PM360 Q&A with Sean Moloney CEO & Co-founder of Dramatic Health

Fifteen years ago, Sean Moloney moved on as the Director of Marketing Innovations Team at Pfizer with a wealth of insights and research on immersive health video to pursue a vision—that impactful video and other multimedia, coupled with online distribution, would fundamentally change HCP and patient education. The company he co-founded to execute on that vision, Dramatic Health, is now a leader in its field. Its clients include major pharma companies, including Pfizer, Novartis, Bayer, Merck, and Gilead Science.

Now, the market is quickly catching up to Moloney’s early vision. With a 15-year head start and sharp business focus, DHI has become the “go-to” shop for quality multimedia storytelling, educational, and marketing productions. PM360 spoke with Moloney to uncover the driving force behind his success.

PM360: After all your entrepreneurial adventures, what or who, inspired you to enter healthcare?

Sean Moloney: My grandfather, Dr. Willian C. Moloney had a big impact on me. He is a leading hematologist, a professor emeritus of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Founder and Director of hematology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was one of the first hematologists to use chemotherapy to treat leukemia and lymphoma. So he was a great inspiration.

But I also have a devotion to creative innovation, which is at the core of each and every video production. I believe that behind every patient and physician is a “story” that, when captured honestly and along a well-researched “dramatic arc,” will educate and inspire audiences in ways that go well beyond words and pictures alone.

Would you say that is your mission statement?

Yes, and it goes deeper. Dramatic Health embraces real patients, their physicians, and supporting roles including spouses, caregivers, and others that comprise the cosmos behind the patient journey with explicit, high-impact portrayal of their triumphs and challenges. Since the video subjects are real people—not actors—the drama is compelling, and often times inspiring. We have also become well recognized for flawless MLR approval rate, which is a boon for our customers.

So unlocking true patient stories and deep familiarity are at the heart of your success. What else do you think contributes to it?

Clients rely on us to remove the confusion, delay, and cost of working with less experienced agency and production company teams. Through our integrated, turn-key approach, from patient recruitment through measurement and optimization and across every video platform, we help brands partner in new ways with their patients to tell stories that inspire us all. We are leading and evolving a new discipline at a time when investments are skyrocketing alongside health video consumption and demand. We translate research and client objectives into dramatic qualities that reach and impact the behaviors of targeted viewing audiences.

That’s all very exciting, Sean. What would you say to DTC marketers, who also want to serve patients with compassion and care? Does the medium make the all the difference?

Well, we produce behavior change. That’s at the heart of what DTC marketers want to do. Accelerated by tablet computing and smartphones, video is the century’s most powerful medium. For Dramatic Health, our results are unprecedented because health video is our sole focus and passion. We learn from each engagement and the data and insights are reflected across all our work.

But I would tell DTC marketers that the most important thing is to stay focused. Make all your decisions based on a set of unwavering principles. And don’t give up. Manage disappointment with confidence. Recognize the ability to create and own your successes and losses, and juggle accordingly.

Your company has grown from a startup to the company it is now, but you’ve said that profitability is not your single-minded goal. What drives you, then, to continue to innovate and expand your offerings?

Yes, we have grown from a single-six-figure revenue company to multiple seven figures with a projected growth in 2018 that continues this exponential growth. However, what sets Dramatic Health apart from its competitors is simply, “Focus, passion, principles, and agility.” That’s core to our mission.

Five years down the line, where do you see Dramatic Health headed?

Dramatic Health is expanding, and will continue to, beyond the leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. I see us continuing to partner with global publishing companies and media companies. We are co-developing healthcare verticals for publishers who recognize an opportunity to deliver health and wellness and condition-focused video series for patients and healthcare professionals. So I see much more growth to come.

Finally, Sean, what is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? What excites you?

We’ve only just begun! We see a tremendous void in health video content across multiple channels—but good video can be both entertaining and fulfill the MLR requirements that can stop marketing in its tracks.

On the horizon in Q3 and Q4: New health video formats and syndication strategies such as live health broadcasts, user-generated series that are approved and curated alongside original branded and unbranded productions, and health-entertainment series that open up new health education and marketing opportunities for contextual educators, advertisers, and marketers.

We’ll also begin to recognize opportunities to insert intent and “calls to action” within the streaming media players serving both results reporting and research objectives. Health video goes well beyond words and pictures in delivering maximum impact on targeted healthcare behaviors. I believe the industry will embrace health video as it becomes a force that will impact people’s lives—for the better.

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