Media agencies have always leveraged scale and buying clout to negotiate savings for clients. This is no longer good enough. Data and targeting capabilities have become more sophisticated, consumers are curating their own content ecosystem, and patients are more empowered.
As someone who chooses to work in the health and wellness space day in and day out, I have dedicated time to uncovering the potential that media plays to empower vital healthcare moments. Crafting these moments cannot be done in a silo. They create the demand for partnerships with publishers and content providers in order to inspire consumers, doctors and the greater healthcare ecosystem in being part of the conversation.
So what are some areas specific to health that we should all be focused on?
1. Collaborative Content Creation
The old model sounds something like this: Creative agency builds site content, SEO team gives recommendations around optimizing said content, media team plans buys to link people to that content and publishers repurpose that content through their channels as part of custom deals. Today’s consumers are very savvy, making it their job to curate health and wellness content that is essential to them and their loved ones. So it is up to us to all come to the table, collaborate and drive better socialization of that content. Beyond the typical banner or video placement, what are some ways to be a part of a moment in a person’s health journey that they can connect to? It might take the form of a video documentary series for MS, Tumblr or Pinterest content HIV testing that makes them take pause or partnering with an investigative journalist to lend credibility to the changing face of population management of Type 2 Diabetes for nurses.
It is important to be open to an iterative, nonlinear process that digs deep to uncover the key moments you want to create information around and make sure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute their expertise to the idea. Do not hesitate to look outside of the traditional health and wellness shapes it can take. BuzzFeed’s approach to testing the limits of video production they pioneered through Tasty is an impressive example.
2. Access to Data
Data has been a buzz word in the industry for the past few years. We all have access to our own data and dashboards to optimize the health of our campaigns in market. And many of us rely on first party data from our clients to refine where we engage, especially from a healthcare professional perspective. Typically we have utilized this data to either supplement the sales force or conversely to reach doctors that may not be called on due to budget restraints. But in the spirit of “big data,” the most overlooked source of value is right in front of us.
Publishers understand the behaviors of their audiences better than anyone else. As an example, a publisher can see what someone who they connected to a piece of content about Type 2 Diabetes treatments did before and after that moment was consumed. This could include data on interest in managing high cholesterol articles, searches for specific treatment names, as well as formats (ex - video, listicle, chat) the audience interacted with the most while on their platform. So the next time you send out an RFP don’t forget to source data from publishers to enhance your global view of its impact on media planning.
3. End-to End-Transparency
Our industry’s value cannot thrive without a lens focused on providing transparency in everything we do. Based on the way that our clients hold us accountable for conscientiously spending their marketing dollars, we need to do the same with the publishing community. Any digital campaign should include provisions for viewability rates and fraud protection; and those tech partners should be reevaluated on an ongoing basis as they add new security features. A specific example that comes up time and again in the health space is staying vigilant in monitoring our branded vs. unbranded creative flighting in market. Given the nuances of the healthcare space, it is doubly important that this piece not be overlooked.
4. Shared Equity
And last, but certainly not least, as more and more of our buying process gets automated through programmatic, it is in everyone’s best interest to share the value in what we do. The health and wellness media space is a tight-knit group of strategists, data scientists, content creators and condition-related specialists. There are opportunities to co-create new products and beta opportunities as we problem solve for the industry. You never know where the next great idea can come from.