Kendra Fanara, Director of Marketing, Cross Platform and Patient Marketing, Johnson & Johnson
The knee replacement market was evolving. The age for knee replacement was skewing younger than ever before, with patients ages 45-60 becoming the fastest growing segment—with the growing incidence of obesity playing a large part. So, a more digitally based, socially interactive communication strategy was needed to reach this new segment. For Depuy Synthes (DPS), a J&J company and leading manufacturer of Total Knee Replacement (TKR) options, this meant everything they thought they knew about their target audience was now wrong. That is until Kendra Fanara showed them the truth and completely transformed their approach to patient engagement.
In the fall of 2016, Kendra assumed the role of Group Product Director, Consumer & Patient Engagement Marketing at DPS. She did her homework and saw the changing trend in TKR patients, but she had to get the company to see it too. She led her team through a transformative process unlike anything they had gone through in the history of the company. It was designed to first make the team aware of what was driving their decision-making and how it was creating a misalignment with the strategic needs of the business. Aligning on this new set of beliefs surrounding the needs of osteoarthritis (OA) patients was the cornerstone in building the foundation for the new patient engagement platform.
Reaching TKR Candidates
Everything Kendra did in her approach to engaging with TKR candidates was unique, and it all started with the market research. She paired OA patients needing TKR with a TKR recipient, which provided several actionable insights. The research revealed patients with OA of the knee can spend years trapped in an emotional wasteland, suffering with severe pain and disability, as they agonize over the decision to undergo knee replacement. As they continue to deteriorate, these patients become less likely to achieve optimal outcomes from surgery.
This ultimately led to the creation of “OA My Way,” a highly engaging, interactive relationship marketing program that is designed to help TKR candidates overcome their fears, improve communication with their selected surgeon, motivate a branded product request, and support patients through their surgical experience and recovery. Currently, “OA My Way” consists of two critical phases. First, the “Pre-TKR” Phase lasts six months and was designed to shorten the patient’s decision-making process regarding TKR. Then, once patients feel prepared for TKR, they can move on to what is called the “I AM READY” arm. This phase is a one- to four-month pre-surgery experience designed to guide patients in the critical decisions they need to be prepared for surgery, including selecting the right surgeon, discussing the Attune Knee System, preparing for surgery, and supplemental J&J product options.
Integration Like Never Before
The last phase indicated Kendra’s desire to support patients contemplating TKR throughout all aspects of the surgical experience. To do so, she became the first person at DPS to expand a program to include other brands within the DPS franchise and even across the J&J group of companies. So now, brands such as EXPAREL for pain management or Xarelto for anticoagulation could share information about their respective brands/efforts to “OA My Way” enrollees at the appropriate time in their journey. Additionally, expansion opportunities are underway for hip replacement.
Kendra hasn’t stopped there. Kendra and her team are now developing a new social video platform to match and connect TKR candidates with experienced TKR captains to further educate and share personal stories as a support program for the larger initiative. Real-time data access and a sophisticated dashboard will allow for monitoring, measuring, and responsive marketing.
Kendra was able to break down corporate barriers, establish a new direction, and launch this innovative program—all in seven months. And, after 10 months, the program has more than 2,300 highly targeted segment enrollees, with approximately 50% either ready to schedule or already scheduled TKR. Patients aren’t the only ones impressed. Kendra’s program is drawing interest from top company executives—all the way up to the President of DPS.