Digital Health Coalition Newsletter – February 2019

Digital Health Coalition Newsletter – February 2019

FEATURED CONTENT: Structuring for Innovation

Two buzzwords that continue to be an important theme for this year are “Agile Marketing” and “Innovation”. DHC members heard from McKinsey at the DHC Takeda Summit, exploring how to apply the concept of “agility” to innovation and experimentation in marketing. For the first DHC Summit of 2019, we are taking a deeper look at how to best structure for innovation, as well as how to impact innovation when you are constrained by an imperfect corporate structure. (learn more about the March 13th DHC Summit at Pfizer in NYC).

The speed at which major pharma cos are innovating and restructuring has continued to accelerate recently, and most experts predict that this pace will only increase in 2019. In their “2019 Health Trend Ten” Syneos Health ranks “Radical Re-Orgs” at the top of the list. They point to 4 key factors to which they attribute the trend, including: “variabilization” of cost, an always-on commercial lens, leap-frogging change, and patient-centric trials. But for our purposes, we want to offer our readers a closer look at how marketers should consider the idea of structuring for innovation.

Sid Chadha of McKinsey shared several key insights with DHC Midwest Summit attendees, offering important context for how a marketer in 2019 should look at their role. Building on the idea of the agile operating model, he encouraged operations to build cross-functional teams with the goal of exponentially increasing the creation (and frequency) of campaigns, leading to more value creation. He also highlighted the opportunity to structure around data (which we talked about in last month’s newsletter – ICYMI). By integrating external data sets with internal data at the patient level in a compliant and secure manner, Sid posited marketers would be able to create a “gold rush” of insights. He broke down four areas for consideration, offering a test question to help marketers determine their readiness to embrace and structure for innovation:

STRATEGY: What’s your long-term aspiration for commercial success?
CULTURE: Do you have a digital culture with the ability to adopt a rapid test and learn approach?
ORGANIZATION: Do you have the necessary skill-sets; are your commercial teams in agile groups?
FOUNDATION: Do you have a sufficient foundation of capabilities and technology?

On March 13th, as a part of the DHC East Coast Summit, we will hear from four experts on structuring for innovation, and before they jump into the deep end of the topic, we asked them to provide some background for the position they will take.

Tricia Brown (Digital Marketing Leader) of Merck will share her thoughts on how structure can stifle or nurture innovation. She had this to say on the topic: Companies with strong functional business units often have a more difficult time aligning and committing to new ways of thinking and working. Different functional objectives, hierarchy, and linear processes get in the way. People’s first instincts are to protect their own interests and the comfort they have with the current state.

Innovation cannot be achieved without cross-functional participation and alignment. A common objective, shared accountability, and operating principles are also needed. The Agile methodology can be a helpful tool to quickly make changes in structure, process and decision-making to drive innovation.

Ari Schaefer (Managing Director) and Edwin Lee (SVP, Strategy) of Klick Health will speak with attendees on Partnering with Agencies to Inoculate Against Innovation For Innovation’s Sake. To prepare for that topic, they shared this thought: Through our work with many clients in the healthcare marketing space, we appreciate the myriad challenges with realizing effective digital innovation (and avoiding the pitfall of innovation for innovation’s sake). As you tackle what may seem like a daunting innovation mandate, know that you don’t have to go it alone. Lean on your agency partners to not only identify potential solutions, but to also help identify the right problems, set appropriate performance expectations, and pull through the innovations to market.

We look forward to hearing more from these and other innovators at the March 13th DHC Summit.


Selling Innovation (Change) inside Big Companies by Joe Shields, President, Health Accelerators and DHC Board Member

Via Health Accelerators | Website →

In the business world, change is rebranded as evolution, innovation, and even transformation—yet many employees easily see these words as negative euphemisms for layoffs, restructuring and relocation, like the doublespeak made famous in Orwell’s 1984. Corporate leadership and employee communications experts continue to coin acronyms and clever names for change initiatives, designing logos and scheduling town hall meetings to explain to the staff how excited they are about their business model transformation. They talk about the change curve and give employees books that say, “adapt or die.” Read more here →

6 Steps for Fearless & Valuable Healthcare Innovation by Traver Hutchins

Via PatientPoint | Website →

Innovation is the name of the game in 2019, and opportunities abound for hospitals and health systems to add innovative solutions and drive revenue, says PatientPoint Chief Growth Officer Traver Hutchins in this blog post. Read more here →

Mitigating skepticism in the client-agency relationship with Jeff Smoker of imre Health

Via MM&M | Website →

How to mitigate skepticism in the client-agency relationship? For imre Health, it means working with client partners differently and showcasing how it can trace the value of the brand’s investment, says Jeff Smoker, partner and president in this video interview with MM&M. View video here →


Save the Date:
DHC Northeast Summit
May 2nd, 2019
AMAG Pharma, Boston

DHC at the DIA Advertising and Promotion Regulatory Affairs Conference
Hear from DHC Board Members Mark Bard (DHC Co-Founder) and Joe Shields (President, Health Accelerators) and DHC Health Scholar Rosemary Carey (AstraZeneca) tomorrow, Friday, March 1st at the DIA Advertising and Promotion Regulatory Affairs Conference.
Learn more →
Modern Marketing e-Book
Learn more about why “Modern Marketing” really means Pharma’s Data-Powered AI Revolution in this fantastic serial e-book released by the DHC and Intouch Solutions. The full e-book is available for download here. We recommend a cup of coffee and a read-through to ensure you are properly prepared for the revolution!
Read the full interview here →