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!

Q3 2022


T R E N D   # 1

Multipurpose Impact

Aligning brands and products with social responsibility

What is it?

Multipurpose marketing utilizes an initiative or campaign to drive results and impact in more than one way, allowing companies to promote their product and their mission at the same time

Consumers want to know how brands are integrating their products and initiatives with social responsibility. When done right, this can lead to:

Stronger relationships with consumers because there is a deeper meaning

Less budget required because multiple goals are combined into one

A higher chance that a campaign gets seen because of its ability to engage various communities within each purpose

Initiatives that address more than one mission are a way for brands to break through the clutter, prove their value to consumers, and give back to a greater good. In fact:

68% of consumers say that they would pay more for products that also promote a positive environmental impact (Businesswire)

According to Forbes, 71% of consumers expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their advertising

Nielsen reports that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for goods from brands that demonstrate social commitment

What it means for healthcare

Healthcare companies can elevate their support for greater initiatives such as the environment, health equity, access, representation, inclusivity, and/or literacy while also highlighting their respective products

87% of Americans say they would purchase a product because its company advocated for an issue they cared about (Cone Communications); thus, integrating a pharma brand or product with social responsibility can increase the public’s perception of a company and build brand favorability

Brands can achieve this and fulfill multipurpose impact in a few ways:

Address environmental sustainability concerns in product marketing by stating how it uses less plastic, metal, rubber, etc., and what happens to the device once disposed of

Improve health inequities by reaching underserved populations and highlighting the impact the product has on diverse populations and closing a gap

Show how the brand or product intersects with driving impact and creating real-world change, influencing healthcare reform, policy change, or public health issues

Morning After Island: A best‑in‑class example of multipurpose

Morning After Island was a multipurpose campaign that provided women of Honduras access to emergency contraception pills and so much more. Since a contraception ban in Honduras in 2009, 1 in 4 girls have gotten pregnant before turning 18, and more than 350,000 underage girls in Honduras have given birth. Thus, Morning After Island was created. This floating platform was located in international waters, outside of Honduran jurisdiction, where trips are organized by boat to provide women the morning after pill. This campaign was multifaceted in how it provided women access to healthcare—providing the contraceptive pill as well as a safe place to take it—and put undeniable pressure on government officials to repeal the ban. An impressive campaign serving more than one purpose, the Morning After Island gained so much publicity that it caused a legislative proposal defending women’s rights in Honduras.

T R E N D   # 2

Short-form Video

Content in a digestible, authentic format

What is it?

Short-form videos (any video under 60 seconds) are becoming increasingly popular with consumers because of length, accessibility, and engagement

These videos more easily capture the viewer’s attention and have a higher chance of completion

Platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and LinkedIn are expanding their short-form video offerings to keep up with demand. Whether used in paid or organic ways, this format has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy, which is why marketers have invested more in videos than in any other content format in 2022

The same video can be scaled on multiple platforms to increase reach, viewership, and engagement, without spending more to create new content

Videos on Instagram Reels and TikTok can be interchangeable, allowing brands to reach different audiences with overlapping interests and maximizing their content’s success without duplicating efforts

What it means for healthcare

Short-form videos are a strategic way for healthcare brands to scale their message and engage with specific patient populations and HCP communities

Opportunities for healthcare brands to utilize short‑form video:

Explainer videos are a great way for HCPs to discuss disease awareness, education, diagnosis, and treatment information. Dr Grant Collins, The Braces Guy, is an orthodontist who uses TikTok to dispense helpful, bite-sized tips about orthodontic care

Patient stories and testimonials can reach consumers who may be hesitant to receive medical care or start treatment. 71% of patients use online reviews as their first step in making a decision about healthcare providers, so a short-form video testimonial allows potential patients to get firsthand recommendations from real people

Influencer marketing can help brands leverage HCPs or patients who have strong connections and followings within their networks to fuel user‑generated content. Influencers can share their story and advocate for brands in online health forums and on social media

Brands can partner with companies like Storysoft to create and scale short-form videos that mimic the look and feel of social content. Storysoft is a digital storytelling platform that develops Instagram-style stories and delivers them to audiences anywhere. The platform helps marketers work quicker and more efficiently by providing a flexible solution for breakthrough storytelling, which can be especially helpful if a brand does not have its own social page

Short-form videos on social provide an opportunity for pharma brands to join in on the newest trends, culture, and music without spending a lot of time and money creating new and polished content. In fact, incorporating popular songs, sounds, filters, or dance moves can attract more attention and create more relevance for your brand, especially on TikTok. And with its algorithm, the experience can be highly personalized based on clicks and interests to deliver specific medical content from trusted sources

Healthcare brands harnessing the power of TikTok

Bausch + Lomb utilized short-form video to gain awareness for Lumify eye drops through a TikTok campaign called #LUMIFYEyeDance Challenge. The campaign asks viewers to dance not with their feet but with their eyes, and offers a chance to win a makeover, allowing thousands of people to become more aware of the Lumify brand either by taking part in the dance-off or by viewing the videos. This campaign leverages the power of short-form video and its ability to be catchy, go viral, and capitalize on consumer-made content and their existing following

Fisher Wallace Laboratories, maker of a device approved for the treatment of depression, insomnia, and anxiety, is promoting itself (and mental wellness in general) in an unconventional way: creating “Unhappy Happy People,” a TikTok comedy series. The company hopes to stimulate dialogue and eliminate the stigma surrounding conversations about mental health. “Unhappy Happy People” compiles a range of short clips in which comedians riff on their experiences with mental health. Through these short, unpolished, and simple‑to‑make videos, they hope to eliminate some of the remaining barriers around discussing mental health

T R E N D   # 3

Next Best Experience

Delivering on the omnichannel approach

What is it?

Next best experience takes personalized marketing to the next level. It uses data and technology to anticipate the needs of customers to enhance their experience, ensuring brands are always 10 steps ahead of its customer in their journey and providing them with the most efficient and relevant message

This process uses AI and machine learning to recommend the next best actions based on customer data, their previous actions, and current needs

Brands can benefit from personalizing marketing campaigns and ensuring that messages are reaching the right customer in the right cadence through the right channels

According to Salesforce, 66% of customers expect brands to anticipate, understand, and respond to their needs. It is crucial that brands invest in this strategy to deliver on their expectations

What it means for healthcare

Next best experience is the epitome of a customer‑centric model that harnesses the power of digital and data capabilities

Every HCP and patient journey may look different, so brands have to provide information and messaging that makes sense at that exact moment, ensuring delivery of relevant information

Leveraging data and analytics can help brands understand channel preferences, digital affinities, messaging nuances, and more, as well as shape communication and continuously improve on it. All of this can lead to better patient outcomes, education, and awareness of a product or brand

For example, according to Indegene, colon cancer procedures have a cancellation/no-show rate of 30%. Implementing a next-best-messaging strategy can take patients on a journey—building confidence in the procedure though reminder messages for surgery. Using engagement data to understand the patient’s concerns can help tailor the experience accordingly, resulting in lower cancellation/no-show rates

Insight on where the consumer is in their journey can help brands craft the right message and deploy it at the right time. For example, MM+M says that over 70% of HCPs across specialties search online daily for the best Rx. Here, point-of-care advertising can help bring them the information they’re already searching for and puts a strategic message right in front of them on a platform that is part of their workflow

Enabling next best experiences with automation

Different opportunities to deliver on the next best experience with speed and truly create personalization in an omnichannel ecosystem include:

Microsegmentation of audiences: Start here. By utilizing Rx data, digital affinities, preferences, behaviors, and past engagement performance, brands can create distinct audiences from the overall HCP target list. Microsegmented lists can be implemented across NPP for more precise targeting and audience insights

Dynamic banners: Unique content for each audience with the Flashtalking platform allows for personalized banner messaging via variable content

Email modularization: Tailored email messaging created with variable content across home office emails, rep-triggered emails, and third-party platforms, with subject lines and body content tailored for each audience

Website personalization: Dynamic website development offers more seamless updates and personalization. Evolve websites to have a similar structure with interchangeable variables for a more turnkey approval process and more efficient, ongoing upgrades

T R E N D   # 4

Search Engine Optimization

Evolving the strategy for consumer behavior shifts

What is it?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is not new, but it is evolving as consumer behavior shifts and as technology advances, specifically in the arrival of semantic and conversational search

The future of SEO will be even more data-driven and include machine learning and consumer data to gain an in-depth understanding of target audiences and optimize against them

Understanding the role of voice search, everyday colloquialisms, and AI in SEO is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to websites. For example:

Companies are focusing on voice SEO more and more to meet consumers where they are and how they are searching

Marketers are exploring natural and colloquial language to optimize their brand’s SEO for both written and voice searches

AI-powered tools such as diib and Clearscope are boosting SEO strategies to better understand search engine algorithms, inform planning, and help shape content for faster output while ensuring content is highly optimized

What it means for healthcare

When a medical need emerges, the first place consumers—and sometimes providers—go for information is a search engine, on desktop, mobile, or tablet. Thus, it is important for brands to support each entry point and meet customers where they are and how they want to communicate, including voice/audio and colloquial text

Optimizing SEO for every possible search function is critical. Consumers are increasing their use of natural language during a search to find what they need, due partly to the increased use of voice-assisted search options (eg, typing in “how to make my back stop hurting” vs “back pain relief”). This is also applicable to audio/voice search, a capability used via Google Home, Siri, and Alexa

Pharma companies can respond to these behavior changes by adapting how they frame information. To answer readers’ questions based on intent, creators are opting for more conversational question-and-answer formats. This ensures that when consumers use voice search, they’ll get high‑quality, accurate responses more quickly

Evolving SEO for behavioral shifts in mobile use

It is estimated that nearly 75% of internet users will access the internet solely via mobile devices by 2025. It is no surprise that search engines now primarily look at the mobile version of a website when ranking content rather than the desktop homepage

Having a good mobile user experience leads to better SEO. This includes responsive design, fast loading times, easy‑to‑use navigation, and accessible features

Voice search is most used via mobile because it fits with being “on the go.” The advancements in voice search include machine learning, AI, and speech recognition technology, which pulls from data to make it even more convenient and mobile friendly

Google has created an augmented reality search feature for mobile that allows users to search using photos they have in their camera roll. Taking it a step further, smartphone cameras will soon be able to provide a similar experience to AR glasses in which they will visually search across multiple objects in a scene based on what you’re currently “seeing” and produce search results accordingly

T R E N D   # 5

Agile Methodology

A best‑in‑class way of working

What is it?

Agile methodology is a team-based organizational framework that breaks projects down into several dynamic phases instead of one big one. And, simply put, it’s a way to improve how marketing is performed

This includes having self-organizing, cross‑functional teams that perform work in frequent iterations with a continuous feedback loop to improve and adjust quickly for the next phases

The 3 most popular types of agile marketing frameworks are kanban, scrum, and scrumban (a hybrid between kanban and scrum)

This model embodies the “working smarter, not harder” approach and aims to achieve the most efficient, productive, and adaptable strategy

Benefits of an agile methodology:

Allows brands to shift strategies and adapt quickly without disrupting flow

Emphasizes real-time collaboration, cultivating teamwork, and breaking silos and hierarchies

Accelerates campaign delivery and increases speed to market

Helps deliver value early and often by grouping individuals into small cross-functional teams that can finish projects autonomously

Focuses on customer value and business outcomes

What it means for healthcare

The agile methodology can help improve marketing innovation and commercialization of drugs, and, in turn, deliver better outcomes for patients

Pharma companies are responding to industry shifts with agility and using it as an opportunity to establish cost-competitive, outcomes-focused operating models

Adopting agile principles helps teams prioritize, communicate, and adapt to challenges. It can help companies stay competitive and drive profitable growth by lowering development costs, increasing speed to market, and becoming more efficient

Understanding the customer journey and needs

Gaining clarity on business objectives and accountability

Getting the buy-in from all teams (including Medical Review, which can often be a holdup in terms of approval)

Empowering your teams

Implementing agile team by team, not all at once

Being pragmatic; finding workable compromises to the agile ways of working

Pfizer, Merck, and Allergan—to name a few—leverage agile for digital transformation and operational excellence. They have seen proven success, unleashed innovation, and have gained a competitive edge

Results from adopting an agile methodology include:

20% increase in efficiency via instant feedback

90% improvement time in getting assets to market

30% increase in productivity from tight-knit collaborations

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