Health Requires an Integrated Measurement Approach

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By Jason Patterson, SVP of Business Intelligence at Publicis Health Media

In my 20 plus years in the business, I’ve always been the measurement guy. And as the measurement guy, I’m typically the last stop in the process of addressing the client’s needs. For too long, measurement has been seen as the “back end” of planning, a wrap up to a campaign. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn’t be this way.

Data and analytics should start every conversation, engrained before launch as part of every overall strategy. By building data and analytics into the planning process, we get far more impactful campaigns, improve business results, and even introduce new means of optimization. Absent this, we risk considering the wrong metrics, which can lead to poor decision making. 

Too often, tension arises between the measurement framework –  where we align on KPI and set strategic goals –  and the measurement plan, or the execution. While the framework may be determined in early stages, the plan comes at the end, after we’ve done all this great thinking on strategy only to ‘check the box’ on measurement at the end of the process. By operating non-linearly and integrating measurement at the strategic phase, we can optimize and forge a deeper connection between content and creative, leading to enhanced ROI. 

This kind of objective-based measurement planning brings relevance and yields more accurate improvement tactics. There is a feedback loop with measurement where we can iterate and learn based on past success and optimization is crucial to improve performance over time. 

In health and pharma, we learn more each year about how patients interact with brands. By integrating measurement, we can start to connect those behaviors for even better optimization methods. Traditionally, and with measurement at the “back end”, optimization could be seen as observational—noting performance of certain platforms and reporting on improvement strategies. With connected optimizations, which are powered by integrated meaturement, we can collect many elements of patient behavior, such as engagement with endemic and non-endemic content, to create patient cohorts and effective audience models, thus connecting with consumers more deeply with new strategies. Those valuable insights should set the stage in strategy and planning sessions, rather than only coming to bear at the end of the process. 

Data and measurement should not be considered sequential, activated after the work has launched. The best measurement allows for a symbiotic relationship between data, strategy and creative, allowing for maximum agility in market. This is especially true in healthcare where consumer interactions with brands are individualized and varied. 

Our goal –  and the goal for all brand marketers –  is to foster deeper connections between brands and patients that can help bring about a better way of living. This is a complex journey that takes more than just an impression to realize. Aligning the tactics and objectives to that journey can help us drive patients to solutions more quickly. Our ability to use data and technology to link planning, activation and measurement together, breaking down silos, allows us to maximize our clients’ investments and improve patient lives.  

Health is personal and our approach must be as well. It is critical that in this context that we are engaging with the right people – that we are thoughtful, mindful and responsive. When done correctly, data and analytics can help drive strategy across both doctors and patients. When the data lead and strategist are connected, magic happens for the brand in the form of impactful and efficient campaigns, all with the potentiality of driving better health outcomes. 

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