CommonSense Blog

Communication Design

By Laura Fusco | May 15, 2013

By the W20 Healthcare Leadership Team

It seems like the whole world is trying to figure out the future of healthcare communications and marketing. What exactly are the opportunities in the expanding trend of consolidated marketing and communication assignments? Yes, the whole last sentence is an oxymoron.

There is no doubt that Healthcare is important on a national and local level. It is complex. But we are an industry of pretty smart people that have regular dialogue with scientists and clinicians and do okay.

Some would say Healthcare is fragile; an industry that was insular not so long ago but today is under siege, has lost its swagger and maybe even its edge. Again, there are a lot of good agencies out there vigorously trying to reinvent themselves to cement the cracks in the highways to “healthy healthcare marketing” and communications.

So why are all these smart, good people and agencies struggling so hard?

The problem around simply cementing the cracks is that eventually environmental pressures force the cracks wide open. One can see this on display in those cases where agencies (typically under a holding company model) continue to specialize in their verticals and piece together “team approaches” to healthcare stakeholder marketing and communications. The PR agency does their thing, the ad agency theirs, managed care theirs, and so on. Under the guise of integration the agencies form a unified team where the best communicators come together to ideate and create the programs and platforms that underpin successful brand education and promotion.

Beyond the obvious pressures of agency infighting over program control or revenue, this approach is artificial in that it cobbles approaches and people together rather than being designed or engineered around data as the communication strategy or tactic that is wanted or needed or the must have tool at a precise moment in time for someone to self-mange their health in a new healthcare system.

In the second scenario, you can’t really put a label on what the communication genre is. It’s not PR. It’s not Advertising. It’s not Med Ed. And frankly it’s irrelevant. Except of course to the individual groups that practice some of these crafts individually or exclusively.

In a world where nothing matters more than information and truth, the industry has to evolve to be less about contrived conversation starters or bombardments of brand messages to increase share of noise or voice.  It all comes down to scientific and medical intelligence.

In a data-deep world gone social, gathering intelligence, engaging intelligently, and activating intelligent, co-engineered communications has never been more crucial. And you cannot get this by cobbling together a bunch of disparate entities with a hope and prayer that what needs to break through or be delivered to make thoughtful healthcare choices, decisions or even loyalties will in fact get delivered.

You get it when the borders go away. And the analytic workbench enables the mapping of social and contextual insights that translate variables into disruptive commerce models, digital platforms and trusted engagement (secondary but prized outcome = highly engaging/successful brand.)

W2o Group is excited to be able to invest our time and resources to reshape current products and innovate new ones designed to deliver healthcare resources like:

  • The World’s First Clinical Investigator Index
  • The World’s First Advocacy Index for clinical Trials
  • Dashboards for clinical trials showing all integrated information
  • Real insight and understanding of patients, disease states and investigators and the elements that will improve clinical trial enrollment
  • Improved connectedness through dialogue and engagement with all
  • Improved relationships as a result of value brought forward (for example, improved clinical trial enrollment that helps investigators build their practice and thought leader position)
  • Improved practices in how content is consistently shared for improved patient and advocacy relationships since the right patients will be in the right trials at the right time

W2o also recognizes that innovation is real time and never static.  What is an innovation today can quickly become yesterday’s news.

And this is why we often describe ourselves as partners in communication design and engineering. Essentially this means that we partner with our clients as “optimizers of data that shape communications that spur a call to action.”  In the case of healthcare, it means being a provider of precisely what is needed in the area of information or education or answers to enable self management and care in an era choc full of system of care challenges and complexities.