Welcome. Part of Propeller’s mission and promise is to be at the forefront of digital. We consistently strive to bring innovation and creativity to our healthcare partners and their customers.

It is in this spirit that we curate a quarterly experience, strategically selecting the latest, most important digital marketing trends and tech innovations—and assess the impact each of these has in healthcare, and why it’s important for you to know, now.

Together, let’s be experts and so on the Pulse!

Q1 2022


T R E N D   # 1

Cultural Intelligence

Understanding and speaking to your audience in a more relevant way

What is it

Cultural intelligence is the ability to relate and work effectively across cultures

When targeting a customer group that you might not have a direct connection to in terms of cultural identity, ethnicity, geographic location, socioeconomic status, etc., it is important to immerse yourself in data and research to get to know them on an individual level

In order to become culturally intelligent, you need to find out how the world works from their point of view, what their pain points are, and how you can help to make a difference in their lives

One way to do this is through market research or small focus groups with the people you are trying to relate to or understand in order to hear their points of view firsthand

Another way to immerse yourself in the audience is to leverage data and insights from third party platforms that collect information from different cultural groups and can provide you with a deep dive into multiple attributes of each group (eg, spending habits, language, cultural beliefs, country of origin, socioeconomic status)

By ensuring you fully understand your customer groups and are able to see your product or offering from their points of view, you will be able to more successfully create campaigns and content that resonate with your target audience, reflecting the consumers’ cultural values and beliefs

What it means for healthcare

Most healthcare brands have a diverse customer base that they are trying to reach with their campaigns and advertising materials

To ensure healthcare campaigns are resonating with each unique audience group, it is important that brands understand the various attributes that make up their customers–from cultural identities, to language barriers, to socioeconomic status, to geographic location

With cultural intelligence, healthcare companies can understand what patients are going through and how to provide value and improve their way of life— understanding patients’ concerns, struggles, and what they want and need from a product

Cultural intelligence will help HCPs provide relevant and meaningful care. Healthcare brands should invest in educating HCPs on how to speak to unique patient populations about the product or drug

Two organizations to highlight that are addressing healthcare disparities in breast cancer and aiming to uncover insights and achieve more cultural intelligence through their programs are:
Novartis More Than Just WordsThe Chrysalis Initiative Erase The Line

Actioning CultureCode to know multicultural audiences

Claritas, a data-driven marketing firm, has created a platform that provides insights into more than 245 multicultural audience groups

For marketers, using CultureCode insights can help with more effective targeting, better planning, and smarter buying to help brands build and improve ROI

CultureCode segments by cultural groups and then identifies country of origin, language preference, acculturation/assimilation, education, and population. From there, they dive deeper into specific consumer attributes such as life stage, socioeconomic status, spending potential, shopping behavior, lifestyles, and psychographics

T R E N D   # 2

Black-Owned Media Partnerships

Elevating effectiveness through strategic media collaborations

What is it

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in 2020, many big advertisers began a pledge to allocate a percentage of their annual media budgets to Black‑owned media outlets in an effort to raise money in support of multicultural media venues and elevate Black voices

The health and longevity of Black‑owned publishers is essential to an equitable and representative media landscape

Partnering with Black-owned media companies allows advertisers the opportunity to better understand and connect more authentically with Black audiences. With the shift in digital media capabilities over the past few years to allow for targeting specific groups more precisely, advertisers are more interested in partnering with publishers who allow them to reach smaller, niche groups of people who are likely to buy their goods and services

What it means for healthcare

For healthcare brands, partnering with Black-owned media companies can provide the opportunity to connect more authentically with Black consumers and ensure campaigns and marketing materials are culturally relevant and without unconscious biases

Black-owned media partners can help healthcare organizations identify the minority publishers who align with their consumers’ beliefs, pain points, and needs in order to better reach customers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message

Partnering with Black-owned media companies also offers healthcare companies a way to more authentically address the health inequity that currently exists within the Black community in terms of medical mistrust and a lack of access to adequate healthcare by elevating the voices of Black publishers

Note: This population partnership strategy is also applicable for other groups

Spotlight on: Group Black Network for Black Publishers

Group Black and SHE Media partnered together to launch Group Black Network, a group for Black publishers. SHE Media is composed of a diverse community, inclusive of women-owned, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, AAPI, and LGBTQAI+ independent publishers, while Group Black is specifically focused on Black-owned publishers who independently develop culturally savvy and engaging content across multiple channels.

Collectively, SHE Media is a Top 10 Lifestyle property per comScore and reaches 80 million monthly visitors

The media industry is undergoing dramatic change led in part by SHE Media’s Meaningful Marketplaces program, which is designed to allocate more advertising dollars to minority‑owned publishers, and the birth and expansion of Group Black

The partnership of both groups creates a transparent and empowered ecosystem where Black publishers are armed with the full understanding of their earning opportunity

Publishers in the Group Black Network will be equipped with media revenue, branded content opportunities, editorial connections, and education on best practices to help bring their diverse content types and personal stories to the world

T R E N D   # 3

Diverse Content Influencers

Elevating diverse and authentic voices to reach new groups

What is it

Being inclusive of all people is the only way to truly reach and resonate with a wider audience

One of the best parts of social media is the ability to connect individuals to diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures

Partnering with influencers who reflect a variety of demographics (eg, race, gender, religion, body type, sexual orientation, geographic location) can help push brand messages out to a more diverse group of people

Influencers are successful because they are able to relate to the everyday person and their followers relate to them in some unique way

By taking the initiative to value all customers, there is an opportunity to see positive changes in brand awareness, loyalty, and even business profit

What it means for healthcare

Diverse Content Influencers can help complement healthcare brand efforts, fueling relevant conversations across key platforms and strengthening relationships within different communities in a more authentic way

Diverse Content Influencers can help brands generate customer insights across various groups through commenting and engagement, which can help brands more successfully execute culturally appropriate campaigns and create content that aligns with what target customers actually want and need

Omnicom Media Group has positioned itself as a leader actioning on this strategy, launching its Diverse Content Creators Network (DCN) last spring in an effort to help connect brands with thousands of diverse content creators, many with millions of followers. The DCN helps pivot conversation from upfront pledges to supporting diverse voices long term

To find the right Diverse Content Influencers to partner with: Take the time to learn about and understand the various customer groups you are hoping to partner with–learn about their culture, customs, language, religion, wants, needs, etc. Identify the influencers who have relevant followers and reach within their community and align with your marketing goalsCreate an engagement strategy with the selected influencers to co-create content with the brand that will be shared across social channelsEnsure content stays authentic and true to the people you are working with to help it better resonate with their followers

Promoting Equity Through Social Campaigns

Working with the most popular influencer doesn’t have to be the only way to make an impact in the DE&I space–a grassroots approach can prove to be even more genuine and meaningful

In June 2020, Twitter rallied around #ShareTheMicNowMed to amplify Black female voices in medicine

For one day, non-Black female doctors handed over their accounts to colleagues to highlight the work of Black female physicians and encourage diverse conversation

This conversation was not led by any content creator in particular, but instead leveraged a network of well-known figures to shine light on societal issues facing Black women in medicine

T R E N D   # 4

Firsthand Education from Societies

Building relationships with third party organizations that promote the advancement of DE&I

What is it

Connection with the community only happens when you insert yourself into the community

Actioning DE&I cannot just be a moments-based approach; it must become a long-term, everlasting commitment. Thus, partnering with strategic societies and organizations will create a more thoughtful and dedicated approach to changing the way brands navigate and infuse DE&I to reach a broader audience

To have greater visibility and acceptance of unique communities, brands should partner with credible societies and organizations to shape the way they talk to and engage with people

Partnering with outside influential voices can help bolster brand credibility when speaking about issues that aren’t their main area of focus; it also creates a robust offering of backgrounds and perspectives on an issue

What it means for healthcare

Healthcare brands can embed themselves in DE&I by establishing strategic partnerships with healthcare and disease advocacy societies. Working with other organizations can accelerate progress by leveraging their resources and mobilizing more appropriate brand touchpoints

Brands can play active roles reaching marginalized groups and creating awareness with the power of social media, building a platform for more authentic, engaging conversations between Societies, HCPs, and patients. Whether brought to life in real-time audio/video streaming or a Reddit/Twitter chat, the result gives healthcare companies valuable insights about their target customers and how to engage with a more diverse customer base in a more impactful way

When choosing partnerships with third parties, it’s important to make sure values align and to build an open partnership where feedback is given honestly and often. Recognize the work that needs to be done together while being confident in how you will journey in the right direction

Capitalizing on High-Impact Events: Live Panels at SXSW

South by Southwest is an annual event focusing on the arts, technology, healthcare, and more, and attracts the biggest names, both speakers and attendees. Recent iterations have seen a growing focus on healthcare and its intersection with inclusion, in which Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) directly participated. They hosted multiple panels on social action in healthcare, including “Healthcare Amid COVID: Virtual Support & Advocacy” and “Perspectives on Clinical Trial Diversity” in partnership with strategic Societies.

First, BMS shared the stage with leaders from the Global Liver Institute and the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, with discussion focused on the importance of collaboration for delivering vital care in an event which disproportionately affected people of color

“Perspectives” discussed the importance of diversity in clinical trials, among both participants and investigators, with speakers from across the biomedical research community highlighting how collaboration can ensure patients of all backgrounds receive quality care

T R E N D   # 5

Build From the Inside Out

Reimagining and advancing internal work culture

What is it

In recent years, companies worldwide have been making strides in implementing new internal and external initiatives to progress DE&I

To implement lasting change, organizations must understand their own structure, set measurable goals, and remain steadfast in putting in the work to fulfill commitments

Progressing DE&I internally can happen in a number of ways, including:Building DE&I advancement into company operations and client work by working to build and sustain inclusive marketing practices across departments and teams, including the hiring process and how client work is reviewed Creating a DE&I advisory board comprising a diverse group of internal team members who can share ideas, react to your team’s plans, and inspire you to think differently Hosting inspirational DE&I events and speakers to encourage employee engagement and attendanceOffering formal education and training to provide people with the necessary resources to improve their current understanding of DE&I, their coworkers’ lived experiences, and how they can support their coworkers and community Working with local communities that align with your organization’s DE&I efforts to gain diverse perspectives and give back to the community

By cultivating a more diverse and inclusive culture internally, organizations are not only able to have more productive internal teamwork, they are also able to create even stronger, more diversified work for clients

What it means for healthcare

Creating internal advisory boards and diversifying team talent can help healthcare brands create stronger, more diverse marketing collateral for target customers that better showcases the realities those customers face daily when it comes to their health and by speaking to customers in a way that is relevant and relatable to them from a language and cultural perspective

By partnering with local patient or healthcare professional community groups that align with organizations’ DE&I efforts, healthcare organizations can connect on a more personal level with the customers they are trying to reach and gain a firsthand understanding of their pain points and how they can provide more value for these people’s lives

Putting in the effort to build sustainable DE&I efforts internally can help healthcare brands become more trustworthy sources for patient information because patients will be more loyal to those brands that they see making the effort to understand them and trying to support their needs

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