DHC West Coast Summit Member Summary | Genentech Campus | November 2019

DHC Member Clare Kirlin (Marketing Director at meltmedia) joined fellow industry leaders at this month’s DHC Summit.  We asked her to share her insights and POV based on her experience and are happy to highlight it here. Thanks to Clare for providing this fantastic event wrap-up!


One Member's View - A DHC Summit Summary

Our October summit was generously hosted by Genentech at their South San Francisco headquarters. Special thanks to the DHC members who worked to deliver another informative and worthwhile event:

  • Sharon Dotson, senior director, digital customer experience at Genentech
  • Jay Denhart-Lillard, principal, product marketing at Genentech
  • The Healthline team who generously donated lunch
  • The Intouch Solutions team, which hosted our cocktail reception
  • All of our talented speakers who contributed their expertise
Three themes drove our agenda: (1) how data is defining the customer experience, (2) digital-first content strategy, and (3) navigating doctor’s office dynamics. In her opening remarks, Sharon Dotson shared one of the Genentech digital CX team’s values: “Different perspectives and curiosity make us better.” That was certainly true of the diverse insights our speakers brought to the summit, which we’ve summarized below.

Part 1: How Data Is Defining the Customer Experience

Personalized Medicine

Technology can now produce a completely individualized profile of any patient’s genetics, behavior, and treatment over the course of a lifetime. Marketers have begun to segment patients based on genetic markers using artificial intelligence. But is the healthcare industry prepared to make use of these advancements in the form of personalized medicine (PM)?

Providers hope so. In an October 2019 study conducted by DHC, 69% of U.S. physicians said that PM is a top priority — though only 41% feel they have enough information to discuss it with patients, revealing a major opportunity for pharma to deliver value. Monique Levy, chief strategy officer at Blackthorn Therapeutics, repeatedly stressed the complex challenges posed by the PM revolution. “It isn’t easy,” she said, naming data quality and clinical relevance, regulatory process, and patient/provider value as top-of-mind concerns.

PM promises to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Mark Bard, DHC co-founder, cited Roche in identifying collaboration as a key to unlocking it. In the interest of collaboration, marketers should consider what physicians want from pharma with respect to PM (view additional research):

  • 48%: CME
  • 44%: Complimentary testing
  • 42%: Information on HCP sites
  • 40%: Information from reps
  • 33%: Information from MSL

Data Privacy in Online Advertising

Brendan McHenry, vice president of sales and marketing at Healthline, called our attention to intelligent tracking protection (ITP), the term used to describe browser restrictions on the use of cookies. Firefox and Safari currently block third-party cookies altogether, with Chrome expected to follow suit in 2020. First-party cookie lifetimes vary, but are increasingly limited to 24 hours.

ITP limits advertisers’ ability to measure and execute digital ad campaigns. Advertisers cannot watch, categorize, or track users as they move among sites on ITP-enabled, Brendan noted. Expect the contextually targeted campaigns of ten years ago to make a comeback, and advertisers to continue seeking workarounds. Brandan recommends that marketers reduce reliance on third-party cookies and push partners to fix the measurement gap that ITP has created.

Consumer Experience

David Davidovic, founder of pathForward, moderated a consumer experience (CX) panel featuring Paula Rivers (principal, digital CX, Genentech) and Jenn White (SVP, strategic partnerships, Klick Health). Naturally, digital technology was a major focus. Panelists were careful to define its role in CX. As David reminded us, “Technology isn’t the solution. It’s the enabler.” And the real question, said Jenn, is “How do you develop an entire overarching strategy, not just a digital strategy?” 

Paula noted the potential for brands to make better use of B2B marketing technology. Genentech is “changing from purely commercial to being able to work with medical, government, and other entities. A lot of the same tech stack is used,” she said.

Speakers also highlighted how healthcare organizations are disrupting the norm to improve CX. Jenn cited Uber Health’s initiative to provide a HIPAA-compliant platform to provide non-emergency medical transportation. It currently boasts 4.9 star patient satisfaction and has reduced missed appointments by 8%. “Outrageously bad options were just accepted before this,” Jenn said. All in all, tolerance for poor CX seems to be quickly vanishing.

Part 2: Digital-first Content Strategy

Trends in Digital Health

Ross Kaplan, senior solutions consultant at Adobe, encouraged pharma to emulate other industries’ digital practices. Co-presenter Brad Meehan, senior technology strategist at InTouch, outlined a new mandate for customers who expectations are shaped by arguable superior digital experiences outside healthcare. “[Digital experience] must be simple and concise, respect customer preferences, offer self-service, and be targeted and personal,” he said.

Ross advised shifting the focus from medication to wellness. Instead of an “inauthentic experience focused on disease condition,” pharma should work to improve touch points such as access barriers to build more holistic relationships between patients and providers. Another critical priority is to fix what Brad dubbed the “digital duct tape” that has resulted from agency-brand relationship models of the past — when, he observed, “the brand selected the agency, the agency selected technology, and [we] ended up with disparate data stores and disconnected experiences.” Brad emphasized balancing standardization and flexibility to support as many brands as possible in a repeatable, scalable way.

Both speakers were clear that customers are more than ready for healthcare to provide better options in the digital space.

Digital Video Trends

We are at “a tipping point” with TV advertising, said head of Conde Nast Health Carrie Moore. While pharma remains the biggest spender of all industries (at 60-70% of total budgets), viewers are gravitating to over-the-top (OTT). Gen Z linear TV consumption is down 50% in the last five years, mostly thanks to YouTube.

The challenge for pharma, Carrie says, is delivering video that sticks. That means distributing across platforms that are relevant to viewers and creating content that resonates. “Patients have passion points that align to their core values,” she reminds us. “It isn’t just about their condition.” YouTube viewers spend over half their time viewing videos that are over 20 minutes in length, even surpassing 50 minutes when engaging with brands they trust. For advertisers that get the formula right, the impact can be huge.

Part 3: Navigating Doctor’s Office Dynamics

EHR Framework Discussion

Duplicate data entry. Poor usability. Impersonal interactions. For all the efficiency we stand to gain from EHRs, they’re sending ripples of frustration throughout the healthcare ecosystem. Mark Bard, DHC co-founder, spoke with three panelists about EHR’s role today: Eze Abosi (vice president, OptimizeRx), Don Dorfman (vice president and general manager, Veradigm), and Sally Jones (principal, customer experience lead, Genentech).

Speakers pointed to some striking data:

  • Over 30% of HCPs leave the EHR to find additional information such as dosing and patient financial support, and 25% of physicians will prescribe a different product if they can’t find prescribing information in the EHR (Sally Jones)
  • Over 50% of U.S. physicians are using (or want to use) medical scribes for EHR data entry, presumably to increase patient face-time (Sally Jones)
  • The top 10 EHRs have 92% market share, with the remaining 8% divided among 300 other providers; expect consolidation to the tune of fewer than 10 players in years to come (Don Dorfman)

These numbers reveal a less-than-ideal experience for patients and providers, heated competition, and a tremendous opportunity for pharma.

Eze noted that physicians prefer clinical messaging to branded messaging, but are “very receptive” to a combination of the two. Don shared that Veradigm’s clients achieve high ROI from content that reduces HCPs’ need to exit EHRs for other platforms (such as coupons, copay assistance, and medication management). And with HCPs spending an average of 3.5 hours a day in EHR platforms, according to Sally, it’s fertile ground to improve the customer experience for everyone.

The Changing Landscape of the Physician Marketplace

“Doctors are overwhelmed, and it comes at the cost of attention,” said Nate Gross, MD, co-founder of Doximity — which he described as an authentic, time-saving social network where 75% of U.S. physicians are registered users.

Nate portrayed today’s U.S. physician workforce as time-starved, tech-savy, and responsive to some very clear engagement strategies. Unsurprisingly, 64% report having less free time than when they began their careers. 30% of medical school students search for medical information on a mobile device. And even Doximity’s more seasoned professionals — who have a median age of 50 — are engaging online. They simply have lower tolerance for poor UX.

Three strategies have proven successful in engaging the modern physician, according to Nate:

  1. Get their attention. Plummeting attention spans and banner blindness call for short, native content, particularly in news feed settings.
  2. Personalize the experience. Doximity has driven a 9x increase in clicks by delivering curated, original, interactive, and relevant content.
  3. Treat physicians as people. Deliver content in a format that matters, including layering information in multiple media, to increase retention of key information.

Marketers, take note.

Mapping Your Brand Message to Mindsets at the Point of Care

Jay Denhart-Lillard, principal of product marketing at Genentech and Linda Ruschau, chief client officer at PatientPoint spoke to the role of empathy in point-of-care solution design. Patients spend an average of ten minutes alone waiting to see providers, and discuss new prescriptions for only 59 seconds. What more could be done to assist them?

Journey mapping is a powerful tool, according to Jay, and not just for one segment: “Patients, providers, caretakers, payers, everyone has a different empathy map, and complications can arise when these all interact.” A shared definition of the best possible outcome drives better solution design. Private and sometimes embarrassing medical concerns are a common scenario where empathy can drive better outcomes, said Linda; taking a patient’s needs into account may factor into the decision to deliver testimonial video, address cost concerns, or provide printed information to prompt a conversation.

Jay and Linda recommend three best practices for point-of-care brand messaging: listen before you say something, see what your audience is experiencing before you show them something, and understand what they feel before you ask them to do something.

Closing Discussion

The event wrapped up with an executive fireside chat Gina Chapman, vice president and U.S. head of Avastin, Herceptin, and Rituxan, Genentech and Mark Bard, Co-founder, DHC featuring an introspective discussion of the forces at play in pharma today. They celebrated the shift towards a more truly patient-centric environment and explored the ways in which personalized medicine will accelerate that move in the next 5 to 10 years.



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