• A Call to Health And Wellness Brands: Dare To Be Authentic To Be Effective
    We've all seen it before - exaggerated or unfounded claims tied to health and wellness products in an attempt to appeal to health conscious consumers. So it wasn't too surprising when Dr. Mehmet Oz began hyping the alleged fat-burning effects of various supplements. However, the cacophony of criticism (including even a congressional hearing) that arose from both consumers and regulators as a result, was noteworthy.
  • Caring For The Caregiver
    Today's healthcare communications focus on three stakeholders: the patient, the doctor, and the payer. Communicating to caregivers generally occurs in much the same way as it does with patient materials, but I'm not sure this should be the case.
  • Finding Time For Patient Education: 4 Tips For Healthcare Providers
    It's not news to doctors that an important part of their job is educating their patients about their health and medical conditions. The problem is that a meaningful interaction takes time-one thing that doctors don't have. A 2013 Medscape survey found that the largest group of physician responders spent between 13 and 16 minutes per patient.
  • The Decreasing Role Of Awareness
    Just about every client assignment brief I've seen in the past year, whether a health care brand or not, has included "increase brand awareness" as a primary objective. While hard to argue with, it always leaves me feeling underwhelmed. Granted, if your health care brand is in the midst of a merger or acquisition, ensuring that people comprehend its new identity is important. But even then, to strive to simply create awareness of a brand and not have deeper expectations of a communications program dramatically underestimates its potential business value and lets the investment off the hook too easily.
  • New Research Illustrates Why Going Digital Is An Urgent Matter Of Dollars And Cents
    Last month, McKinsey released an interesting study focusing on how patients around the world perceive digital technologies. McKinsey's verdict: consumers want to use digital health tools, but hold back because "existing services don't meet their needs or . . . are of poor quality."
  • Let's Kill Off 'Traditional Media' Once And For All
    Working for an agency that delivers work across all channels is a linguistic challenge when it comes to talking about media. We all seem to be hung up on describing the unnecessary: the relative age of media. Just today I was on a client call during which we were asked if "we could buy old media as well as new?" The answer is, of course, yes, but it made me think. What is old media? And how old is old? And does it matter? Much more important these days is whether you have the right media. Not for your agency ...
  • Innovations In Healthcare Marketing: Hurry Up and Wait
    Unique marketing challenges are not new to pharma - we've managed to successfully promote our products while staying within tough regulatory confines and find creative ways to connect with patients to improve health outcomes. What is new to pharma is the recent tsunami of innovations in mobile marketing, health trackers, and other healthcare technologies. Unfortunately, the optimism around the technology-led innovations is balanced by concerns that marketers are facing tough internal battles to get cutting edge marketing plans off the ground. But there is a path forward, and we're already seeing signs.
  • Life-Changing Ideas From Cannes
    June 2014 marked the inaugural Lions Health Awards in Cannes, France, billed as a "Festival for Creativity" in healthcare communications. The two-day event took place immediately prior to the weeklong Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and promises to be for healthcare advertising what Cannes Lions is to general advertising.
  • 4 Barriers To Patient Engagement And How To Overcome Them
    We can all agree that empowering patients to engage in their healthcare is a good thing. Improving patients' understanding of their disease and health so they take a more active role in their healthcare has been shown to lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs.
  • Why Improving Data Literacy Is Essential
    I've long believed that communication is central to health and wellness.
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