Agencies embrace training amid shift to digital | GSK refreshes unbranded COPD website | Marketers face personalization obstacles
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August 26, 2014
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Agencies embrace training amid shift to digital
Agencies are hosting workshops, sending employees back to school and even partnering with BuzzFeed as they try to keep up with the industry's shift to digital. "It's about staying relevant. The idea is to give people a basic toolkit and confidence to deal with all of this change," said Buz Sawyer, who is on the Hyper Island board. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/CMO Today blog (8/18)
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GSK refreshes unbranded COPD website
GlaxoSmithKline's unbranded website for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients,, recently received a face-lift, with new site navigation and 40 testimonials. Pre-relaunch research showed that first-person testimonials helped patients felt more engaged with the content. The site was designed by Havas. Medical Marketing & Media (8/19)
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Marketers face personalization obstacles
More than 75% of marketers believe customer loyalty depends on how well they personalize messages, but 48% say challenges remain, including having to analyze the constant stream of customer-interaction data, according to a Forrester Marketing report created for ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (8/18)
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The New Imperative for Hospital/Health System CEOs
Brand stewardship, especially through industry transformation, is a responsibility that must be embraced, if not led, by the hospital/health system CEO and other leadership guiding the strategic and operational direction of the organization. Download this white paper for more on this important obligation.
Trends, Research & Stats
Grants helped state exchanges enroll more people than
State-run health insurance exchanges outperformed even after glitches on the federally run site were fixed, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute. States received block grants to train and pay navigators, and states that set up their own exchanges received additional block grants to hire "In-Person Assistors." Community health centers in five states that partnered with the federal government received additional funding. The Philadelphia Inquirer/Kaiser Health News (8/24)
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Voices from the Inside
Many patient-bloggers would like more info from drugmakers
More than half of patients surveyed who talk about their condition on social media said they would be very likely to post information from drugmakers about treatments for their condition, while about one-third said they would be somewhat likely to and 17% said they are unlikely to share such information. Those who expressed a willingness to share said they would like nonmedical information as well, such as advice on discussing chronic diseases with friends. Medical Marketing & Media (8/20)
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Opinion: Move beyond patient engagement to empowerment
People with chronic diseases want to focus on living their lives, not on engaging with their disease, writes Glen Tullman, founder of investment firm 7wire Ventures and former CEO of Allscripts. "Here's the problem: when health care companies talk to consumers about 'engagement,' they're adopting a patronizing approach that's been proven not to work," Tullman writes. Health care innovators should focus not on technology that engages patients but on technology that empowers them, makes disease management simpler and allows them to focus on the parts of their lives that do not involve being sick, he argues. Forbes (8/14)
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Many patients have trouble understanding lab test results, study finds
A study conducted by University of Michigan researchers showed that many patients don't understand their electronic laboratory test results. Researchers measured the numerical and health literacy of over 1,800 participants and found that those with low comprehension were less likely to know if the result of a hypothetical blood glucose test was outside of the reference range. Researchers noted that presenting test results in a way that makes the data meaningful to those who have poor numerical or literacy skills could help encourage people to be more involved in their care. EHR Intelligence (8/21)
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Interactive Ads & Technology
Truth campaign aims to deglamorize smoking
The Legacy Foundation's new Truth campaign ads, which aired during the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, encourage teenagers to help their friends avoid cigarettes and not post pictures of people smoking on social media. An associated website,, has been redesigned and offers an anti-smoking social media profile badge and tools to cross out cigarettes from images on social media. The 72andSunny-designed campaign also includes in-cinema buys and a partnership with the Vans Warped Tour and other Vans events. MediaPost Communications/MarketingDaily (8/25)
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Policy Pulse
Hospital Compare's fall info update restricted to 2 metrics
The October update of the CMS' Hospital Compare website will be limited to two areas of information -- Medicare Spending per Beneficiary and aggregate payment data -- due to system upgrades, the agency stated. Additional metrics will be updated in December, including data on hospital-associated infections and rates of surgical complications following hip and knee procedures. (8/21)
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Industry Insight
Marketing lessons learned from #IceBucketChallenge
Marketers can learn about creating viral content from the ALS Association's social media #IceBucketChallenge, which has helped raise millions for Lou Gehrig's disease research since gaining online momentum in mid-July. Content should be relevant, engaging and have a strong call to action to catch fire, writes Katelyn Fish. B2C Marketing Insider (8/21), Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers)/DigitalNext blog (8/20)
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Coalition News
Pharma companies have made significant progress in past decades, Grant says
It is important that pharmaceutical companies recognize their role in the important advances made in treating and curing diseases and conditions that were once fatal or debilitating, according to Bruce Grant, senior vice president, Strategy, Epsilon/Healthcare. In a recent post on the Scribd site, "Why Pharma Matters," Grant discusses some of those milestones and how drug marketing has contributed to progress. "We are the creators and stewards of responsible and effective communications about our clients' products," Grant said, "products that can make the difference between health and illness, life and death for patients worldwide." Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director John Kamp noted that this piece "reminds all of us that we should, as an industry, look back from time to time and reflect on the many accomplishments and advances that pharma has been integral to making happen." Read more.
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Featured Press Releases
Closing the Deal
Clients' businesses are being redefined by digital. It's critical from a strategic point of view but also a production point of view to know how all of this works."
-- Liz Lukas, U.S. CEO of Decoded, on digital education programs for advertising professionals. Read more from the Wall Street Journal.
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