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!

Q4 2021

Marketing Disruption

T R E N D   # 1

Digital Opinion Influencers (DOIs)

Elevating strategic point of view on social

What is it

DOIs, also known as digital opinion leaders (DOLs), connected online leaders (COLs), or key online influencers (KOIs), are digitally native healthcare thought leaders within their space and respective networks. With a large following, their POVs help influence and shape what others currently think, feel, and do

Differentiated from Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), DOIs show up and lean heavily on social media to deliver meaningful conversation. According to PharmaExec, only 20% of KOLs have a social presence, and if they do, the reach tends to be limited. This next‑generation group of digital leaders is democratizing influence

DOIs shape authentic and potentially viral campaigns that are impactful to patients and peers. According to Endpoints News, 60% of doctors follow other doctors on social media channels, and 55% of physicians say they like to learn about healthcare from their peers‍—‍making the DOI strategy an effective way to capture an audience’s attention because the content is coming from someone they trust, follow, and turn to for information

There are many kinds of DOIs:
Patient and caregiver DOIs typically emerge from personal experience and look for advice, information, and connectionsHealth blogger DOIs, or “e-patients,” are actively interested in their own health, sharing their knowledge and learningsHCP DOIs focus on field of expertise and speak to/influence others within their field and patients

What it means for healthcare

DOIs complement healthcare brand efforts, fueling relevant conversations across key platforms and strengthening relationships within communities in a more organic way. Some pharma companies are even using DOIs as advisors for creating communications and campaigns

DOIs help generate customer insights, pulling from social commenting and engagement, which can be leveraged to inform other marketing initiatives and customer touchpoints

To establish a strong DOI program:
Gather a robust understanding of the community you’re interested in reachingIdentify the influencers who have relevant followers and reach within that community and align with your marketing goalsCreate an engagement strategy with the selected DOIs to co-create content with the brand that will be shared across social channels

Actioning DOIs with Influential’s AI Technology

Influential, one of the largest influencer marketing companies in the world, utilizes AI technology to offer white-glove influencer marketing services for healthcare companies‍—‍inclusive of DOI identification, campaign management, contracting, content development, creative and media strategies, analytics, reporting, and more.


Market Intelligence data marry demographic, psychographic, purchase, and behavioral data to help brands identify and engage highly strategic DOIs

The software’s AI technology helps ensure brand safety for every DOI activation by scanning the selected influencer’s profile to make sure their reputation and content align with brand goals

T R E N D   # 2


Owning the market conversation in a can’t‑be‑missed way

What is it

Takeovers are a type of marketing strategy where advertisers are able to own share of voice (SOV) across all channels and environments, disrupting the conversation and leaving a significant mark

It is designed to be a can’t-miss and high-impact experience, commanding audiences’ attention

Takeovers can happen in many different formats depending on where the audience is—from social and websites to out-of-home (OOH)

Another benefit of takeovers is with 100% SOV ownership, competitors can’t market in the spaces and your brand will completely dominate all messaging

What it means for healthcare

For healthcare brands, takeovers are an opportunity to own 100% SOV in places that are highly relevant and highly visible to HCP audiences, such as across endemic content on key healthcare publisher sites, on healthcare brands’ or DOIs’ social channels, at conferences, and in hospitals or clinics

A takeover can also be a part of point-of-care advertising, reaching both HCPs and patients in examination rooms, doctors’ offices, telehealth waiting rooms, and EHR. Using sophisticated targeting and data, high-impact messages can follow audiences at critical points of decision-making

No matter the placement, takeover campaigns deliver significant awareness and disruption because they’re hard to miss and also allow healthcare brands to completely own the space, leaving competitors with little to no opportunity to voice and showcase their own brand messaging

AWARENESS TAKEOVER CAMPAIGN: Walgreens’ “This is Our Shot”

Walgreens launched an integrated communications and advertising push in 2021 to boost vaccine confidence and let people know they can get their shot at Walgreens— taking over multiple channels and environments in the following ways:

Aired two 30-second TV spots during NBC programming on ABC and ESPN voiced by John Legend, while leveraging the power of social media and press interviews to drive awareness and engagement of the campaign

Developed a dedicated website to grow awareness of the campaign and its messaging

Collaborated with micro and macro influencers to spread the word on social media channels by posting “I got the COVID-19 vaccine” stickers and bandaids using #ThisIsOurShot

Partnership with Uber to provide 10 million free or discounted rides to get a COVID vaccine in select cities. An in-app feature enabled visibility when vaccines became available

They also hosted a “Roll Up Your Sleeves” initiative that aired on NBC and leaned into their celebrity and influencer network of pharmacists to encourage the community to get vaccinated across social media

T R E N D   # 3

Live Shopping

Creating real-time brand education

What is it

Shoppable content opportunities are not new, but they continue to develop and evolve, and now more companies are integrating them into their strategy

Shoppable content lives as a digital asset, like a social media post, a piece of user-generated content (UGC), an image, a video, or an advertisement that consumers can click and be prompted directly to purchase or learn more about

These shoppable assets shorten and disrupt the customer journey as we know it, combining awareness, interest, and purchase into a single moment where customers are made aware of the product or offering— and can then click to explore if interest is sparked

Shoppable content can take form in a live environment on social, allowing for real-time conversation and point of view on a product to influence an audience

What it means for healthcare

Shoppable experiences for Pharma and Medical Device brands are brought to life a bit differently. While ads and experiences on social and in digital assets may not be directly shoppable (click-to-buy), the concept of exploring a product or drug in a quick‑hit digital experience can be a highly effective strategy—ultimately moving a customer down the purchase funnel and simplifying their educational journey

Complementing rep calls, the integration of live shopping means being able to deliver to customers the option to virtually learn more about a product through real‑time demonstrations, tutorials, and other relevant videos

Shoppable experiences for DTC over-the-counter is a no‑brainer. Products are available via e‑commerce in partnership with suppliers (such as Amazon Pharmacy), giving patients access to direct orders

The Metaverse & Live Shopping

Meta already offers many different kinds of shoppable experiences on both Facebook and Instagram—and now YouTube has announced it will begin pilot testing livestream shopping.


In a recent week‑long live shopping event, YouTube gave viewers the chance to shop new products, unlock limited‑time offers, and engage with creators and other viewers via Q&A

Facebook and Instagram also have livestreaming shopping opportunities and offer product tags and stickers that can be added to all kinds of content so customers can simply click and be directed straight to check out

T R E N D   # 4

Push Notifications

Following customers across the omnichannel ecosystem

What is it

Push notifications are tiny pop-up messages that appear on your browser, desktop, or mobile phone and are meant to be quick, direct, and short with CTA buttons

When it comes to marketing, the strategy behind push notifications is that it allows you to instantly reach your customers in a world full of distractions with branded messaging that’s straight to the point and with CTAs that are easy to act on to help drive conversions

Push notification messaging can include a brand or company’s latest news, important information, announcements, and more

For customers, opting in to push notifications is extremely easy because it doesn’t require them to provide any information. They can simply give consent with one click, which results in high push notification opt‑in rates

What it means for healthcare

Leveraging data and sophisticated targeting, push notifications can be served across platforms and channels, not just while an HCP is sitting in front of their desktop computer. For HCPs whose days are lived on the go, push notifications can be delivered to cell phones or smart watches while they’re moving from patient to patient

Push notifications are often seen as a service and a helpful tool for HCPs looking to stay up-to-date with latest product launches, industry news, and more. Because of this, HCPs are more likely to opt-in to branded push notifications, making it an easy way to connect and engage with them across channels

Push notifications track HCP behavior to send alerts like reminders to talk to a rep, prescribe a drug, use a product, etc.

And, by tapping event- and behavior-based data, push notifications can be customized and targeted per each individual customer or audience segment so brands can make sure push notification messages are tailored and highly relevant

The omnichannel push experience

InfoBip, a global leader in omnichannel communication, is simplifying how brands connect and engage with customers at scale via their suite of tools, including highly targeted push notifications.


The omnichannel push notification options include SMS text, WhatsApp, website or in‑app live chat, website alerts, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Business, Google’s Business Messages, mobile app messaging, and more

In addition to message push notifications, InfoBip allows healthcare brands to integrate push notification voice and video calls into their omnichannel life cycle

Through their in-house data platforms, customized messaging can be delivered to the HCPs who matter most across almost every platform they engage with day-to-day

T R E N D   # 5


Generating buzz with multisensory experiences

What is it

A pop‑up is a temporary experience, whether physical or virtual, that gives companies and brands the opportunity to put their products on display for a limited time

Pop-ups are best executed as fully immersive, living as part of a temporary retail space, one-time event, or digital experience where customers can experience and interact with the brand and its products

Designed and decorated in a way that’s unconventional and over the top, pop‑ups draw attention, generate buzz, and use surprise and sensation within ambient environments to create disruption

In addition, because pop‑ups take place for a limited time, they cause a sense of urgency and bring about flocks of people who are eager to experience it

What it means for healthcare

Blending the concept of a pop‑up with an immersive experience offers a brand the opportunity to introduce a disease state and/or product in a realistic way, putting customers into the experience—how the patient is feeling and/or how the medicine/product is used in real life

A pop-up is a form of guerilla marketing, giving HCPs an element of surprise and an opportunity to experience a product or brand ambush‑style and in an unconventional way. Think mobile vans, tents, booths, and more. For example, a Danish app that helps women track their periods created “The Tampon Bus” to break the stigma of menstruation. During one month, the campaign, “Know when it’s coming,” popped up across public buses in Copenhagen. Just like we want to know when the bus is set to arrive, women want to know when their periods are coming

An effective healthcare pop-up can leverage Extended Reality (XR)—in a conference booth, a live‑stream product demonstration, an in‑person event, or a limited‑time‑only online platform—as it allows customers to see a different dimension of the product and brand

Taking the pop-up on wheels: Ethicon Surgical Lab

Ethicon, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, recently created a state-of-the-art and fully functional surgical lab on wheels that travels to hospitals across America. The pop‑up experience provides surgeons and other HCPs the opportunity for hands-on learning and demonstrations of their newest technologies.


Using the hashtag #EthiconOnTour across social media to draw attention and get the word out, they were able to generate buzz among the HCP community

In addition, the mobile design allowed Ethicon to bring the learnings and demonstrations directly to surgeons and hospitals, keeping convenience top of mind and also creating a sense of urgency for surgeons to check it out before it drives off to the next hospital

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