Three reasons why health care brands need to rethink their brand experience at conferences and congresses

Jack Blog

May 21st, 2019 By Nigel Downer

In a recent blog post, Jack Morton’s President, Ed Scott, highlighted why brand experiences matter even more in today’s cultured B2B conference landscape. It’s clear that B2B marketers increasingly understand the value in creating engaging live experiences for their most important audiences and are shifting dollars to experiential strategies and tactics accordingly.

For health care brands, conferences and congresses are no exception. These are one of the most important opportunities for brands in the health care space to create meaningful live experiences that highlight their brand promise and ultimately deliver proof on that promise. And with the changing landscape, brands that don’t adapt risk being left behind. Because as we learned from the Experience Brand Index, each customer touchpoint is now a proofpoint, and every interaction matters.

Here are three reasons why health care brands need to rethink the brand experience they deliver at conferences and congresses:

1. The reach and frequency sales model continues to lose effectiveness
Whether it’s because of the shift from primary to specialty care, the dramatic reduction in access to physicians, or the ubiquitous availability of information online (more likely a combination of all three), the reach and frequency model that once saw over 100,000 pharmaceutical sales reps hitting the streets each morning has been dying a slow death for years. While still a viable part of the promotional mix, many drug brands need to alter their marketing mix and tactics to fill this gap in getting their message out to physicians.

The takeaway: If you can’t effectively deliver your message to the physicians on their turf, it becomes even more critical to deliver when they come to yours. Be prepared to stand out from the crowd and deliver a memorable brand experience.

2. The audience is changing
Across the United States, baby boomers are retiring at a rate of over 10,000 per day and physicians are no exception.1 This natural shift in workforce demographics has seen an influx of millennial physicians joining their Gen X, Gen Y, and boomer colleagues – all of which attend conferences and congresses. With that, expectations have shifted accordingly, making the bar for brand experience higher than ever.

Increased value is placed on authenticity, peer engagement and technology, paired with craving personal interactions and immersive, human moments. As a health care brand, the experience you deliver isn’t only a competition with the booth next to you – it’s one with the best brand experience overall, agnostic of industry.

The takeaway: Audiences and their expectation for brand experience has shifted. If you haven’t re-imagined your conference and congress experience to stay ahead of this, you are missing the mark with a growing part of your audience.

3. The abundant availability of content
Information is everywhere. And quality content is universally available within a few clicks of a mobile phone keyboard. As a marketer, you’ve done the blocking and tackling to distribute it across your multichannel universe. New data and content helps draw some traffic, but dissemination of information doesn’t keep people at your booth or create a relationship with the brand.

The takeaway: Content alone isn’t enough. Marketers must seize the opportunity to go beyond the content and the data and create owned moments that give their audience what they crave – real human interaction and memorable experiences. Remember – all touchpoints matter.

Want to take a quick “health check” on where your brand stacks up in terms of delivering proof on your brand promise? Our Experience Brand Checklist is a simple first step – download our Experience Brand Index white paper today to get started.

1 Yahoo Finance. (2018, November 21). Americans are retiring at an increasing pace. Retrieved May 17, 2019 from