Health and Wellness Branding Digest, Aug. 11, 2016

Driven to Suicide by an ‘Inhuman and Unnatural’ Pressure to Sell
(The New York Times, 11.08.16)

Leaving his wife and two young children home on a recent Sunday, a 27-year-old salesman for Abbott Laboratories’ operations in India — in fact, one of the American health care company’s top performers there — rode his motorcycle to a remote railroad track and jumped in front of a train,

Healthcare Tech Firms: Your Content Marketing Isn’t Working
(, 05.08.16)

The latest HIMSS study on healthcare content marketing indicates a huge gap between goals and results. However, B2B technology needs content marketing more than ever.

Health Care Marketing
(Huffington Post, 28.07.16)

Advertising in the health care industry is a tricky trade. From regulations to patient loyalty, it’s difficult to structure a unique campaign that entices new patients. While there is no one-solution-fits-all answer, there are some basic rules that all health care offices should understand when coordinating their marketing efforts.

Patient Listening: Is Pharma Doing It Right?
(Medical Marketing & Media, 12.07.16)

Last month, a VP and creative from a healthcare marketing agency posted the following on a popular social network: “Are you manic for awesome ideas? We’re hiring copywriters for a bipolar drug launch — submit your resume!”

“Electronic medical records are, in a lot of ways … the aspect of technology that is going to revolutionize the way we deliver care. And it’s not just that we will be able to collect information … everyone involved in the healthcare enterprise will be able to use that information more effectively.” —Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, July 28, 2016

Hacking Healthcare: How Virtual Reality Can Aid Our Vitality
(The Drum, 16.06.16)

The world of medicine is benefiting from new digital advances as it explores how virtual reality, augmented reality and all things tech can assist the health industry.

More Responsible Marketing of Opioids Needed
(The Herald, 15.06.16)

Last March the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shook up the medical world by encouraging doctors to utilize conservative care options prior to prescription painkiller treatment.

Millennials Define Health Differently than Other Generations
(Medical Marketing & Media, 22.05.16)

Millennials have earned a reputation for being selfish, lazy, and disloyal, making them easy for companies to dismiss. In healthcare, they can be entirely forgotten.

Harvard Startup Looks to Disrupt Employer Wellness Market
(Huffington Post, 12.02.16)

Recently, I asked Founder and CEO of Gain Life, Sean G. Eldridge, to tell me how he plans to disrupt the employer wellness market. Sean is a health behavior change enthusiast and Harvard Business School graduate. While at HBS, he founded the Wellness Club. Previously, Sean worked in new venture creation or strategy roles at Weight Watchers, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson and Johnson. He also holds a board position with the Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati. Sean is super knowledgeable on all things wellness and healthcare strategy. Trust me, I know!

“There is a lot of opportunity sitting in global healthcare business. I think there is a strong opportunity to build upon for further growth.” —Malvinder Mohan Singh

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, July 21, 2016

Why Sleep-Centric Marketing Is on the Rise
(Adweek, 11.07.16)

Americans are notoriously—and increasingly—sleep deprived. More than one-third of the U.S. adult population admits to routinely not catching enough z’s, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with serious sleep disorders on a steep incline. And where there’s zombie-like sheep counting, there’s opportunity.

Pfizer Agrees to Truth in Opioid Marketing
(Washington Post, 05.07.16)

Pfizer, the world’s second- ¬largest drug company, has agreed to a written code of conduct for the marketing of opioids that some officials hope will set a standard for manufacturers of narcotics and help curb the use of the addictive painkillers.

In Sickness and Wellness: Decoding the Modern-Day Marketing Practices
(Brand Equity, 22.06.16)

The French philosopher Voltaire and Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben (of Spiderman fame), both seemingly agree on one statement: “With great power comes great responsibility.” And that pretty much sums up the big dilemma of the healthcare category as it embarks on the journey to build a brand.

What Pharma Brands Can Learn from Lions Health
(Medical Marketing & Media, 20.06.16)

The conversation at this year’s Lions Health festival had little to do with whether the entries and award winners were good enough to win a Grand Prix. Instead, the talk focused on creative issues that most pharma marketers are currently grappling with, such as how best to incorporate technology into a marketing program, and how brands and companies are still falling short when it comes to taking into account the needs of the patient.

“Health innovation, enabled by digital technologies to build big consumer service brands, is an incredibly interesting, complex problem to work on.” —John Sculley

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, July 14, 2016

GSK Rolls Out Code for Ethical Marketing
(, 06.07.16)

Faced with charges of unethical marketing practices which have long tarnished its image and reputation, the pharmaceutical industry is trying to clean up its act. In one of the first such attempts, GlaxoSmithKline has rolled out a new healthcare marketing code covering doctors and its field staff, Annaswamy Vaidheesh, vice-president, South Asia & managing director of GSK Pharmaceuticals India, told TOI in an exclusive interview.

A Defined Approach to Fitness Marketing

(Entrepreneur, 01.07.16)

An influx of new mobile and social data points allows today’s marketers to drill down into a deeper profile of their prospective buyers. And it’s a lot more cost effective to target a specific audience than it is to blast your message to everyone and then hope your ideal consumers hear it. These “buyer personas” help reveal what it is about your buyers that drives them to make the purchasing decisions they do.

Seattle Children’s Develops Digital Ways to Help with Patient Care
(Puget Sound Business Journal, 10.05.16)

What started as a blog for Seattle Children’s hospital in 2009 has turned into an entire digital health department within the health care organization.

How IBM’s Cognitive Computing Platform Might Help Make Healthcare Smarter
(Medical Marketing & Media, 09.11.15)

I recently experienced a little health-tech déjà vu. I attended an IBM Executive Briefing at which one IBM speaker said, when considering how ripe the healthcare industry is for tech innovation, “The healthcare industry accounts for $9 trillion in spending in the US. Thirty percent of that $9 trillion is waste. So we see an enormous opportunity for tech to eliminate that waste and capture some of that revenue.”

“The early pioneers of both wellness and network marketing were motivated by the sense that it was possible to create a better life than the conventional routes offered—better personal health and better economic health, respectively.” —Paul Zane Pilzer

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, July 7, 2016

How to Sell Kids on Vegetables
(The New York Times, 05.07.16)

The same marketing techniques used to convince children to eat junk food are highly effective in promoting fruits and vegetables, a new study has found.

When Digital Marketing Goes Wrong
(Cosmetic Surgery Times, 05.07.16)

Tweet an appointment reminder to a patient. Post photos from a Botox party on Instagram. Offer rewards for referrals. To social marketers, these strategies may sound like perfect cosmetic surgery promotions. But it turns out that each of these strategies could land a physician in court. That’s according to Alex Thiersch, a Chicago attorney and director of the American Med Spa Association.

How the Marketing of Clinical Trials Saves Lives
(Forbes, 01.07.16)

I know the hyperbole police will be all over me for the title but bear with me and read on before coming to any hyperbolic conclusions.

More than a Pathway: Why Patient Experience > Patient Journey
(Medical Marketing & Media, 08.11.15)

The “patient journey” is a common buzzword in the medical marketing vernacular these days. But, to maximize your product’s utilization, you must think beyond the journey and consider the entire patient experience (at Square 1, this is what we call “PX”). To have a successful PX that results in patient conversions, you must understand all aspects of each key player along the way—from practice to practitioner, and from staff to patient. While many companies talk about the patient journey, our multifaceted approach to the patient experience takes in the bigger picture and executes what works for the patient.

“If we can get people to focus on fruits and vegetables and more healthy foods, we’ll be better in terms of our healthcare situation.” —Tom Vilsack

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, June 2, 2016

Why Healthcare Advertisers Should Really Consider Women’s Perspectives in Campaigns
(Adweek, 25.04.16)

These days, women make more health and wellness decisions for themselves and their families than ever before. “They really are the chief health officers,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO at GreyHealth Group. In fact, a 2015 study GHG helped prepare found that women serve as decision makers 94 percent of the time.

Print: Alive and Well at the Point of Care
(DTC Perspectives, 19.05.16)

Concerned smartphones will eliminate the print industry? Remember 20 years ago when the same thing was said about the internet? Or years before that when television spelled the demise of print or even further back, the radio?

Attorney General Gets Approval for Firm to Investigate Opioid Marketing in New Hampshire
(NHPR, 18.05.16)

New Hampshire will spend $100,000 to hire a law firm to investigate whether drug makers have marketed opioids in a deceptive fashion. New Hampshire’s Executive Council voted unanimously to allow the Attorney General’s office to hire the Washington law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll.

Easy Navigation Beats out Trustworthiness for Health Info, Survey Finds
(Medical Marketing & Media, 15.03.16)

Consumers are more likely to use health information websites they find easier to navigate than those they perceive as trustworthy, like government or nonprofit sites, according to new research by Makovsky.

“Women lean into health care and are typically a more captive audience. … Marketers need to respect their knowledge and not operate at the 101 level—but still keep it simple.” —Sharon Callahan

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, May 26, 2016

Notorious FDA? Feds Turn to Hip-Hop to Tamp Down Teen Smoking
(NPR, 09.05.16)

For its latest anti-tobacco campaign, the Food and Drug Administration is trying to harness hip-hop sounds, style and swagger to reach black, Hispanic and other minority teens — who disproportionately suffer the consequences of smoking.

The Missing Ingredient in Online Healthcare: Trust
(PMLive, 12.05.16)

When the term “virtual reality” was coined in the mid-1980s, a distinction was being drawn between the real world and one mediated through computer screens or similar technology—a distinction that seems to be fading, as more of our lives take place online. A recent Pew Research Center survey shows that 21 percent of Americans report that they go online “almost constantly,” and overall, 73 percent of Americans say they go online on a daily basis. And, where once it was common to express hesitation at participating fully in things like e-commerce because of a lack of trust in the Internet, those days are long gone.

Facebook’s New Algorithm: Attention, Engagement and World Domination
(PharmExec, 26.04.16)

When I’m checking out pictures of my son’s new car, I don’t necessarily think of Facebook as a business network. But it is … the number one social-media network for businesses. Over 90 percent of the marketers surveyed in Social Media Examiner’s 7th annual industry report said they used Facebook.

Why UCB Isn’t Afraid of Social Media
(Medical Marketing & Media, 09.11.15)

Digital safety requirements are an oft-cited reason why pharma companies have steered clear of social media. As firms sift through patient chatter on blogs and forums, applicable laws for reporting medication side effects can seem like a pharmacovigilance nightmare.

“The time will come when, whatever illness you may have, for your body type and health history, there will ‘be an app for that’ to keep you on your best path to wellness.” —Sheldon Whitehouse

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, May 12, 2016

No Longer Lewd, the Period Is Having a Moment
(Observer, 28.04.16)

Entrepreneurs are disrupting the global tampon market—an industry projected to reach $6.2 billion by 2020. Politicians, too, have begun to take issue with the high cost of feminine hygiene products, with many states ending the “tampon tax.” And, for the first time in 100 years, the market is recognizing an opportunity for innovation when it comes to women’s needs. One could say the period is becoming sexy.

This Market Could Be Fitbit Inc.’s Biggest Opportunity
(The Motley Fool, 26.04.16)

At first glance, Fitbit may seem like a standard consumer electronics company, albeit one which places an emphasis on wellness. Yet the wearable giant’s fitness trackers are enjoying rising demand from a seemingly unlikely source: enterprise customers.

Estimates Vary, but One Thing Is Certain: Wearable Medical Devices Sector Will Be Huge
(Plastics Today, 15.04.16)

While it is undeniable that the healthcare wearables market is growing by leaps and bounds, projections of the size of that market going into the next decade are all over the map. In March, PlasticsToday reported that one market research firm, Mordor Intelligence, estimated that the global medical wearables market will surpass $7.8 billion by 2020.

Drugmakers Spend Too Much on Marketing: Kaiser Poll
(Medical Marketing & Media, 03.11.15)

Government investigations into Valeant’s pricing and patient-assistance practices along with ubiquitous media attention around the repricing of medications has done little to dull efforts to address public outcry about the rising cost of medicines.

“Whether it’s by helping us search for health-related information, connecting us with doctors through online portals, or enabling us to store and retrieve our medical records online, the Internet is starting to show the promise it has to transform the way people interact with and improve their own health and wellness.” —Dean Ornish

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, May 5, 2016

Brands Are Partnering with Website ‘Greatist’ to Make Fitness Approachable for Millennials
(Adweek, 27.04.16)

Millennials are tired of health and wellness content that tells them how to have the perfect body or lose weight fast. So says Derek Flanzraich, who founded the website Greatist five years ago, with a mission to change the way health and fitness experts speak to the age group.

Hospitals: Are You Marketing to the Right Audience?
(Becker’s Hospital Review, 27.04.16)

Hospitals and health systems trying to capture a greater portion of their market should take a closer look at their marketing campaigns.

Bausch & Lomb Getting Deeper into the Wellness Market
(Business Today, 07.03.16)

Global vision care major Bausch & Lomb has extended its offering in beauty and wellness segment and will now market fat reduction technology Liposonix and anti-acne treatment Isolaz in India.

Therapeutic Focus: Neurology
(Medical Marketing & Media, 01.11.15)

The neurology space is gearing up to shake free of its decade-long stagnancy, with sector leaders and runners-up alike angling to push the boundaries. What that means: Imminent advances in genetic sequencing, targeted treatments and diagnostics, all designed to get to the biological root of neurological disorders. Rebecca Mayer Knutsen explains.

“Individuals will achieve healthier lifestyles when prevention and wellness programs are accessible and available in their workplace, through their health provider and in their communities.” —Rob Wittman

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, April 28, 2016

Why Healthcare Advertisers Should Really Consider Women’s Perspectives in Campaigns
(Adweek, 25.04.16)

These days, women make more health and wellness decisions for themselves and their families than ever before. “They really are the chief health officers,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, CEO at GreyHealth Group. In fact, a 2015 study GHG helped prepare found that women serve as decision makers 94 percent of the time. Given that dynamic, Vos and other experts believe that companies seeking a bigger slice of the estimated $6.5 trillion global healthcare pie would be well served to take women’s perspectives and experience into consideration as they plan and launch campaigns in the marketplace.

How a Millennial Is Marketing Health Insurance to Millennials
(The Huffington Post, 19.04.16)

Have you ever had a screaming match with a Starbucks barista? Torn your hair out on the phone with a Warby Parker representative? Spent days pouring over the intricacies of Netflix? Probably not. But health insurance is a different story.

Massage Envy Changes Its Message to Appeal to Millennials and Boomers
(Ad Age, 12.04.16)

After breaking into the wellness market in 2002 with a service considered by many as a luxury or a health treatment, Massage Envy has rebranded in recent months in an effort to reach millennials and boomers who see wellness as an important part of their lives. And if this move brings in a few more males as well, that’s even better.

Pharma’s Acceptance of Transparency Programs Matures as Reporting Becomes Global
(Medical Marketing & Media, 29.10.15)

The global shift toward disclosing payments made to physicians is maturing and becoming increasingly global in nature, according to the findings of an annual survey conducted by IMS Health. The US is the leader when it comes to requiring pharmaceutical and medical-device manufacturers to disclose payments and other so-called transfers of value they make to physicians and certain other healthcare providers, like teaching hospitals.

“The wellness and prevention market will outgrow the healthcare market.” —Leroy Hood

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, April 14, 2016

Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem
(Bloomberg, 31.03.16)

More than 1,000 women are suing the company for covering up a cancer risk.

CVS Health’s Marketing Chief on Turning the Pharmacy Brand into a Healthcare Player
(Adweek, 28.03.16)

When CVS Health announced two years ago it will no longer sell or stock tobacco-related products, it was a game-changing move for the Woonsocket, R.I.-based brand, one that even received accolades from first lady Michelle Obama. But, according to Norman de Greve, CVS’ svp and CMO, the step was part of a larger strategy that had been in the works for the last decade to shift the brand from being the proverbial “drugstore on the corner” to a “multifaceted healthcare company.”

Many Parents Skeptical of Online Doctor Ratings, Poll Finds
(HealthDay, 22.03.16)

About one-third of parents turn to online ratings in their search for a doctor, but most parents say they aren’t sure they can trust Web-based reviews, new U.S. research shows.

Reel Marketing: Choose Your Own Adventure
(Medical Marketing & Media, 28.10.15)

To date, pharma marketers have viewed interactive video as more or less a curio—a tactic best assigned to next year’s to-do list. But in doing so, they’re missing a huge opportunity to connect in ways that more linear forms of advertising can’t match. By way of IKEA and Coldplay, Mitch Apley explains.

“Wellness is not a ‘medical fix’ but a way of living—a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all the dimensions of body, mind and spirit, an approach to life.” —Greg Anderson

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, April 7, 2016

Pfizer Tops List of Best Biopharmaceutical Brands
(The Street, 31.03.16)

Pfizer scored the top spot in InterbrandHealth’s inaugural ranking of the top 10 biopharmaceutical brands. The ranking uses analytics to quantify the measurable, financial impact that a company’s brand has on its overall business performance.

3 Ways to Be More Creative with Healthcare Advertising
(Adweek, 27.03.16)

Sewer inspector. Embalmer. Gastroenterologist. Tough jobs for sure. But try healthcare advertising for a week. Just try to be creative in an environment where important safety information takes up :35 of a :60 TV spot, where rules for short-form messaging run 15 pages long, where every print ad, website, banner and video must pass a rigorous risk mitigation assessment by a medical legal review team.

Boomer Hearts Shouldn’t Get All the Marketing Love
(MediaPost, 30.03.16)

Stroll down the cereal aisle in any supermarket, and you’ll practically see flashing neon signs touting heart-healthy benefits, from starbursts to taglines. In case you missed the message, one cereal even forms the shape of a heart that dominates the front of the box.

Novartis: Cardiologists Slow to Advocate on Behalf of New Drugs
(Medical Marketing & Media, 27.10.15)

Cardiologists are less likely to advocate for insurance coverage for drugs to treat their patients compared to oncologists, dermatologists and rheumatologists, who have more experience doing so. This may slow sales growth for Entresto, Novartis’s new heart-failure drug, company executives said.

“Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind and spirit—the realization that everything we do, think, feel and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.” —Greg Anderson

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, March 17, 2016

Could Twitter Be a Recruitment Tool for Cancer Trials?
(HealthDay, 03.03.16)

Twitter might help boost the number of cancer patients who enroll in clinical trials of potential treatments, a new study suggests.

Direct-to-Consumer Pharma Ads in the Crosshairs
(Health Leaders Media, 02.03.16)

You wouldn’t think Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would have any relevance to the debate about pharmaceutical companies using direct-to-consumer advertising, but a video clip promoting the sardonic puppet’s 2016 election special on Hulu proves otherwise.

The Programmatic Movement: A Programmatic Primer
(Medical Marketing & Media, 26.10.15)

Programmatic buying has started to take over the placement of digital ads, to the tune of $15 billion in 2015 sales. Is pharma in the process of following suit or will concerns about privacy and fraud dampen industry enthusiasm? Barbara Peck assesses the pros and cons.

In Healthcare, Focusing on Your Marketing Niche Is Key
(O’Dwyer’s, 09.10.15)

Healthcare marketers are faced with many challenges in today’s ever-changing landscape, and we can expect the industry’s complexity to only grow. Working closely with CMOs and other senior marketing executives — spanning HIT, hospitals and care facilities, life sciences, pharma services, and medical devices — we help a broad array of companies across the healthcare spectrum tell their stories, generate awareness, position themselves as leaders and tout the benefits of their products and services.

“Branding adds spirit and a soul to what would otherwise be a robotic, automated, generic price-value proposition.” —David Aaker

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, March 3, 2016

Expert: Triage Approach Can Build Stronger Health Data Security
(Healthcare IT News, 01.02.16)

Although new IT security solutions appear regularly with promises of a fresh approaches and technologies for protection, Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher with security software maker ESET North America, suggested that healthcare IT leaders look to a medical model for security before buying more security products.

Study: Doctors’ Texts Can Prod Patients to Take Drugs, but Questions Linger
(PBS Newshour, 01.02.16)

A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but that’s hardly useful if a patient doesn’t remember to take it in the first place. According to a new analysis, there could be a possible solution: text message reminders sent to patients’ phones from the doctor. Researchers found that texts could push people to do better at adhering to their drug regimens and, along the way, save the health system a fair bit of money.

Inbound Marketing Brings Fresh Air to Healthcare
(O’Dwyer’s, 07.10.15)

Inbound marketing, loosely defined as the art and science of drawing visitors to your organization on their own terms (versus obtrusively pushing your messages onto them), represents a seismic shift in the way businesses develop content and market themselves, as well as in the way audiences access and process information.

Cloud Marketing: Faces in the Cloud
(Medical Marketing & Media, 25.09.15)

As the need for more informed conversations with KOLs has grown, so too has the role of medical science liaisons. But as they attempt to bolster trust and familiarity with those audiences, MSLs are challenged by the volume of personalized information they need at their disposal to engage in a meaningful way. Enter—what else?—the cloud. Veeva Systems’ Robert Groebel explains.

“Almost without exception, the best products are developed by teams with desire to solve a problem; not a company’s need to fulfill a strategy.” —Jeff Weiner

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, February 25, 2016

Forget Cards and Flowers; Crowdfunding Site Helps Pay Medical Bills
(ComputerWorld, 27.01.16)

Crowdfunding also addresses systemic issues with the healthcare system.

SharingClinic, to Help Patients Tell Their Stories, Opens at Mass. General Hospital
(WBUR’s Common Health, 22.01.16)

Four years ago, Dr. Annie Brewster had a vision. Brewster, a Boston internist, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, had become frustrated that a crucial element of medicine — the human connection between patients and doctors — seemed to be lost in the modern era of 15-minute appointments and overly burdensome record-keeping. As a patient and a doctor, Brewster yearned for a therapeutic arena in which patients could tell their full health stories and feel they were actually heard, not rushed out the door; and where doctors, as well, could share a little more with patients.

BMS’ Phelan: The Digital Drug Launch Is Upon Us
(Medical Marketing & Media, 19.10.15)

Examples of big brands altering their commercial approach away from the rep-driven model have often involved mature products. Those in the sunset of their patent life provided drugmakers a haven for experimenting with alternative marketing channels: non-personal promotion, sophisticated CRM.

Understanding Marketing Automation for Healthcare
(O’Dwyer’s, 05.10.15)

Marketing automation is all the talk these days, and for good reason. A March Forbes study found that automated marketing increased the conversion of prospects into qualified leads by 53%, and a Pardot survey of marketing automation users shows that their companies’ sales revenue climbed by 34% on average after implementation.

“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” —Ann Handley