A New Chapter in Medical Education with NEJM Group

  • Healthcare
  • Publishing
doctor looking at journal

The Challenge

New England Journal of Medicine’s (NEJM) position as the most influential medical journal in the world was threatened by the development of new technologies that were shifting the way consumers find, interact with, and share information.

The Opportunity

To further propel its longstanding reputation as the go-to medical journal and ensure its relevancy in this constantly shifting environment, NEJM Group had to develop potential revenue streams to reach new customer segments and pivot to new opportunities.

The Outcome

Our strategic partnership allowed NEJM Group to develop the first-of-its-kind adaptive learning platform in medicine - disrupting the market and effectively capturing the needs and pain points of consumers – the new Knowledge+ platform.

Taking the Temperature

The Massachusetts Medical Society approached Vivaldi for innovation consulting as it embarked on taking a fresh look at and developing a master brand strategy for their publishing division. The flagship brand, the New England Journal of Medicine, had a reputation as the most influential medical journal in the world and had proven itself to be a leader in digital innovation in its field. However, the omnipresence of new technologies in the Web 2.0 age had led to a shift in how physicians discover, consume, interact with, and share information. With this change in expectations around how, when, and where content can be accessed, the journal faced competition from new, “good enough” online and digital sources that time-starved doctors viewed as more convenient and accessible. The publishing division recognized the need to expand into new products and services that would be relevant in this new environment, while preserving the premium perceptions of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We exhibited Knowledge+ at the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians meeting. The response was overwhelmingly positive both from individual physicians and residency program directors. Since the launch we have had a steady stream of individual orders and continued strong interest from residency programs.”
— Lisa Rawding, Executive Director of Customer Insights, Strategy, & Corporate Marketing, NEJM Group

Writing a Prescription

To develop the new brand strategy, Vivaldi Group undertook research to better understand physicians needs and behaviors. We tapped into the perspectives of over nine hundred physicians through qualitative and quantitative studies to understand the brand’s potential to extend into new education offerings. We conducted daily life episodic reconstructions with medical professionals to uncover frustrations with the use of medical information. Based on these insights and the resulting market positioning, a new master brand was created. The new master brand, NEJM Group combines all publishing resources to support the strategy of diversification into new markets. We also identified twelve high potential areas for growth, and conducted an analytical deep-dive into two specific areas, including economic analyses and future growth projections, competitive mapping, and market sizing. A brand architecture was formulated to organize the portfolio in order to support the growth strategy, including both present and future offerings. The new master brand strategy and brand architecture were reflected in a visual identity. Based on this strategic vision, a growth playbook was created to formalize growth opportunities and translate them into specific concepts for products and services. The Vivaldi Partners team led a two-day ideation workshop with selected education innovation experts to generate new education concepts and business model ideas. Through these workshops and earlier insights work, six high priority future education concepts emerged, including new products and services, new partnerships, new audiences, and new business models.

From "Just in Case" to "Just in Time"

As a result of this key foundational work, NEJM Group went on to develop and launch NEJM Knowledge+ Internal Medicine Board Review in 2014. This first-of-its kind adaptive learning platform in medicine designed to meet the needs of Internal Medicine specialists includes adaptive self-assessment, timed practice exams, extensive individualized performance analysis tools, and the opportunity to earn CME and MOC points. With the introduction of Knowledge+, NEJM Group now offers the most efficient, engaging, and effective way for clinicians to learn, improve the quality of their practice, and prepare for board exams. Due to the overwhelming success of Knowledge+ Internal Medicine Board Review, NEJM Group launched Knowledge+ Family Medicine Board Review in 2015 and plans to launch additional learning products in the coming years.