Meredith signs up to craft custom content for point-of-care network's pharma clients

Content is king, as the saying goes, and it’s especially important in pharma and healthcare. That’s why point-of-care agency Mesmerize has struck a deal with Meredith, the publisher of stalwart magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple and Diabetic Living.

Meredith Health Solutions, the publisher’s custom pharma and health content division, will supply Mesmerize with content—both repurposed from its magazines and original work for specific projects—to use in its in-office projects with pharma companies.

The deal will also include custom magazines built around a single condition, such as diabetes, heart health or living with HIV. The Mesmerize network includes 60,000 medical locations in the U.S.

The partnership just launched this month, but one effort already up and running is a diabetes program for Merck & Co. In-office wallboards feature Meredith content discussing issues like eating and exercise to manage diabetes, along with a small ad from Merck, said Mesmerize president Craig Mait.

“We’ve learned it’s important to have a content partner along with any advertising that goes into point of care. Seeing a giant ad for a drug on your wall is very different than seeing a tasteful ad intermixed with relevant educational content,” he said in an interview.

While the content and advertising mix in Mesmerize’s network is static, it’s working to add digital and video back in—it sold off its digital network several years ago—with plans to launch a new digital network in the third quarter with more Meredith content.

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Meredith isn’t alone in its healthcare custom content drive; Condé Nast, publisher of well-known titles including Self, Vanity Fair and Glamour, launched Condé Nast Pharma two years ago to provide custom content for pharma clients.

Point-of-care marketing is also experiencing a surge in interest as traditional and digital media channels bog down with ads and marketers look to reach patients in decision-making mode. ZS Associates estimated POC will reach 70% of doctors’ offices by 2020, up from 30% in 2014. Sales are expected to reach almost $850 million by 2020, ZS predicted.