Standing Up for Better Healthcare Marketing – with CMO Arra Yerganian



Arra Yerganian thinks healthcare has always been a little upside down, controlled by physicians instead of the the patients. Ya think? But I misspeak – at least while speaking with Yerganian:  he actually banned the word “patients” when he was CMO at both Sutter Health and One Medical. He explained that the word comes from Latin for “‘a place of suffering’ and that should be a temporary state at best.” Instead, he said, “We used the person’s name, so it wasn’t a dehumanizing experience to come into the doctor’s office.”

I liked this guy immediately. But there’s more to marketing healthcare than nomenclature. Yerganian is on a mission to raise awareness of the biggest issues impacting health for all of us: our Social Determinants of Health — or SDOH. Basically, if my zip code is wealthier than yours the overall population is likely healthier. I likely am more informed about and have better access to healthier foods or fitness facilities, I might have access to more parks for fresh air, and of course the income to afford anything from childcare to catch up on sleep and even infant mortality rates and so on. So how can we democratize health? For Yerganian, it’s awareness, it’s education, it’s communication. He also notes that, apropos our recent civic dis-ease and disease, “beyond the pandemic, the great challenge that we’ll have is the behavioral health crisis that’s affecting our country.”

He shares the details of best practices and how to get on a healthier collective path overall in this Episode 22 of Insider Interviews. (Hint: stand up more for healthy behavior in every sense of the meaning.)

NOTE: I’m proud to be Editor in Chief of The Continuum, about awareness and performance marketing. In Issue 2 posting in late January you can also read this interview along with the POVs and suggestions from other notables in the health and wellness marketing space.  But, dear listeners, you get the advance insights here when you catch the full conversation with Arra Yerganian.

He and I discuss: 

Discussing standing up for the Social Determinants of Health
  • What are the social determinants of health, and how do they fit this into the world of marketing?
  • How can we track and thus help modify the exposure to environmental ills
  • What are some new approaches in brand marketing and health and wellness, such as driving uptake of tele-health?
  • How can promoting value-based programs reward healthcare providers with incentive payments?
  • How can products or brands, like a sleep aid or gym facility or a yoga mat or bicycle manufacturer, leverage some healthcare data and apply that to their marketing
  • How do you market against patients deferring to Google for diagnosing themselves?
  • And how do you conduct business meetings standing up?!

Here’s to a happier, HEALTHIER New Year to you all, with my sincere appreciation for listening, sharing and subscribing wherever you like to listen to Podcasts. 


JibJab’s CEO on Strong Brands and Floppy Jaws



For Episode 21 I spoke with someone who’s been an animated head more times than he can probably count: Paul Hanges is CEO of JibJab, which is famous for its personalized e-cards and satire animations that lets your head be the star! If you haven’t heard of JibJab you may have had YOUR head in the sand; they’re the OG of digital branded content. It was born in 1999 to brothers Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, perhaps best recalled from their 2004 glory days of being featured on everything from The Tonight Show to ABC News for then viral political satire, “This Land.”

Hanges, who was promoted from COO 18 months ago, says they’re proud of being dubbed the “original online cockroach” for their longevity and survival of dot-com and economy busts. In our conversation he explains why JibJab is still hot more than 20 years since its inception. They’re even having something of a renaissance with the resurrection of their trademark Year in Review video after a six-year pause. (But how could you NOT do a recap of a year like 2020? For Chief Creative Officer Mauro Gatti and lyricist Scott Emmons it probably almost wrote itself! And I’m proud to offer my big head/floppy jaw cut here for your amusement by way of example!)

Hanges also explains the appeal of low-tech animation and their trademark “big heads and floppy jaws,” how they survive as a subscription model and why they walk away from brand dollars if not aligned with their mission – “to make billions of people happy by allowing them to be funny, wherever they’re having that conversation.”

Here are the highlights – but do hear all Hanges has to say in this very “animated” conversation:
  • How it all started – yes in the proverbial garage
  • Why, in a world of “deep fakes and augmentation” the appeal of JibJab is the personalization and NOT to replace reality. “We want to provide utility to help people say happy birthday or anniversary or other big moments.”
  • How personal micro networks add up to eyeballs at scale – and 1.3 million paying subscribers;
  • How they’ll leverage the rights to hits like “Old Town” or Mamma Mia the musical, but why they’ll walk away from 95% ofbranded opportunities;
  • Why politics and JibJab do not always make good bedfellows, but why they participated in the Facebook ad boycott in July to stand up to divisiveness;
  • How (self-plug here) they balance “brand+demand,” — as we promote in The Continuum;
  • The big data opportunity they’re sitting on to be a personalized service for people and how they’ve had to be nimble and “pivot” in their production and platform access.

And of course, for the last episode of 2020 we have to offer Hanges’ words of wisdom from the past full year as CEO to other new CEOs…and how to embrace your strengths and those of others as well. “I take a step back and look and say, ‘we have a very strong operating team that’s working towards a goal of making billions of people happy.’ …And I’ve been really proud to say I can lead this company with that mission.”

Personally, I could not have wrapped up my first year of Insider Interviews podcasts (AND my “It’s Quite a Living” personal podcast) with a better message than to “head” into 2021 with the inspiration of a JibJab to find the humor and spread the joy throughout this holiday season and into 2021.
 Thank you all for listening and hopefully sharing this podcast. I value your feedback and support. And if I can help you create content that spreads joy or opens revenue doors please visit Moss Appeal or write to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com.

Happy New Year!


Best-of from Palmer, Keswin and Silver: Creating Human and Brand Connections



Shelly Palmer: It was fascinating to me to see the speed with which people were willing to adopt bad lighting, accept it, bad camera, angles, bad makeup hair, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Everybody’s fine with it. And I think it’s fantastic because the most important thing is that we all get together.

Erica Keswin: From a brand perspective, how are you going to be remembered during this time in terms of what you did, what you said, what you supported and how you brought your human to work?

Claude Silver: Let’s not deny the fact that you and I are talking through a screen rather than in person and call it what it is, but also communicate trust, empathy and vulnerability.

Those are just some of the takeaways from three past episodes of Insider Interviews and as a special little bonus edition for Thanksgiving I am sharing back some of these words of wisdom from Shelly Palmer, Erica Keswin, and Claude Silver, who each happened to talk about how we can create connection and how that helps brands and employees thrive. Especially in tough times like this pandemic.

Highlights of the highlights:

Palmer:  “People are quickly adapting to and evolving into good citizens in video chat. It’s fantastic. …And the other thing I love about what’s happening right now is formality has gone out the window.

…They’ve been willing, accepting of technical glitches that you would never have accepted before. It really reminds me dramatically reminds me of the change in video grammar in 1980, oddly enough.

…And I think what is most important thing is that we all get together; that we figure out how to be social animals in a time when, when coronavirus is making us forcing us to be less social.”

Erica Keswin Guests on Insider Interviews
Erica Keswin, Author of “Bring Your Human to Work” -Epi 3

Keswin: Think about communication along a continuum: you have instant message and texts and Slack and email and picking up the phone. We used to be able to walk across the hall or  visit people. …Now, from a societal perspective, many of us are defaulting to that technological end of the spectrum during this COVID-19 quarantine. How can you …pick up the phone, turn on the camera…and speak in that human voice, across all mediums of communication.

…”If you’re running the meeting make sure you say to your people, ‘you need to take some time to turn it off.’…It really is up to the leaders to model and to push people, to make sure that they’re taking care of themselves.

…From a brand perspective, how are you going to be remembered during this time in terms of, you know, what you did, what you said, what you supported and how you brought your human to work?”

Claude Silver on Having a Heart at Work
Claude Silver speaks with E.B. Moss on the role of a Chief Heart Office at VaynerMedia

Silver: I believe in people and I think that pretty much anything is accomplishable with vulnerability, with people showing up to be big and authentic and not building walls, but really finding ways to bond with one another and connect.

…You know, when you’re on a screen, everyone has the same size square. It has leveled the playing field. And I definitely think that while we have to work a little bit harder to create this connection

…On one hand, I do think that brands have a very big responsibility to be as authentic as possible today and not try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes because we are all reading the same news. We are all in the same climate. We’re in a sea of sameness right now. We’re all in this world together. So don’t try to fluff that. … I don’t think we need to be cotton, candy and Illy gooey. But I also don’t think we need to be showing things that are not attainable today…. Let’s get real about that.

I think that there is resiliency, authenticity. I think there’s fine to have a little bit of levity, which we see in these memes on Instagram and everywhere. …like me going to the refrigerator 20 times in one hour, because it’s there. Those are things that I think are they capture human emotion and that’s what it’s about. That’s what it’s always been about.

…I would like to think every brand would be mindful of the fact that we are all in this world together. … I would show more ads connecting people together, coming together on a zoom or a squad cast or a hangout, let’s not deny the fact that you and I are talking to a screen rather than in-person but also communicate trust and vulnerability.

Again, my thanks to everyone for listening and to all of the 20 interviewees that I’ve spoken to thus far.

And if you’d like help with building your own podcast or any content marketing, please reach out to me at podcasts@mossappeal.com.

I look forward to sharing more in the very near future.


IAB’s David Cohen with the Pulse of Digital Media & Marketing



When David Cohen joined the IAB as President, the US was two weeks into stay-at-home mandates. While that may have curtailed in-person conferences the industry association is known for, it upped the focus on all things digital. Not long after, the ante was also upped for Cohen personally when he was named CEO following the 14 year run of Randall Rothenberg. Pressure? Not to hear Cohen, who has helmed major agency divisions and had $20B in media spending under his purview during his days at MAGNA and UM. But pandemic-influenced strategy changes? Definitely.

In support of its mission to “empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy” – let alone during a COVID economy — Cohen has “brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into their leadership councils and transformed the timeliness of their strategic initiatives.”

Those words from Rothenberg’s commendation of Cohen on his promotion sparked a song from me. Of course. No one is safe. But that didn’t curtail a compelling conversation about more serious matters, such as Cohen telling me about the advantages that came with adapting to the digital world as early as the 90’s and how he – and the IAB overall – are continuing to innovate with today’s current technologies for marketers. I also put Cohen in the same hot seat he put recent panelists in when moderating a Reach Conference talk himself, asking what he would most like to see fixed in our current digital eco-sphere.

Cohen moderating Reach Conference panel

We also discuss:

  • Cohen’s A-ha! Moment – from the Yellow Pages!
  • The lessons he learned after joining the IAB family that every marketing agency should know
  • “Pulse studies” on changes in consumer consumption trends to media buyers/seller polls
  • The IAB’s Brand Disruption Summit
  • How to navigate through your Brand and Demand goals
  • The shift in how digital engagement is being accomplished
  • How IAB is helping in pushing cross-platform forward
  • Like his friend and recent Insider Interviews guest, Carl Fremont, Cohen has a pro-social personal mission. Hear how he — and ANA’s Bill Tucker — are helping push support of disadvantaged children.

Resources Mentioned:

Social Media Links:

Insider Interviews is on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Please share the podcast and share how smart you are about media, marketing and advertising! To reach out to be considered for an episode or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss — email podcasts@mossappeal.com. We’re “hear” for you!


VAB CEO Sean Cunningham on Why Video “Simply” Works



Sean Cunningham is the son of a radio personality and the husband of grammarian. That may be why he expresses himself so fluidly and works hard to offer clear explanations about the video landscape at the same time. Those personal aspects combined with deep professional experience in the ad industry and as a strategic media advisor help him helm the VAB, the source for insights-driven research and thought leadership about premium video. As its president and CEO, Sean is laser-focused on maximizing outcomes and championing the medium as a must-have for building high-value brands and driving growth.

It’s not easy in our changing environment, but the mantra at the organization is to simplify what is a very complex ecosystem and offer insights that help all those in the business of video to thrive. They’ve kept up a steady pace of conferences and reports even during trying times, even as consumers have made a steady diet of video during these at-home days.

In Episode 19 of Insider Interviews, Sean tells host E.B. Moss about the definition and best practices around marketing with premium video (spoiler alert: the VAB defines it as multi-screen content that’s professionally produced programming in any form — linear, tablet, laptop, mobile, etc.).

Sean and E.B. also discuss:

  • Our radio dads!…and what happens around Sean’s dinner table…
  • The lessons he learned on the agency side that all media sellers should know
  • The role of media in building your brand during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The power of including authentic messaging around diversity & inclusion
  • VAB and IAB – important bedfellows
  • The changes in consumer habits that marketers need to consider
  • How to put your best foot forward to advance a career in this industry.

Resources Mentioned:

Social Media Links:

Please share the podcast if you liked this episode, and follow Insider Interviews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

You can also reach out to be considered for an episode — or suggest questions or a guest — or to have your own bespoke podcast series produced and/or hosted by E.B. Moss. Email us at podcasts@mossappeal.com. We’re “hear” for you!


Andrea Palmer of PHM on Marketing Healthcare – with Innovation and a Conscience



Andrea Palmer, now President of Publicis Health Media (PHM) has wanted to be in Healthcare Marketing since her college days despite the field not always getting credit for being dynamic or embracing creativity. With PHM’s reputation for having their “finger on the pulse” (sorry), she’s proven those perceptions wrong and inspired many to follow or stick to the healthcare marketing path.

In Episode 18 of Insider Interviews, in which I perhaps sing again (umm, twice, I’m just sayin’) Palmer clearly demonstrates just how creative and important messaging around healthcare can and should be. It’s certainly an area that’s very top of mind with us all these days and Palmer makes it digestible. You’ll pick up on why she rose through the ranks quickly at PHM — the strategic media planning and buying agency within PHCG, and the only global media agency solely dedicated to the health and wellness space. This industry trailblazer of nearly 20 years shares what’s currently happening in the healthcare media space, along with some interesting projections from PHM’s prescient “Disruptors List.” Get the insider scoop on what inspiring innovations emerged from the “Shark Tank”-type element of their industry-convening Health Front, and what we should be concerned about.

Palmer is determined to ensure the right information is getting out there and helped drive home PHM’s mission to equip brands AND people with the tools and communications they need to make healthy decisions. We learn why it’s important to create content with conscience and why brands need to listen to other voices than their own.

What we talked about:

  • What’s happening in healthcare marketing
  • How a childhood illness put Palmer on the path to healthcare…and college led her to marketing
  • Health trends and disruptors
  • How PHM markets to consumers who’re apprehensive about embracing telehealth
  • How PHM helps its clients with being ‘the resource’ instead of Dr. Google
  • Defining the concept of Content with a Conscience
  • Facing down racism: communicating to diverse audiences and not just “to the mean”
  • How Palmer is advising her clients on approaches to ensure that health message is communicated well and heard by all cohorts and communities
  • Thinking about the bigger picture
  • Pushing for innovation in the health realm
  • The future of healthcare

And yes, I find a reason to close with a song…again.

 

Follow Andrea on Social Media

 Resources mentioned in the episode

PHM: Publicis Health Media

Health Front 2020

The Healthcare Industry’s Big Disruptors