This April marked the 13th year of the highly anticipated and always-enjoyed DTC National Conference. The three-day event began with a newly reformed pre-conference workshop: an interactive, deep-dive session into the digital space led by a four-person team—Aurora Archer of AstraZeneca; Bill Drummy of Heartbeat Ideas; former GSK marketer Bill Meisle; and Buddy Scalera from Ogilvy CommonHealth. Using a faux brand, each faculty member focused on a different element of digital marketing, with their peers and audience members actively participating throughout.

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The main conference—sponsored by Catalina Health Resource, CBS and Healthgrades—started with a look at the future, which included keynote presentations from acclaimed futurist and author David Houle and pioneering healthcare information entrepreneur J.D. Kleinke. Day two focused on a number of best practices via case studies such as “Fluzone & Coop de Quill VacciNation” by Sanofi’s Jennifer Havens and Michael Szumera and “Stryker’s GetAroundKnee” by Paul Berman of Stryker Orthopaedics and GSW Worldwide’s Katie Beller and Johan Ferreira. The evening concluded with a record-number of industry members joining the recently expanded Advertising Awards Dinner, sponsored by Health Monitor Network.

The final day concluded with a focus on the “new era of the patient.” It started with Dan Stone and Natalie Hill sharing the results of original research conducted by AccentHealth, who sourced the DTC Perspectives’ Advisory Board for questions and sought answers from their Patient Views panel. More case studies were presented including how to optimize campaigns via evolutionary algorithms with AstraZeneca’s Peter Dorff and Affinnova Life Sciences’ Charu Chaturvedi. The conference wrapped up with “Key Opportunities” through the lens of several representatives from the Top 25 Marketers. The full class of Top 25 was honored during a private luncheon, sponsored by PARADE Publications, immediately following the close of the DTC National Conference.

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