CMO Ken Chaplin Shares Insights on Cancer Marketing at CTCA

by | Apr 8, 2021 | Consumer Engagement | 0 comments

Chief Marketing Officer Ken Chaplin is advancing the mission of patient empowerment and guiding the evolution of cancer marketing at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

CTCA Chief Marketing Officer Ken Chaplin

With pre­vi­ous roles at Walt Dis­ney Com­pa­ny and in the finan­cial ser­vices indus­try, Ken Chaplin’s career tra­jec­to­ry has been “quite a cir­cuitous route from Mick­ey Mouse to can­cer.” In this excerpt from our Health­care Insights for Mar­keters pod­cast, find out how Ken applies advanced attri­bu­tion mod­el­ing to mea­sure the impact of can­cer mar­ket­ing, why the orga­ni­za­tion is well posi­tioned for a cook­ie-less world and what they’re doing to flat­ten the “shad­ow curve” caused by the sharp decline in screen­ings and treat­ments dur­ing the pandemic.

Healthcare is ahead of the curve as marketing moves into a cookie-less world.

It’s expo­nen­tial­ly more impor­tant to be respect­ful of pri­va­cy in health­care, to be care­ful and accu­rate with data that is used and to make sure the data is anonymized and used in a way that is pro­tec­tive. The mar­ket­ing indus­try is mov­ing toward that mod­el as we are in more of a cook­ie-less world, and some of the retar­get­ing and track­ing capa­bil­i­ties are leav­ing the tra­di­tion­al chan­nels. The indus­try is mov­ing towards that health­care mod­el for the good of the consumer.

The health­care indus­try, and cer­tain­ly can­cer mar­ket­ing, has had to oper­ate in that world all along. We’ve had to rely on oth­er sources and tar­get audi­ences in aggre­gate, where we’re using data in an anonymized way and not tar­get­ing some­one based on a cer­tain health­care diag­no­sis. Instead, we’re tar­get­ing on the prob­a­bil­i­ty or poten­tial of an audi­ence based on oth­er avail­able fac­tors. At CTCA, we’re find­ing suc­cess with this approach as media con­sump­tion habits have changed and peo­ple are engag­ing in a much more cus­tomized way with brands than in the past.

CTCA takes a unique approach to marketing attribution.

Attri­bu­tion is the holy grail of what we try to do in mar­ket­ing. It’s answer­ing the ques­tion of what caused an indi­vid­ual to react, or what com­bi­na­tion of stim­uli caused a reac­tion and being able to mod­el that. Rather than the “last touch” mod­el that has been his­tor­i­cal­ly used, we’re focused on fig­ur­ing out how much of a lift an indi­vid­ual touch­point had in the journey.

For exam­ple, if some­one watch­es a TV com­mer­cial and does not con­vert but sub­se­quent­ly does a brand­ed search and then con­verts, we want to under­stand the impact of the expo­sure to TV rather than just attribute the response to search. We do that through a com­pli­cat­ed mod­el­ing process with vary­ing lev­els of prob­a­bil­i­ty. By assign­ing val­ues to each of the areas, we’re work­ing to get that mix right with­in our mod­el. Oth­er­wise, every­thing would go to paid search and that would be a flawed busi­ness model.

Patient empowerment is at the core of the CTCA marketing strategy.

The roots of CTCA are in patient empow­er­ment. The founder’s moth­er had a can­cer diag­no­sis and wasn’t pro­vid­ed with infor­ma­tion on treat­ment options before she passed. As a result, he made a com­mit­ment to build a com­pa­ny where the patient would be empow­ered to under­stand the options avail­able to them and con­trol their own jour­ney with­in health­care. That found­ing prin­ci­ple and mis­sion drove how we start­ed and how we’re evolv­ing in marketing.

For exam­ple, while TV remains core to our strat­e­gy of reach­ing peo­ple in the place where they’re most com­fort­able and in the types of media they’re enjoy­ing, we’ve adopt­ed and changed by using dig­i­tal tools and third-par­ty data sets, in par­tic­u­lar, that allow us to be more sophis­ti­cat­ed with our tar­get­ing. With­in a spe­cif­ic DMA, we can under­stand at the ZIP code lev­el those indi­vid­u­als who may not have access to world-class can­cer care, and we’re able to mes­sage to those audi­ences in a more pre­cise way.

We con­tin­ue to build on the core prin­ci­ple of patient empow­er­ment. As the patient jour­ney moves into the dig­i­tal space where patients are doing their own research, we endeav­or to meet them there.

Content is core to the patient journey.

Can­cer patients want infor­ma­tion about their treat­ment options, their choic­es, their diag­no­sis and what their can­cer jour­ney looks like. Can­cer is a very con­fus­ing jour­ney and we’re com­mit­ted to help­ing clar­i­fy the expe­ri­ence as empow­er­ing patients is core to our strategy.

For exam­ple, our web­site is the #1 vis­it­ed site ver­sus any oth­er provider site on the web and our blog is struc­tured to sup­port the jour­ney with arti­cles on nutri­tion and oth­er rel­e­vant topics.

Con­tent is also core to our busi­ness-to-busi­ness strat­e­gy and allows us to be a resource to physi­cians who refer patients to us by help­ing them under­stand the ways CTCA treats patients holistically.

For the future, con­tent is going to remain a core part of our marketing—whether it’s deliv­ered in brand­ed expe­ri­ences, cus­tomized con­tent we’ve gen­er­at­ed or part­ner­ing with oth­er lead­ing con­tent providers in the space.

CTCA is committed to combating the shadow curve.

Our mes­sage is that whether you get treat­ment with us or else­where, the impor­tant thing is to get treat­ment. Can­cer won’t wait, so please seek screen­ings and treat­ment. Stay on top of your health. That’s the mes­sage we want to get out there to any­one and everyone.

Our mis­sion is patient empow­er­ment, whether they’re our patients or some­one else’s.

Listen to the full interview!

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