Buddy Scalera of Ogilvy CommonHealth on Consumer Engagement

Optimized-MarketingBuddyMatchpoint brings together health industry leaders (“hosts”) and select innovative companies in structured 15-20 minute meetings. Traditionally, over 500+ applications are reviewed to identify 10-15 companies to meet with each host. These up close and personal meetings allow innovators to pilot, collaborate, and partner with interested stakeholders such as Kaiser, Aetna, Walgreen’s, Hewlett Packard, UnitedHealth, and Athena Health. Also at Matchpoint, workshops are offered so that our attendees can have an exclusive chance to participate in round table discussions with industry leaders. Of the leaders speaking, Buddy Scalera, SVP of content strategy and media at Ogilvy CommonHealth, will join us at the New York Times Building on June 25th at Matchpoint | East. Buddy, a long-time media veteran and content expert, discusses some insights into consumer engagement in the following Q &A.

Q. As a content strategist, how do you see emerging technologies affecting the way health information is communicated to people?

Buddy: Emerging channels and technologies provide new challenges and opportunities to communicate health message to patients. As a content strategist, I am working with clients to develop channel-agnostic content. Basically, we want to manage one instance of a content asset, pass it through a display layer, and have it work on multiple channels and devices. These days, we’re working a lot with UX professionals on responsive design projects, so that everything from your website to your ebook displays properly across platforms. And we’re not just thinking about today’s devices, we’re looking to create and manage content for devices that haven’t yet been invented.

Q. What changes have you seen in how people share their personal health information with social networks, various providers, and family members? How do you see this changing the way in which health content is relayed and communicated with audiences?

Buddy: Well, certainly online social networks have become much more important. Many people use Facebook and other sites for their primary news and recommendation feeds, so many people get health information directly from their trusted circle of friends. This is good and bad, since both accurate information and misinformation are shared in this ecosystem. It’s important for health communicators to provide accurate information that can be shared, so that people can share this with their friends and peers. We’re seeing really basic solutions like Infographics in timelines on Facebook. This means that people are sharing images that contain valuable information, so health communicators need to know how to use these tools to distribute accurate information. Everyone knows how to use Google for finding health information, but the real need is getting beyond the basic HTML website and delivering messages across multiple mediums. For example, some people learn best from video, so health communicators need to learn how to use the same channels that patients use.

Q. From your experience, what are three key points that health technology companies should keep in mind when trying to engage their audience?

Buddy: Tough to narrow down to just three. But let’s give it a try:

1. Remember that the information you provide is going to fit into a consumer’s personal learning “journey,” so you need to know how to engage them and move them along that journey. Your technology should have a linking strategy, so users don’t encounter dead ends.
2. Plan for maintenance. Channels and technology is constantly changing, so the days of “set it and forget it” are long over.
3. Get the health information right. Technology companies are good at QAing their development work, but many fail to get it vetted by medical professionals. Remember, a content mistake can damage someone’s health and well being.

Buddy Scalera, SVP of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, will moderate a panel on “Consumer Engagement: Translating Health Information for the General Public”. He will be joined by Inder Singh, CEO of Kinsa, Matthew Holt, Co-Chairman of Health 2.0, and Omar Haroun, Executive Director at Greatist. See Buddy’s blog about our Matchpoint Workshop here. 

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