Home Health Products Health/wellness marketing on Cyber Monday: Worth it? – Media News – MM&M – Medical Marketing and Media

Health/wellness marketing on Cyber Monday: Worth it? – Media News – MM&M – Medical Marketing and Media

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1. Is there room for health marketers to attempt to get messages heard on Cyber Monday, or should they steer clear on a day where shop-’til-you-drop is the default approach?

Erica Rivera

Senior director, engagement strategy, AbelsonTaylor

Typical branded pharma messages may struggle when the focus is on consumption and the thrill of the hunt for the best deal. Cyber Monday represents fast decisions, rushes to get The Thing before it’s gone and a winner-take-all approach. It’s about seated, adrenaline-junky shopping. There is room for our brands in the space, but the most success would be through a thoughtful approach to the season via a strong partnership with a service-oriented offering or product. Very likely the best partnerships would tap into the increasing focus on self-care. A partnership with established meditation or talk therapy apps would support the needs of the patients during the chaotic holidays.

Holidays are emotion-centric. Many people focus on the positive and take an active optimistic stance – gift giving is all about empathy and reward. As such, looking forward (like we do with personal health) tends to rise up in response to the short-term stress. It’s a way to see your way through and out of the chaos. Impacts are made when brands acknowledge the stress of the holiday season and make an effort to address it directly.

Andrew Miller

VP, SEM and emerging media, CMI/Compas

Cyber Monday resulted in $7.9 billion in online sales last year in the U.S., up almost 20% from the previous year, according to Adobe. It’s essential that retailers – including healthcare consumer products like Fitbit, 23andMe and others – have a strong search strategy in place to capitalize on the increased demand. You can fully expect your competitors will mirror an aggressive bidding and messaging strategy.

Ingrid Eberly

VP corporate marketing and events, Healthline

Your health is an everyday thing. Unless you’re a DTC brand wanting to reach consumers at the height of their online shopping zeal, Cyber Monday presents no real advantage for healthcare marketing campaigns.

Toby Trygg

Executive creative director, Ogilvy Health

While Cyber Monday is all about selling and commodity, that is not how we ever want to think of patients’ health. That said, the increase in online volume on Cyber Monday means we have a greater opportunity to get critical information to a much broader base of people in need. At the end of the day, it’s humans on the other side of the computer, and all humans have health topics that are important to them. As patients and caregivers head for the computer to do some shopping, contextually relevant messaging can make them feel like brands are truly empathetic to their situation.

Jess Vanner

Group director, social media, W2O

Cyber Monday gives paid social marketers a slight inherent advantage over other times of year to expand reach and tailor targeting to core audiences, even in the healthcare space. This is due to one, increased visibility opportunities with more overall users online; and two, the ability to pair a user’s shopping habits and disease affiliations within targeting across social platforms. As an example, psoriasis patients frequently purchase moisturizers from popular manufactures (Aveeno, Eucerin, Gold Bond etc.). Target these users based on their purchasing habits, paired with disease-state targeting for the psoriasis community.


2. What types of health products and services could potentially be a fit for Cyber Monday programs or messaging?

Toby Trygg

Executive creative director, Ogilvy Health

The important thing on Cyber Monday is to make a clear distinction between DTC and pharma messaging and between consumer-centric and patient-centric messaging. Because people are in a buy-now mindset with credit cards (and cryptocurrency) at the ready, a DTC product or service that stands out in this cacophony will find itself meeting a consumer who is predisposed to go from skeptic to believer. Pharma brands, however, should use a soft-sell, an empathetic voice at this time of year as patients may be suffering both physically and emotionally around the holidays. A hard-sell by a drug company would most likely result in exacerbating pre-existing negative perceptions. Empathy, as always, is key to gaining trust.

Jess Vanner

Group director, social media, W2O

OTC products have a definite spot in Cyber Monday promotions, as do supplementary products to various disease states. Any messaging for diseases can be further enhanced on Cyber Monday by targeting tangential products… I would encourage spending caps to ensure that cost-per-result doesn’t surge too high to outweigh the benefit of the awareness driven for these campaigns, but would qualify that the paid social campaigns during this time frame would be beneficial. The audience pool is larger and the target reached is more qualified.

Erica Rivera

Senior director, engagement strategy, AbelsonTaylor

Personalized vitamins have become front runners in this space. They blend modern, personalized packaging with vitamins and supplements specific to each customer’s needs based on a short online quiz. They promise to take the hassle out of making a good decision for your health… This category is doing a particularly good job of harnessing the power of social influencers to motivate customers. Marrying special offers and promotions through the large influencer network could help break through the clutter of Cyber Monday.

Jackie Kahn

Managing director, digital health, W2O

DNA kits have long been marketed as great holiday gifts. They aren’t new to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday game and this year isn’t any different. Hims, Hers and Roman have all announced deals, too. It’s logical to think that health-minded Millennials will be looking for deals on their prescription medicines while they are online shopping for that new TV or air fryer.

Andrew Miller

VP, SEM and emerging media, CMI/Compas

Brands should call out what separates them from the competition. Use prices, dynamic language and special offers up front. Online shoppers are looking for specifics; they don’t need to be wowed with creativity. Expect heavy competition, so be prepared for higher CPCs/cost and make sure you’re working with your marketing teams early to establish messaging, inventory management and optimization. Put your dollars and your strategy where your audience is. Manage device level budgets, bids and messaging differently if your audience interacts differently across desktop/mobile (hint: they probably do). Heavy up during the “golden hours” between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.


3. Could unbranded disease-state campaigns be a fit for Cyber Monday?

Toby Trygg

Executive creative director, Ogilvy Health

There are several opportunities that present themselves on this front, the first being the chance to support caregivers. They have a big responsibility and the holidays can add extra stress and potentially leave them feeling even more isolated if they are caring for loved ones who are homebound. If there is something that can help their loved ones, and thereby subsequently help them, that would be of value. Further, many folks are seeing family members they haven’t seen in a while, so arming them with information to help navigate a loved one’s condition could be valuable.

The second opportunity comes around the New Year. After January 1, people are fully ready to make a sea change in their lives and have their antennae up for the latest news about their disease state. Unbranded campaigns serve this purpose well.

Erica Rivera

Senior director, engagement strategy, AbelsonTaylor

Cyber Monday immediately gives way to Giving Tuesday. Brands can make larger impacts if they strategically partner with the leading advocacy group in their disease states. Imagine a scenario where an MS brand partners with a meditation app to donate a portion of their monthly subscription fees to the national advocacy foundation. By tapping into the deeper understanding of the challenges patients face – knowing they shop as consumers, not patients – brands can offer solutions that minimize the obstacles of life in a particular disease state and support the work of their championed advocacy groups. There is an opportunity for the advocacy group to join the promotion of the offering with the brand and extend the reach of the message to their full following.

Jess Vanner

Group director, social media, W2O

Unbranded disease state campaigns are perfect here, especially if they pertain to any chronic illnesses (#spoonies) that affect people who are very unlikely to want to use their energy on Black Friday – if they even have energy left over after the Thanksgiving day festivities. Raising awareness and furthering any click-to-web CTAs (calls to action) or registrations would fit perfectly both into content and targeting.


4. Has there ever been a breakthrough health or wellness campaign during the holiday shopping season?

Andrew Miller

VP, SEM and emerging media, CMI/Compas

Two brands that have shined during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are 23andMe and Fitbit. Both are popular items at a good price point for gifts, so people pay attention when they go on sale. And unlike many other health-related items, they have no stigma attached, so people feel they are appropriate as a gift. Ask anyone who’s tried to give a scale or pimple cream as a gift – it may be useful, but it isn’t always appreciated.

Toby Trygg

Executive creative director, Ogilvy Health

As people get lost in the frivolity of the holiday/shopping season, it is important to remember that there are many who find this time of year to be the most difficult. This presents an opportunity to truly make a difference: In general, people are in an altruistic mindset. A recent campaign that played into this was the Elton John AIDS campaign from 2018. As HIV becomes less and less a part of the zeitgeist thanks to newer and better treatments, this campaign served as a prescient reminder that there are still so many people at risk out there in the world and they need to get tested. The holiday season was the perfect time to spread this message.

Ingrid Eberly

VP corporate marketing and events, Healthline

Brands that align with valuable content from health publishers outside the cyber-shopping clutter will benefit from meaningful consumer engagement, regardless of natural holidays or internet events.

Erica Rivera

Senior director, engagement strategy, AbelsonTaylor

Cyber Monday is built for flash, not substance. It’s about championing the short-term deal and the rush of the moment, and then it’s gone. It’s hard to remember what the big win was from the year before. The focus is the next thing and not reflective of the past.

When brands make the decision to support and empower smaller, more sustainable changes in patients, they support the patients’ health and wellness long-term. Offerings grounded in self-care, thoughtful decision-making and partnerships that support the daily lives of patients have the ability to be breakthrough simply by changing outcomes. These types of programs are monumental at the individual level, albeit less flashy than new stores and big deals.

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