We’re living in a personalized world. You get your newsfeed, your sneakers, even your M&Ms designed just for you. In a way, health has always been personalized, and digital health has to be even more so. Health is non-linear, and so, intrinsically personal. How you feel goes beyond your physical health. Your emotions matter, as does your social, cognitive, spiritual, and cultural health. It’s this multifactorial nature of health that has made true personalization both very much needed and also difficult to achieve.
With consumers now spending more on healthcare, their demand for personalization has become unavoidable. Innovation in personalization is happening across the industry, with concierge medical practices, services wrapped around wearables, “smart” medical devices, telemedicine, and on-demand pharmacy. Even pharma is experimenting with designer biologics and personalized medicine.
Pharma is also changing the way we talk to patients and physicians. Over the past three to four years, the industry has made impressive strides in unpacking the value drivers of personalization, organizing tons of mineable customer and clinical data, making advances in insights-based creative development, and adopting technology platforms for personalized marketing. But these advances have been functionally and organizationally siloed: In agencies, data companies, research firms, and technology firms. This focus is probably why the work has been so productive. But this disconnection is now holding us back.
Pharma marketing’s next evolution: The ability to address the needs of each target customer as if they were right in front of you. As if you had time to get to know who they are, their specific challenges, and how they’re feeling. You’ll pick up on their cues, so you won’t condescend to them, tell them what they already know, annoy them, or shut them down. And you’ll be able to package medications and health solutions in a way that you know will drive positive outcomes.
Revolutionary marketing will happen when we integrate data and execution capabilities under one system. We’ll be able to activate data, segmentation, and insights in real time to organically drive targeting, customization, and distribution, and use the right intelligence to create a self-fulfilling and continuously more precise feedback loop. This is what we call radical health personalization: It’s on 24/7. It’s safe. It’s respectful of customer data. It’s cross-media, device, channel. And above all else, it’s elastically customer focused.
Sloan Gaon is CEO of PulsePoint. Sloan leads the company’s vision and mission to deliver integrated, value-based digital marketing solutions for advertisers and publishers.
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