Olivier Chateau’s vision and desire for innovation is a driving force behind Health Union platforms, services and solutions. During his 10 years in pharmaceutical marketing, Olivier gained experience in consumer marketing, insight creation, digital technology, and analytics, which he leverages along with extensive commercial knowledge of the healthcare market to develop unique opportunities that connect patients, professionals and industry partners to improve health decisions. Olivier’s passion and enthusiasm for Health Union is contagious, inspiring others to think bigger, to be more creative, to do what hasn’t been done.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak with Olivier Chateau, the CEO and co-founder of Health Union, about how technology is changing the way patients and healthcare brands interact. His company’s innovative approach to developing online relationships benefits both pharma companies and hard-to-reach patient populations.
David Reim: What was your experience at GSK that led you to form Health Union, LLC?
Olivier Chateau: After managing many professional and DTC marketing campaigns for a variety of brands, I realized the real potential of digital, social, and mobile technologies to change the way people engage in health and healthcare.
Clients need and deserve to know their marketing efforts are reaching the right physicians at the right moments.
I saw the untapped potential of websites like Diabetes.com to help people learn, connect, and share experiences in a whole new way. At the same time, I was struggling with a personal health condition that shaped how I thought about what people really need from online resources and social media.
Tim Armand and I started Health Union to build and grow online communities dedicated to helping people live better with challenging health conditions. This is the fundamental principle that still guides the company today.
Reim: What is the Health Union elevator pitch?
Chateau: Health Union builds relationships online with the patients and consumers healthcare companies care about, enabling one-of-a-kind access to those consumers for business insight and impact.
Our unique model for community development combines new, original, daily content with distinct, shareable graphics and robust social media conversation to attract and engage more than 10 million healthcare consumers each month.
For patients, Health Union online communities provide a safe and supportive environment to share experiences and connect with others who truly understand the challenges of living with the condition. For biopharmaceutical companies, Health Union offers innovative ways to reach, relate, and engage with target consumers.
Reim: What trends do you see among your clients in managing and leveraging information?
Chateau: As biopharmaceutical companies face pressures to control costs while also accelerating results, we’re seeing a trend toward increased accountability for advertising investments. Healthcare marketers are realizing that mass media reach is less important than engaging qualified audiences.
Integrated data and analytics become increasingly important in understanding the quality and impact of marketing interactions. As companies shift their spending to targeted programs that reach highly qualified audiences, many are holding media partners accountable for business results by employing independent, third-party measurement studies.
Reim: Take me to 2020. What's the NEW new thing?
Chateau: What excites me the most is the application of data-enabled personalization to online health. By combining technology with real human interactions, we can learn from people’s individual online behaviors and personalize their experiences over time—thereby helping to promote greater understanding of health conditions and their impact.
And in doing so, we will help people find validation, empathy, and support along their care journey—making it easier to take steps toward health and vitality, even in the face of challenging and chronic health conditions.
Healthcare marketers are realizing that mass media reach is less important than engaging qualified audiences.
Reim: How interested are your clients in collecting, managing, and leveraging their digital marketing efforts? Where are the gaps?
Chateau: The interest level is high but the knowledge and experience to execute it varies greatly across clients, even within the same organization. In general, clients agree digital campaigns (as a percentage of marketing efforts) will continue to grow. The challenge comes in building the skills to understand how and what to measure; to analyze the data and tell a story; and to translate metrics into actionable strategies that evolve and optimize digital marketing.
Reim: What do you find attractive about the DMD product portfolio?
Chateau: I think DMD’s position, "Digital tools that help you know more, so you can do more," really says it all. Clients need and deserve to know their marketing efforts are reaching the right physicians at the right moments to inform patient care decisions.
Read the complete interview here.
About Health Union, LLC
Health Union inspires people to live better with specific health conditions. Its unique approach combines new daily, original content with digital, social and mobile technologies to cultivate active, engaged online communities. More than a digital publisher, Health Union builds real relationships with people and develops deep expertise in the markets it serves - with a goal to harness the full power of the Internet and emerging technology to help people with challenging health conditions live better lives. Today, Health Union destinations like Migraine.com, MultipleSclerosis.net, and CrohnsDisease.com are some of the largest and fastest growing online health communities in their markets.