inspire. Our clients—in health care, real estate, education, technology, sports marketing, personal care, food service, and other public and private industries—count on us to make a difference. From brand awareness to lead generation and improved sales, to positioning them as thought leaders and enhancing perceptions, it’s what we do. And we’ve been doing it successfully since 1982. Intrigued? Visit LAVIDGE at 2777 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix, Ariz., online at LAVIDGE.com or get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.



October 7, 2021 Mike Brune0

By Mike Brune of Ogilvy Health

I’m pretty sure we can all agree, it’s been a year. A year when so many unbelievable, unprecedented, and unwelcomed events have taken their toll on family and friends, our work, our institutions, our sense of personal safety, in short, our lives. As I reviewed some of the most celebrated campaigns produced over this past year, it occurred to me that these four featured here cover a breadth of human concerns. From the personal challenges that living with a rare disease presents to the afflicted, to the societal issues that can leave us all with an unsettling feeling of vulnerability.

Each of these campaigns captured my attention (and to some extent, envy) by taking advantage of evolving digital capabilities to set their creative ambitions free and allow their respective missions to be brought quite literally to life. A pretty stunning feat that these four campaigns collectively accomplished was to add to the lives of the living and breathe life into the dead.

Enough with the preamble, here they are:

Sick Beats, Woojer

The concept of the SICK BEATS Vest just blew me away. An audacious undertaking, the convergence of technologies employed here completely transforms a treatment for people with cystic fibrosis from something that verges on the torturous into an experience that actually looks to be “fun”. Retro-fitting the established tech of the oscillating vest and linking it to a Spotify playlist to produce a therapeutic effect is proof that it “hasn’t all been done before”. Beyond that, introducing such a dramatic experiential shift for people who truly suffer with a disease as difficult as cystic fibrosis seems to be one of the best reasons to do what we do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6BtMs_H2fk

Bloodless Battles, Genentech

Know your audience. That tenet of marketing savvy was clearly honored in a campaign that reflects a thorough understanding of the challenges that men with hemophilia face and the channels through which they could be reached. Genentech discovered that online gaming provided access to this audience and cleverly spoke to them in a manner that was respectful of their condition and fit their interest in social engagement. Knowing their audience interests and need for social connections delivered impressive results. Well done.

https://clios.com/health/winner/creative-effectiveness-pharmaceutical/genentech/bloodless-battle-96103

Mozart 80, Pfizer

I have from time to time pondered the “what if?”. For example, what if some of my favorite musicians had lived to a ripe old age? I imagine most people wonder the same thing about artists or anyone who may have influenced their life. That’s why I was intrigued by the concept behind Mozart 80. While their use of AI to “compose” works that Mozart would have created had he not died at 35 requires some suspension of reality (at least for me), the program proved a success in Pfizer’s efforts to recruit medical talent and promote the value of vaccines while they tackled the global pandemic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll1HU0mw_Mc

The Unfinished Votes, Change the Ref

I suppose the message behind this campaign will not be for everyone. Accepting that I believe it is (or should be) for everyone, the concept itself is brilliant, the execution respectful and powerful. It takes imagination, courage, and an unwavering commitment to a cause to be so bold as to even propose the use of AI technology to reanimate a murder victim who will encourage people to vote. Even if that vote is in the interest of preserving the life of others. Very well done. 

https://clios.com/health/winner/branded-entertainment-content-health-wellness/change-the-ref/the-unfinished-votes-96328



August 27, 2021 Carly Helfand0

Right now, the U.S public health officials, vaccine makers and other groups are striving to educate the public – and combat misinformation – about COVID-19 vaccines in a drive to improve vaccination rates and end the pandemic. But as new data show, it’s not just COVID-19 shots that patients need to learn more about.

A pair of recent Phreesia surveys, given to a combined total of nearly 345,000 patients when they checked in for doctors’ appointments, found that although patients largely recognize the importance of vaccines, many have concerns around safety and side effects -even when it comes to older, more established products. And that’s where pharma marketers need to step in.

In the first of the two surveys, taken by nearly 10,000 parents of adolescents between Nov. 30 and Dec. 10, 2020, respondents generally believed that childhood vaccines were effective, with 62.5% strongly agreeing and 28.6% agreeing. Caregivers concurred in similar percentages that childhood vaccines were important for their children’s health and that getting vaccines was a good way to protect children from disease.

But the survey also yielded worrying results for vaccine makers and public health officials. Close to 16% of parents either agreed or strongly agreed that their children didn’t need vaccines for diseases that are no longer common, and 25% didn’t have an opinion either way about such vaccinations.

Combined, those figures indicate that more than 40% of parents aren’t sure they need to vaccinate their children for diseases that aren’t currently prevalent – even though the rarity of those diseases hinges on vaccines and the herd immunity they confer. In recent years, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and mumps have shown that even small pockets of unvaccinated people can drive significant spread of contagious disease among both vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. That’s why it’s critical that healthcare professionals and vaccine makers continue to stress the importance of childhood vaccination.

Another troubling statistic in an era of unparalleled vaccine hesitancy: Nearly 46% of surveyed parents said they were concerned about vaccines’ side effects, with another 28.2% expressing no opinion about side effects either way. Together, those figures showed that 74% of parents were either worried or uncertain about the side effects of vaccines – despite an overabundance of evidence that vaccines are safe and rarely cause serious adverse reactions.

Finally, perhaps in reference to the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines that were making their way toward widespread adoption at the time, 27.1% of surveyed parents either agreed or strongly agreed that new vaccines carried more risks than older vaccines – and a whopping 47.6% neither agreed nor disagreed with that statement.

Those stats mirror results from a second, ongoing Phreesia survey, which has been taken by more than 335,000 adult patients since March 2021. Among those who answered, slightly more than half of polled patients (51%) said they were concerned about the safety and long-term side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, and 23.5% did not agree that it was important to receive all recommended vaccines.

The results clearly illustrate that pharma marketers have their work cut out for them, not only to convince patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but also to make sure the vaccine hesitancy the country is currently seeing doesn’t spill over further to impact the rate of childhood vaccinations. While patients may be generally aware of vaccines’ role in staving off disease, it’s up to marketers to ease patients’ fears about vaccine safety and side effects and to highlight the continued importance of vaccination, no matter the disease area.



August 27, 2021 admin0

To encourage women to take an active role and have more open conversations with their gynecologists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new web series, Under the Paper Gown. The six episode series will feature comedian Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey Lamar, showcasing Amber’s growth “as she gains the knowledge and confidence to speak openly with her OBGYN,” as per the news announcement.

Leveraging Ruffin’s relatability and comedic star power, the campaign uses levity to help women overcome the awkwardness many may feel when it comes to gynecological health. The agency behind the work, Ogilvy DC, transforms the paper gown into a “symbol of strength and confidence” for women everywhere.

As stated in the news release, “Libby Dwyer, Group Strategy Director for Ogilvy DC, said: ‘Feeling awkward and uncomfortable, even at the best of OGBYN checkups, keeps women from speaking openly about their health.  We found that if we can lean into laughter as an antidote to awkwardness, and put more women at ease about understanding their health, we can unlock more positivity and conversations about gynecological health.'”

Click here to view the full web series, Under the Paper Gown.

Amber Ruffin (right) with her sister Lacey Lamar as seen in a still from the web series.