In 2019, MedThink Communications launched its performance-driven medical education (PDME) platform, designed to more effectively integrate behavioral science into educational and promotional content aimed at healthcare providers. In 2020, as offices shuttered and HCPs started to pivot to telemedicine, the agency was forced to rethink the burgeoning offering for the pandemic era.

To combat the reality on the ground, MedThink executed its own pivot. It adjusted the length of its offerings, giving providers bite-sized content options that, according to VP, managing director John Kane, perform better than earlier ones.

“We converted to doing a lot of micro-learning, and now engagement is up because we can give physicians information in those five to seven minutes they have between other things,” he explains. “We’ve shifted from, ‘Oh, you’ve got to go to a dinner meeting, you’ve got to spend all this time here parsing it out,’ to something that’s actually a more effective way to learn.” Central to the new approach: converting text-heavy materials into ones better suited for visual learning. 

MedThink Communications

As a result, MedThink survived what could have been a challenging year. Company revenue nudged slightly upward, from $18.1 million in 2019 to $18.4 million in 2020, and staff size remained flat at 92 full-timers. The agency is known to work with Arbor Pharmaceuticals, Corcept Therapeutics and BioDelivery Sciences International.

The pandemic also prompted MedThink to reevaluate its hiring processes. When the agency hired former Fingerpaint creative lead Jack Hyndman as creative director, he relocated from upstate New York to MedThink’s North Carolina stronghold. But once COVID-19 sent everybody home, the company came to the realization that physical proximity doesn’t need to be a prerequisite to employment.

As a result, MedThink has put into place a permanent work-from-home policy that has allowed the agency to hire five new people — who, company president Scott Goudy notes, will remain virtual workers even when the world opens back up.

“We anticipate having a hybrid environment, so we’re working on a technology solution now so that we will be able to collaborate effectively,” he explains. “We need to make sure we maintain that connection and that cultural component when we have some of our people in remote settings and others in the office.”

Goudy hopes the agency’s newfound flexibility will give MedThink a competitive advantage in an impossible labor market. “The battle for talent is strong, and that’s one of the main drivers for the remote transition. We want to make sure we get the best talent we can get,” he adds.

As MedThink heads into the second half of 2021 and beyond, it plans to continue building out its PDME platform. The agency will also likely attempt to enhance its analytics and measurement offering — which, Goudy notes, is gaining in importance as digital-minded clients seek to measure and better understand the impact of their online and mobile campaigns.

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The idea I wish I had…

A coalition of cystic fibrosis advocacy groups developed the Social Distance Squad, an engaging and motivating approach to empowering young people living with CF during COVID. It transformed them into social media influencers who shared real-life stories and tips for staying healthy. The power of learning from each other — real kids and teens who have spent their lives social distancing — was an inspiration. — Scott Goudy