Healthcare, Marketing in the Digital Creator Age | LSI USA '23


Bret Gregory

Bret Gregory

Founder, DrTalks
Jonathan Berent

Jonathan Berent

CEO, Founder, NextSense
Read Biography
Maureen Brown

Maureen Brown

CEO & Co-Founder, Mosie Baby
Soumya Dash

Soumya Dash

Co-Founder & CEO, Sleepiz
Juan Jiminez

Juan Jiminez

Co-Founder & CEO, Accurkardia
"Healthcare Marketing in the Digital Creator Age" explores how the healthcare industry can leverage digital marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage their potential audience.


Bret Gregory  0:08  

You're always going to need to be doing some kind of marketing in some way, shape or form. So that's what we're going to talk about today. And we're going to make this an interactive panel, we'd love your questions. So if you have questions, by all means, just raise your hand, and let us know what those questions are. And we're going to all introduce ourselves. So again, I'm Greg Gregory, the founder of Dr. Talks, and doctor talks is a media platform for doctors to get their patient education out to our 600,000 the patient ecosystem. So we're going to talk about how we do that how we help companies like you get in front of doctors or patients, and then I'm going to let the rest of our panelists introduce themselves. 


Maureen Brown  0:49  

So certainly, everyone, Maureen Brown, CEO and co founder Mosie Baby. And we have the first OTC discrimination kit to help people with somebody at home. I actually came to start that company after our own struggle to conceive and we ended up consuming our son is the first ones baby. We are currently direct to consumer now, but we will be expanding into healthcare channels in the coming year. And we have extended into retail recently, and so most ago, my experience has been in direct to consumer marketing, and having to share some of our experiences.


Soumya Dash  1:28  

My name is Soumya Dash. I'm the co founder and CEO of Sleepiz be raised in Zurich, Switzerland, a young company founded as a nonprofit good direct. We have done into your business models that you put next to bear in mind your sleep, and we help patients who are suffering from chronic respiratory disease to manage their chronic conditions. The first disease state that we started to tackle was sleep apnea. As you all probably know that if you have to get diagnosed for sleep apnea, we'll have to put tons of cables on your body and sleep in an unknown place. We are bringing a paradigm shift in the sleep apnea diagnostic ecosystem, where you put this small box next day bed and go to sleep. And we will be able to screen you for sleep apnea. And we also help you manage the chronic condition as you continue the therapeutic pathway. We started out with reaching out to doctors for our early commercialization stage. Okay. However soon we realize that the pain point or the main pain point or is being faced by the patients themselves, they are the one who has to go through those wires or cables to lesser traumatic experiences. And we changed our focus and we focused on patients directly. And we use the direct to patient approach to create awareness around this new methodology to get screened directly at home. And within one year of launch in Switzerland, we have screened Around 4000 people already.


Bret Gregory  2:54  

Amazing. Thank you. Let's go to Jonathan,


Jonathan Berent  2:56  

Jonathan Berent CEO and founder of NextSense, we spun out of Google initially with a reading the brain platform through a pair of earbuds. So we wanted to galvanize Pharmaceutical Research and realize there's no holter monitor for the brain. And lots of neurological trials are fraught with challenges with placebo effect or getting the right targeted patients. And so we have a b2b side that I'll talk a little bit about how we reach the pharmaceutical industry. But also we have a stimulation side where we have our own therapeutic. And so what I'm wearing around my neck is also a pair of earbuds. But this stimulates the vagus nerve, and we have breakthrough designation for postpartum depression. And that'll be our first indication. Maybe as you know, vagus nerve stimulation has been effective for depression, epilepsy, and other conditions. But it's mostly been invasive with companies like libre Nova paving the way but again, ours is through a pair of ear buds and is non invasive. And so eventually, once we have our breakthrough and approval, we'll be marketing to doctors and trying to get the word out there to


Bret Gregory  3:57  

Fantastic, Juan.


Juan C. Jimenez  3:59  

Good morning. I'm AccurKardia as co founder and CEO of IQ cardio. In IQ cardio, we have built a device agnostic ECG interpretation platform for clinical and consumer devices perform their analysis. We are a seed stage, seed stage company, and we have filed our first I think, a few months ago, and we're going to be able to share my my experience about pre FDA marketing.


Bret Gregory  4:23  

Great, well, why don't we start with you. So again, each one of these companies are at different stages of who they would market to. And so let's start with one. So pre FDA approval marketing. So who are you marketing to? Who's your target audience and how are you doing it?


Juan C. Jimenez  4:39  

Given the we have the A we have to be very cautious how we how we market via social media or massive media. So our focus has been on target and key opinion leaders in academia, medical centers and the med device industry. Given that our initial plans are to go direct b2b rather than direct Consumer will use forums like this one to meet key potential partners, which initially are device makers, remote patient monitoring companies and telehealth service providers.


Bret Gregory  5:12  

And then when you meet those key opinion leaders, how do you work with them to effectively get the word out about your product,


Juan C. Jimenez  5:20  

what we do is show the show the performance of our product, we let them try it and tested and see how we can perform visa vie what they're used to. So I think the best marketing tool for any pre revenue, pre FDA clearance companies to show performance of the product, and validation, you can say as many things as you want. But if you don't have data to support your claims, it will be very difficult to influence key opinion leaders.


Bret Gregory  5:44  

And then what do you how do you get those key opinion leaders then to spread the word? How do you how do you follow up with them to get them to actually share your the information about your company?


Juan C. Jimenez  5:57  

Sure, once you you share your the your product, your performance and how we can solve the pain points that these key opinion leaders are having, for example, the ECG interpretation space for cardiology is waiting two or three or even week two or three days or even weeks to get their data and see that they can have an alternative in a matter of minutes rather than days. So it's it mark is by itself. So I think it's showing your product and he can do what he can do and cannot do as well as its performance is the best way to to motivate a key opinion leader to use the product. Do research on polegate.


Bret Gregory  6:33  

Fantastic. Well, let's stay on that key opinion leader. So how are Jonathan? How are you using key opinion leaders or perhaps influencers?


Jonathan Berent  6:42  

Were so we started in the epilepsy space as we were reading the brainwaves. And so we reached out to folks like Jackie French from Epilepsy Foundation and the advocacy groups and show them the data that we've collected. Of course, we targeted certain conferences. So we've done poster sessions at as the last couple years. And then as you mentioned, you know, getting peer reviewed journal articles published and so for that side, that's kind of been our approach. Now, because the depression is new for us. We're actually seeking those out key opinion leaders in depression and postpartum depression in particular,


Bret Gregory  7:18  

Can I get a show of hands of who would be looking for key opinion leaders to help you market and sell your products? Raise your hand if you're looking for that? All right, fantastic. Okay, this is great. Why don't you share with us how you're using working with key opinion leaders and influencers?


Soumya Dash  7:35  

In the medical device space, I think your opinion leaders play a very, very critical role. Okay. And I agree with what we just said about showing performance and about your product. And more importantly, in focusing on the problem that you're solving. Okay. Not all key opinion leader will resonate with with the problem, okay. In our case, we were solving the problem of a patient, we were not necessarily increasing the revenue for the doctors, okay, no one is going to use their sleep lab. But there are key opinion leaders who empathize with the patients who drive the change, okay, you need to identify the right key opinion, you need to resonate with them. Okay. And once they see that, okay, they will be your brand ambassador,


Bret Gregory  8:18  

I totally agree with that I find I find if you can find a key opinion leader who is passionate about your service, that is, in my opinion, far more powerful than if a passionate person with a much smaller following is better than a non passionate person with a much larger following every time.


Soumya Dash  8:37  

It took us some time, but we were able to get to them again, once we got them and we knew it. Now they sit on our current medical advisory board, okay, they really understand our thesis and they resonate with us. And we have been doing reasonably well in that sector.


Bret Gregory  8:53  

Fantastic. And Maureen.


Maureen Brown  8:55  

Sure. So second, very much what you're you're just saying But ultimately, I'll take kind of another approach to add on here. So for us, we're working in a very stigmatized space a lot of people don't talk about struggle to conceive that's fertility, fertility, but more importantly like the actual insemination right intercourse if you're struggling to have intercourse, either through painful intercourse or a lot of men have erectile issues now that sometimes are situational dependent on the stress of time intercourse. And so these are these are things that people are just not talking about, really. So for us what we really found to be critical for our growth and our success, we now have sold 100,000 kits was empowering our community to feel safe and comfortable sharing their stories. And so we you know, that it's it's valuable and important to have the key opinion leaders and it's also valuable important to empower the people who are utilizing your your product, be it you know, obviously a patient who maybe you have access to or you don't have access to, but informing them in such a way where they have language, to speak knowledgeably about your product, and also feel confident in the use of the product. So we did that by working very closely with our first, you know, early adopters and making sure that we were answering all their questions and getting to, to understand what the immediate questions people have. So we could build language around that frequently asked questions, and then just continuing down that path, to provide information so that everyone who came across our product had the ability to understand it, and speak to it as a user. And then we continue to empower them through social media. And now we have people who feel very comfortable saying, you know, hey, we're going to Mosie this weekend, because it's become a thing where people feel confident enough to say, you know, we're going to try to inseminate this weekend. So, you know, I think that that, and that's happened over a matter of years. For us, it didn't happen overnight. This was something that we just continued to work very closely with, and be in contact with, personally as the founder, with our users, our end users. And that actually has really helped with the key opinion leaders, because those folks at first didn't know what to make of us. And they weren't sure if this was a thing. And they weren't, you know, well, why would people do that when they can do IVF? Or why would they do that when they can do IUI. And, and some people absolutely need those procedures. But a large number of people were overlooked. And they didn't realize how many people weren't sharing their problems. And so now they see, oh, they're there. They're not doctors are not typically asking about your sex life when you're trying to conceive. So now they have these patients coming in and saying, Well, we had success with Mosie. So this has changed our momentum, and that we now have inbound from physicians. Wow. So it's something where I say don't overlook, you know, direct contact with your end users, or patients or consumers, because they ultimately are your voice. And the more you can give them, empower them with understanding of your product. So they feel very confident and can speak to it. I think that will only lead to further success.


Bret Gregory  12:06  

I think in this digital age, a lot of people forget about word of mouth marketing, but that is still by far one of the most powerful forms of marketing out there. And also, a lot of us cannot use customer testimonials. We're just barred from it. But there's something different that the customers are free to share their own success stories, whether that's b2b or b2c, they can do that all day long. And interestingly, word of mouth marketing, if you leverage it properly, can be done digitally. And you can a lot of these customers, especially if they have their own big following, perhaps they're their own influencers, they are allowed to share their experience on social media, or with you know, whether it's peer to peer. And that we found that to be really effective, and particularly for us at doctor talks. When we're looking we want to try and get when we put on a heart disease Summit, we want to try to find a premier cardiologist, and we want them to bring in their own their other cardiologist friends, and that happens through word of mouth marketing, yet it's done online, so it becomes much more powerful. Excuse me, why don't we talk a little bit about what are some of your most successful marketing activities? And actually, why don't we start with one. So out of all the marketing activities that you've done, what's the most successful one you can think of?


Juan C. Jimenez  13:28  

for us has been participating in events like this one, we have selected every year, the beginning of the year, we select the events, we're going to participate throughout the year. And we will choose events that we could meet our potential target customers or key opinion leaders, such as device makers, remote patient monitoring companies, as well as members of academia. So events like this one on on events, like more scientific oriented has been helpful for us as we create more clinical validation and spread the word out. Awesome.


Jonathan Berent  14:04  

breadwinner give you one plus one, I'm gonna give you a bonus if that's okay. But absolutely. So I think what set the stage is early on, we did hire a PR firm. I think when I think about marketing, I think of PR branding, messaging and lead gen. And so I think early days would be an encouragement. They were actually the firm that launched Siri and one of our advisors, you know, introduce us. They help us with a Hello World story is how they called it and got in touch with different journalists. And so Steven Levy actually started taking interest from Wired, he followed us, we made him some earbuds he took a nap. I showed him his brainwaves. And he wrote a fantastic piece for us. Amazing. So that was that was fortunate. But you know, we had to do some work,


Bret Gregory  14:43  

but it was more Yeah, it was more than fortunate. You You made that happen to Why don't you talk specifics?


Jonathan Berent  14:48  

Yeah. So I think that you know, you if unless you have those relationships with journalists, you do need somebody and so that's where, you know if if people are looking for a good firm I you know, I can't say enough good things about JDI. But then they told me it's a JB, you know, Steven is going to write whatever he's going to write. And so we'll make the introduction, but it's up for you to build trust with him. And so I was transparent, I, you know, I wasn't just selling him, you know, I was letting him be a part of it. And if something wasn't going well, I gave him exposure to my team. So I think that authenticity and building trust was good. And so that sort of led to what our our most successful campaign is. Now, remember, for our reading the brain side, we market to pharma companies, and a Wired article is nice. And it shows that you're maybe a real company that has promised, but we had to find a way to scale the reach out. And so I've ran AdWords teams, which is basically digital marketing for Google in the Americas, about seven, eight years ago. And so I hired my top guy from that to come and really build a digital marketing campaign. And so every week, we're sending out about 2000 emails, has my name attached, they're kind of, you know, you might think that they're a little cheeky, but like, you have to get attention. And so it's a drip marketing campaign, we use a company called the vet group to sort of run that for us. And you'd be surprised what a $50, Morton's you know, steak gift card, or DoorDash card will do. And we'll say I just want seven minutes of your time. And, you know, we we get hundreds of opens, and then it leads to about one to two qualified meetings a week, and all five meetings with pharma with pharma. So we, you have to know who you're targeting. So we know that anybody with digital innovation, or digital lead in a pharma company is a good target for us. So, you know, we populated the drip marketing campaign with that, you know, we send them emails every two or three weeks. And, and then, you know, once we, once we get them, we know, to your point, the data speaks for itself, the waveforms are beautiful that we collect. And so they are our surprise, they hadn't heard of us, right. And so I do think that for b2b, digital marketing, and having some sort of scaled approach can be very effective.


Bret Gregory  16:56  

And just by show of hands, how many here are b2b type marketing? Who needs to reach out? Okay, I see a few in the back. Okay, great. Thank you. Wonderful. So what are some of your most your most successful campaigns actually,


Soumya Dash  17:10  

for us, working with a PR company worked very well. Okay, I can totally resonate with that. When we decided to go direct to patient. We also partnered with a PR company in Switzerland, okay. And they basically explained us, you know, how this entire space work


Bret Gregory  17:28  

And how many how many patients do you have at this point for 4000 4000? Okay, great.


Soumya Dash  17:34  

So we started with them again, and they kind of explained us, you know, how this entire space works. Okay. There, you know, that was the actual the whole hello world that you have, when you went before I still remember the first time was talking to the PR person, okay? And he was like, okay, just tell me your story. And why did you do it? And and I was telling him with, with my entire passion that, you know, why the hell did we build it? And he was just looking at me, I think I continued talking for 30 days. And at the end, he says that, you've got an amazing story, okay, this is what you're going to tell. And then we are building and as an entrepreneurs, we are solving a problem, we understand the depth of the problem. And as we tried to explain that, okay, and this PR company actually helped us shape that particular messaging, okay, how we are actually helping them, okay. And we basically, you know, went out there, and he connected us with a lot of very influenced journalists, okay, who again, tried our product, our service, and then they wrote a very nice piece, okay, which really put us in a, in a very good point, that we were struggling for next three months to service, our customers in too many customers. And there was like, a high intensity load that we had, again, we had to be prepared. But at the same time, I resonate with what you said that these early days I care, we were not expecting so many of them, okay, and then when they come and if the experience is not good, you're gonna get negative publicity, okay. So that also is something you have to be very, very careful of, we did manage to to fulfill those orders, okay, had it been slightly more, I think we would have basically given a very bad image of the company with not being able to fulfill our delivery times where, you know, kind of very, very long. But that was that was very nice, let's say, outcome of the PR campaign that we had, but slowly we followed on towards the customer stories, okay, as of today, what really drives sleepiest is customer stories. We have now created forums where customers cannot talk about them, okay. They can tell their story, how they have used this particular product and services, and how that's basically changing their life. And that we have seen has been consistently driving a lot of people towards Sleepiz. And whenever we fulfill an order what we want Also keep in mind is we do tell them to take the report to the doctor. Yeah. Okay. So we encourage them go and talk to the doctor with this report, okay? And discuss your case. And that also gives them more and more trust that they can take to their own doctor, okay, discuss that. And we receive a phone call from the doctor is like, I like what you guys do, can I use your service for all of my patients and boom, this is how we are building our doctors funnel, which was non existent before. And when we tried to sell them in the beginning, no one was even talking to us like, what the hell. But now we are able to, you know, focus on the patient, okay, where we are solving a critical problem for the patients, and through them are building our pipeline of doctors, who are now then becoming a lighthouse to more and more patients, okay. In this case, we are also able to manage the digital ad spend that we are having, and are building a more reliable, sustainable growth, for us.


Bret Gregory  21:01  

though, it's a great demonstration of word of mouth marketing done digitally by creating a forum and how do you just very quickly, how do you deal with privacy issues around that forum?


Soumya Dash  21:12  

So we do not moderate the forum's okay? This is again, you know, goes for the patients who are willing to come forward and talk not all are willing to do that. Some are willing to do that, because they resonate with a problem strongly, okay, so much so that we get wine bottles shipped to our offices with a note, and the Swiss chocolate.


Bret Gregory  21:34  

 it's a good sign, and Maureen most successful marketing campaigns. 


Maureen Brown  21:39  

So I'll talk about our most successful and also I want to speak to a PR because we also thought, oh, PR, we have great story, everybody's gonna want to write about us, and we got a PR person in the beginning and no, like, we got no heads, we got nothing. But ultimately, what I found was that exercise was really good exercise for us, because they do work with you on key messaging, we were able to kind of hone in on what our story was, and get it in kind of these little blurbs and pitches. And for us, that was a helpful exercise, even though really honestly, in the very beginning it like, did not result in much. So I just kind of a word of caution that, you know, I think there's a high expectation sometimes for PR. But honestly, there's other routes for earned media and you can you can find other pathways. But for us the most successful was honestly wanting to celebrate success with our our families, the people who had had success and conceive with our kids. So we start, you know, out of instinct, just so excited from our first our reported pregnancies, we just wanted to send them a baby. And we didn't have anything at the time. So we created a onesie. And so we started sending onesies out and then eventually people started, you know, taking pictures of their babies, and putting it on social media and hashtagging and all of that. And so now we have a whole system worked out for people to order their onesies. And it's been the the best, you know, word of mouth campaign for us. Because it really where we come from is we want to celebrate the love that it took to make this baby. And obviously a lot of people who are using our products have experienced some emotional challenges as well to creating their family. And we want to make sure that they are feeling this, you know, this feeling of love when it comes to their creation story of their family. And one way to do that is to celebrate it with joy and love and so that we have onesies that say made with love. And that was you know, a way for us to just empower them and celebrate them. And many baby, we have many, many baby photos now, which is great for user generated content that you can then recycle into, you know, other places, but of course, what their position permission. So that's something where, you know, it kind of created this cycle for us and, and they're really sweet baby pictures, which who doesn't want to see you know, which we love.


Bret Gregory  24:13  

Another great example of how to get your customers to generate more customers for you word of mouth marketing online. And again, because so many of us can't use customer testimonials, or we can't we can't share the customer success stories, but the customers certainly can. And if you can empower them, encourage them to share again, even if it's peer to peer, b2b, you can get them to share their own cause success stories. For us a doctor talks had been in online marketing in the healthcare space for almost 15 years. And I feel like I tried every different type of healthcare marketing, b2b b2c, and the one type of marketing that worked best for us and our physician and clinics was doing an online Summit. So we would produce a for cancer clinic or a cancer doctor, that would be a customer of ours, we would produce an online cancer summit where one doctor, cardiologists would pre record 40 interviews with 40 other physicians, and then all that now would take about 10 months to produce some pre record. And then all of the doctors at the same time would send an email invitation to their full Patient List. For the people to register for the summit for free, the summits are free to register and free to attend for a limited time. And that would result on the small side 25,000 patients would register for a summit, the large ones 120,000 would register for a summit. And we found that we could do this in pretty much any condition whether it was Alzheimer's, autoimmune, any any major health condition, this format would work. And that also really generated a tremendous amount of peer to peer marketing, because the doctors would all bring their friends to come and speak on the summit's. So it was a great viral way to do marketing, that we didn't have to buy any ads, we didn't have to do a lot of the typical online marketing things that you would think. And now we have a 600,000 patient email list. So we found that it works pretty well. In our last two minutes, we're gonna go down really quickly and let us know what is your greatest challenge you think you're facing so probably 30 seconds a piece? Let's start with one.


Juan C. Jimenez  26:36  

I think the greatest challenge is, for a company where size is overcoming this balance between what you can say I cannot say as a pre FDA clear product, I believe that reaching out the broader audience of customers potential investors as a seed stage preclearance is, is the biggest challenge. So that's why our initial focus was on regulatory, right product and regulatory and validation. And hopefully, by the end of the summer, we'll be able to be more open out there. Once the FDA provides a clearance we're looking for


Bret Gregory  27:12  

Wonderful. 30 seconds, Jonathan,


Jonathan Berent  27:14  

I think, you know, honestly, if I had known about Dr. tox, I might have taken a slightly different approach because he was daunting, how do I get to 18,000 neurologists. And so that's why we chose pharma because I didn't know how I was going to get to those folks. But now for postpartum depression, I don't have a choice, I'm going to have to find a way to get to those folks. .


Soumya Dash  27:33  

For us, it has been a language that has been a significant barrier, because you will have to create the content. So in in Europe, there are different countries, different languages. Switzerland itself has four languages, okay. And we want the story to be authentic, and it can only be authentic when it is coming from the native native language. Wow. Now when we have to scale to different languages and reproduce that it's, that's a challenge for us. I think this is something we can tackle. But this is our greatest challenge at the moment.


Bret Gregory  28:04  

Thank you. Mosie Baby.


Maureen Brown  28:05  

So ours is awareness. We're creating a space for the first to create this space for home insemination. And in the United States, people still just don't even know that that's a thing or an option. And so for us, that's still our greatest challenge.


Bret Gregory  28:18  

And for doctor talks, we're always looking for doctors with large email lists. And there's there's a limited number of those, although we've been pretty successful finding those. That's always our biggest challenge. So for all of you out there, remember, there's all different you're at all different stages of marketing, and hopefully you have gotten some great information. We had this incredible panel here. Thank you all very much for your insights and your time. Hopefully you benefited from it and we're out of time. Thank you so much. 


Group  28:48  

Thank you


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