This podcast features an interview with Larry Dobrow at MM+M and Real Chemistry’s Frank Mazzola, Chief Creative Officer and Ari Srinivasan, Group EVP, Data & AI Solutions, to discuss how artificial intelligence and innovative ideas can work together to improve healthcare.
Real Chemistry is a leader in this field, utilizing AI to develop data-driven insights about healthcare marketing. Through the combination of AI and creative ideas, Real Chemistry has been able to provide the best results for their clients, combining data-driven insights with creative ideas to create meaningful solutions. By bringing together the best of both worlds, Real Chemistry has been able to improve the standard of healthcare marketing. This podcast will explore the potential of AI and ideas and how they can work together to create the best possible outcomes within healthcare.
Note: MM+M uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting this content.
Read the full episode transcript here
Larry I’ll give you a cue here.
Mmm agency 100 Studio sessions rail chemistry. Okay, we’re
my name is Larry dobrow. I’m the Editor in Chief of mmm and I am ready for you to plug into this episode of the agency 100 Studio sessions a new podcast series, which gives members of the mmm agency 100 and opportunity to rip on what sets them apart.
I’m here today with Frank mazzola who’s the chief creative officer of real chemistry and Ari surinivasan, who is the group EVP of data and AI Solutions?
Frank and Ari, thanks so much for
joining us here today.
Thank you. Thank you.
Today’s podcast. We’re being talking a little bit about Ai and ideas and I think real chemistry is one of the agencies, you know, we’ve been covering real chemistry’s growth over the years. I think it’s one of the few agencies that really understands this that gets this right. So most of my questions will be along those lines and it’s interesting, you know, when the title of AI and ideas came together it struck me is like, you know, many people might not think of the two of them together in context. So tell me about the connection and how real chemistry views that connection how real chemistry applies both of them.
I think it comes from looking at a very complicated industry and saying if you were to boil it down to the two simplest things that are going to really change it and move it forward. It really always comes down to ideas and Ai and Beyond, you know, the AI that we’re talking about now, but the AI That’s always been part of what what real chemistry is built over the years, but even a backup from there you kind of start with the the problem and there’s eight billion of us in the world one day. We’re all gonna need or interact with the healthcare system in one way or another thing that we all share and at that point it’s gonna be either good interaction or a bad interaction. So is it gonna be complicated overwhelming is gonna be cold? Like people say it is sometimes or is it gonna be like other things that we interact with and be intuitive personable?
And interesting as we would hope it would be so when we look at those two things we think about the experience that it it creates. So obviously a lot comes from the idea and of it, but
the intuitiveness how personable it feels how how well, you know your audience a lot of that comes from Ai and being able to understand things beyond what a human can understand just ourselves with with Manpower so to speak
Or your take on the same question.
I think in addition to what Franco is saying, right? Let’s go back to the fundamental definition of what AI is AI is essentially trying to do things with a kind of human intelligence essentially something a machine doing it with the human intelligence. So I think there is obvious just like how you are cautious with any human to human interaction and you have obviously set an unset rules. I think if you treat AI as the Chewbacca to the Hanson
And work through with it. I think you can put it amazing use the kind of parsing synthesizing analyzing that can be deleted scale with AI.
Far supersedes anything a human can do even if you are the one who is feeding the system it possibly can do a calculation or a synthesis faster than what you can as being the creator of that input. So I’m saying the future is is going to be literally Inseparable. It’s already we are saying this in many different ways in our lives currently. So embracing it and and doing it in a right way. It’s possibly the focus where we should be. So to me and ideas start becoming literally the two side of a coin or something that drives off of each other if done right
so that ends follow up on that answer Ari, you know, when real chemistry has some of these conversations with clients or perspective clients. Is there sort of clarity about what you’ve just said they understand how AI can be applied or is it still a little bit of a buzzword for some organizations?
I think rightfully so everybody is taking it with a measure of caution, right and depending on where you are. For example, let me let
Take a real life example, right we work with clients who work with extremely rare diseases by classification. We call things like often drugs and stuff like that because there is no precedence of having treated that particular condition a disease sort of disorder. Now what this means is it’s unknown territory for a lot of people.
So in that sense, there is much more receptivity to see if a particular solution that we offer whether it’s using of data large-scale real world data clinical or otherwise and if you’re able to find them a right set of patients or a patient cohorts who can be mapped to a therapy that is being that is being discovered. I think it’s a phenomenal use of how ideas can wish using AI right? So in that sense, I think there’s extreme amount of receptivity and we are seeing the industry moving towards using this as another venue which is going to help them treat a disease or
disorder and from even, you know, the ideas perspective of that a lot of the way that we’ve been thinking of AI for the last couple of years are as a creative or somebody that needs to come up with ideas can be any any department or discipline the more you understand about your audience down to one audience is gonna have a lot of different segments. So you could be at a company that they’re gonna be at different, you know, they’re gonna be
And interests and all of these different places that we we go even when we’re a group and as a creative person, if you know enough about that audience what they’re into where they go what they like what their barriers are their fears all of those things. You’re going to be able to create something that’s much more relevant for them and we’re going to be able to get it to them in the best possible place because we know where they are. I like the idea that you connect it to the
creative process because I think that’s been one of the disconnects. And again, I think the scenario will can’t real chemistry excels is connecting to two of them. There’s a technological slash analytical aspect of it. There’s a creative aspect of it. How are we seeing these two units in the personalization of marketing?
Well, I think you know, we see personalization in so many different Industries and obviously there are certain certain barriers and health of how personal that you can get. You know, it kind of goes back to how well, you know your audience Ron from our company once said you can understand a person and their health better.
Are from their credit card statements metaphorically, then their EHR which is super interesting because you realize that people are are really dimensional and the more that you understand all aspects of them and some of that is what they’re opting in into what they want you to understand. There’s a value exchange if I give you this information about me, I expect that the information that I get back.
Is going to be more valuable than the two things start connecting because you want to have more of a one-on-one conversation
days than a really broad conversation. That’s just the way that the world has changed in terms of how we take in information if you say hey Frank and you know, if I go on to Hulu and it welcomes back and it says hey Frank, welcome back.
There’s an interesting feeling of that of the content that’s on Hulu they understand they’re going to serve me up the right things that I’m interested in and it’s it’s not a lot different with with advertising you want to feel like it’s speaking to you and you’re not just another person kind of seeing this massive thing that’s going out to everybody. So I think that always helps the personalization aspect of it
and expend on that right? Larry personalization can be expanded to not just an individual and it made it sound contradicting but even to a larger patient set or a cohort what I mean by that is when covid came and hit obviously what happened is they realize that if you truly Monitor and find out that people are talking about their disease State along with an underlying illness or something else that they had a diabetes or hypertension Etc.
With a larger amount of data set. You can come to a conclusion that people who have specific conditions are impacted stronger and harsher by something like covid which means the next set of advertising you would see biopharma companies and companies which do covid therapies. They started targeting people who are high risk in segment and saying that hey you may it may serve you well, if you start taking this particular therapy so that it prevents you and gives you a protective layer, right? So to me, I think personalization and marketing expense to as Frank was mentioning to individual patients and also the larger cohorts and if you look at it from a public eye, it can even sort out problems in public health for larger set of people
when you have these conversations with clients, you know for lack of a more elegant way to put it do they get it. Is there an open mindedness towards some of the things which are both of you have just said
as I mentioned I think there is an increased awareness that there is a need for us to start looking.
Know at various different dimensions and it has to mirror the real life. For example, any drug you take whether it’s for hypertension or for whether it is for in oncology in areas, like oncology where real chemistry is extremely strong at
the patients who are going to be treated in a real life are made of different ratio sets right now on the contrary the clinical trials of traditionally been driven by a specific set of racial profiles for ease of access and things so it didn’t really reflect how the diversity in public life is in a real world scenario.
Now clients realize that this is actually a problem because in the real setting the word drug Works differently because of the diverse set of racial profiles. So they’ve started now saying let’s go back to the clinical trials and correct the bias there.
which they realize things like our data set what we do we’ve been working with two or three clients where most recently where we are trying to offer them saying
here are particular hospitals or Physicians who do have a better diversity in terms of the patient profiles that they cater to and they are better investigator for your product than how you’ve been traditionally doing right? So that is had a phenomenal uptake in terms of how they do. And now most of them are meeting their diversity goals and it’s become part of how they conduct clinical trials which reflects real life. So to your question, it’s a longest way of saying there is appetite to exploring areas where this helps in terms of how it reflects real life is going to be how it’s going to position where the product is going to be eventually used and also helps them create the right narrative and messaging across the diverse set of patient cohorts.
Yeah. These are all things that
Clients want but it’s a confusing. It can be a confusing area. So most clients even even words like omnichannel these different, you know, even some of the terminology that that already just used. Sometimes you don’t want to ask the question then dig deeper and try to understand it because you feel like it’s something that you should already know. So I think with clients
You try our best to put things in in layman’s terms, make sure they’re comfortable with it because the benefit of it they want but the understanding it, you know, if you’re uncomfortable about something you may be like maybe that’s not for me. So there’s usually kind of that in between step of making sure that really understand and never feel.
you know, nobody wants to feel stupid which
We all do a little bit with some of this, you know as things get more and more Technical and things are changing by the the day the week and the month. So a lot of
it’s just making people feel comfortable. I’d like to follow up on something. You said Ari it was about issues around bias with AI there is concern about it. So application in terms of bias in terms of oversight and security. How do you assuage some of those concerns that people that are not entirely familiar with what this can do might have
so it’s a very valid question right? Like I think usually what happens is AI one of the fundamental aspects of the kind of data that you feed which leads to some level of bias.
Second is in terms of hey, how do you allow a model to function an output and use what is coming out of it without verifying it? Right? So what we do from our side is essentially do this feedback loop mechanism, right? So we do the usual things like in terms of picking random samples of data and doing a testing whether it’s transporting. We also do parallel models in terms of constructing two different three different scenarios for a particular use case and seeing if the output reflects the true World outcome, right? And how do we decide that? It’s a combination of two things right? One is we have people who have been
Hey for a Wonder better bad Healthcare natives people who have literally been in healthcare throughout the entire career, whether it’s five years or 25 years. We have people who have lived in healthcare, right? So now those people are the subject matter experts who wet and validate whether a model through throws out or outputs the right kind of right kind of output or an indicator, which is reflective of real world second is we work very closely with our customers. We are literally like an extension of these Pharma companies biotechs whom are we call it and they help us validate saying that hey if you’re finding if you’re saying there is a specific disease state for which we are able to find patient sets out here.
They check validate and come back to us saying that hey this model has worked. It’s been possibly 60% more effective 50% more effective than what we were doing traditionally that has led to us go back and train the models that we have and feed the data set that we have in cleanse it and Steward it so that we minimize the kind of bias and the output that provides and this is a continuous process Larry as you can imagine right there is always going to be constant oversights required. There is some level of intervention that is needed and just like as I said, we need to treat ai’s output as a partner to what we do. So if we go, let it go all on its own it’s going to obviously enhance the kind of concerns and accentuate the topics of bias Etc. But as long as there is a good synchrony that we establish in terms of how we do this that’s going to be essentially be more effective than how it’s done traditionally.
All right, Frank switching gear is a tiny bit here. This is a theory which I know you’ve shared before but brussels sprouts AI marketing and advertising. Tell us your theory here.
Yeah. No, it’s just kind of a story I guess, you know an analogy so
2008 as soon as 2008 brussels sprouts were the number one most hated vegetable in America. It’s based on a survey and you know depending on when you grew up but when I grew up I’d have about once a week once every two weeks hated them for us tonight. Never never a good night. Yeah, they were super healthy parents to tell you that they’re really vitamin rich and sort of shut up and eat them eat.
And it kind of felt like this big middle finger from the people of Brussels saying hey, we made it you have to eat it, but it wasn’t really it wasn’t really their fault. It was you know was the chefs our parents who were who were cooking it. There was one recipe and that was you know, boil some water throw some brussels sprouts and serve them to people you once claim to to love they’re gonna be soggy. They’re gonna be better and and they’re gonna be gross.
And then as time passes by nobody asked for this change to happen, but there’s kind of a motivated few that says, you know, we want to look at this thing that everybody hates and turn it into something that people really really love. So, you know, they cultivate different varieties. They take the bitterness out you’re roasting them instead of boiling them and it goes from this really on appetizing thing to something. I you can you can go to a wedding it’ll be wrapped in bacon and now it’s an appetizer and people are clamoring for it. And I think it’s just a theory on the way that that Healthcare is perceived from from a communication standpoint is you start from this place where people have you know feelings about it. You see it so much on TV. It’s the main thing that’s on broadcast. It’s the laundry list the side effects and all that and we’re in this position where
there’s a usefulness to what we’re doing and you want people to lean in and understand their health and be educated and be actually interested in and enough to interact with it in the right way, and that’s kind of where
We see that change that’s happening in in the industry is that there’s a motivated few. It’s not only us. It’s a lot of people.
Who are saying this can be better? It could be more useful people should love what we’re doing. They shouldn’t feel like we’re barging them with, you know, advertising trash one more company sending me things or or popping up in front of my face. It’s really feel.
As useful more useful than what we see in consumer and just even to follow up on that point. I think it’s
We look at under other Industries and we say all right. Well, that’s Doritos. They should be really creative. They should really do that that thing that’s going to be kind of on the edge and really get me to lean in where Health we need to be conservative and know our place or whatever that is, but if you think about that
You know Doritos doesn’t do something interesting. Maybe somebody doesn’t buy a new flavor. No big deal. Obviously the company wouldn’t love that but
don’t get over it. Yeah.
In-house you miss this message. You don’t get people interested enough. Somebody’s missing something really important. And that important thing is going to be about their health. So the whole brussel sprouts analogy all of this is to sort of say
Creativity ideas AI putting those things together is more important in health than in any other industry. And that’s one of the things we’re really trying to move forward to make people feel like this is really useful. I’m happy that you that you hook me in.
That’s kind of the analogy for it
to that end. What are some of the other kind of pairings of creativity tools technology that real chemistry is developing to help improve Healthcare, you know at large.
I mean a lot of the work that we do is based on on something we call real audiences which is really segmenting the audience and helping us really really understand them on a deeper level. We’ve done a lot of work in that space that really pushes the boundaries of what you would normally see and and health because it really lines up with what the audience is into so
Even down to you know Generation Z. They’re into really interesting weird things that maybe older generation wouldn’t even see that as funny or be like that doesn’t really seem like a healthcare at but when you look at that versus the data and everything that you know about that audience.
Then that idea makes a lot of sense. So instead of like replicating what what health care is done over and over again, you’re looking at what you know about these groups and you’re creating something that’s gonna feel really really relevant to them. So real audiences is one of those things that’s once you see it in action as a creative. You’re you kind of can’t live without it. You’re always asking about it.
All right from where you’re sitting what are some of the other areas where real chemistry provides things that you know, frankly a lot of others. Don’t
right. So our IPM which is our data and analytics area integrated intelligence or ice quiet that we call it that’s social and behavioral sort of research and Analysis.
Along with our swoop and TI Health acquisition which recently did so what I mean, these are different names, right? So I don’t want to overwhelm in the number of names but I’m saying what we focus on is the the trifecta the minimum right which is essentially patience Physicians and formal companies. So we have solutions for one from a patient standpoint. We help them get the right therapy in terms of getting the right treatment for mapping the right patient to the right treatment. Right right from the time of clinical trials from a physician’s standpoint. What we offer is for them to be able to reach the right set of patients and do the right level of intervention including eventually moving over to the personalized medicine track, right and from a farmer company.
What is super important is then they have a product in their hands which is like the expecting to solve a problem or a solid disease state or a disorder.
I think the super important that they actually find out the right key opinion leaders the influencers on one side and also reach the larger physician set and they also help those positions that get literally them right messaging right context Etc and get enabled to take the therapy across to the patient set. So we bring all these three disparate pieces together and if we do that through a combination of data on AI and obviously our creative side of things. So right from messaging communication all powered through data and AI is I would say the secret sauce of and possibly a more simplifying what we do right
so that end, you know, obviously we all chemistry is developed many things that have helped patients. Can you give me one or two examples on something that real chemistry is done to help a client provide those better outcomes that you know, all of us are in this business to find
The what motivates will tell you from a data and AI analytics team standpoint, right? It is finding and our secret is originally started with rare diseases. And I think we are still the strongest in that segment. We have actually spanned across to broader disease States.
There are conditions where across the across the US you would have a few thousand patients many of them are undiagnosed or under diagnosed. Now, what we do is through the data that we have and the AI models that we’ve built over the years. We are in a position to take those patients who have those conditions and get them map to therapies which are coming maybe a year from now or two years from now.
I think that is the biggest advantage that we offer now think about it, right? I don’t want us to be seen as just a niche provider if we can do that. We can actually do this for any larger disorder or a disease State you can do that for diabetes. We can do this for we are doing this for a lot of different oncology treatments which are there but I’m saying the biggest biggest sort of excitement that you have is when you find that the company which is making the drug is not able to find patience. It’s not able to find a Physicians who treat those patients. We are helping connect those patients to those Physicians and then to the therapy which is the most important thing we all exist for making a difference in the life of one patient who one day at least right in their quality of life. So that Larry
is how I would say we are making a difference Frank the same question, but from your slightly different perspective.
Yeah. I mean, I think it’s all it’s all connected everything that Ari says really
You know is the input into into a lot of the creative and the fact that you’re going to be able to reach the right people is always important. I think there was one case.
Where it was it was an example in hemophilia where we had the brand was doing. Well everything that we were doing was was performing but we realized that we were only really reaching 20% of the audience like 20% was really engaged in the usual places and health and there was a whole 80% that we had somehow reach on different channels and everything that Ari is is talking about help this take kind of a hypothesis. Look at it against the data realize that there was truth there give us more information and then we ended up doing events on on things like twitch it was you have a younger male audience. It was a pretty homogenous group. It was mostly male. It was young adult and we realized they were Gamers. So we started doing a lot with gaming because we had that information and we knew one of the places that they would be as an interested audience would be in that in that type of medium versus TV or streaming.
You know other you know, traditional streaming and stuff like that. So that’s one like General example, I would say
all right one last question for you both the ongoing connection that real chemistry is forged with AI and ideas. We’re speaking in about this five years from now. What do you hope to be telling me? What do you expect to be telling me? I mean certainly the future changes more quickly in the post pandemic era than it did previously, right? What do you guys both looking out for
see? I I think there’s a lot of excitement about things like generative AI right which is being spoken about I chat GPT and the lights. So I think each of this is going to become something like we were discussing recently with one of our partners. There’s gonna become like a like a vertical in which people are going to build out Solutions.
So I think our biggest excitement is with the data that we have and the kind of models that we are built which is extremely rich and getting enriched every day.
We are excited and incorporating these new technologies and Concepts and essentially trying to reach the drug to the patient that it is underserved mapping the physician to the patient and possibly ensuring that we have the right messaging right kind of early diagnosis through therapy and management of a deceased state or a disorder. So to me
That the possibilities are possibly just starting Larry and I think as we move through.
There’ll be a there’ll be a much more distilled version which I think literally two or three years from now 70 to 80 percent of patients are going to be having a tailored personalized therapy right in that direction. So that’s gonna happen and we are glad that we are at the Forefront of it driven by
The data on AI that we work with?
Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s one more.
Huge change where you know things are going to be very different in five years to be able to predict some of it and some of it will be not a complete surprise, but it’ll it’ll kind of change as you go along. So I think back to the early 2000s when we were talking about digital and that took a little while for the industry to Rapid set around because they’re so used to print and all of those things that have been Decades of
ways standbys and then you get it and then it changes and it changes everything and and what we do looks very different even from that standpoint, then it did early 2000 and I think
Ai and the combination of AI and ideas how it works together how it fuels things and makes them better because neither AI on its own
Who knows what that means but you couple that with the right thing use it in the right way and it really changes the way you communicate completely. So I think relevance Simplicity better experiences in health is for sure going to be the way things are going to go and five years from now. It’s just a matter of how we all get there.
How far we go.
Ari and Frank on bonus question, this is after all the M&M Studio sessions.
What we’re both of you was the last song that you listened to by the way, I should preface this by saying that you got a high bar to clear because people have a pretty good taste of Music in this business.
Yeah. I’m trying to think of something that’s
appropriate inappropriate, you know, whatever
you got man. Yeah,
my 20 or daughter seems to love music a lot. So many of that I cannot just go out here.
My son was was 11. He listens to sort of meditation and deep meditation kind of music. So
so I I mean it’s an Eclectic mix is what I will leave you with right
eclectic is good.
Drake and 21 Savage have an album. It’s pretty good clean version
buddy. We’re all of us are like leaning back on what our children are listening to, you know, they have a good they have the control of the device now, you know,
really old really fast. I thought my music was cool, but apparently,
it’s mostly forced On To You Right
This is terrific Ari Frank. Thank you so much for this conversation. I always come out of these conversations with real chemistry feeling a lot smarter. So thank you for that as well.
This fun letting thanks for having us.
Thank you Larry
for mmm. I’m Larry Joe Brown many. Thanks and be well.