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Understanding Telehealth's Place in the Media Mix

The Following is a Preview of Populus' Upcoming INSIDE TELEHEALTH 2023: A Virtual Care

Marketing Playbook


When leveraging telehealth as a media tactic, it’s important to make sure that it is being evaluated alongside other tactics based upon where it belongs in the media ecosystem, and not being compared to media that serves a different purpose.



The value telehealth brings comes from the fact that it is the last opportunity to have an impact on the patient, right before they see a physician. Unlike traditional Point of Care, patients are guaranteed exposure and time with the brand message, as it is delivered directly to their screen while they are waiting for the physician engagement to begin.

Telehealth is not a mass-reach awareness tactic. Media directed at patients works through reinforcement of the brand message in a way that ensures the patients remember to discuss the brand with their physician. Telehealth provides the only means of ensuring that the patient has a last touch with the brand to reinforce that message and provide education and tools, before that interaction.

Telehealth is a unique medium and should be leveraged in ways that are specific to the

value that it brings. It is common to try to compare it to other media tactics from a measurement or capability perspective, but that can lead to strategic mistakes.

Common Mistakes Include:


Comparison to Digital Display

Digital display is often used for mass reach and frequency when trying to reach the patient. It typically falls into the awareness and engagement segments of the media journey. The purpose of digital display is usually to encourage a patient to click on a link to receive more information or take them to a brand website. Measurement is based upon clickthroughs and total reach.



Since telehealth media is delivered right at the moment before a patient speaks to their physician, it is best practice to not take a patient away from that experience. Additionally, the audience that is being reached is a guaranteed patient, so it is significantly more targeted than what can be done through placed digital display or programmatic display. Reach does not become a factor as much as audience quality and engagement.

Comparison to Traditional Point of Care

While telehealth is literally at the point of care, its delivery, exposure and significance is vastly different than the media tactic that is generally considered “point of care media.” Point of care media usually consists of advertising on television screens, magazine wraps, and other forms of print or video advertising within a physician office. While having proven value, there is no guarantee that a patient will view or engage with any of these forms of media.

Within telehealth, a patient is a captive audience when the brand message is displayed and is required to view it prior to their engagement with a physician. Regardless of whether you are delivering display or video content, this is a significant difference between telehealth and traditional point of care, and so are the metrics that surround it.

Traditional point of care is also traditionally bought based upon specific HCP offices, whereas telehealth media is focused on specific patients who are known to have a condition.

To schedule a preview of the upcoming report, reach directly out to Populus >

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