A Digital Marketing Discussion with blulava Leadership

Integrated communication enables us to properly map our audience and gain website traction, leading to live market directional insight.

The following is a discussion between Scott Reese, Vice President, Digital Strategy and Customer Engagement at blulava and Jeffrey Freedman, Executive Vice President at blulava.

Scott Reese: To begin, what is your definition of integrated communications?

Jeffrey Freedman: That’s a great place to start. An integrated communications program is first understanding exactly who you are trying to reach, and then applying consistent brand messaging across both traditional and nontraditional marketing channels and using different communication methods to reinforce each other.

SR: That’s perfect; we’re all about analytics and insights. Why do our clients need a data-driven approach?

JF: In a data-driven approach for engagement planning, we are better able to pinpoint and segment our targets—how best to reach them, and when to reach them and with what message. We are also able to quickly prototype and test different tactics. We can also determine ROI and pinpoint where to optimize programming.

SR: All right, in doing this, what are some of the offerings or outputs in integrated communications? For example, what is audience mapping? How is it used with pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device brands?

JF: Well, through audience mapping we can segment select targets into groups that share certain characteristics or contain commonality. We can then infer that these segments behave and learn in a similar fashion. So that we can target based on beliefs and behaviors rather than demographics or geography.

SR: Okay, then once we identify these audiences, how do we discover their underlying beliefs?

JF: If we believe members of these subsets behave in a similar fashion, we can poll small subsets through quantitative and qualitative research. We can use live market research or virtual polling and email campaigns to gain directional insight and then test these findings in a larger test group.

SR: When we talk about other offerings like journey mapping, how is it used with pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device brands?

JF: Journey mapping can be discussed in terms of either the patient or the physician. For patients, it is the journey that they go through from diagnosis through treatment. What are their touchpoints? How do they learn and access information about their disease? For a healthcare provider, we take a look at a day in their life. How and when do they access information? What tools do they use throughout their day? This ranges from emails, to publications, to working on their electronic medical records.

SR: That’s great. Now, changing topics, tell me about the importance of doing a digital audit.

JF: Sure, a digital audit is used to look at your brand’s digital footprint and what is missing from a best-practices point of view, and then looking at your main competitors to ensure, at a minimum, you are hitting the same channels they are.

SR: All right, and how do you know when an integrated communications project has been successful? What metrics do you use?

JF: First off, all projects are different, and based upon the strategic imperatives of the brand, success will be defined differently. But as part of process for every project, in the discovery phase, we find out what is measurable and important for that project’s success. Then, in the development stage, we create the key performance indicators (KPIs) that we use to benchmark the project against. As the project commences, we keep an eye on the analytics and their performance against the KPIs.

SR: How do you know when a project needs a course correction? What strategies do you use?

JF: Well, that’s the great thing about digital programming—we do not have to wait for a project to conclude to determine if we need to change or update the project in whole or in part. Take email as an example. We conduct A/B testing on a small sample of our audience to determine up front what variables within the campaign work better and then we send the optimized asset to the rest of the targets. On a web portal, we are able to track what assets and what pages visitors use, and if these assets or pages are not getting traction, then we can replace them with asset types that the audience has [been] shown to favor.

SR: That makes a lot of sense. Last question: Metrics aside, how have you personally measured the success of some of your past projects?

JF: My overall objective of any integrated communications project is for the target to build a deep memory of the programming. Best practices in adult learning principles show that you should make projects multisensory, multi-touch, and iterative, and by doing so, you’ll create a deeper and longer-term memory of the situation or product. That being said, I know I’ve done a good job when, at a meeting or congress, I overhear an attendee talking about a program that we did the year before, or I receive feedback from a client about an HCP that keeps bringing up a certain video or interactive tool that they were previously shown.

by Jeffrey Freedman and Scott Reese

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SCOTT REESE

Vice President, Digital Strategy and Customer Engagement

Scott is fortunate to bring 25 years of digital expertise to the blulava team. Scott has broad global executive leadership experience ranging from serving as the Executive Creative Director for the world’s largest digital agency to Managing Director of a Microsoft and Accenture joint venture focused on advanced analytics and artificial intelligence solutions for global clients. He has also worked with some of the worlds biggest rock acts to bring to life immersive entertainment experiences. Scott has been awarded numerous patents for his analytical technology inventions. He has also been recognized widely for his creative work including Webbys, Cannes Lion, Clio, MM&M, DTC Awards and many others.

When not working to build creative technology solutions for clients, Scott is typically found in the company of musicians, artists and athletes. A highly avid skier, Scott is former PSIA ski coach in Winter Park Colorado. He is a former completive distance runner and triathlete. Scott’s artwork is in several private and public collections. He performed alongside of Mikhail Baryshnikov in the White Oak Dance Company at the Kennedy Center. He is a pianist and guitar player. Any given night you may find Scott in various rock venues or music festivals.

Carl Napolitano

Vice President, Creative Director

Carl is an award-winning creative director with a distinguished career in healthcare communications, design, and marketing. Over the past 20 years, Carl has cultivated a seasoned intuition for compelling creative by showcasing the nuances of a brand’s value proposition. His artistic energy supports both the brands he develops as well as the team he leads.

From innovative digital tactics to integrated media campaigns to corporate identity branding, Carl’s creative work and dynamic leadership have been recognized with industry awards from the RX Club and the OMNI Awards.

When not at work, you can find Carl on the golf course with his son or at the beach with his family.

BETH MICKELBERG

Group Account Director, Digital Solutions

Beth is a successful marketing veteran with 20 years driving groundbreaking omnichannel programs for Fortune 500 companies. She loves to uncover the deeply felt customer insights that bring your brand from ideas to actions. Beth has won multiple industry awards, from Best Website at DTC Pharma Awards to Most Innovative Programs at the Webby Awards.

In her free time, Beth loves to spend time with her niece and nephews, and tries to stay balanced between the gym, the beach and the runway.

JON ALFISI

Vice President, Technology and Software Development

Jon is responsible for all aspects of product delivery and technology development at blulava. Over the past 25 years, he has built best-in-class, innovative technology solutions for global brands within in the medical communications industry. Jon’s visionary leadership is driven by his passion for helping clients understand their particular business needs.

In his free time, Jon loves exploring different cuisines, listening to music, and traveling. He also enjoys gardening and working on home improvement projects.

SCOTT REESE

Vice President, Digital Strategy and Customer Engagement

Scott brings 25 years of digital expertise to the blulava team. His executive leadership experience ranges from serving as the Executive Creative Director for one of the world’s largest digital agencies to Managing Director of a Microsoft/Accenture advanced analytics venture, focusing on AI solutions for global clients. Scott’s work has spanned industries from entertainment, retail, financial services with a heavy dose of pharmaceutical experience.

Scott has been granted numerous patents for his analytical technology inventions. He has been recognized widely for his creative work, winning awards at the Webbys, Cannes Lion, CLIO, and the MM&M Awards, to name a few.

When not working, Scott can usually be found in the company of musicians, artists, and athletes.

LEO FRANCIS, PhD

Chief Operating Officer,
Chief Medical Officer

Leo is an award-winning industry leader, twice recognized as one of PharmaVOICE’s 100 most inspiring people in the life-sciences industry. His driving focus is to frame science in a context that creates meaning and relevance for healthcare professionals and their patients across all aspects of therapeutic commercialization.

Leo is a skilled communicator and visionary, operationally robust in translating scientific ideas into organizational value. He is a consummate team worker, customer-focused, organizationally agile, and committed to improving patient care.

JEFFREY FREEDMAN

Executive Vice President

Jeff is an insights−driven marketing and communications strategist dedicated to helping companies grow, build brands, and deliver differentiated, multichannel customer experiences. He has served 15+ years on agency leadership teams, where he has headed up communications, strategy, technology, creative, and analytics groups. As a digital marketing veteran, he has helped brands navigate the fascinating and rapid convergence of omnichannel communications and technology.

To unplug, Jeff loves to cook and entertain for family and friends, as well as listen to and live music and travel to concerts.

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