Software is Eating the World, and Healthcare is Next on the Menu

Healthcare and technology companies are quickly converging. Here’s what brands need to know about health and wellness marketing to take advantage.

A few years ago, tech visionary Marc Andreessen published a famous essay that asserted “software is eating the world.” Everywhere we look, companies are shaking off legacy or analog approaches in favor of software-driven innovations — and the healthcare industry is no exception. Tech and medicine are converging at a rapid rate, something that should be a dominant topic in any discussion of health and wellness marketing.

Why healthcare companies are tech companies

Not too long ago, healthcare was a reactive endeavor. People sought treatment when an acute medical issue arose and submitted to a perfunctory yearly physical examination.

Preventative medicine helped changed that, as people began to seek more regular interactions with the healthcare system. Now, thanks to technology, consumers have become even more tightly integrated into the healthcare system.

Consider the case of Apple. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, recently said that he expects the company’s greatest contributions won’t come in the realm of communications or pure computing, but in healthcare.

The company’s Apple Watch is an example of a smart wearable device that can be used to gather real-time health data. That data can be analyzed by the watch owner or exported to the cloud and analyzed by a healthcare professional. Either way, it provides important bio-feedback that can be used to make much more informed healthcare treatment decisions.

The healthcare sector is an attractive opportunity for large tech firms such as Apple, as it represents about 18% of the total U.S. economy. Scrappy startups, too, are entering the space in force: Venture capitalists spent more than $20 billion backing healthcare plays in 2019.

How tech and medicine are converging

If you want to see some examples of tech and healthcare converging, 2019 provided no shortage. Here are a few of the most compelling trends that drew media attention in the last year:

  • Bringing ancillary healthcare to your doorstep: Digital-first companies are providing a range of complementary healthcare services. Warby Parker offers prescription eyeglasses, Curology offers personalized acne and skin care treatments, Smile Direct Club provides dental care and teeth whitening. All of these services are available without a visit to a doctor’s office.
  • Telemedicine: The Internet and mobile devices have freed us from the tyranny of proximity (although they’ve greatly increased the number of tedious conference calls we have to endure). This remote model has helped establish the field of telemedicine, where healthcare professionals can offer long-distance evaluations and consultations for both mental and physical health. For people in remote or rural areas without access to healthcare, this is often a huge benefit.
  • Biotech breakthroughs: Technology is helping to unlock extraordinary new advances in medicine. Surgeons are operating with robots, human genes are being edited to help fight disease, targeted and personalized medicine promises to help us create customized drugs to work on a single person with maximum efficacy, face transplants have been performed and what was once a figment of our imagination is now possible and happening thanks to technology. It is now even possible to create human organs via 3D printing.

Is your health and wellness marketing agency up to the task?

Technology and medicine are converging at a dizzying rate, leading to advances that would have seemed more like science fiction just a decade ago. Yet few pharma marketing agencies or medical device marketing agencies are keeping pace.

At BIGEYE, we understand health and wellness marketing on a fundamental level. If other healthcare advertising agencies aren’t serving your needs, we urge you to contact us today.

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Connecting the Dots: The Trends That Will Shape 2020

Making predictions is a risky business. In 1994, the Rand Corporation — a famous quasi-governmental think tank long-celebrated for their strategic prognostication — confidently predicted the following:

“During the 21st century, those houses that don’t have a robot in the broom closet could have a live-in ape to do the cleaning and gardening chores. Also, the use of well-trained apes as family chauffeurs might decrease the number of automobile accidents.”

While selectively breeding an army of highly intelligent ape butlers and chauffeurs might seem ridiculous to those of us living in 2019, it probably seemed semi-plausible then — and that’s the risk that comes with forecasting. However, when you’re right, the payoff can be immense. If you can predict what’s next, you can position yourself (or your organization) to profit from this shift before it occurs.

That brings us to the subject of this piece: “Connecting the Dots: Consumer Trends That Will Shape 2020.”

What We’ve Learned By Connecting the Dots

Recently released to the public, “Connecting the Dots” is a research and forecasting document compiled by GlobalWebIndex. The report, which is produced annually, offers a valuable window into technology, society and marketing.

For pure prognostication, GlobalWebIndex has a reasonably strong record. In last year’s report, it was predicted that e-sports would finally enter the mainstream. 2019 subsequently saw 50% year-over-year growth in e-sports, the Fortnite World Cup and top e-sports stars appearing on famous late night talk shows. Last year’s report also perceptively noted the continuing trend of social media becoming less social and more utilitarian, as platforms such as Instagram and Facebook become closer to one-stop-shops for consumer needs.

So what does the latest version of the report predict for the upcoming year? Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most relevant predictions offered in the report.

The Emergence of Online, On-Demand Healthcare

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if booking a physician’s appointment was as simple as booking a ride with Uber? That’s the future we’re hurtling toward, as AI and telehealth begin to augment — and in some cases replace — conventional primary care.

Today’s AI-powered health offerings are a far cry from the limited telehealth patient sessions of a few years ago. Healthcare operators are also taking things a step further by combining telehealth services with mobile clinics and pop ups. By marrying the two approaches, providers can offer the same suite of services found in any brick and mortar doctor’s office, yet in a far more accessible way.

The public interest is certainly there. According to “Connecting the Dots”:

“Our global research reveals 36% of consumers are using the internet to research health issues and healthcare products, jumping up to 42% for users aged 55-64, where a focus on health becomes even more crucial.”

The study also found that:

  • 75% of consumers use the Internet to research which medications to purchase
  • Half of consumers say that video physician consults will help them manage their health more effectively
  • 70% are willing to make their health data accessible via smartphone

In a world that’s conditioned to expect on-demand services — and where access to healthcare remains an intractable problem — this is one projection that seems almost certain to be realized.

Privacy and Cashless Societies

In some ways, privacy has become almost a quaint notion in the digital era. We trail streams of data as we navigate our phones and the web — much the same way that city buses trail exhaust fumes. Every follow, like or page visit is duly recorded and used to optimize our marketing and ad profiles.

This hyper-transparency has been largely shielded from two key areas, however: Medical records and financial data. Both areas are regulated to varying degrees. Yet our daily financial transactions could soon be subject to the same level of transparency as our daily web browsing.

That’s because digital currencies are on the rise. Bitcoin, Facebook’s Project Libra and efforts by China to develop a national digital currency all differ in some key regards. Yet they all share one characteristic: Anyone using these coins/tokens will have their transactions recorded on a public and immutable ledger. That’s the nature of blockchain technology.

While there are so-called privacy coins that obscure transaction history, these offerings are not likely to see the wide consumer adoption associated with a Facebook cryptocurrency or a state-sponsored digital asset.

For those invested in privacy, things aren’t completely dire. The European Union has introduced the world’s strongest digital privacy protections — laws that give consumers much more control over how their data is harvested and used. Yet in a world that is quickly going cashless, maintaining financial privacy may soon become a much more difficult challenge.

A Mediated Existence

Just how mediated through technology have our daily lives become? Consider this: The average person, globally, spends almost seven hours per day online. As companies and industries pursue greater degrees of digitalization, it is only a matter of time before seven hours seem like an exercise in restraint.

Given how much of our lives are now lived online, is it truly possible to detach? Have we lost the ability to prioritize the human touch without sacrificing convenience?

According to “Connecting the Dots,” many people now fear the answer is a resounding “no.” The number of people who report that technology complicates their lives, or who report being constantly connected online, continues to rise each year.

These concerns are shared by the people who seemingly know best: Silicon Valley CEOs and developers. Over the last year, we’ve seen repeated articles in the press about “dopamine fasts” and “technology detoxes.” Many tech leaders have mentioned that they strictly regulate screen time for their own children.

The scale and rapidity of the “tech takeover” of modern society is astonishing, if you take a moment to place it in context. A generation ago, personal computers cost thousands of dollars, had limited utility and were not owned by most households. Tech, in general, was not a lifestyle, except for hard core enthusiasts. 

While increasing computing power and the birth of the Internet ignited the consumer tech takeover, it wasn’t until little more than a decade ago — with the development of social media and the smartphone — that we truly began to live mediated existences. In fact, we’ve hurdled headlong into a radical societal shift, in a very brief period of time, without any real idea about the consequences.

Politicians have become aware of this anti-tech sentiment. Several US senators have urged social media platforms to take steps to make their products less compulsively engaging, claiming that the current paradigm is bad for the mental health of heavy users.

“Connecting the Dots” makes the case that while the tech takeover may be in full flight, human concern about (and opposition to) our new reality will only get stronger.

About Bigeye

Bigeye is a leading creative agency based in Orlando, Florida. We help clients create marketing campaigns that are driven by exceptional creative work, domain expertise and sophisticated technological tools. For more inspired reading, visit our Insights page.

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Marketing Health Wearables for Seniors

As wearable digital health and wellness devices continue to improve, wearables will be the new frontier when it comes to health and wellness for seniors.

Wearable fitness trackers are all the rage, but they aren’t finding their way onto the wrists of elderly people. But, considering their ability to measure and record a whole host of health and wellness criteria, can’t your Fitbit be used as a medical monitor to care for your grandfather?

According to the international industry association Wearable Technologies, even the new Fitbit Care simply doesn’t have the precision or reliability to track the health of a senior living or home care patient. However, that’s all about to change with the introduction of a whole new generation of health wearables for seniors that are approved by the FDA for tasks that range from monitoring daily activities, sending real-time alerts, and even preventing dangerous falls.

The Vast Potential of the Senior Health Wearables Market

Economic predictions for wearable health devices that further health and wellness for seniors are incredibly bright. In fact, a national news outlet that serves an audience of senior citizens, McKnight’s Senior Living recently declared, “FDA-cleared wearables are the future of senior care.”

Considering that the number of Americans over 64 years of age will more than double by 2060 and that 80% of these senior citizens will live with one or more chronic illnesses, McKnight’s predicts that wearables will prove indispensable as the next step in the technological evolution of remote patient monitoring.

Key Wearables Marketing Messages That Speak Directly to Seniors

Considering that the fitness wearable sector of today is clearly dominated by younger consumers, how does a wise wearables marketer begin to reach out to the geriatric demographic? Here are just three key marketing messages that are bound to resonate with seniors when it comes to wearable devices for health.

1. Feel better and live longer with wearables

As the daily business and tech newsletter Trends points out, health wearables for seniors will go far beyond the capabilities of the fitness wearables of today. In addition to “measuring heart rates, blood sugar or other important markers” these new wearables “will signal to users how to improve health and longevity on a daily basis,” going the extra distance to manage and treat chronic illnesses as diabetes and heart disease.

2. Increase and maintain mobility

By encouraging stretching / exercise and helping ward off physical ailments, wearables can do wonders to keep seniors mobile. An independent authority on digital apps and gadgets, Tech Crunch stresses the many ways that wearables can boost mobility by helping seniors cope with vision loss, explaining how these devices can send signals via headphones and bodily vibrations to warn sight-impaired individuals of obstacles that appear in their paths.

3. Live independently

For many seniors, living independently is the ultimate goal. Wearable technology can do wonders to make independent living a safe and sensible reality by allowing seniors to monitor their own health and wellness. And, perhaps more importantly, wearables can transmit this same health and wellness information in real time to family members and / or healthcare professionals.

For More Information

A digital marketing agency working in a number of market sectors, BIGEYE specializes in capitalizing on evolving trends with a forward-thinking approach. Contact us today and let us help you hone a marketing campaign with a specific focus on health wearables for seniors.

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Meet Your New Property Manager – A Six-Inch Tall Know-It-All

Amazon smart devices are in millions of homes and soon might be collecting rent. Here’s what brands need to know about real estate marketing strategy.

Being a property manager is no easy job – you’re on call all the time and you interact with people in problematic and stressful situations. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could outsource many of a property manager’s tasks to some powerful, all-knowing entity who works tirelessly and never sleeps?

Good news – that scenario is becoming reality, as Amazon’s Alexa and other smart home devices have the potential to allow tenants to request repairs, pay rent and manage a whole host of in-home experiences. It’s a development that has the potential to transform multiple industries, and should be of deep interest to anyone formulating real estate marketing strategy.

Alexa will be the first to greet you

Amazon is pursuing a new product strategy that will see their smart speaker device pre-installed in thousands of leased properties across the United States. The company’s Alexa Smart Properties Team partners with homebuilders, property managers, and hotel operators to custom-fit new residential units with Alexa-powered tech.

By doing so, Amazon can reap the benefit of gaining a vast new group of customers and property owners will benefit from advanced property marketing. Once Alexa is embedded into the smart home ecosystem, tenants will use the devices to order groceries, household goods and other services.

As mentioned above, Alexa can also serve as a proxy property manager, easing the strain on management staff and helping provide tenants with timelier service when issues arise. This will be accomplished through the integration of third party apps such as Zego. These apps can facilitate repair requests and even deduct rent payments directly from a user’s bank account when given an “Alexa, pay my rent” command.

Managers can also use smart speakers to remotely grant access to contractors and repair workers, remotely adjust HVAC levels in unoccupied units, and gather insights into tenant preferences.

An evolution toward the smart home experience

Global growth in the smart speaker segment is growing at a rapid pace. According to projections from IDC, shipments of smart speakers devices are projected to grow by 27% in 2019. By 2023, 1.6 billion devices are expected to be shipped annually, making smart speakers as ubiquitous as smartphones.

Amazon and Zego hope to push their products into millions of new homes over the next few years. Amazon’s chief smart speaker competitor, Google, isn’t standing still. Google is pursuing its own partnerships with homebuilders and property firms, including Century Communities, one of the largest homebuilders and property developers in the United States.

Amazon is also seeking to enter the stadium and hospitality spaces. Alexa can be used in hotels to provide concierge-like services: Ordering towels, room service, wake up calls and other functions. At stadiums and concert halls, Alexa can be used to order beverages, adjust seats and perform other useful services.

All of these advancements point to a future where smart devices aren’t merely an intriguing add-on feature, but rather a deeply integrated tool that’s wired in to everything that occurs in a home. As smart speaker adoption gains critical mass, these devices have the potential to become the central nervous system of the home – making life easier and more convenient for residents and property managers alike.

Is your real estate marketing strategy up to date?

Technology moves at lightning speed – but sadly we can’t say the same for most property development marketing. Too many multifamily marketing and apartment marketing agencies are stuck in the analog world and incapable of providing their clients with innovative campaigns driven by cutting-edge technology.

At BIGEYE, that’s precisely what we offer. If you’d like to see how a creative, forward-thinking agency approaches real estate marketing strategy, we urge you to contact us today.

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How to Best Market Your PetTech Product

Tech is changing virtually every consumer industry, and pet products are no exception. Here’s what you need to know about tech pet product marketing.

Thanks to the power connected devices, AI, and wearable tech, we can customize and optimize our diet, our workout regimen, and even our sleep. The human quest for better living through optimization doesn’t stop at our own bodies, however: PetTech products are helping to do the same for our beloved animals. Powered by the right pet product marketing campaign that’s supported by sophisticated  audience analysis, these devices are fast becoming essential equipment for pet lovers.

Welcome to the PetTech era

All of us want to live longer and stay healthier — and wearables are playing a key part in making that happen. Wearable medical devices allow us to collect critical health data that can be used diagnostically to help guide treatment decisions and foster better lifestyle choices.

Pets, too, are benefitting from this shift. Today, a wide range of PetTech devices are available to consumers, including:

  • Smart collars and other GPS tracking devices to ensure pets aren’t lost
  • Smart pet doors with remote activation
  • Smart crates that have soothing music playlists and sensor-activated fans for climate control
  • Wearables that can sense food temperature, send out alerts for upcoming vet appointments, and even adjust indoor lighting for pet comfort
  • Wearables that help reduce anxiety or control problematic-stress induced behavior (such as chronic barking)
  • Smart balls that can be operated via remote control
  • Medical diagnosis and treatment devices that use RFID hardware chips to track medical history, past vaccinations and treatments etc.

The development of today’s PetTech devices couldn’t come at a better time. Pets in the U.S. are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. It’s estimated that 59% of cats and 54% of dogs are overweight or obese — a stunning figure that has risen sharply in recent years. Though we’ve elevated the status of pets inside our homes and have begun treating them like family, we’ve also overfed them to such a degree that 100 million U.S. pets are now overweight.

PetTech devices can play an integral role in helping manage and prevent pet obesity and other serious health issues. In order to get these devices into consumer hands, however, it’s imperative for brands to have access to compelling pet product marketing.

How to market PetTech products

The numbers don’t lie: PetTech is booming. In 2008, there was a single venture capital deal for PetTech products. In 2018, VCs invested $579 million in 33 separate PetTech deals. Consumers, meanwhile, are spending nearly $500 million annually within this product category.

So how should a brand ensure its pet product marketing is on point? By considering the following:

  • Cover the marketing basics: Complete an audience analysis; exhibit at industry specific shows; focus on industry specific media; build a social strategy and brand identity, etc. 
  • Understand that today’s “pet parents” are seeking PetTech devices largely for one reason: They are deeply motivated to improve every aspect of their animal’s life. They view their pet as a family member and exhibit the same sense of responsibility toward their pet. Marketing messages should focus on how the product harnesses technology to make specific, measurable improvements in an animal’s life.
  • Today, pet parents have a deeper emotional bond with their animals and respond to emotionally rich marketing. While technology itself may not be perceived as “soft and cuddly” or emotionally resonant, there’s no reason why marketing messages have to leave audiences cold. 
  • The humanization of pets has been great for animals — yet it has also placed expanded responsibilities on pet parents. Keeping a pet today requires much more work and attention. How does your PetTech product help ease this burden? Pet product marketing should consider both the emotional and practical elements of keeping a pet.

Connecting with the right pet product marketing agency

If you’re seeking great package design or branding to elevate your PetTech offering, BIGEYE is the right partner for you. Reach out to us today to learn more about what a creatively inspired marketing campaign can do for you.

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How the Google Maps Updates Could Hurt Your Business

If you’ve noticed that Google Maps and your website are no longer working harmoniously, you’re not alone. Recent Google Maps updates have caused significant technical problems for business owners.
To help get your broken Google Maps functioning again — or to help ensure that you don’t have to worry about dealing with this issue — let’s take a closer look at what’s causing the trouble and the steps you can take to fix it.

Why Google Maps is causing performance issues

With one billion monthly users and 99% worldwide coverage, the Google Maps platform is a powerful, far-reaching business tool. It allows customers to locate businesses, allows businesses to offer consumers customized, immersive experiences and provides rich location data for more than 150 million locations. By using Google Maps businesses can create 3D games with global data, improve efficiency by tracking the movement of assets in real time and develop useful applications.

Yet for some users, these benefits may be temporarily inaccessible following some recent changes implemented by Google — changes that could disrupt service and performance.

On June 11, 2018, users of the Google Maps Platform were required to enable credit card billing and have a valid API key for all projects. All 18 APIs were also streamlined into three categories: Maps, Routes, and Places.

This means that keyless usage, as of June 11, was no longer supported by the Google Maps Platform. If a keyless call is made to either the Maps Javascript API or the Street View API, a low-resolution map is returned bearing the inscription “for development purposes only.”  Keyless calls to many other APIs will simply return an error message.

Why is this a problem?

Businesses that were not aware or apprised of these changes are experiencing service interruptions to their projects. For example, if a business hires a freelance web developer to create new online properties that incorporate Google Maps, they may be unaware of the impact of these changes.

In fact, it may just appear as if their Google Maps have suddenly broken, for no obvious reason. Given the importance of the Google Maps Platform to many businesses, service interruptions are a serious risk.

Steps to take

Businesses should ensure that new accounts are created very early in the website design process, as this has a significant impact on development. It has now become impossible to develop map functionality on an existing site that includes a map without an associated API key.

It should be noted that pricing will fluctuate depending on the type and functionality of the map, the number of waypoints, usage etc.

Businesses that lack the technical resources — or simply don’t have the time — to ensure the smooth running and regular maintenance of Google Maps should consider reaching out to a qualified third party developer for more assistance.

How BIGEYE can help:

At BIGEYE, we believe that a modern agency needs to combine world-class creative with advanced technical skills. If you’re having difficulty maintaining Google Maps — or have any technical or design challenge related to your digital properties — please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help.