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Decoding barriers and opportunities in real time.

Partnering with healthcare enterprises requires strategic expertise and ongoing problem solving. We are proud to share examples of how we’ve helped our clients overcome the specific challenges they were facing.


Reaching New Mamas on the Move


All moms are busy, regardless of income level or insurance coverage. Our client wondered if those with less financial resources were even harder to reach due to limited access to traditional communication channels.


So, we designed a study to determine how moms on Medicaid prepare for pregnancy. Further, we wanted to find how our client could best contact them with important information along the way.


Through a series of intimate, individual, in-depth interviews, what we learned was surprising yet logical.


We thought these moms might be more transient than their higher-income counterparts. Yet, their common ground far outweighed their differences.


As we debunked critical myths, we also gained an appreciation for some of the current strategies while shaping new messaging designed to support moms in need.


Implementing New Standards Requires Communication


A Governor-appointed Prematurity and Infant Mortality task force was charged with implementing formal levels of neonatal and maternal care in Missouri, and they needed to educate stakeholders and policymakers about the change.


That’s where we came in. Conducting and leveraging research, we built a communications strategy and pulled it through print, digital, presentations, webinars, and social media.


This fully integrated effort required a complete understanding of the new regulations as well as the flow of information through individual hospital systems and among providers across the state. It also entailed bringing diverse stakeholders together for complex conversations.


When it comes to making sure there’s no drop off in neonatal care for newborns who may be transferred between hospitals, you can never be too thorough.


Flu Shots Cause the Flu?

There are people who believe they can contract influenza from receiving a vaccination.

And there are enough of them that our client saw the need to dispel this myth and others with messaging that directly counteracted long-held beliefs and, ultimately, changed behavior.


Secondary research guided an astute creative shop in developing three initial campaign concepts for A-B testing, but while we learned much more about the barriers we were still not overcoming, the results were inconclusive. And a disparity was exposed between demographic groups regarding which of the three concepts was preferred. 

Leveraging text analysis from open-end responses, our team worked closely with the creative partner to identify opportunities for exploring additional nuance of the concepts. Layered in was academic research which suggested strategies to address “anti-vaccers.”


Revised concepts were retested, and the collaborative effort—client, agency, and primary, secondary, and academic research—led to the ultimate selection of a creative product with conclusive customer support and confidence in a campaign ahead.  

We all know that changing behavior is a tall order, especially when it comes to attitudes as ingrained as those toward medical treatment.


Non-compliant Medicaid Moms

What an awful label to place on someone, “non-compliant.” Nonetheless, that’s how some agencies refer to parents whose children have not completed recommended, annual wellness visits and immunizations.

So what’s going on with these moms? Are they too busy? Are they anti-vaxxers? Do they lack transportation? They don't trust their pediatricians?


We needed to find out.

So we talked to them. And listened to them. 

While we cannot reveal our study findings, none of the questions above were significantly supported. The reason for their non-compliance is pretty simple—and not their fault.


The results were utilized in system design and improvement and in closing communication gaps with other stakeholders in child health.

Branding, But Not From Scratch

As a strategic partner, we approach every assignment from an analytical perspective. So, before we started recommending new logos, collateral and signage, we dug down to the foundation of our client.


In-depth interviews with the partners, employees and clients of Acropolis led directly to a thorough positioning study.


From there, we developed a refined creative brief and managed delivery and implementation of their brand-new brand all the way through to a full marketing strategy.


Mapping the Maternal Health Journey

Journey mapping, a tool normally associated with consumer packaged goods, helped us understand when patients interacted with their providers and how mental health was being addressed before, during and after a woman’s pregnancy.


By developing a comprehensive map, we were able to visualize how these complex, decentralized stakeholders intersected with our moms-to-be. Federally Qualified Health Centers, physicians, nurse practitioners, insurers and Medicaid providers all have separate interactions at different points during the pregnancy.


Once we viewed the process from the perspective of the mother, we uncovered pain points and opportunities for better access to crucial care.


But where were barriers and opportunities for providers?

Next, we went back and mapped a different journey—that of the provider. With the layer of both perspectives—patient and provider—pain points and opportunities for physicians to implement new national maternal mental health recommendations truly emerged.
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