Meet the MarTech Speakers: Mayur Gupta
Healthcare Marketing In A Digital, Data-Driven World
As Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Business at Healthgrades, Mayur Gupta works at the evolving intersection of marketing, technology and healthcare. Recognized last year as one of the “40 under 40” leading marketers by Brand Innovations, Mayur spent 13 years at Sapient Nitro and, more recently, worked at Kimberly-Clark. We recently sat down with him for a conversation about his career in digital marketing and how healthcare is adapting to the demands of data-driven digital marketing.
Keep reading for an up close and personal interview with Mayur. Then secure your place to meet him at MarTech. Register today!
Tell us a little about your background.
I started in India, where I got a masters in Computer Science and I became a computer technologist, doing Oracle dba, C++, Java — all the cool stuff for back then. We were building portals and online platforms; it was all pure technology. And at that time, that’s pretty much all I cared about; looking back, I knew little about the problems we were solving.
Then in 2005, I had a great opportunity to work in the adtech and martech space at SapientNitro, where I built platforms and systems using technology to deliver immersive consumer experiences that drove engagement. Our clients were Fortune 100, 500, and I was at the intersection of advertising, technology and marketing. I worked on building and integrating the multichannel data-driven platforms for SapientNitro, which gave me a real opportunity to learn all about adtech and martech from their beginnings.
For me, a real turning point came when I joined Kimberly-Clark to head up Marketing Technology & Digital Platforms globally for the organization; that’s where I really saw why and how it was more critical to apply technologies to grow the business, to sell more things to more people more often.
To do that, you really need to understand human behavior and how to apply data, technology and communication to change behaviors that prevent your growth. It doesn’t matter how cool the software is; the most important thing is understand[ing] and changing and inspiring consumer behavior.
This completely changed my perspective.
Then I got a great opportunity to work at the intersection of marketing, technology and healthcare, and I’ve been at Healthgrades as Chief Digital Officer since August 2015.
What will you cover in your presentation at MarTech, which is titled, “The Omni-Channel Reality With Marketing Technology & Integrated Experience Planning?”
Being a big Formula One fan, I will use that analogy. I see the evolution of our industry as similar to the art and science of winning a Formula One race. It starts with the need for an ultimate machine that has every single part working with the others in unison. Once you have the machine, you then need engineering to tune it to perfection for the road, the temperature, the humidity and all other factors. Finally, you blend the perfect engineering with the art of driving on a race track that gives you the shot at winning the race.
To me, all the marketing technologies are like the different parts of the car that need to be connected and assembled together as the first challenge. But the bigger challenge for all of us is the engineering and the art of driving, in other words, the application of these marketing technologies to ultimately change human behavior, inspire participation and resolve business challenges.
For instance, how would you use data, predictive modeling, content and communication to drive patient compliance for better health outcomes or use data science and analytics to enable people to find the right doctor, right hospital and right care at a time and location of their own choice?
I call that “Experience Planning,” and this is what I’ll be sharing at MarTech.
What’s your role as the head of digital at Healthgrades?
I am responsible for our digital communication business that includes building and evolving our connected digital platforms, our data models and data science, as well as an always-on consumer engagement and services capability. Healthgrades in many ways is the Amazon of healthcare; we have more than 400 million Americans a year come to our site to try and find the right doctor, the right hospital, the right care.
We work with more than 6,000 hospitals and facilities to collect data and develop predictive models across multiple health conditions. We leverage our data science with our always-on planning and communication capability to engage and converse with consumers at a time, location and touch point of their choice. We want to provide the fastest, shortest path to an encounter with the right doctor, enabling the volume to value shift in healthcare. The hospital data we collect provides a view of the type of care offered from a data-driven perspective. So it’s about the number of surgeries performed and the outcomes, not whether the surgeon receives high patient reviews. How healthy are the patients as a result of the care — not how well did the patients think they were treated?
At the same time, from the patient side, we need to better understand consumer behavior outside the doctor’s office in order to creative predictive models to drive better health outcomes.
My role is to drive the digital transformation by building and applying the the technology that will make this happen.
How is healthcare different from other marketing verticals you’ve worked in?
If you think about it, 80 percent of an individual’s health is determined by non-clinical determinants: how you live the rest of your life outside of the clinical data. Data such as where you live, how much schooling you have, do you own or rent your house, what kind of car do you drive — these can all inform what we know about your overall health. In order to drive better healthcare, we need to understand more about consumer behavior, much beyond the medical stats and EMR data. We need to understand how healthy a consumer is, not just how they are being treated. This is a new way of thinking for many doctors and hospitals, who have traditionally focused more on the clinical data than on consumer behaviors and/or socioeconomic data.
Data, technology and data-driven communication in this digital world will redefine the future of healthcare. Things have changed very quickly in the past few years, as data and predictive models have become increasingly important and readily available. With the consumer at the center of this ecosystem, she will start to steer the direction of healthcare in the coming years.
I truly believe that healthcare is going to be the next sexy thing. It’s transparent and more proactive.
Is there tension between marketing and technology in your organization?
Marketing is really a new role within healthcare. The term “CMO” has always stood for “Chief Medical Officer.” The intersection of marketing and technology is really so new in healthcare that we know that if we want to reach consumers, technology and marketing must partner together. So we can start out working together.
For other, more mature verticals, the two may already operate in silos, making it harder to share responsibility.
But regardless of how it’s structured within an organization, I think we can no longer separate marketing and technology.
What advice would you give someone starting out in marketing today?
Don’t worry too much about all the cool technical stuff, focus on the human element. What are we going to do to change someone’s life? Virtually all the successful startups — Uber, Airbnb — started from simple ideas that connected the dots in a way that changed someone’s life. On a day-to-day basis, think about how to simplify things.
Become multifaceted. If your background is in technology, learn storytelling. If you are a marketer, learn as much as you can about technology.
Thoughts on the overall martech landscape? Have we reached a saturation point?
The volume and pace at which things are exploding is exponential, and the pace [at which] we as brands can respond is no match. As marketers, our focus isn’t on volume but on connectivity and putting the consumer at the center. Whether we’re using three technology platforms or 20 separate maretch tools, the real question is how well we can stitch these together as one connected machine that drives behavior and experience that matters.
In terms of the marketing technology landscape, I don’t think we’ve reached a saturation point yet, but only the relevant will survive.
What can you tell us about yourself that we cannot learn from your LinkedIn profile?
I’m big-time into professional sports, and if I could choose, I’d be a professional cricketer. I love cricket!
I’m also a practicing Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist; it has taught me so many important things, especially to never give up and never be defeated.