Healthcare marketing is at an inflection point. Clients don’t need more data—they need more insight. By expertly uniting data science with social science, Insagic can unearth activatable insights and deliver the transformational intelligence clients need to drive better healthcare and business outcomes across the entire healthcare engagement value chain.

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Hello, my name is Larry dobrow. I’m the Editor in Chief of mmm. And I’m thrilled to plug into this episode of m Eminem TV a new video series in which we showcase members of the mmm agency 100 today. I’m joined by Kevin triano’s who is the head of analytics at insagic a publicist Health company Kevin welcome. Thanks for being here today. Thanks for having me. We’re going to be talking a little bit about digital transformation and specifically and sagex role and doing things I think differently and you know, very innovatively. I’m in a place where we really haven’t seen as much Innovation as the technology would suggest we would be seeing
Yeah, I mean, you know as the as the healthcare as the healthcare economy is really moving from a few for service to a value-based, you know approach we feel that it’s really important that we’re putting data at the center of our business, right? So understand, you know leveraging data to use evidence to understand people as patients through those use of real-world data through the use of real world conversations through the use of real world dialogues, but all understanding who patients are as people
through
through, you know, the ability to tie that data in compliant ways with consumer data so that we can start to understand the day and the life of folks but also understand the realities that they face in the healthcare system and if we bring these things together it enables us to really start to think about better more personalized content for for Unique Individuals so that you know, no longer we just sort of marketing to the average patient and we’re really thinking about you know, how do we bring the same degree of diversity in our
Haitian strategies to different audiences, you know that we actually see in those different audiences. And so, you know, we believe that it’s really critical that we’re bringing data dialogue and design at the center of that at the center of that conversation. And those are some of the things that we’re doing in this aging today.
It’s funny because that was going to be my first question a little bit about the origin story the superhero origin story for insagic, you know, the the agency has been up for about what six months now nine months now tell me a little bit about the process that birth did a little bit about the challenges maybe even some of the roads that you went down that you decided not to pursue sure. So, you know we are we are a group that
is for marketers comprised of marketers, but you know, so and that’s really important because we have seen in the industry, you know, there are a lot of shops that are focused on insights and one of the things that we see a lot of is, you know insights really rich insights.
living and dying in Powerpoint
and you know what we have seen is, you know, really the opportunity because we’re at the center of healthcare engagement within within the publicist Health family, whether it’s you know, how we’re building better creative or how we’re building better media strategies and actually activating them. You know, we saw that there was an Insight or a an opportunity to bring those insights to the center of that business model, you know, so that we could ensure that those great insights ultimately are activation ready from the start, right? So so, you know being an agency partner, you don’t have the luxury of of building a great sort of PowerPoint deck and bells and whistles leaving on the client’s desk and then sing see you later, right? We don’t have that. We don’t have that luxury because we’re those brand partners because we are you know, we are we’re along for that ride, you know, alongside our clients and so, you know part of as we built in sageck part of what we were thinking was how do we ensure
That the way we’re building all of the different ways we get to insights, you know, ultimately.
We’re thinking about that activation Readiness from the very start. So those were all you know, those were some of the things that you know, as we as we sort of started to bring together multiple parts of our organizations to form in sagic those were some of our kind of poor tenants
tell me actually that leaves beautifully into my next question tell me a little bit about so many of the resources from The public’s Health family that in Sage at Drew upon to to create itself. Sure. So,
you know, I started my career at Google Assistant Health about a decade ago with Sachin Sachi wellness. And when I was at Sachi, you know, we did a lot of work trying to bring new new data science driven solutions to Market. That was a key piece of what you know, what what I was really focused on particularly thinking about how we drive that to better creative and understanding how we build, you know, better creative some of my counterparts at Google’s Health media.
Who have worked on who’ve worked in that business intelligence space, you know former former colleagues of you know, some of the large data providers, you know had been building some of the most Innovative tools and techniques to drive real world outcomes optimization, you know, so thinking about how we use evidence to drive better optimization practices when we’re thinking about media optimization. And so we brought those pieces together in combination with our sister agencies verilog and Instinct so verilog as many people know,
You know has the world’s largest Converse, you know real real database of patient doctor actual conversational conversations and Instinct brings, you know, a lot of social science ethnographic expertise, right? And so we had these disparate businesses and we said, how can we how can we really think about one plus one equals 10, you know as we bringing these things together because ultimately, you know, these are all different ways of looking at you know, understanding understanding patience and understanding Physicians through real evidence, right and and we believe that you know, the the, you know, ultimately our marketers
They need evidence to bring products to Market, you know, but our you know, our clients are doing that. And so our our point of view is we need to be we need to bring that same degree of evidence to how we’re thinking about our audiences, right? So so bringing evidence to the center of understanding differences in patient types or understanding how to find them or understanding the patient types.
That a physician is actually seeing right and understanding how that Physicians practice is comprised of those patients. We need to think about evidence
in terms
of how we’re optimizing.
Right in terms of you know, not optimizing to clicks but optimizing to real outcomes and ultimately we need to we need to also Infuse that with real lived experiences, whether that’s understanding patients from a social science perspective for an ethnographic perspective or understanding what is said and sometimes left unsaid in the in the in the doctor patient dialogue, right? And so so our goal is to say, how can we how can we bring this? How can we bring these components together to become, you know a new unique advisory practice at the center of Google’s Health to ensure that our clients.
Are able to leverage that in the engagement, you know value chain to ultimately Drive the best outcomes for patients that we possibly can
you touched on this a little bit but um, you know, given verilogue given in sync how many other organizations could pull something like this together Beyond Public’s Health Matt? I don’t think there are many I mean, we’re we are we have
been lucky over the years to have I think brought together some very unique assets and a lot of smart people and a lot of smart people some very unique assets and you know a culture of of connectivity that is one thing, you know about the Google’s health and Google Assistant Group family that I think is really really important. But you know, we feel that that’s a, you know, having a combination of being able to understand, you know audiences through the use of real world and consumer data being able to pair that up with you know, what is a very unique asset in the very long conversations data, but ensuring that we’re really understanding the real lived experiences through a social science lens if we can bring those pieces together.
We can drive some you know, you know, hopefully some new ways of thinking about insights in the market
largely and you’ve touched on this already a little bit on the healthcare industry has been kind of slow to do a lot of things that we’ve discussed so far. Why do you think that is why has transformation proven such an obstacle for so many organizations within the within the business
It’s difficult.
It’s difficult in health, you know, the healthcare industry in some ways has some of the best data of all Industries, but in a lot of ways has has some of the biggest limitations right and there’s limitations, you know, one of the one of those key limitations which is a really important one is Regulatory Compliance and privacy, right and that needs to be at the center of you know, how organizations leverage data right, you know our some of our some of our Brethren and other Industries have been, you know, driving data-driven marketing for for eons at
this point,
right
and you know, especially
exactly or e-commerce things like that, right? So, you know in our world we need to make sure that that you know that degree of data stewardship is put at the very center of our business and that requires know how it also requires technology and it requires the right processes. And so I think that’s one of the reasons why we haven’t seen the same, you know, sort of move towards, you know, more data-driven personalized Marketing in healthcare.
Are as of yet in the way that we’ve seen in other Industries, but you know over time that will change, you know, as as the Advent of some of these new approaches and these new ways of looking at data continue to evolve
are we on the cusp of transformation how if you if you’re going to say like, you know, are we in the infancy? Are we in sort of the toddler? Hood? Are we where are we in the transformation special?
I think we’re at an inflection point at this, you know at the current moment, you know, we’re starting to see a lot more clients.
Becoming considerably more agile in their marketing process, right? And so, you know, we’re seeing a lot more clients really starting to think about how do we ensure that? We’re not just putting a message out there to drive awareness But ultimately we’re thinking about marketing as a intervention strategy to drive Health Care engagement with the right people at the right time to help them live better Better Lives healthier lives and better and ultimately drive better outcomes.
This requires a deep understanding of the differences in different different groups different patient types understanding how to and and understanding how to engage with them in different ways. And again this requires both the data, you know, the the understanding and the ability to activate from a from a data perspective but it also requires a unique a new approach in terms of thinking about the role of creativity of digital of media in really in being that that way of intervening and ultimately helping drive better Behavior change with with different audiences when you have conversations with some of
Sage’s clients. Do they know what they don’t know do you deal with the different degree of sophistication are people in different places? So so when I look across, you know multiple clients
different clients are at different, you know stages of sort of the analytic or data-driven marketing maturity curve, you know, some are you know really starting to just get their toes?
Really understand what are the types of things that we can learn about patients about Physicians through the use of you know, combination of data science and social science.
We
have other clients that are, you know, running really fast in terms of you know, working in a very agile way to start to bring to bear.
Multiple messages from multiple audiences with multiple outcomes that they’re trying to achieve that are nuanced for each one of those audiences.
I would say today many clients are right in the middle.
Okay, where
you know data is a is a key piece of measurement strategy data is a key piece of you know, some some understanding of market dynamics, but data still isn’t the data today isn’t at the center of you know, audience strategy creative strategy and media strategy brought together. And I think you know, we’re going to see that occur more and more and more over time, you know as the industry continues to evolve when you think about the
Tremendous amount of data that we have in that, you know, you can access and interpret client’s behalf. What are some of the things that you see as both opportunities and challenges? What are what are some of the ways that you break things down that maybe are a little bit different than what we’ve done over the past couple years.
Yeah this I mean this is this is one of the this is one of the biggest challenges when leveraging Real World data and and large-scale data to to drive insights. One of the key pieces that we really make sure that we work with clients on is defining their key business questions, right? And so when we when we say key business question, we really mean two things.
Ultimately, what is a question that if answered is going to drive impact whether it’s impact to business or impact outcomes or impact to somebody’s life.
The other access though and equally important when we’re thinking in the marketing context is understanding. What is our what is the degree of our ability to actually activate the answer to that question?
Good key business questions sit at the intersection of those two big ideas. And so
part of our work, you know really starts out by working with clients to understand unearth and really well-defined what those key business questions are to start with and then from that
All you know there there are about a million ways that you can analyze this kind of data, whether it’s you know, some very simple descriptive analytics to understand history, you know, comparing different audiences based on different Healthcare history or comparing different consumer audiences based on different different components and social determinants of Health that you can see, right, you know, or you could go the complete opposite way and start to say, okay. Well let’s let’s actually leverage that data to derive predictive insights. So whether that’s using machine learning or whether it’s using cluster analysis things like that that enabling you to leverage more of an algorithmic approach to you know, answering those questions, but ultimately it’s still about bringing those questions to the heart of the business or the heart of the the heart of the work so that when we’re thinking about ultimately the the the creative executions that we want to inform in terms of the learnings that we have or the audiences that we develop or it’s the or it’s the impact on media in terms of where and what that context should be.
You know, ultimately we’re bringing those key business questions, which are informed by outcomes at the center. And so that’s a really really critical piece that we see.
We also see.
That very often clients are are looking to understand the propensity to do something.
Right
so
so likelyhood so an example of this would be in a in a large disease State. Let’s say diabetes, you know, understanding of patients who are likely to have or who have diabetes, you know, patient types that are likely to seek treatment versus not seek treatment, right or if we’re talking about a rare disease, you know, we’re seeing a lot of promise and saying how can we leverage that real world data to start to understand some of those clinical markers that actually predict where disease or predict treatment of that rare disease so that you can speed up the path to diagnosis ultimately.
And so, you know bringing that kind of mindset I think is important but there’s also another component that I think is really that we should be thinking about in balance with understanding propensity.
Okay,
and it’s how we overlay diversity.
One thing that we have seen time and time again, is that propensity and diversity in certain categories and in certain disease States can be inversely related.
The highest is almost a little bit counterintuitive. Is it?
Well, it can be but one of the things that we see is that there are there are gaps
in
healthcare in America and it becomes very clear in this data. And so one of the really important things that I think we need to be thinking about
You know over time is going just beyond one audience and understanding those most likely to do blank and and hammering home and that’s great that enables us to drive better Roi and all of those things.
But we also need to think about how we draw how we build the right Communications for everybody.
Based on who they are and having a data-driven understanding of that. We’ll go a long way to ensuring that we’re we’re really building engagement strategies that communicate with many people to ultimately help all drive better outcomes.
Right, one of the things that struck me over the course of that last response was that you know, a lot of people think about data and analytics as strictly a technical as you know, an engineer type Pursuit, right? But there’s a great degree of creativity in what you’re describing. Is that a fair assessment. I mean this is
this is what
the
this is an incredibly creative Endeavors. Now. It requires a technical skill set. Like absolutely right. I mean price of admissions the price of admission. It’s the language we speak right? We have to speak at technical language, but we need to be translators. We need to be active translators between an understanding of healthcare an understanding of marketing and understanding of business and an understanding of data and data science. This is a by the way a really difficult then diagram of skill set. Thank you
that iron.
I’m gonna make you draw it up after
this right but but all of this requires creativity and and it requires bringing a creative mindset to problem solving and a creative mindset to you know, thinking in different ways about how you tackle a problem. It also requires again that active translation. It requires an active translation between understanding a client’s business and understanding how that business challenge gets connected with the data, but it also requires another active a translation entirely and it’s how do we then take the learnings from that and
slate those learnings into a into
you know enabling a better creative
execution
or enabling a better media strategy or in a perfect world actually bringing those things together so that they’re all working hand in hand.
So yeah, there is a there’s a lot of creativity that is involved in in this type of work.
So much of what you’ve said so far has made me think a little bit about how there are so many different elements that come together. Um, yeah data science, you have social science tell me a little bit about the connectivity and why we haven’t seen more of that previously.
Yeah. So, you know, these two disciplines are
From a from a talent perspective from a educational background perspective from from a how we tackle problems perspective.
Or ultimately, you know coming for very different backgrounds with very different tool sets.
You know on one end when we think about data science, right? We have the we have the luxury with real world data and large sets of large sets of data.
To be able to analyze those data sets and you know any number away any number of ways.
Right and and you know again because this is built on real Behaviors real real historical behaviors, you know, there’s a degree of reality and evidence that we can bring from that approach.
that being said
there’s a whole host of things that we can’t learn from data science alone.
I can’t understand. There’s no database of mindsets.
There’s no database of attitudes at scale in the same way that you would have, you know, otherwise, there’s no database of
Of understanding what that lived experience really is through the Through The Eyes of an individual.
And so this is where it’s really critical that we’re bringing these two disciplines together in an integrated way so that we can start to really understand. You know, there are a lot of things that we can learn about data. There are a lot of things that we can predict about behaviors in data.
But there’s not a lot of humanity in that
alone. Yes,
and there’s also
there are some inferences about the LIE behind the what but we don’t really understand the why behind the what unless we actually talk.
Unless we actually start to ask people and understand what’s happening.
In addition when you think about the the value that that the verilog dialogue conversation brings to bear.
you know, this is a incredibly unique data asset, but it’s also an incredibly unique set of
Social science driven skills to help analyze that data understand what’s really happening in those conversations. What’s left unsaid what’s happening between the like, what’s what’s occurring between the lines and how does that changing decision making again as a data science data scientist Myself by trade I can tell you there’s a lot of things that I can glean from from, you know reams of data, but there’s a lot of questions like that I can answer
and
if we’re able to bring those together ultimately again, the goal is to build better engagement strategy for a given audience through creative through media.
That human understanding is a critical ingredient in ensuring that we’re driving the right
Behavior change for the Right audience.
Which for one of our final questions brings us back to in sagic the insagic offering some of the things that we’ve talked about? Why isn’t Sajak positioned in a way that’s going to be able to do this better than pretty much anyone else out there.
So, you know that comes down to a few things. So, you know, you know some poop so in sagic is our insights and advisory business that is that is positioned at the center of Google’s health and our goal is to bring together again that data
Dialogues and design together so that we can help our clients thrive in the outcome economy.
And so that requires a few things it requires having the right Talent position in the right way, right? So we have a team of a multidisciplinary team of social scientists of marketers of data Sciences data architects of privacy experts folks that know how to bring these pieces together in disparate ways so that we can you know, ultimately unearth disruptive insights for clients from a multitude of perspectives. It also requires the platform. And so we have built the what we believe is the industry’s most advanced offering that brings together and HIPAA compliant ways Real World Health Data longitudinal data in combination with our consumer data assets at Epsilon, which enables us to again better understand patients as people
and
understand patience people as patients that we can drive that understanding so that we can drive those audiences and ultimately be able to activate in the marketplace. So all of our insights are activation ready from the start what we also bring in that platform is the the world’s largest.
database of real patient doctor dialogues which again
gives us
A very unique view into the real world evidence in terms of what is actually happening in those conversations and
as opposed to kind of like the you know, the pie in the sky version of it where this is. What we imagine is happening. This is what we want to think is happening.
Exactly. So, you know, our goal is to say how do we bring real world insights and real world evidence to the center of how we understand patients and people and Physicians and ultimately how we’re then designing in the marketplace to build better interventions to drive better Behavior change and hopefully help patients live better healthier lives one last question for you.
And
this is kind of an unfair question, but crystal ball. Let’s say we’re having this conversation again in five years. Where do you want and where do you expect and Sage it to be?
So I think a lot of the ideas that we’re talking about today.
still
in some circles probably feel future focused.
I believe that in five years the things that we’re talking about today will be the norm. Yes, you know and I believe that the, you know, the usage of data at the center of decision making is going to be the the normal practice versus the you know versus the versus the exception now you think about other things that are happening in Industry you think about what’s happening with generative Ai and you know, the the either promise or threat depending on your point of view January depending on where you’re sitting that that brings, you know, ultimately I do think that we are gonna we are going to see an evolution of Technologies like that.
Whether they are at the center of how we’re doing things or if they become a tool my opinion is that that we are going to see you know, these new tools becoming an enabler for being able to enable.
different
levels of content or different or be able to empower Dynamic content at scale. But again as a tool in the same way that photoshop is a tool for Creative teams today even pre the new versions of Photoshop actually generative AI the antique ones, right? So, you know, so so I do think you’re gonna we’re you know, thinking about this data-driven Foundation is really critical because it gives us the insights to understand, you know, the unique nuances and different groups of people so that we can ensure that we’re communicating with them effectively, right? That’s that I think will become a foundational component and then as to the way that we enable
You know the ability to build multiple versions of content for multiple individuals. It’ll be really interesting to see how that model evolves over the next five years, you know, in terms of how we’re bringing together multiple Technologies different ways of working different types of teams being brought together multidisciplinary teams to really tackle that problem together. So I think it’s good. I I do think we’re going to see a lot of movement in that space over the next five years and it’ll be really interesting to see how it evolves. This stuff is fun,
isn’t it?
Yeah. I mean I I to be able to to be able to do you know
This level of data-driven work within a creative environment as you know, personally as a as a data wonk myself is one of the most interesting fun challenging, you know jobs, I think on the planet and I think what makes it really what makes it especially gratifying is the fact that you know, ultimately we’re not selling shoes.
We’re not selling gum. We are trying to build a better understanding of people.
To help them engage more with their health or engage more effectively with their health so that they ultimately live healthier lives and that to me is both incredibly challenging incredibly fun, but incredibly
rewarding incredibly gratifying.
Yeah. All right.
For the camera started rolling. We were talking a little bit about music. And since this is mmm TV, we have one last question for
you.
What was the last song you listen to?
So I don’t know the song but I the last album I listened to so Andrew Hill. He’s a he’s a jazz pianist recently recently passed away. Unfortunately, I have been wanting to listen to his record called judgment for for quite a few many years and I’ve never been able to get my hand on hands on it. I finally found a copy and so last night I listened to judgment by Andrew Hill and it is if you’re if you’re a jazz fan, it’s it’s a little bit out there, but it’s a really great listen.
People learned a lot here, they learned about jazz and they learned about what insagic and so much of what you’re doing Kevin. This was a blast. Thank you so much for joining us here today.
Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
Right
and for mmm TV. My name is Larry dobrow. Thanks for watching and be well.