Megan Sullivan-Jenks, Director of Marketing, Choozle: We sometimes like to kick these off by asking the most important questions first. What is your must-have morning drink? Coffee, tea, smoothie?
Conor Dalton, Marketing Director, Blueliner: Coffee, definitely—but I really try not to have it very first thing or until I get into the office because I feel like it dries me out too much. Ideally, I’ll have a nice amount of water first—but then all bets are off!
We’ve actually just started grinding our beans here in the office and it’s absolutely added a nice extra ritualistic layer to the whole process. It’s a much nicer experience versus popping in a k-cup.
MSJ: Let’s start with a little background on Blueliner and the services you offer.
CD: Blueliner is a boutique, full-service digital agency that primarily executes across the areas of content, web design, SEO, digital advertising, CRM, social, and mobile. We were founded in 2001 and work across the industries of fashion, health & wellness, travel & tourism, consumer goods, and media, sometimes seeing interesting intersection points of two or more of these. We bring an entrepreneurial spirit to everything we do and see ourselves more as partners to all the companies we work with.
MSJ: What makes Blueliner’s approach to digital advertising different?
CD: I think what sets our approach to digital advertising apart is the same element that sets our approach to digital strategy, as a whole, apart. Being ROI-driven underpins everything we do and we keep a certain level of agility in all campaigns and initiatives, being sure to not get married too closely to any one channel, tactic, or approach.
While we respect fundamentals more than anything, we recognize that no two buyer journeys are often exactly alike. We help our clients capture their audience’s attention where it’s most valuable and then leverage those key moments where they’re demonstrating intent to drive revenue-based actions that really matter.
Finally, we never hide our strategy or work from our partners in some ‘black box’. We share full access and even love to train our clients the core principles of what we’re doing if they’re open to it. While not everybody wants to know the nuts and bolts of the campaigns, I always find that a better-educated client is a happier one.
MSJ: One of Blueliner’s core verticals is healthcare. What are some of the challenges you face when putting together strategies for your clients?
CD: This definitely varies per client and can range from simply bringing someone’s already excellent brand to a wider audience to building a complex multi-geographical lead generation framework that incorporates a multitude of tools and tactics.
As with a lot of the work in the client services space, it’s seldom the tactics that give you much trouble. It’s more often the variables that surround the project that can make things a little tricky.
However, some of the main challenges that immediately come to mind are:
- Compliance with Legal Policies: When capturing people’s medical information, there’s always are always elements of discretion, data integrity, and compliance that should be strongly considered. How do we have to navigate and adhere to elements of compliance when building our digital funnels? If we’re generating leads, what happens to that data once we capture it? Is it a simple hook up to the clients CRM, is the CRM issue something we need to address first before proceeding, or are there any other regional compliance factors at play? For healthcare in the US, this has lead to some really interesting learnings in relation to HIIPA compliance and how to define that for a client. For their European counterparts, digital communication in general and specifically GDPR are both hot topics—and we continue to see a lot of emerging developments there, as well.
- Advertising Policies: On social platforms, in particular, we must remain really cognizant of what we can and can’t say in relation to some of the services we’re promoting for our clients. With Facebook, we need to always be aware of their policies related to personal attributes, personal health, and health information. With Google, there are some types of healthcare-related that content can’t be promoted at all, while other types can only be promoted if you are certified with Google and the ads target only approved countries.
- Multi-Regional Targeting: From a simple issue like a target audience speaking a different language to more complex variables like a proven platform’s ineffectiveness in one region versus another, focusing on different markets and the client’s value proposition there can make it more difficult to simply duplicate campaigns. The same results aren’t guaranteed if you simply port a US campaign over to the LATAM region or Canada.
- Hyperlocal Markets: With competition being so fierce in say somewhere like New York, you gain a strong appreciation very quickly for how visibility for a keyword in a particular area becomes so valuable and therefore, viciously competitive for some healthcare businesses. We have worked with a wide array of locally-based clients in areas like acupuncture and found it requires some comprehensive testing to nail the perfect delicate combination of different platforms, advertising tactics, and approaches for each industry.
MSJ: What digital advertising strategies work well for this type of health care clients? Why these over all the others?
CD: For clients whose business is very closely related to local searches and ‘I want to go’ and ‘I want to do’ micro-moments, Google paid search is still really powerful when it’s run correctly because it’s so integrated into user behavior.
For clients who are targeting patients internationally, we have found that programmatic display and in-market advertising have been great additions to larger markets. When the volume is there and reliable data can allow us to more precisely target users at more valuable points in their research journey, we jump at the opportunity because it means we’re making better use of our client’s marketing dollars.
MSJ: As an agency, what won you over when you started exploring Choozle as your in-house programmatic solution. Why?
CD: Initially, I discovered Choozle for a specific campaign in 2016 where I felt programmatic would be a good fit—but I first needed proof of concept. I needed a platform with a low or no minimum buy to start experimenting with and I was really impressed with the user experience, the customer service, and the results it garnered for that first campaign and beyond.
MSJ: What are some long-term benefits of using Choozle as an agency? What are you hoping to implement for your clients?
CD: I feel that Choozle’s continual evolution in line with new and more effective advertising tactics gives me peace of mind that (a) anything new will be covered as it becomes available and (b) we won’t have to worry about our staff being trained on a new platform.
When you’re dealing with clients of different levels, goals, and budgets, you need a platform that is agile and scales with you accordingly. I’ve found that Choozle has never let me down here and it’s the only platform I ever recommend to my clients or people I train, should they wish the start exploring a programmatic solution themselves.
An example of what I hope to implement soon for one client, in particular, is IP targeting. With a lot of valuable information like this already being available to them that’s not being utilized, I see it was a huge area of opportunity that’s still untapped.
Conor is an experienced digital marketing leader (6+ years), responsible for planning and overseeing a team that executes strategic digital marketing programs for their clients in the areas of content, design/UX, SEO, paid media, CRM, social, and mobile. Conor’s passion lies in closing the distance between big picture brand visions and the day-to-day tactics that bring them to life. Conor equally respects marketing’s roots, as well as the latest contemporary digital strategies.