I’ve had a pretty fulfilling career so far. I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things. My first commercial ran during the Super Bowl. I launched several new car brands for GM, a wine brand for Kraft, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation hand-in-hand with Michael J. Fox. I’ve worked with A-list celebrities, Grammy-winning musicians and Academy Award-winning directors. I even recorded a Beatles song in Abbey Road Studios, using the same Hammond B3 organ that Paul McCartney played on the original track. (That was cool!) The list goes on and on. But I have to admit that I am most excited about where I am right now–in healthcare.
Yes, I’m doing good and helping people and that’s fulfilling, but that’s not why I’m excited. You see, I made a conscious decision to jump into this industry with both feet because, as a marketer and creative problem solver, I can’t think of a more fascinating place to be than in healthcare. Right now, there is more innovation and more game-changing, life-changing products and services happening here than in any other industry. That’s not just fascinating. It’s a gift. Just look at some of the disruptors.
Disruption from the outside.
Companies that no one would ever have associated with healthcare are now putting their unique spin on the space.
Amazon. Two years ago, they bought PillPack, a home delivery pharmacy service, and they have a dedicated team working with healthcare marketers on ways to integrate Alexa into chronic disease management and home healthcare. Last year they announced a partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to start a new company dedicated to addressing some of the cost issues in the healthcare industry.
Apple. The iPhone and Apple Watch have been building a health presence for years, helping you to track your movements, heart rate, blood pressure, and more. But that’s only the start. The company has recently forged partnerships with dozens of health systems to improve EHRs and allow for more seamless monitoring, access, and reporting.
Alphabet. “Dr. Google” has had a growing presence in healthcare ever since the company reported that it could accurately predict flu outbreaks based on geographic searches for doctors, pharmacies, and cold remedies. The company doubled down with its Verily division, which is dedicated to partnering with healthcare companies to use data and health science to create more holistic care management.
GM. Yes, that GM. And Toyota, Ford, and a host of other car manufacturers are all dipping their toes into the healthcare space with technology that can read your heart rate, pupils, and driving patterns and intervenes if it detects that you are having a heart attack or are driving intoxicated. Right now, my car can tell if I am driving erratically and then make suggestions for the nearest coffee shop. Scary!
Uber and Lyft. The ridesharing services have been working with health systems to provide transportation to doctor’s offices for those in low-income and rural areas, ensuring increased compliance for wellness and follow-up visits.
This is only a smattering of the outsiders looking at healthcare through a completely different lens. And as they do, they will transform the industry and everyone in it.
Disruption from the inside.
Who could have imagined turning on the TV and hearing a pharmaceutical commercial use the word “cure”? But that’s exactly what’s starting to happen. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are doing amazing, never-before-seen things. New technologies and approaches, from gene therapy to immunotherapy and beyond, aren’t just treating diseases, they’re altering outcomes and dramatically improving lives. Right here at CDM Princeton, we have a roster of game-changing clients that are bringing to market entirely new approaches to hemophilia, epilepsy, and major depressive disorder that will forever change how those diseases are seen and treated. As a marketer, how can you not be jazzed about that?
Disruption as a mindset.
When the baby boomers were growing up, their doctor’s word was law. They came in with an ailment, the doctor prescribed a remedy, and that was that. But for my kids’ generation, their doctor is a data point, not a deity. In fact, most millennials don’t even have a primary doctor. People on one end of the spectrum see the system as a way to manage illness. People on the other end see it as an empowering way to stay healthy. I think that dichotomy is fascinating, and I love diving deeper into those nuances on behalf of my clients.
Let’s face it, the world doesn’t need another credit card, another candy bar, or another bottled water. But this–our wellness, our mindfulness, our well-being–is where all the good stuff is happening. This is why I chose to work at CDM Princeton. And why I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
by Gary Scheiner
Executive Vice President, Executive Creative Director