048 | Driving HealthTech Demand in the Telehealth Crowd | Samantha Bergin of 98point6 | Studio CMO

Podcast by | April 16, 2021 Automation and Lead Flow, Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy

About Our Guest

Samantha Bergin is the chief marketing officer at 98point6, an on-demand digital primary care service founded in 2015 and headquartered in Seattle, Wash. Sam’s nearly 25-year career centers around building and growing technology brands. Prior to 98point6, she served as vice president of marketing at Cozi, Inc., which was acquired by Time Inc. and is now owned by Meredith Corporation. Under her leadership, Cozi became one of the top 10-grossing productivity apps in both iTunes and Google Play. Sam also worked in product management at Amazon, Microsoft, and Visio Corporation. She holds a BA in business from the University of Maryland and an MBA in marketing from Wake Forest University.

She was a member of a three-person panel presenting their companies’ new products at the 2020 Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit.

Sam is originally from Brazil and is a competitive equestrian in the sport of three-day eventing.

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Show Notes

The pandemic accelerated the need for people to have access to care when they couldn’t get it in person. That acceleration of comfort and awareness catapulted our category into a completely different stage. And it’s been really a privilege to be able to serve so many in a time of heightened need. —Sam Bergin

How 98point6 Differentiates Itself Against Other Telehealth Solutions

  • Address the friction in the market—98point6 is not traditional telehealth
  • Talk about the elephant in the room—less than half of millennials have a relationship with a primary care physician.
  • Find a way to answer the pressing questions—content can win the day.

Samantha mentioned the COVID resource page they developed as part of their content strategy. Scroll to the bottom to view the PDF collection we discussed.

Breaking Down their Three-City Test of an Upper-Funnel, Demand Generation Campaign

98point6 cooperated with a media buyer to develop a B2B campaign targeting C-level executives in three cities with a high concentration of large employers. The express purpose of the campaign is to get the executives to ask the question, “Are we talking to 98point6 and, if not, why not?” The media assets drive inbound traffic.

The campaign includes:

  • connected TV
  • NPR
  • cable advertising on news programs at highly targeted dayparts
  • talk radio

Check out one of their connected TV commercials.



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John Farkas (00:00):

If we’ve said it once in the context of our conversations here, we’ve said it a hundred times now, what COVID has done to propel things forward and change the game for the HealthTech universe is unlike anything that has come before. And no other realm has seen that expansion and that openness and that transformation in how receptive the market has been to the conversation than the area of telehealth. It has been a huge change. That’s great. And it means there’s a whole lot going on in the conversation. A whole lot of people in it, a whole lot of people trying to win it, and a whole lot of different angles coming at a lot of the same buyers, talking about how we can engage our populations in better, in different ways in this new world order that we’re experiencing. It all comes down to differentiation. It comes down to carving a clear channel in the market that you can engage through to give people a great view of what it is that you’re doing. What is the benefit you’re bringing? It’s a hard task and it’s more important now than ever in many aspects of telehealth. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today on Studio CMO.

Mark Whitlock (01:34):

Hey that Scott Dente at 20 minutes after the hour here on 98point6, you’re listening to John, Mark, and Anna in the morning. We’re at 79 degrees headed it up to 87… Oh, wait a minute. I’m doing my wrong job. Hi Mark Whitlock here on Studio CMO. And you will find out why I did my morning DJ routine here in just a minute. We’re glad you’re on board with us today. You’re listening to the podcast that HealthTech marketers come to to figure out how they can build their demand generation and how can they can differentiate themselves in the marketplace that much better. This podcast is brought to you by the agency, Golden Spiral led by John Farkas, our CEO and chief storyteller. John, did you ever think you’d do morning radio?

John Farkas (02:19):

I never ever thought about doing morning radio, but I’m glad you have Mark.

Mark Whitlock (02:24):

And, uh, Anna Grimes. My sidekick is here along with us. She’s an account manager for us and does a fantastic job of, of serving our clients and helping them achieve their goals. Anna, how about you? Did you ever think about radio?

Anna Grimes (02:35):

Never. Never, never, never, but I will say this Mark, when I first met you, I didn’t even need to know that you had been in radio because you had such a radio voice. And then when I did find out that you had indeed been in radio, I was like, well, yeah

Mark Whitlock (02:49):

Well, my college professors would be proud that they beat all of my accent out of me, for sure.

Anna Grimes (02:56):

Well, I’m delighted to be here.

Mark Whitlock (02:58):

And we’re glad you’re here. And Anna, why don’t you tell us why 98point6 is even a part of the discussion?

Anna Grimes (03:03):

Why 98point6 as part of the discussion is because today we have Samantha Bergin as our guest. She is the chief marketing officer for 98point6, an on-demand digital primary care service founded about six years ago in Seattle. Sam’s nearly 25 year career centers around building and growing tech brands. And, uh, prior to 98point6, she served as vice president of marketing at Cozi, Inc, which was acquired by time and is now owned by Meredith corporation. Love, Cozi, great, great app. Um, under her leadership Cozi became one of the top 10 grossing productivity apps in both iTunes and Google Play. She’s also worked in product management at Amazon, Microsoft and Visio corporation. She holds a BA in business from the university of Maryland, “Go Terrapins,” and an MBA in marketing from Wake Forest University, home, of course, to the Demon Deacons. Um, she she’s originally from Brazil and is a competitive equestrian in the sport of three-day eventing, which is, I think Sam kind of like an equestrian triathlon—dressage show jumping and what looks like steeplechasing or something. Yeah. So welcome Sam,

Samantha Bergin (04:23):

Thank you so much for having me I’m thrilled to be here. And I also need to share that in our brand training, which we brand train every single individual that comes to 98point6. And we talk about what our elevator pitch is. I always tell them, when you say that you work at 98point6 and somebody asks you, if you work at a radio station, you tell them no, actually, fun fact, radio stations and in odd numbers. So no, I don’t work at a radio station.

Anna Grimes (04:55):

I did not know that.

Mark Whitlock (04:57):

Hey, so Sam tell us quickly since you, I love the fact that you guys brand train every employee that you’re onboarding. That is awesome. So what would be the first couple of sentences? How would you describe who 98point6 is to somebody who’s never heard of the company?

Samantha Bergin (05:11):

So we are on demand text-based primary care. So the same way that you are accustomed to getting the majority of your services today on demand via the convenience of your mobile device that we all have within arm’s reach pretty much 24 hours a day. Why not healthcare? That’s who we are. We are not foregoing quality of care in order to bring you convenience.

John Farkas (05:35):

Awesome. So I am so much Sam that I’m eager to talk to you about today. Um, because, you know, as I said earlier, there’s not been a faster changing arena in the healthcare landscape than anything related to in any way. telehealth and I just got to ask if you were to put in a short description, how things have changed between let’s say 18 months ago, and now in the world of market awareness for solutions in your universe, what’s happened. What’s that been like?

Samantha Bergin (06:15):

It has been an acceleration, like none other, not something we could have predicted. So the kind of comfort and, um, willingness to trial, non in person care, you know, something that’s been around for over a decade and something that traditionally has not had very high utilization overall, right? Not something that everyone has tried. Well, the pandemic and the accelerated need for people to have access to care when they couldn’t get it in person. And people had, you know, heightened concern for anything they were feeling, they were being concerned that potentially they had COVID they needed access to care. And so it truly accelerated the comfort and awareness around non in person care, remote care, traditional telemedicine, you know, all of these different ways that we talk about the ability to get care. That’s not in person. And so that acceleration of comfort, um, has really catapulted our category into a completely different stage. And it’s been really a privilege to be able to serve so many in a time of heightened need.

John Farkas (07:21):

So clearly world events conspired to open up a conversation where you, before that point, we’re almost certainly experiencing some friction in the market and people just being hesitant, not necessarily understanding, not necessarily wanting to forgo the quote unquote personal touch that they’ve been accustomed to in doing things traditional ways. All of a sudden you get gifted, a paradigm shift that opens a door. So that’s on the good side. How have you guys worked to take that baton and run with it?

Samantha Bergin (07:59):

Yeah, the way I like to think about it is a certain percentage of the population today has a relationship with primary care. But if you look at different segments of the population like millennials today, less than half of them have an existing relationship with a primary care physician, there is no relationship. It’s not something that people have sought out to develop. Like if you look back 20, 30, 40 years, you know, when somebody asks you who your primary care physician is, you know them. Like my wedding, when I got married, I’m not going to share my age and when that happened, but my physician was at my wedding. Like I don’t think that’s very normal anymore. And I think that what we are trying to do is we’re trying to bring the primary care, the notion of primary care of old to modern age and bringing that ongoing relationship.

Samantha Bergin (08:45):

I mean, primary care is meant to be quarterback of care. It’s meant to be your first stop to make sure you’re getting care by the right provider at the right time. And so are kind of bringing that into a modern, accessible, affordable way. And so, yes, there are folks that have relationships with primary care today, and we are in a complimentary aspect to their healthcare assets for others that have no relationship at all. We are excited to help them build a relationship, you know, an ongoing kind of partner in their health. So we don’t just think about the folks that have a relationship today and just being a complimentary asset to whatever they’re going to access for their needs, but also to those folks that are going without care and then ultimately end up in higher cost care downstream, right? That’s what we’re trying to assist with at the end of the day, we’re solving a different problem.

Samantha Bergin (09:39):

Like you talked about how are you competing? Like you’re meeting obstacles. We absolutely are, but we are solving a different problem than others in our space. What we are setting out to do is we are applying technology to the practice of medicine in order to lower the cost of care delivery. And then we’re passing on those savings to everyone that we serve. So we are pairing board certified physicians with AI and machine learning that allows them to kind of highly leverage, highly optimize their time to diagnose and treat patients. And because it’s a text-based modality, they are actually able to care for multiple patients at once, you know, cause there’s different parts of the visit where you are, uh, connecting with the automated assistant to gather chief complaints. And so a physician could be seeing another patient. So it basically allows them to extend their reach and treat more patients in a given day.

Samantha Bergin (10:37):

And ultimately that also lowers the cost of care delivery. And then we pass on those savings. So we’re basically solving a different problem. We are lowering the cost of care in order to improve access. And it also happens to improve other things too. The very, very cool thing about text-based care is that we are basically in the room with every visit. So our quality assurance programs, our ability to standardized care plans is at a whole different level than traditional kind of brick and mortar care. So our chief medical officer, the other CMO at 98point6, he loves to talk about this idea of being in the room with every visit and allowing us to kind of study and improve upon a standard of care for a given condition,

John Farkas (11:23):

Knowing that you have a strong value to bring and knowing that there was all of a sudden this open door looking at how you took that open door from a marketing perspective, knowing that people were more open than they had been and more accepting of the story. What were some of the things that you were able to do in that kind of magic window that helped put the story forward?

Samantha Bergin (11:48):

We wanted to be a source of truth, not only for our customers and partners, but also for the community. And so we wanted to provide ongoing education and the latest information and the most convenient way both through our employers and health plan customers, ultimately to their employees, dependents members. And so we provided a whole lot of education and content. One of the things that quickly changed from a marketing perspectives in terms of budgeting even is that a lot of our dollars, you know, events went virtual. Um, so a lot of the things that we were basically investing in in order to drive awareness very quickly, went away. A lot of those dollars, probably the majority of those dollars turned into content. And that’s where we really doubled and tripled down because we wanted to provide education and source of truth for our patients and our community and our partners, our employers and health plans that we work with.

Samantha Bergin (12:46):

And so we really upped that we actually have a page on our website that has all of these PDFs and because we have an incredible number of doctors with different perspectives, we kind of featured a different doctor answering a bunch of questions that we were hearing from the market, or basically providing the source of truth for things that maybe weren’t or confusion that was happening in the market, right? Like are masks helpful or not helpful? Can I touch packages that get delivered to my front door? Like all of these things and they were changing daily, weekly, right? And so we wanted to provide answers. And so that’s what we look to do is really to educate and provide a source of truth to our members because they were eager in seeking it. And we even got invited. We had some of our doctors that got invited to town halls for their employees to ask questions.

Samantha Bergin (13:35):

There was a lot of curiosity, a lot people who want to good information. And so, um, our doctors attended those, like we would offer those up. Um, we even did a Facebook live event with our CMO, Dr. Brad, younger, in answering live questions that were coming in. Um, we promoted that to our partners and to our employer clients and offered them to come and join the conversation as well and ask questions. So that was one of the things that we very much did is just providing education and a source of truth, um, to make sure that people felt they had the knowledge and the information that they needed to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

John Farkas (14:14):

So Sam, you were, you weren’t trying to sell you, you were trying to inform, you were trying to bring your brand forward by giving people information that they needed it. You weren’t handing them a sales brochure or a sales, sorry, I don’t know what a brochure is anymore. You weren’t sending them a PDF that told them what it meant to jump in with 98point6. You were just helping them being a resource for their employees, being resource for your members, not worrying about the sales conversation per se.

Samantha Bergin (14:45):

You got it. Our entire driving kind of force behind doing this was to and give people knowledge and then allow them to make whatever decision was best for themselves and their families. And ultimately what it is that it did drive awareness and the fact that they had access to 98point6, you know, maybe it was something they had not been aware of before, but now there was heightened interest in the category and the ability to get non in person care. And then they were receiving this helpful, knowledgeable, timely, consistent information through their employer, through their plan, through their regular communication channels. That’s one of the benefits of, of doing kind of B to B to C marketing, is that it’s coming through an entity that you have an ongoing relationship or association with. It’s one of the benefits ultimately of working and collaborating with our B2B partners.

John Farkas (15:35):

Okay. So we, we have this wide open conversation in the context of COVID, you’re bringing a service that is being put in the tele-health category and it’s different. There’s other stuff going on. You would lie that you’re wanting to help people understand. So in the midst of this fray where everybody’s talking about it, your people in your organization are being invited to speak about telehealth. All of a sudden, you know, stuff is going on where there’s interest, where there hasn’t been, and you’re not Teladoc, you’re not one of the other, you know, big players in the space. There’s something that you’re doing this fundamentally different. How do you carve that understanding what did you do to set yourself apart? Because that’s an important conversation when there’s so much being talked about in that space.

Samantha Bergin (16:31):

That’s exactly right. It’s a very challenging marketing question. You know, when you are getting inundated with so much choice, also the other key component of that is that pretty much everyone that we are selling to in a commercial way today already has the majority, I’d say 80, 80% plus 85%, plus they already have a telehealth or telemedicine solution in place. So not only is it a marketing challenge to differentiate ourselves from the alternatives out there, it’s also a marketing challenge to differentiate us from what they are already experiencing today because the majority of them already have some sort of solution in place for their given populations. So one of the most important aspects of making sure you are getting across a relevant messages to truly understand all of the different audiences that you are selling or marketing to and understanding what are the things that keep them up at night.

Samantha Bergin (17:28):

So in a given employer, they have multiple folks that are helping make a decision. They have often a consultant that is guiding them and helping shape their benefits packages for their employees. In a health system, you’re talking to multiple different players in a health plan. You’re talking to multiple different players, whether it be, you know, a CFO and a CIO, in addition to, you know, their head of benefits and folks that are really making decisions on how best to compose a plan for their customers. And so there are multiple players and really understanding kind of those nuances and what it is they are trying to solve the things that are keeping them up at night.

John Farkas (18:05):

How are some of the ways that you are getting at the real problems?

Samantha Bergin (18:08):

Literally, what am I delivering,

John Farkas (18:10):

What are some things that you’re doing to mine that?

Samantha Bergin (18:13):

And really what we’re doing is we’re getting very clear about what are the key elements of differentiation that are landing through our sales conversations, through ongoing work that we do with partners. We have a sense of kind of the top things that really set us apart. And so now, you know, very tactically, like what we are doing is we’re delivering materials around that. So we are redesigning our core sales decks for each of the audiences that we sell into. And we are making sure that we are very, very clear in not only our value proposition, but what are the problems that we are solving that we know are hot buttons for you, and what are we doing in terms of value that we’re seeing from our existing customers today that are similar to you in size in industry. And here’s what we’re seeing in terms of performance, because at the end of the day, it’s about driving utilization of a service that everyone needs access to.

Samantha Bergin (19:11):

And by using that service, you’re ultimately lowering the total cost of care for the given population. So only through using the service or you kind of see some of the value from it, if that makes sense. It’s a really interesting way to think about that. And so really, really being clear through our sell in process and ourselves through process, what we’re seeing from other employers or plans that are similar to yours, another way that we are doing this is by creating papers, by creating again, back to the, the, the content marketing investment. Um, but in, in this regard, that’s more on sales, collateral, white papers case studies that we can publish and ultimately share with prospects through the sales process. One of the ones we recently created is the value of primary care and why that is so important because that’s one of our differentiators is ultimately we’re providing longitudinal care.

Samantha Bergin (20:02):

We’re providing care in sickness and in wellness, right? Part of primary care is prevention. And so really describing what that means. Another one is our kind of membership based approach to care. So we have a different pricing model. Our mission as a business is to deliver affordable care to every human on earth, without requiring them to make a financial trade off to get it. And so, yes, we’re starting in the U S and yes, for specifically starting, you know, through employers, through health plans and through health systems, but we truly, truly believe that the end user should have no or low cost to access care. We want to provide them a doctor in their pocket that they are able to access when they have a medical thought or question like we want to be the reflex action for them. And the only way to do that is to not have a high cost for that transaction. And so we truly, truly believe in this membership based approach to care. And so our pricing kind of model and approach is really a flat fee to the employer, to the health plan, and then their members have unlimited access to the service.

John Farkas (21:07):

So Sam is, you’re looking at creating all those different resources as you’re looking at burrowing in and understanding what those specific needs are for what are some of your listening channels. So you mentioned that you’re, you’re listening to what’s going on in the sales process and what people are communicating in that, are there other ways that you’re getting that information that is helping you pattern your engagement

Samantha Bergin (21:30):

Really it’s our existing customers. We hear a lot from them. So we have account management, constant feedback, loop questions coming in through them. We also have an engagement marketing team, which is similar to account management, and they are solely trying to help support the HR and benefits teams and ultimately rolling out the service to their populations and then doing ongoing kind of quarterly campaigns to help kind of keep us top of mind all year round. So there’s a feedback loop, just natural coming through account management and engagement, marketing, social channels. We also stay kind of abreast of everything that’s happening in terms of the digital health space related to events. So you’re able to kind of look ahead at some of the key events in a given year and look at the talk tracks and the topics and things that people are covering. So that’s another place that we constantly audit as marketers to make sure we understand kind of what people are talking about and thinking about, we also are avid listeners of podcasts and do a lot of reading as well in this space.

Samantha Bergin (22:31):

So I think, you know, across the company, we see that a lot of our doctors actually share things that are hot things that are kind of bubbling up to the top for them and in their own readings. So one of the coolest things about working at a company, which is part technology and part world-class virtual clinic plus, you know, huge number of engineers and product team is you have this incredible diversity in thought and perspective. And we have a very active Slack where people share things related to topics, to, you know, innovation, medical devices, like there’s so much sharing of information. So even just our own population, our own colleagues bring ideas and topics and things that they think we should be speaking on as a, as a marketing team and a communications team to our attention. We also have a physician marketing Slack channel where the physicians, even in their own visits throughout the day, like if, if they’re seeing a pattern in what patients are asking, that will come to the surface as well. So just our ongoing care that we’re providing to our members is another kind of feedback loop for us. So we’re constantly listening in all of the ways.

John Farkas (23:43):

So knowing that employers are a primary vertical, a primary group of people that you’re trying to engage, what would you say have been some of the unique challenges in trying to reach the employer population with your message?

Samantha Bergin (23:58):

Last year? One of the challenges has been some of our best lead sources were these events that I mentioned that we had to, you know, redirect funds elsewhere. And so events, these very targeted events that we did, we would do innovation round tables and events where they were regional or quite small. So we were sure to get in front of, and be able to, you know, develop rapport and relationships with some of these buyers, those went away. And so we had to look at other ways to get in front and, and drive awareness of our service. And so for the very first time, uh, actually just a few months ago, so this mid February, we launched our very first kind of B2B focused upper funnel, demand generation campaign. It’s not something we have invested in, in the past. In the past, you know, we have grown, we have over 300 commercial contracts today.

Samantha Bergin (24:49):

The majority of them were through our own networks or through inbound interest. And really now we are, we are looking to invest in other ways to help drive awareness across all of the channels that we sell into. And so this is a very new space for us because, uh, some of the traditional kind of successes in terms of generating leads and contacts went away. And so we, this past February, like I mentioned, we launched a kind of upper funnel campaign where we actually, we chose three cities in the country with very high concentration of large employers. And we did, uh, a multifaceted campaign from cable, uh, ad we did streaming, um, TV. Uh, we did, uh, radio, we did targeted outdoor advertising in addition to all of, kind of the middle funnel and funnel efforts that we did. And so we’re just now starting to look at the results of that.

Samantha Bergin (25:47):

I can tell you initially that we’re seeing an incredible increase in website traffic, just in general interest people coming and checking us out. But at the end of the day, we’re still, we’re, we’re a startup, we’re, we’re a growth company. Let’s say we’re in the next stage of, of kind of a startup, but we are, uh, we are very thoughtful about our investment and where we are putting our dollars, hence kind of testing it in these three very targeted cities. And so, you know, beyond the, the initial kind of inbound traffic that we’re seeing to the website, uh, in some cases it’s gone up by 10 X, especially in the, in the cities where we have, um, launched these efforts, uh, and ultimately it’ll, you know, TBD on, on how much of that we’re seeing kind of pull through the rest of the funnel.

John Farkas (26:29):

What I know in the context of large employers is a lot of them when it comes to healthcare, you’re dealing with people in the organization that have typically on a lot of the decision-makers are not just focused on healthcare. They are looking at the wellbeing of a by and large. And so healthcare is a part of their pie, but it’s not generally the whole thing. And so I’m curious what challenges that presents in this context for you, but are there things that you’re doing that are tying your value proposition to some of their other concerns?

Samantha Bergin (27:00):

Generally, the answer is yes. And we want to do more there. I think that’s one of the values that we offer. So I’m going to take that question and actually, um, first speak a little bit about our engagement marketing efforts. So like I mentioned, engagement marketing is similar to account management where we have a person within 98point6 that has a given account, and they’re helping drive awareness and kind of ongoing awareness of the fact that that given population like an employer has access to this service. And so they partner with the HR and benefits manager to really do the heavy lifting on our side. So we develop co-branded materials. So if you take, you know, uh, ABC company, it’s, it’s ABC company providing 98point6, we develop these templatized resources that we’re able to, uh, they’re very custom, but they’re also very scalable. So as we get more customers, we’re able to provide these co-branded materials that they then send through to their employers.

Samantha Bergin (27:55):

But in some cases, those employers have shared with us like, Hey, we have an employee assistance program, or we have this special reward that we give to people that engage with health care. Cause again, they want their people to use the benefits that they’re offering. And so we’re able to combine some of that information within the materials that we’re producing on their behalf, and then they ultimately send them out. So we are 100% a partner to these employers and we, if they share with us things that they’re doing to help guide their population, we can integrate them into the materials that we make for them. So that is kind of one way that we very much see this as a partnership in lowering total cost of care for them and engaging their employees with health and in their own wellbeing. Like we are very much in the business of helping people stay healthy and we want to encourage utilization of primary care because that helps in that way.

Mark Whitlock (28:47):

So Sam, Break down some of that demand gen plan you put into place. At first blush, that sounds like a big B2C play. I mean, TV, radio, come on. So it was that B2B and talk to us about it. What’s on the backend. Once they hear all that or see all that, et cetera, what do they do? And then what are you seeing? What’s the OKR or KPI or whatever the alphabet soup, you guys use  at 98point6. What are you seeing?

Samantha Bergin (29:13):

I love this question. And this was something that we really chose to invest in as a test. I will tell you as, as a marketer, you know, yes, we very much want to invest in things that we can track. And as, as marketers, we all know when you do very broad reach sort of demand generation, it’s very difficult to track because it’s not like a digital campaign where you can see the conversion and the tracking, you know, very, very precisely. So this was an investment, um, as targeted as we could make it. And no, it wasn’t B to C. It is really B2B, uh, is the focus. We, we had a great media buyer that we partnered with on this. And ultimately at the highest level, what we wanted to do is we wanted to make sure that a C level executive within an employer.

Samantha Bergin (30:03):

So fortune 1000, let’s call it fortune 500, um, large health plan that they see this. And their instinct is to say, is my team talking to 98point6? If they are not talking to 98point6, they should be, that was kind of the success measure for us. Like this is, we just wanted to peak people’s interest enough to make sure that that person would go back to their teams and say, have you guys looked into 98point6? That’s what we were going after. So it, it was B to B, but again, it’s not like a direct response campaign where you can track, you know, every stage of what’s happening. So we know that it’s going to take us a little bit of time to see the real results of this effort. Again, this is why we targeted and specifically picked three cities so that we could compare it to cities where we are not running these campaigns.

Samantha Bergin (30:54):

Um, just to recap, the tactics that we chose, we did, uh, TV ads on news networks, uh, CNBC, CNN. And then again, dayparts where we believe C level executives, decision makers in these organizations that we are targeting. We’re going to be seeing them. People are at home right now, they’re working from home. And so we think that might help make sure that those folks are seeing these sorts of, yes, these sorts of ads, connected TV and PR outdoor and, uh, targeted outdoor. So we, we were very, very strategic in where we chose the outdoor advertising, you know, on the way to some of these employers that we wanted to make sure we’re aware of us, assuming some of them were still going into the office in some way. And so in terms of kind of KPIs and success measures, like I mentioned, kind of at the highest level, the way we developed the campaign and the creative was around just peaking people’s interest to say, Oh my goodness.

Samantha Bergin (31:50):

If my team is not talking to this company, yet, they should be so inbound interest to via the web. We are seeing so far again, this launched mid February. And so we’re, we’re a few months in, uh, we’re seeing visits are up inbound visits to our website and to specific pages on the website targeted at employers and health plans and health systems, anywhere between 180% increase to an 1100% increase in, in, in visits, we are seeing traffic coming in. Yeah, I’d say one of these, uh, inbound interest has led to a meeting with an employer. This is still anecdotal and still coming in as we speak. Um, in addition to this kind of upper funnel work, we continue doing our, our middle funnel and lower funnel work. Digital obviously nurture campaigns through the prospects that we already have in our pipeline. Ultimately like we’re, we’re amplifying our work in the three cities with kind of middle funnel and lower funnel activities. And so we’re very much looking forward to seeing ultimately what this drives, uh, in terms of awareness. And if there is a difference in, um, our sales efforts, right? If they’re calling into folks that now have heard of us, those are the sorts of results that we are currently synthesizing and analyzing.

John Farkas (33:07):

So that is an exciting movement. And I’m really interested as you are evaluating, as you’re looking at the next phase, how do you determine how to move forward with that? Knowing we’re dealing with famously long sales cycles in some of these, it’s going to take some time to see all of it come through, but knowing that you are driving, you are seeing an uptick in awareness, you are getting some good traffic. How do you move forward from there? Where do you take it?

Samantha Bergin (33:34):

There are more things to do now that we’ve started this initial effort, because now we are, we are driving more traffic to these pages that didn’t have significant traffic. And so we’re identifying new things we need to relentlessly improve upon. So now we are seeing that people are landing on a given page and not necessarily converting. And so now we’ve got more work to do on our web pages to optimize for taking the next step or finding out additional information. And so we’re really digging in, particularly on the, on the website side to do a better job of giving people the information they were seeking and maybe didn’t find, or, uh, lowering the bar to connecting with us. And so one example of something that we’re adding, I think marketers will be interested in, in hearings, we’re adding a chat, uh, solution to the website so that we can better serve the folks that are landing on our, on our pages to ask them like, would they like to talk to a salesperson right then right.

Samantha Bergin (34:31):

Instead of filling out a traditional form that you might see on a, on a B2B landing page, uh, maybe you’re not interested in doing that right now, but you want some information that you’re not seeing on our page. And so, uh, actually I think within a week here, we are launching that jet capability, which we hadn’t had before. And it’ll be really interesting to learn from that. So just as a marketing professional, I am very much, um, you know, if I could give somebody a tip of, of when they are building a campaign of this size, uh, and all of the different touch points that ultimately you’d like to put a given customer, you know, on rails to, uh, continue to kind of go down your purchase cycle or your sales cycle is to try things, to make a change and see how it does, and then to continue to improve upon that.

Samantha Bergin (35:20):

Because if you try to tackle every stage of the process at once one, it might take a long time to get it off the ground. And two, you may not have enough information or enough volume to the given, uh, tactic or piece in order to make great decisions. Before we, the initial campaign in February, we spent time optimizing those webpages. So we did spend time on the front end doing that, but now what we’re seeing is what we did didn’t necessarily help improve a conversion of now the volume that we’re seeing to those pages. So we’re having to go back and continue to relentlessly improve upon that. And we’ll continue doing that. We’ll continue doing better as we know better, but it might’ve served us just as well to maybe launch a few weeks sooner and not have spent time on, on the web pages, because we were going to have to spend time on the web pages again. So it’s just a really, really interesting ongoing learning process. Well, the chat function is a nice parallel to your own brand product. Very much so nice twinning, nice twinning. Yes. And it is going to get brand train too. Like we’re actually going through all of the copy blocks to make sure that the voice is very on-brand as well as you would expect. Yes.

Mark Whitlock (36:34):

Samantha Bergen and 98point6. Thank you so much for being on studio CMOs.

Samantha Bergin (36:38):

My pleasure. I truly, truly enjoyed it. Thank you for having me,

Mark Whitlock (36:42):

Ed, if you want to learn more about what 98point6 is doing. Come on over to the studio CMO website, come on over to studiocmo.com/048. That studio cmo.com/048 That’s going to be the interview with Samantha Bergen at 98point6. We’re going to link out to some of the things she talked about today. Link out to some of the content they’ve created to help others understand the quality of care and the care cycle that 98point6 provides through their other channels and through their partners and their membership-based program. We’re going to link out to some of their sales content as well. So just come on over to studiocmo.com/048 and you’ll be able to, uh, to check some of those things out. And while you’re there, uh, we encourage you to subscribe to Studio CMO. So you’ll be one of the first to find out about new guests coming down the pike.

Mark Whitlock (37:35):

We want you to be an insider for you to know the type of HealthTech marketing leaders that are coming in the future. So you’ll be some of the first to hear from them and also check us out, find out more about golden spiral and how we help HealthTech companies position themselves in the market and build demand generation programs that make a difference. We want to help you realize your potential. One of the things that Sam said today on the podcast is you’ve got to understand your buyer. And that’s one of the core tenants of what we talked about every time on Studio CMO: you must understand your buyer’s problems

Anna Grimes

lead with an empathetic understanding

John Farkas

and always work to make your buyer the hero.

Mark Whitlock

We’ll see you next time on studio CMO.

Studio CMO is produced by Golden Spiral, an agency providing market positioning and demand generation for HealthTech. We exist to help you realize your market potential.

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