Becky Canvin is the Director of Social Media at Ogilvy Health, one of the largest global networks for healthcare communications.
Econsultancy caught up with her to find out about her typical working day, how she keeps tabs on the latest developments in social media, her favourite social campaign and her advice to marketers in healthcare in 2019-20.
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Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am the Director of Social Media at Ogilvy Health. This means that I’m responsible for managing and growing our social media offering in the agency and for our clients. In the UK I work with over 130 healthcare communication specialists across the disciplines of brand promotion and digital, medical communications, market access, consulting and public relations to ‘open minds to better health’.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
I sit within the Digital Strategy team which is part of our Brand, Marketing and Communications practice. In the Digital Strategy team, I work with other experts who can help to identify and understand audience behaviour online, develop strategy, generate ideas, prototype, manage, optimise and measure campaigns.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
I think that one of the most important skills needed for my role is to be a strategic thinker. Everything we do needs to be based around a deep understanding of the audience and creating personalised experiences for them. This ensures that we create ideas that really capture attention and resonate with the people that matter to our clients.
Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and announcements from the social media networks is also key. I write a weekly social media newsletter with my colleague and listen to podcasts when I’m travelling to and from work to stay well-informed. My favourites include How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, The Life Scientific and The Science of Social Media by Buffer.
Tell us about a typical working day…
My day always begins with a caffeine fix on my way into the office and catching up emails. What I love about my job is that every day is different: one minute I can be providing strategic social media advice to an account team who want to reach healthcare professionals online, and then I can be speaking to a client about a campaign proposal to raise awareness of a disease.
It’s important for me to keep learning and so I often speak to my counterparts in Ogilvy to exchange knowledge and ways of working. I dedicate some time to browsing newsletters in my inbox or looking online for interesting campaigns and social updates. I enjoy thinking about how we can take these insights and use them for our clients who are working in the pharmaceutical space, which sometimes can be challenging as it’s a regulated industry.
I’m commercially responsible for social revenue and so I spend time shaping and selling our social media offer to prospective clients and drive new business through participating in pitches. An important tool for us is a report that we publish every year called The Social Check-up where we analyse the social media activity of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies. I often respond to enquiries about the report and use it to provide insight into the pharma social media landscape to prospective and existing clients.
I usually end my day making a list of things that I need to action the following day and I try to go to an exercise class – usually spin or yoga.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I love learning about new updates from the platforms and seeing how brands take these and use in an innovative way. A good example of this is LEGO using a Snapchat lens in an unexpected way when they launched a clothing store that contained nothing more than a Snapcode, allowing customers to shop via augmented reality.
It’s always disappointing when a campaign that I have been helping to plan doesn’t come to fruition because of something that’s beyond our control. But I have learnt that this is the nature of working in an agency and it’s taught me to succeed better.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
This very much depends on the objective of the campaign and whether you want to encourage your audience to take an action or if it’s more about raising awareness. Whatever your objective, brands should review metrics collectively with other digital channels so that it’s easier to understand the impact that social media has on business outcomes.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
I use different tools daily to help get my job done. As a company we use Microsoft Teams and Zoom to connect with others in our organisation. This is especially useful for when I’m working from home or travelling.
I’m also a bit old school when it comes to taking notes and I prefer a good pen and notebook over a digital notepad.
How did you end up at Ogilvy, and where might you go from here?
I have always been interested in health and digital/social media. I completed a masters in Exercise Physiology when I was working at Bupa in the content team as a Digital Health Editor. I then moved into the position of Digital Managing Editor where I was responsible for the management, development and review of the health information content and social channels.
I had a short stint at a digital ad agency and then I was offered a job at Ogilvy that I couldn’t turn down. I’ve been in my role for five years and I’ve absolutely loved seeing how the social media landscape has changed over this time.
As for where the future will take me, who knows. But something that I’m sure about is that I will always stay working within in the digital space as it’s something I’m so passionate about.
Which campaigns or customer experiences do you admire?
Recently Mothercare launched a campaign called #BodyProudMums which featured realistic, joyful images of women and their newborn babies. The unfiltered images are rarely portrayed online and so helped to break the stereotype of new mums. As a mum myself, I’ve experienced first hand the pressure to ‘lose the baby weight’ and so can relate to how these photos will help mothers feel more positively about their bodies.
Do you have any advice for marketers in healthcare in 2019/20?
With ad spend by brands on social media increasing more than ever before, and networks becoming potentially close to saturation for advertising, it’s more important than ever to measure the effectiveness of social media for brands. There’s no shortage of data to do this but brands need to understand what to measure and build up benchmarks to help prove their investment and what impact it has on the wider marketing mix.
It will also be interesting to see how the networks look for new avenues to keep ad revenues growing since people are tending to move to private groups and channels for conversations. The recent release of WhatsApp for Business on iOS shows how networks are responding to this trend.