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.
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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