In the sea of content today, customers are overwhelmed with information and while this content might be reaching them, it’s not necessarily effectively resonating and activating them to change behaviors. Join IPG Health’s Julie Pilon and Jack Vance as they discuss how the network is leveraging the industry’s most advanced data stack for healthcare with AI to fuel renowned creative output for clients globally. This includes EPIC, IPG Health’s End-to-End Platform for Insights and Creativity, engineered to build living personas, living journeys and living content, which drive behavior change at speed and at scale.

Note: The MM+M Podcast 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 the podcast.

[00:01] We’re building tools in a way that allow them to very confidently tie things into AI leverage AI and a unique way and then really democratize it across all of our teams. [00:13] So that they can have access to AI in a safe environment without data, you can’t understand what works what doesn’t work what you need to improve how you need to improve it. [00:22] We’ve always had data I think. [00:24] What we have to kind of acknowledge is that it’s just gotten way bigger. [00:29] In fact it’s not about big data. It’s about infinite data. [00:37] Hello and welcome to the mmm podcast my name is Jack O’Brien I’m the digital editor at MM+M. I’m pleased to be joined in person in. [00:47] Studio I guess you can say by two very special guests. [00:49] Hi, thank you for having us my name is Julie Pilon and I’m the chief strategy officer for IPG Health and I am Jack Vance I’m the managing director of data and activation at IPG Health. [01:00] I think this is the most amount of Jacks that we’ve ever had on One Podcast so. [01:10] The conversation we’re going to have is about data and technology and AI and obviously that’s something that in talking with a lot of your peers across the industry has been a real Focus in terms of investment resources attention all that sort of stuff Julia I want to start off the conversation with you because I feel like consumers nowadays are. [01:27] They’re they’re so easy and difficult to reach at the same time and it relies a lot on being able to say how are we going to get to behaviour change? How are we going to use this technology to get there from your perspective? What have been the most effective ways and Solutions that marketers have been able to make that behaviour change happen absolutely first as a marketer. [01:45] all you do is [01:47] with an intent to activate that speed in that scale. That’s just like everything that you do so you can actually get those treatments into the hands of the patients. That’s so desperately need them. [01:57] You started by saying consumers are overwhelmed. [02:01] You look at Physicians you look at patients, but I’m going to go back on to Physicians like. [02:07] oncologist [02:09] or being over-serve at least twice as much as any other specialty yet. They are overwhelmed. They are they are overworked and they are understaffed. [02:19] How are they going to be looking at this content so I think the first thing we need to consider is do we know our audience? [02:25] Do we know them in the way that we can actually connect with them? [02:29] And activate them in what we’re saying to them, so there’s a lot of content out there. [02:34] There’s a lot of Engagement map and media plans and so on but how do you actually put that together which is? [02:40] technology [02:42] data [02:43] and proprietary platforms [02:45] and you know for for us. We have all of those. [02:49] one of our proprietary platform which is our NLP [02:53] platform is really helping us understand how. [02:57] In addition to demographic psychographic Geographic data people talk about their experiences, whether it’s their condition treating. [03:06] A condition the brands they like the brands, they don’t like. [03:10] Or the perceptions that they have so we can actually overlay on top of AI machine learning. [03:18] Human learning which is coming from our decision science people are so social sciences who are really able now with the abundance of data. [03:27] They’re able to prioritise apply proprietary approaches and [03:31] focus on the biosa Play [03:33] so for each of the personas we developing. [03:37] Or from many of them. We actually identify. What is the bias so we can respond with a heuristic? [03:43] What that tells the person that is being? [03:47] Or that is interacting this new content is telling them. I understand you. [03:51] I know where you’re at and now. I’m going to give you something very valuable. [03:56] For you. [03:57] to [03:58] you know see respond to and from there. We can really get to the next step but unless you figure that thing out. [04:06] I think it’s very hard to engage with people who are inundated. [04:09] And so interesting here you bring that up because I think a lot of people are just like oh if I just get this technology or if I implement it. [04:14] Jobs done and you’re talking about this more of humanising that kind of technological aspect to get the results you’re looking for absolutely with the technology. [04:21] Again the AI machine learning is giving us abundance. [04:25] From there when we need to prioritise and from there we need to put the human layer. [04:31] To your point we can now do it at speed and at scale though that is the huge difference. [04:36] That we’re experiencing especially with. [04:39] the data [04:41] platforms and the data sets that we have but also with the venue of AI I’m really curious in terms of and maybe this is where we bring Jack into the conversation is kind of talking about you know I I feel like every time. I talk with your peers. It’s like we’re doing this with generative AI or AI this there’s not a conversation. I’ve had in the past year and a half that it hasn’t come up. [04:59] But everyone said different. [05:01] you know [05:01] Parts in the race in terms of how they’re experimenting with it practical results all it sort of stuff as it relates to IPG health. [05:08] Where has the focus on this AI technology and actually using it? [05:12] Gone I think a lot of where we’re putting our Investments is starting with data, so we have this year. We’ve rolled out epic which is our into in platform for insights and creativity, so that’s really where we start. [05:23] With axiom which is a great partner and part of the IPG family. [05:27] Giving us really deep understanding of our audiences and that really kind of fuels. [05:31] AI right we have to really understand we have to have the data that powers it. [05:34] And then we wanted a closed loop secure. [05:38] Healthcare [05:39] First AI platforms that’s a del so lots of acronyms that are going to be part of that but that is AI data exploration and learning. [05:46] But so that is a closed loop Health Care First AI system where the goal is not to rebuild llms but to use technology that’s out there. [05:54] To ask the control. [05:55] What are these AI systems have access to? [05:58] Making sure that they’re secure making sure they’re thinking about the nuances of health care. [06:02] And we talked to our clients all the time about. [06:05] AI and generative AI and creating content and the [06:08] nervousness that gets created is [06:10] mlr. How do I get any of this through security? How do I make this available? [06:14] You know for all of the campaigns that I have we’re building tools in a way that allow them to very confidently. [06:20] Tie things into AI leverage AI and a unique way and then really democratize it across all of our teams. [06:26] so that they can have access to AI [06:28] in a safe environment, just going and plugging data into a lot of these third party tools. [06:34] Puts a lot of stress on our legal teams write they start to have. [06:37] Questions of where is this data going? How is it being used to train additional models? [06:41] That’s a big piece of this for us as we want to do something in a way that people are very confident. [06:45] that we are thinking about all the guard rails that are required for Healthcare [06:50] and then all of that feeding into our global content supply chain so last acronym of the day is pi that’s really our global content supply chain and tying these platforms together where. [07:00] Epic drives the insights Adele really helps us with that natural language processing to make sure that we understand those behaviors. [07:07] Feed That to our strategist feed That to our behavioural scientists. [07:10] And then use that really robust ai-driven. [07:13] Global content supply chain to make that abundance of creative at speed and it’s scale making it incredibly intelligent. [07:20] But then also creating a feedback loop right all of this works really well. [07:25] but if we don’t know which or the elements that are working in which ones are not [07:28] we’re not going to continue to see evolved these campaigns and these audiences are so struggling with the amount of impressions that they’re getting and they’re getting bombarded. So it is so important. If something is not working. [07:39] We pull that out of market. We make adjustments as quickly as possible and create that true end-to-end feedback loop. [07:44] I’m going to hold you the fact that you said we’re not gonna have any more acronyms today. I feel like that. We’re I feel like we’re actually going to have more probably will add will create some while we’re on the you know while we’re talking but I appreciate you talking about that too because I feel like a lot of people I speak with their like again kind of to the point about humanising the technology. It’s like. Oh well. This was a campaign that was based in some way off of generative AI and isn’t that just amazing and it’s own right but you’re talking about like that’s not enough you have to be able to evaluate which ones are doing better. [08:10] And if somebody is slacking like either getting rid of it or modifying it away that can be more productive it generative AI is not the end game alright generative. AI is a tool that feeds our ability to make honestly our strategists in our creative and our Media buyers super humans right. We’re giving them tools that make them so much more effective. [08:27] Give them deeper understanding of these audiences. [08:30] AI is not the in-game. It really is a tool that’s going to take us further than [08:35] And honestly, it’s happened faster than I think anyone would have predicted. [08:38] But it is. [08:39] Intended to make an add value to what we do every single day. It is not intended to replace. [08:44] And it the in-game is not to have a generative AI built campaign. [08:48] To have a great campaign that activates audiences. [08:51] And generative AI will most likely be a part of it because it’s going to be a part of really everything that we do. [08:55] which is a good thing for all the advertisers too 100% their jobs are still going to be around yeah and meaningful and we we were talking to our creatives today right the goal of these platforms that we’re building is not for it to already spit out a pre-populated 300 by 250 banner, ad [09:09] but it’s to give the creatives more insights on what is the most optimal 300 by 250 banner, ad that they can create what does that campaign messaging that’s going to really resonate. [09:18] I want to move on to the next topic and bring Julie back in the conversation and it’s interesting because in this whole generation of AI [09:25] dynamic that we’ve seen at play. There’s a lot of people that hearken back to the arrow big data and they’re like oh when it was just like we got to have data and it was the name of the game if we’d have this interview back in 2014 instead of 2024. I’m sure that would have been the Focus but now we’re in this new era, where it’s a lot more AI focused but data still key and it’s being able to derive those insights from data, and I’m really curious from your perspective in terms of why it’s critical like I feel like a lot of people are like hey. We did the whole data thing. [09:50] We’re on the other side of it, but like it does still have a practical purpose in this day and age data has a huge purpose I mean without data. You don’t have understanding of [10:01] Your audience of the journey, they go through. [10:04] Also of the points into which you can interact with them. [10:08] Again without data, you can’t understand what works what doesn’t work what you need to improve how you need to improve it. [10:14] We’ve always had data I think. [10:17] What we have to kind of acknowledged is that it’s just gotten way bigger. [10:21] In fact it’s not about. [10:23] Big data it’s about infinite data. [10:25] Right, it’s about always on data. [10:28] And I think that that’s very exciting I mean to have something that is always on where you don’t have to wait. I’ve been at this all the very long time. [10:36] When you don’t have to wait for the next month to actually get some feedback that is impossible. [10:42] Again to feed into your personas into those journeys, because they’re so static. [10:46] Right, it’s not helping anyone. [10:49] Especially that people who need those brands and need those products. [10:53] So at the end of the day, I Think Data is just become an infinite loop. [10:58] That allows us to understand our audience better allows us to. [11:03] Create a relationship with them. [11:05] Better especially if you layer in the human part. [11:08] of things [11:10] and allows them to just continuously improve. [11:14] the relationship [11:15] that we have and it’s interesting you bring up the fact that like you know in this is not to put down anybody on the CPG advertising side but like instead of like. [11:22] You know say it’s shampoo or a Jeep or something like when it comes to health care. There are real impacts in terms of patient outcomes and what your clients are working on. Can you talk a little bit about how those insights been able to fuel? [11:33] Your work alongside those those brands. [11:36] health care is [11:37] complicated [11:39] much more complicated than shampoo and everything there’s an ecosystem. [11:43] of influences [11:45] that [11:45] Are part of making a decision? [11:47] in health care [11:49] so with data what we’re able to actually start understanding. [11:53] Is the prioritisation? [11:55] Of these ecosystem of these influencers. [11:59] and start understanding again the needs or the unmet needs of our audiences at speed and at scale again which used to take so long alright, so [12:08] in some ways it the way that it fuses the insights or informs the insights. [12:14] is that [12:15] you’ve got the abundance that’s coming in but it’s able to prioritise very quickly. [12:20] So very quickly Jack alluded to this a strategist is able to do what they love the most about their job is to find not only the insights but the epiphany. [12:31] Oh, what is the epiphany? How do I actually need to connect with this person? What do I need to say? [12:37] To this person to get their attention and move them. [12:41] along the Journey right [12:43] so at the end of the day for me, it’s [12:45] A allowing us in Healthcare specifically not only to build those amazing living personas because these now have to be. [12:53] organic right they have to be a little learning Beast [12:57] alright when that [12:58] feedback loop is feeding back learning they need to be able to absorb it. [13:03] but [13:03] build the journeys that are associated with those personas, so it’s not one journey. It’s multiple- journeys, because you may have multiple. [13:11] Person as in that connection that one to one or almost one to one connection. [13:15] Is really what’s allowing us to be always on? [13:18] And connect with them. [13:20] In addition to that that for us. It’s about the Love and Hate moments. [13:24] You’ve built your journeys. [13:26] Now you understand everything that’s going on in each point of the journeys, but we’re able to overlay. [13:31] Because of some of our platform and some of our offerings. [13:35] love hate moments [13:36] so [13:37] hate moments are beautiful opportunities for us to turn that frown upside down if you will and really get a win-win-win everywhere. [13:47] make the journey easier for a Physicians [13:51] satisfy and need [13:53] for the patient and made that point in the journey actually something that the brand. [13:58] can own [13:59] And also can permit for that like amazing. [14:04] experience [14:05] Jack I want to bring you back in here and kind of the the why dating angle and if there were any thoughts that you had. [14:10] To add to that. I’d kind of put my media hat on for a second and think through kind of from an economic standpoint. [14:16] These audiences are tough to find write these we talked about it a little bit that oncologists are getting absolutely hammered with ads everywhere they turn. [14:23] These are hard audiences to find that everybody wants to talk to. [14:27] Which means these cpms are very expensive so if we’re just looking at this from like a selfish? [14:32] Economic standpoint you’re not going to get a ton of shots to talk to these audiences right. You’re not going to have a lot of opportunities. [14:39] To be in front of these oncologists or rare disease specialists. [14:42] As many times as you would in CPG or in auto. [14:46] So when you get in front of them you had better be very accurate with your message. You would better be very tailored. You should be hitting them at the right moment in time with the right message in the right point in the journey. [14:56] Or else, you’re not going to get the efficacy that you need. [14:59] And Mrs are expensive Mrs take real sizeable chunks of your marketing budget. [15:06] Out of your Arsenal right, so you have to be much more intentional especially in that HTTP space especially in rare disease which we’re seeing. [15:14] More and more clients focused in that area. [15:16] We have to be very intentional about when we’re choosing to send a message. [15:21] What does that message and how do we know that it’s going to resonate because the data told us. This is where they’re at in their journey. This is what’s going to make them? What’s going to move the needle and this is what our behavioural scientists have told us. [15:32] Is the right thing to say to get them to take an action that they wouldn’t have taken otherwise yeah, so important not to belabor the point on the consumer side, but like the difference between like oh whether they’re going to choose a little Debbie or an M&M I mean. It’s just it’s different when it’s related to or you can use this prescription drug as opposed to a competitor and then. [15:48] You know it’s a loss right there. It’s also tough. It’s one of the products that you can’t buy it from the producers of the product right. There’s so many extra steps in the journey. [15:58] Where you have to go talk to your PCP and then you have to get a referral and then from the referral you then might get diagnosed. [16:04] Then you would go to a specialty pharmacy and then you get the product. [16:07] There’s steps that are just so much more complicated and if we’re not addressing the patients and the hcps at each of those steps. [16:15] We have so many opportunities for them to go to a competitor for them to lose momentum in that journey, so it’s on us. [16:22] To identify those moments in time. [16:24] Get the right message in front of them and make sure that they’re successfully navigating from one step to another. [16:29] Turning those love those hate moments into love moments where we can really help influence and make it easier for them. [16:34] absolutely I want to go to our next point which is talking about these platforms and how they’re used across IPG you’ve kind of [16:40] alluded to it earlier, but Julie I want to throw it over to you first. [16:44] Those platforms are always on they are part. [16:48] of everything [16:49] that we are doing so. [16:51] There’s a platform and then there’s the approaches. [16:54] Right, so the approaches is really where. [16:56] I think is. [16:58] We make big difference alright because this is really about. [17:02] Research knowledge capital that comes in and that actually builds that system informed by those platforms. [17:10] So for us what that means is. [17:13] You know integrated strategy medical engagement planning strapped planning when we do living personas. [17:19] When we do living journeys. [17:21] And then we pass this like the knowledge the epiphanies to our creative and then we do living content so true omni Channel right there’s no there’s no omni channel without living content. [17:34] and [17:34] allowing [17:36] again [17:37] for [17:38] what is the next best action? [17:40] Write the feedback loop. [17:42] Hitting the write message because you understand your customers because you understand where they’re at the specific point and then basically say oh you’ve responded. Thank you. [17:52] What’s what’s next that I can entice you with and that is going to create value. [17:58] For you. [17:58] I think that’s how you keep people. [18:01] on [18:01] the hook so [18:03] at the end of the day again. [18:05] Part of everything we do we are very lucky because IPG health is not only. [18:10] Very global it’s incredibly interconnected and interoperable. [18:15] So as we are basically learning. [18:18] The whole world is learning at the same time because those platforms are adapting are approaches or adapting and this is actually how we’ve operated across the world. Yeah. It’s easy to scale up to that level but then to be able to share it too and not just keep it so proprietary imagine. That’s got to have some real benefits. Well. We have to practice what we preach. We preached speed and scale. [18:39] So at the end of the day we put in practice. [18:42] Every Minute every hour every day of the year [18:46] Jack is there anything you want to add on to that point is it relates to how it’s being used across the company? Yeah one of the things that’s really cool about having kind of axioms data spine at the core of what we’re doing is that means that Julie’s strategy team is talking about audiences. They’re building audiences. They’re understanding audiences. [19:02] And then on the media side, we can activate those audiences directly right. There is not this. [19:07] re translation layer that has to happen between [19:10] the work that she’s doing and then an activatable audience. [19:13] If they want to build a list of hcps that are the right hcps for them to talk to the media side of IPG health can just immediately activate that audience right so that work that they’re doing. [19:23] is only done once which means we should we should and our [19:26] democratizing this data across the entire network we want to make sure. [19:30] That it’s in a format that the strategist can do really great strategy work. [19:34] Without having to be data scientists right making sure that this data is truly integrated into. [19:40] Really every project that we have. [19:42] Because it is such a powerful asset that we should be using so the only way to make sure it’s used everywhere the only way to practice what we preach is make sure it’s in the hands. [19:51] Of as many people across this network as possible same with AI tools. [19:55] We want to do it in a safe and secure environment. [19:57] But we need to make sure that everyone has access to them right if we don’t have. [20:01] groups of people inside of IPG health that have these tools [20:05] everyone’s thrifty right everyone will go find a solution everyone will find an alternate way to do it. [20:10] The fact that we’re investing in these best in class platforms means we also need to make sure these best in class platforms are in the hands of. [20:15] Everyone across the whole network. [20:17] Your point about 15 as I could go off. Yeah. [20:20] Intro but we’re on the record so I mean so maybe get an agency right. That’s what makes you good at working in this environment is that you just get stuff done. I’m going to I’m going to bite my tongue for the sake of objectivity here. [20:31] Yeah, but this has been a wonderful conversation. I appreciate you having me in your office to it. So it’s always nice to be able to go on a little Field Trip during the week. [20:39] I wanted to ask because we’ve spent a lot of the conversation talking about the past going back from how it’s really evolved out of what we saw a big data about a decade ago to where we are now and the practical use case, but was the future look like and Jack you can start us off here in terms of where. [20:52] Tech and data and AI go from a medical marketing perspective. It’s the cool day to be talking about this because we have so many people in the office for innovation week talking about AI and so I’ve heard a lot of really good. [21:05] anecdotes about AI today and could have [21:07] where is it going and what is it and [21:09] Things comparing it to Electricity things comparing it to the internet. [21:12] I think there’s a completely fair. I think those are fair anecdotes for how much AI is going to be changing the game. [21:18] What I don’t think is fair. [21:20] Is those did not ramp up as quickly as this AI Revolution has alright the speed from? [21:26] Wow, chat GT is kind of cool. I could see how this is valuable to. [21:30] While we are building entire functionality around AI with AI at the core. We are talking about. [21:37] 2025 and 2026 and how is Ai going to evolve? [21:41] And honestly predicting the future of where it can go is incredibly tough because the amount is changed. [21:46] In a few minutes right like while we were talking on This podcast that would not surprise me if Google or meta or open AI rolled out a model that completely changed all the work that we did so I think. [21:56] being [21:57] flexible and being [21:59] open to that evolution is so critical right the products that we’re building. [22:04] Are not being built in a way so that they’re static and tied to one technology. [22:08] But as the technology of evolves. [22:10] making sure our technology is [22:12] our technology at IPG health is flexible enough. [22:15] To change with it so if chat GPT or open AI rolls out a new model. [22:19] We can implement that model and that’s where we’re going to evolve to really quickly so as these technologies improve. [22:25] We’re going to approve right along with it because that’s the way we’re building out our technology base. [22:29] Your point is well taken on that is somebody that first used chachi BT to name their fancy football team and now like it has a practical use case and sees it used across the industry in a much more meaningful way Julie I’m curious what you make of the future and where everything goes from here. [22:43] I think the future is going to be. [22:45] solving harder problems [22:48] At speed in that scale. [22:49] But the problems are going to not going to get easier. [22:52] they’re going to get [22:53] harder [22:54] I’m excited about that because again as a strategist. You’re always really excited about pinpointing with the problem. Is you need to solve and then solving it. [23:03] I do think it will also allow us to be better humans. [23:06] I think with the changes that we’re making. [23:09] Or that we’re acknowledging the technology is bringing. [23:12] Like the biases that it has at the core and how we’re trying to change those biases. I think is also going to make a massive. [23:21] Difference in the way, we understand each other. [23:23] As humans and how that will translate into the business and understanding our audiences and what they’re going through. [23:31] For me I actually think we’re just going to be bringing more people. [23:34] Around the table. [23:36] More seats are going to be created and we’re going to bring and build a bigger table. [23:43] So no one is really left behind and no opportunities. [23:46] are [23:47] left behind as well, so [23:49] I think the future is very very bright not only just for technology, but what it brings. [23:54] To humans especially in handling. [23:57] the changes that come with it yeah, it’s a very encouraging Outlook on things in terms of being able to say like it’s not going to be exclusionary, it’s going to be much more inclusive and [24:06] and uplifting in that way is technology can be [24:08] absolutely more see it’s bigger table. [24:12] So we love to hear well Julie and Jack thank you again for having me here and being on the podcast is really engaging conversation. I hope it’s a benefit to our listeners. Thank you. Thank you so much.