Challenge: Retain sponsors while shifting the target audience.
Solution: Add targeted Web video offerings.
To err is human—but surgeons won’t accept that excuse. They’re expected to perform perfectly 100 percent of the time.
So surgeons demand their service providers have at least 99.9 percent success rates, says Peter Gailey, president of Farmington, Conn.-based BroadcastMed. That’s why, five or six years ago, he hired Tempe, Ariz.-based Limelight Networks to ensure his company’s flagship product—live streaming video of surgical procedures on orlive.com—would flow flawlessly.
“With us, we lose that one opportunity we get to get in front of these folks, and we lose that client, that viewer, forever,” he says. “Our business is predicated on our building and maintaining the trust of a very sophisticated professional medical audience.”
But, around 2009, perfection just wasn’t enough.
“We’ve seen consumption trends changing significantly,” Gailey says. “People are moving to shorter bits of content.”
As his audience’s habits changed, Gailey’s habits changed with them. And, at the same time, he had to pay attention to the needs of his healthcare Web video sponsors—who preferred the professional audience to the consumers who also couldn’t tear themselves away from watching hand-assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy and its ilk on orlive.com.
Sponsors pay the bills, Gailey explains. “Our sponsors are looking more and more to set up applications in applied learning and structured learning, as well as continuing medical education.”
So Gailey expanded his product offerings, continued to deliver them on Limelight and saw his profits climb. He credits that to using his resources more efficiently and focusing on the right audience.
Changing the programming mix from 15 live webcasts a month in 2007 to five a month in 2011 meant live clinical procedures dropped from 85 percent of his workload to about 50 percent. Ten fewer “Superbowl-priced” webcasts meant much lower overhead, too.
The other 50 percent of Gailey’s videos became mostly “pre-taped, archived content, rolled into interactive applications” that continuing medical education providers asked BroadcastMed to produce as on-demand videos.
“Promotional programming has emerged, [too]. So these are other types of content, beyond the one-hour, live broadcast,” Gailey says. “Many more on-demand solutions and applications for live programming have emerged and have really forced us to, not only reevaluate our product line and our service lines, but to reevaluate our brand in its entirety.”
That meant that in mid-2010, the company changed its name from ORLive to BroadcastMed to reflect this changing reality.
In the meantime, BroadcastMed’s managed to keep an average of 85 percent of its sponsors, year-over-year, during the past five years. (The oddity in that retention rate is that, in some years, Gailey says some sponsors don’t have new products to promote or any new information to share. So they come back when they do.)
But perhaps the real mark of success has come from BroadcastMed’s toughest graders.
“What we’ve managed to do by developing new products, new technologies, new offerings, new applications … [is] retain a very loyal professional audience that is really the high value for us,” Gailey says. “I’d say we’ve actually retained 100 percent of the professional community.”