Breaking through the HCP clutter with data-driven, personalized omnichannel engagement

How to deliver more meaningful and relevant pharma marketing.

It’s more challenging than ever for healthcare marketers to achieve meaningful engagement in a rapidly evolving marketing ecosystem. There’s a consensus among patients and doctors that pharma is falling short at delivering on the omnichannel and personalization mandates. While the pandemic accelerated many marketers’ digital transformation, true one-to-one engagement remains elusive — and, possibly, unreachable.

During a recent sponsored MM+M vodcast, editor-at-large Marc Iskowitz sat down with Relevate Health CEO Tim Pantello and VP of corporate development Julie Granberry, to discuss the challenges of personalization and omnichannel in pharma marketing and how to leverage data insights to deliver more relevant and precise engagement.

Pivoting toward omnichannel

Granberry kicked off the conversation by noting that companies are at different stages in their omnichannel journey, “trying to achieve this quintessential one-to-one, and they’re struggling for a variety of different reasons from data interoperability to infrastructure challenges.”

As brands have moved away from analog and digital content to reaching consumers where they are, marketers have focused on one to three channels as a point solution, Pantello explained. Now, the pivot is toward “personalization through precision and tailoring the content and making it relevant.” That’s where Relevate Health can help clients “deliver a national message in a personalized way with locally relevant content to where they practice and treat,” he said.

Omnichannel places the customer at the center of the experience. “Whether [it’s] the HCP or the patient, figure out how to best surround them with a seamless orchestrated experience that’s going to be relevant for them,” Granberry said.

Engaging with targeted relevance

While marketers have yet to achieve true one-to-one engagement, the future looks optimistic. Start by finding ways to do local at scale and leverage segmentation, Granberry advised. It’s important to leverage data to “understand all the different factors that influence their behavior, through treatment behaviors, who they went to med school with, what congresses they’re speaking at, what channels they have affinities to,” she said.

The truth is “doctors want relevance,” she added. “They don’t want it to feel as if they’re building a relationship with your brand or your corporation.”

At Relevate Health, marketers “think about the power of local; and of tailoring to ultimately get to personalization and delivering value that’s relevant to the [HCP’s] practice and patients,’” Pantello said. That’s at the core of [HCPs’] data spine, so that they can subsequently “blend all of that data together to then power the right content, the right channel to deliver that in, and then in what sequence based on their preferences,” he explained.

Top information channels may differ based on individual preferences, Granberry said. “We leverage things such as brand segmentation efforts to understand what types of channels they might have an affinity for, and the longer we go in their journey, the more we find out about them and are able to create that precision.” To achieve meaningful engagement, it’s essential that pharma brands meet their needs in a variety of different channels, she said.

Creating personalized approaches

Relevate Health has more than nine years of historical engagement data across a multitude of channels, Pantello noted. “When we blend that with our clients’ data, we’re able to design very specific, personalized approaches for the actual individual physician in terms of tailoring the content and the sequence of channels,” he said.

The mantra at Relevate is “to meet our clients where they are on their omnichannel journey,” Granberry added. They have the ability to guide small to midsize companies that may not have the infrastructure, budget or time or to leverage and augment  data for larger companies, with the ability to integrate our omnichannel engagement solutions, she explained.

The truth is “clients have more data than they have ever had before,” Pantello said. “The question is how to use it to drive business intelligence decision-making, the next best action that’s really personalized.” What’s challenging is that a lot of that data is “not organized in a way that they can activate on it or derive insight from it,” he added.

Improving performance

The journey to omnichannel requires a lot of change management, Granberry noted. “It’s a top-down initiative and there needs to be additional education on the value of it, but also the different challenges that they can face with it,” she said.

Omnichannel is a coordinated, collaborative effort across multiple departments and data sets. It’s important to have partners who can help deliver a better experience and “understand how to use the infrastructure, orchestrate it, design and deliver the content, and activate on all that data,” Pantello said.

Relevate Health helps clients “collaborate effectively with the media planners, the different agencies of record, and the different solutions providers and partners to be able to create that seamless experience through data,solutions, and guidance,” Granberry added.

The key is to “begin with an end in mind — one that fits into a broader performance framework for the client — and define what success looks like and what that criteria is,” Pantello concluded. As a partner, Relevate Health can eliminate “the burden on the client to orchestrate, simplify the experience, focus on how to deliver that locally relevant and engaging content that delivers on the omnichannel and personalization journey that we’re all on together.”

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.

Mark I’ll give you two here.

Mmm agency 100 Studio sessions relevant Health. Okay, we’re rolling.


this is Marcus. I’m editor at large for mmm and I’m super excited for you to plug into this episode of a 100 Studio sessions a new podcast series, which gives members of the mmm agency 100 list and opportunity to Riff on what sets them apart.

In this episode we’re focusing on the agency

relevant Health

relevant Health. We’re talking about the concept of breaking through the Clutter with relevance and farmer marketing. I’m joined by my special guests Tim pantello CEO of relevant health and Julie Granbury Who’s chief insights and strategy officer relevant health.

Welcome to you both.

Thanks Mark. Thanks

again. Absolutely Pleasures mine. This is going to follow a fantastic talk. We had a couple weeks ago at mmm Trend talks. We talked about the challenges of personalization and Omni channel in Farmer marketing. I think there’s a kind of a consensus amongst patients and doctors that, you know Farmers kind of doing a lesson Stellar job at delivering, you know on the Omni Channel and personalization kind of mandates. There’s an awareness though amongst marketers that you know, coming out of the pandemic it accelerated their digital transformation, but true one to one, you know engagement is really still kind of elusive and maybe not even realistic considering we’re talking about Pharma here not cpg. We’re not selling sneakers. We’re not selling automobiles. So that’s one of the questions we’ll talk about but Julie just to kind of start us off here talk about kind of your takeaways kind of sum up the discussion. We had a couple weeks ago. Yeah

for sure. Thanks Mark. So it was an awesome experience, you know, we had a lot of different industry experts across small.

Ultimate size Pharma big Pharma and what was neat and even in medical Affairs commercial and what was really cool about it was the fact that a lot of the themes remained the same there’s still this buzzword of omnichannel and I do think that it’s buzzworthy because of the fact that there’s so many different stages in which these companies are still trying to achieve this quintessential one to one you were just talking about and they’re struggling for a variety of different reasons from data interoperability to the fact that they’ve got infrastructure challenges as well and really need to hopefully rely on some of their Partners to be able to accomplish what the end goal of having an amazing experience for their patients and also the clinicians that they’re serving,


Tim how do we get here?

Well, you know if you if you think back.

you know, let’s first, you know, moving from analog to really digitizing all the the content, right so think you know 1998 maybe through 2010 and then we sort of moved into content and context with her our media being placed and you know in the content that created being placed in the context of where they were in their you know in trying to achieve a health information seeking task hcps and and patience and then we kind of pivoted what I would say into into this multi-channel place where clients were using maybe one to three channels those kind of a point solution and now we’re pivoting to what you talked about earlier, which is the desire to really have personalization through through precision and really tailoring the content and making it really relevant and you know, that’s where we help our clients and really delivering kind of a national what would be like a national message or content but really tailored at in a personalized way with really

we relevant content to where they practice and where they treat and that’s

where we see personalization really delivering the type of Engagement that that clients want so that it’s a bit of the evolution that we’ve seen and experiencing the industry and then you know, what we’re doing to address it very uniquely on behalf of our clients and delivering that engagement.

Sure just Dove further into the Julie. Do you want to kind of Define Omni Channel? I know there’s a lot of kind of variability depending on who you talked about. Love to hear your your definition. Yeah.

So we really take it to the heart of the customer, right? So it’s a customer Centric unified brand experience across all channels. I think again this phrase of omni channel can be really daunting of what’s the technology. I’m going to use all the different data sets that I need. But if we take it back to the customer whether that be the hcp or the patient and really figure out how can I best surround him or her with a seamless orchestrated experience that’s gonna be relevant for them. It makes it a little bit less daunting and makes it more of a stepwise approach of how we can achieve.


sure and how close can you really get, you know, given, you know one to one might not be completely, you know achievable given there’s a lot of intermediaries in healthcare.

I don’t know I think you know, I do think we can get to one to one, you know, maybe we’re not there this very moment and again that can seem extremely almost impossible but really finding ways as Tim was talking about earlier, excuse me to be able to do local at scale. There’s ways for us to leverage segmentation and get a little bit narrower, right? There’s ways and Trust to leverage the fact that how how did he or she just interact and then start getting closer and closer to that one to one and also leveraging personalization from not just High Dr. Blank, but really understanding what are all the different factors that influences his or her behavior through treatment behaviors through who they went to med school with through what Congress is they’re speaking at through what channels they have Affinity to

And really being able to tailor those approaches you can get scalable that way

sure so I mean, obviously you’re going to do that by making information relevance to them. Hence the you know, the relevancy mandate talk about if you would what doctors want perhaps what they don’t want.

Yeah, so doctors want relevant. So I think for the tea up there mark but they want relevance. They don’t want it to feel as if they’re building a relationship with your brand or your corporation. So how do we figure that out and we leverage data and that can be really challenging from an interoperability standpoint. And Tim is going to talk a little bit about the power of our data spine, but really being able to understand what they’ve clicked on what they found meaningful for them and being able to build on that a lot of it is the power of local which is how relevant got it start before we got to one to one. It was us. We really leveraging data to understand. What’s the access environment from a physical access to a market access standpoint.

What are the treatment algorithms right there’s a lot of different standards of care that we could leverage understanding the demographics. Right? I live in Atlanta. And Tim here is in Jersey. What are the differences and the demographics of the patients? Whether it be their access to the product whether it be the prevalence of the disease state that the clinician is treating so really being able to take all of that and now we’ve got the power of Social and online and digital influence. So being able to put that in an integrated way to understand what’s driving. The clinician’s preferences is really really important

sure to build on what you’re saying. I would also say that the health systems, right? So depending on where you live with the

Integrated delivery Network formation as well. As you know, you know risk bearing idns. And so the system, you know, where you live, you know, your ZIP code is almost as important as your genetic code, right? So we think about the power of local and tailoring to ultimately get to personalization. It is about relevance right and that you know is what you’re providing me delivering me value and it’s relevant to my practice and to my patients. And so that’s what we’ve designed. All of our data spying around is is to blend all of that data together to then power. What’s the right content and what’s the right channel


deliver that in and in what sequence based on their preferences? So it’s it’s the best time to be in our industry. It’s great. We’re great great place to be and and what we offer is really unique in the industry and

So, you know, that’s why we love this topic Mark. So thanks

very, yeah, it’s heard some I’ve seen some studies maybe some conflicting results in terms of what do hcps providers consider their top information channels, you know, some of them say email because it’s I guess, you know, it’s quick. It’s non-personal whatever some of them say, the rep is is their top information Source. We’d love to hear what you all have found and how that translates into that data spine. Yeah,

I think so the reasons you’re seeing conflicting information is it gets back to the one to one? Like what one clinician might want is different than another of course, we can’t figure that out on day one. So we leverage things like a brand segmentation efforts. If they’ve done one to understand what types of channels they might have it Affinity to and then the longer we go and their Journey the more we find out about him or her and be able to really create that Precision that they’re probably seeking one of the most recent stats that I heard though. Is that around 75% of

Clinicians now or you know, loving the fact of being able to have more of the empowerment to digital versus reps being in the office right and being able to have more of that hybrid approach. So really now it gets into the empowerment of the clinician being able to dictate how he or she wants to be communicated with and we as industry and Pharma like need to be able to meet those needs and a very different channels. Yeah

what one of the really unique things about us is we have, you know, nine years of historical engagement data across a multitude of channels and we blend that in with our clients data that they have in terms of Engagement. And so we’re able to design very specific very personalized approaches for for the actual individual physician in terms of tailoring the content and then of course the sequence of channels that we use based on their

Reference so, you know you can do it at scale and we have a lot of we have a lot of ability and capability and and to do it right now there are challenges though as on you know in collaborating with the clients and the ecosystem and the systems of record they have so there’s there’s the industries evolved you ask the question about how the industries evolved in many ways. It’s evolved in terms of the the data that we have in our clients have access to and how we blend that together there. But but the governance of that data is really probably the the biggest challenge we’re going to have now and into the future. Yeah


who owns that data we and almost all of our engagements provide the physician level data back to the client and so it can fit into their broader performance framework or if there’s a you know, one of our media agency partners that’s doing media buying and planning and there may be a larger performance framework that they’re designing towards so

when we work with clients, it’s always about making sure that we’re providing the data back appropriately and I also think the systems of record at the client as well is is a challenge we’ve got

A multitude of systems on the client and so the it and Technical the center of excellence groups that our clients aren’t all at a different stage of maturity in their life cycle to support and enable on the channel and so many times they’ll use us to fill some of those capability gaps, but most of the the large Pharma have made some pretty significant strides and developing their own infrastructure to deliver it and then we augment that with our capabilities as well and some of our media agency partners and so we’re able to to Really deliver it now and collaboration some of the smaller to mid-size companies don’t have that infrastructure and we’ll wean on folks like ourselves a little bit more for certain capabilities than others.

You just kind of double click on that for second you’re talking about, you know, how some clients have like first party data strategy and house and housing some of that data capability and their martech and then others kind of lean on the agency more

Mind talking a little bit more about that how you kind of flex or Nimble in terms of how you work with clients and what you’re seeing most of it do most companies have a first-party data strategy yet clients that you work with. Are they kind of still kind of relying on their aor’s for that?

Yeah. It really depends on one of our mantres that relevant health is to meet our clients where they are on their Omni Channel Journey. As Tim was just talking about earlier. We have the ability to do it self-sufficiently and our own environment on behalf of oftentimes more of this small to mid-sized Pharma who may not be have the infrastructure or even quite honestly the budgets or the time to be able to get as Progressive as perhaps some of the larger Pharma organizations. And then for the larger Pharma organizations, we can Leverage The pld that we gain from our Solutions and also some of our data capabilities to talk in to where they are in their Journey. So really being able to be flexible is key and also being able to work with other partners, you know, you mentioned Media Partners earlier. There’s a lot of different agencies inside the Pharm

Me there’s a lot of different teams as well. You’ve got Market access. You’ve got medical. You’ve got patient. You’ve got hcp. You know, if we think about that unified customer Centric experience, ultimately, we’ve got to be able to find ways to weave all of those components and integration together to really get the seamless experience and that’s something that we’re working on too

sure and companies clients all also have their own data and analytics, you know departments as well how talk about sort of integrating with those departments. Do you find that’s a challenge in terms of surfacing that data putting it to use because they’re sitting on a lot of data Pharma companies and some but sometimes kind of action on it is a challenge.


So this is this is where

I think clients have more data than they have ever had before the question is, you know how to use it to drive business intelligence decision making next best action. That’s really personalized. So it’s not just that’s best action that we want but what the customer wants and so I think what’s challenging and we’re we see different friction points or different what’s a capability gaps where they might have the data but it’s not organized in a way that they can activate on it or derive that Insight from it and that’s where we come in and and certainly the Media Partners as well that we collaborate with at the clients and you also have a lot of data governance issues it governance challenges and depending on

Where that client is in their Journey, right and what their processes are what has evolved is.

The clients have all this data, but you know also the medical we go and Regulatory review process and then how to apply the multivariant content. We’re delivering based upon what we know and then putting that through their system. There’s some choke points there so as much as you know, we’ve all evolved from a data technology and an enablement perspective. We also have to really evolve the regulatory Pathways to actually be able to execute on all that so there’s a variety of you know challenges and that’s where many times the large funnel will come to us to help augment what they’re doing depending on where they are in their Journey.

What do you think? Both of you is the sort of the critical factor for a company and making that journey to Omni channels at having that data analytics mindset from the top down is it kind of a nimbleness from a change management perspective, you know talk about yeah, I think organizational.

Absolutely. I think it’s both and I think we actually heard a lot of this and our Trend talk session just last month, but a lot of it is, you know omnichannel is now it’s the expectation as it should be right because we’re improving the customer experience but we have to do it on top of the day-to-day. So there’s so much to put on the marketers themselves. And also there’s a lot of change management that needs to take place. You mentioned the burden that happens on Regulatory and Review Committee. So it’s a top down initiative and sometimes there needs to be additional education on the value of it. But also the different challenges that we can face with it.

Yeah, the collaboration and organizational design challenges or in collaboration models internally at the clients. But also with their partner ecosystems important to address and really how to govern that so it’s putting a lot more I would say

Pressure or coordination responsibility onto the commercial leaders when they be brand leaders medical Affairs leaders to help orchestrate all that enablement that you need to support the delivery of omnichannel. And so you need really strong Partners. I think to your point earlier clients are building their own cdps or customer data platforms and they should it’s their customer. We’re there to help them activate on that some of that we help them enable. We’re helping one particular client right now that Julie and I very close with enable there. There’s CDP to get the most out of it and ultimately to get the most out of us and their other partners to deliver a better experience. So

They need to continue to invest in that infrastructure to support that and they also need great partners that understand how to use it orchestrate it design and deliver the content to activate on all that data and so clients, you know are going to continue to invest heavily here, but they also need to invest as Julie mentioned in the change management in the orchestration.

Yes. Yes. So, you know data governments interoperability change management mlr, you know, all important considerations and speaking of the medical legal regulatory kind of framework and making sure that you’re kind of navigating that modular content. I think Tim you mentioned that is as an idea. Where do you find your clients are with that? And is that it’s another buzzword Buzz phrase. Is that where we’re moving to is that or is that what kind of you’re used to your clients toward is kind of a modular kind



Yeah, and you know, we at relevant Health, I’ve been doing modular content for years again, when we think about local variability we would have you know,

Front pieces with different clinicians who might be more prominent in a specific area of the country. So we’ve developed ways and methodologies to help the mlr teams understand how we can create

thousands of pieces of information but get it through in a way that’s manageable through the power of templating.

Yeah, and on the look at repcast and our other Solutions a cell cast Okay, well cast we have ai and machine learning on top of their video script. So, you know doing a video like this if it falls outside of the purview of the claims, it’s flagged and it will not be able to be sent. So we have a suite of video Solutions in our cast series of products that that has built in a regulatory governance based on the script so that they won’t be able to send it. So we never even get to regulatory, right? So again think about video at scale this type of snackable content is the expectation of customers in a Physicians don’t live in some parallel universe. They their media died and their consumption of channels is exactly

The format we’re doing that’s what this is the type of content. They want right Allied Health professors are people too and how they consume the broader media content. We need to meet them with those types of experiences and they’re you know, so we built Solutions tools and products.

To not only do content scale personalization at scale but also to do in a regulatory compliant way to meet the volume. So each video then wouldn’t need to be reviewed and approved by mlr,

right why reinvent the wheel

why then you got it exactly and then you’ve got 500 different reps who were able to personalize it themselves. But know that it’s compliant have that confidence

or yeah or MSL or or kol and appear to peer environment. So these types of solutions are really meeting that on the channel need now imagine pairing that with obviously all the other data we have and channel preference day. We have and really do every highly relevant and engaging content and that’s that’s well cool, but also really really relevant

to the rep can say like based on the continuity of insight dealing with that hcp. Okay. This doctor needs this exactly boom. There’s that message there’s this message and it’s all templated. So that’s delivered by that


and deliver by the rep right

through video

through video.

Just another word,

you know meeting with right now

exactly and we just talked about the fact that hcps might not want to have that rep, you know live in their office, but how great would it be to have them be able to you know dictate that by getting an email from the rap with the video?

I mean even in the white space where there may be limited access and institutional setting where you couldn’t get in especially in covid and they’ve you know, some of those access has opened back up and certain regions and certain Health Systems and other ones. It’s still some what you know more women did access so, you know, how can you get there with really engaging content that is very personal and then that might invite and interaction maybe outside the institutional setting where they could connect.

Yeah, and I know you mentioned Ai and ml how do you save doctors time, you know using some of these newer Technologies, you know, and kind of you know, they’re very busy. They’re, you know, even Specialists keeping up we know as a very Herculean task. What can you do to kind of make

Jobs easier.

Yeah, I think again understanding what their preferences are and what their desires were relevant content are and making sure that we’re breaking straight through that clutter and getting right to the point. It’s absolutely going to help save time and the more we learn and leverage our machine learning power decision engine to be able to do that. The more right on we’re going to be with our customers.

So Julie, where do you see the future of this kind of panning out in terms of you know, working with clients and Visa via Omni Channel and personalization.

Yeah for sure. So, you know, I actually have them at relevant for what I say is 14 years, but it’s really only 10. So I took a little bit of a Hiatus to understand what it’s like to be in the client shoes and I did experience some of the struggles that you know, we witness day today and one of it is connecting all the dots. So we did this one exercise where we had during brand planning. We all got up all the different marketers across all the different functions, but all of our different agency partners and vendors on the wall, and they were over 50 different partners.

Agency vendors so that then equals they have their own data. They have their own Solutions and their own respective remit. So it left a lot of the onus on the marketers myself included to figure out how can I best connect all of that to create not just a seamless experience for the clinicians but myself and make it more manageable. So looking forward now several years and being back at relevant. I realized that’s what I was trying to do is Omni channel, right and being able to connect those dots but it’s a huge burden. So one of the areas where I think ourselves and others are really striving to place to help navigate all the different disparate seemingly disparate parties to create a seamless experience for our marketers and also the clinicians and the way that we do that is really helping to understand again where they are in their Journey collaborating effectively with the media planners with the different agencies of record with the different solutions providers and partners to be able to create that seamless experience through

Data and solutions and also some guidance so I don’t know time giving out to add.

No, I think you know that I mean there’s a lot of burden on the client to orchestrate and we remove a lot of that burden for them through the fact that we’ve already Blended all the data together already. They don’t need to get their internal organizational line or certainly the the other parties aligned and we partner it’s you know, exquisitely well with with our media colleagues and the media planning and buying side of the business. So, you know, we are great partner for them and a great partner for the client to really simplify the experience to focus it on how we gonna deliver that local. We relevant and engaging content that delivers on the on the Omni Channel and personalization Journey that we’re all on together. It’s a lot to coordinate as you said and I mean 50 that was what so I think we can certainly help simplify things for the client and and most important.

We deliver

sure and finally how do you know that? It’s all working. Would you talk a little bit a little bit about metrics?

Yeah, for sure. So I always say to my team in-house I say look team if we can’t measure it as if it never happened so and it’s not just waiting for the perfect Roi because oftentimes at that point the marketer that we might be working with has already moved on to another role. And so how do we actually prove out that it works? So it’s all about leading and lagging indicators and those key performance indicators to ensure that it’s working. So for every single initiative understanding how we can measure and make sure that we understand from a clinician perspective even from the marketers goals. What are those leading and lagging indicators and then taking pulse points along the way getting as close to real-time metrics as possible which then leads back to really having that integrated data to be able to do that and all the different data feeds so we can actually optimize double down where it’s working really really well and actually course correct where we might be getting the

Desired impact that we thought we would and then of course we want to do that Roi to show that it worked and give that confidence but we don’t want to wait till the end. They have confidence to the marketers and to the brands that these efforts are working. We want to give them Surety along the way.

That it’s that it works.

Yeah, and I just you know build on on Julie’s thoughts there that

all of our Solutions and all of our work that we do with clients. We deliver pld back outside of our field enablement Solutions, which have a different set of metrics. So all of our all of our Solutions in the non-personal promotion space and peer-to-peer space, we provide the physician level data back whether be to our Media Partners which to the client directly to their CDP. So, you know, the the evidence is is you know, right there. It’s very transparent and and clear. You know, I think to Julie’s point, you know, you know begin with an end in mind and we certainly do that with all of our work and it has to fit into a broader performance framework for the client as well and really defining what a success look like. And what does that criteria our Solutions we’re, you know, very clear about and transparent about providing that physician level data back. So, you know, you have that surety that that Julie was alluding to

You so great. We talked about some quite Buzzy topics today, but they were buzzworthy indeed. So thank you very much for a terrific discussion. Really enjoyed it.

Thank you Mark. It was awesome being with you guys today.

Yeah. Thanks Mark. Great to see you again.