Jan 27, 2020
Todd Unger is the Chief Experience Officer and SVP of Marketing
& Member Experience at the American Medical Association
(“AMA”). He has led digital-change initiatives at AOL, Time Inc.
and the Daily Racing Form.
Todd is a transformational leader for the digital age, with the
classic profile of a “productive disruptor.” He operates at the
nexus of digital technology, content, product development,
marketing, and business development. By bringing these areas
together in unison, he’s been able to drive record growth in
audience, customers, e-commerce revenue, and advertising sales
across multiple digital businesses.
In his conversation with us, Todd shares the story of the
AMA and how they are using
digital marketing to transform their customer experience, share
their message, and attract more physicians and industry service
providers to become members of their association. They currently
have approximately 250,000 members and engage 1.3 million unique
visitors through their website per month.
We explore ways to connect more effectively with your target
audience, listening carefully to what they really want, and how to
tell your story in such a way that it inspires engagement and
- When we talk of customer experience it’s really to create a
proposition that is meaningful to people; to get it in front of the
right target audience, and to create a seamless environment where
people can opt in to your product or become a member.
- We serve physicians and are an ally to them.
- The AMA is the one organization that speaks nationally for
every state, society, medical specialty.
- The AMA has about 250,000 members and there are 1.5 million
physicians that they serve.
- We’re influencing the industry, for example, in terms of
adopting the right health technology to support physician and
- There’s a myth about physicians not being on social media and
especially Facebook. That is wrong. Physicians are spending a lot
of time on social media and talking with each other.
- One of our most effective platforms in terms of communicating
with physicians and telling the story of the AMA is through
Facebook, because it is super targeted.
- A lot of the conversations are in private groups so we work
with ambassadors and ardent members and ask them to tell the AMA
story, inject the facts into a discussion, and let people know that
we’re on top of it.
- We work to maximize the distribution of the content we create,
using scientific best practices to ensure we’re producing content
that our audience is interested in.
- One of the things we do is provide compelling and tangible
proof of what we’re achieving on behalf of patients and
- We’ll tell people about our advocacy work. For example, the AMA
recently voted to remove all non-FDA approved vaping devices. It’s
our responsibility to compliment the work that our media does to
ensure the word goes out to physicians to enroll them in that
- In addition to the deficit of knowledge people may have about
what we’re up to, they may have a very different opinion of the AMA
that came from years ago. So part of what we do is tell them that
this is not the AMA you remember. This is a different organization
and one that you should be part of.
- We’ve had the great fortune of having 3 consecutive women
presidents. We are very mission-driven and diverse, and we are
accomplishing all of the things that people really care about.
- A productive disrupter is a person who can lead a
transformation without being a bull in a china shop, upsetting
- We bring mission and membership together so people within the
organization understand how it’s in everyone’s best interest to get
the story out there.
- I spend a lot of time listening to customers (in this case,
physicians) about what they want. For example, young physicians
said that they were tired of seeing stock photos of doctors or
actors. It led to one of the biggest insights since I’ve been at
- These are real people making real change on behalf of their
patients. They are heroes. We wanted to show it that way. If using
real life photos do that, it’s a win.
- Now when students and physicians in residence walk into our
events, they see the faces of their fellow physicians on big
pillars or in the entryway. It really changes how they see
themselves and the sense of power they feel as a physician and
being part of this organization.
- We represent physicians with a unified voice. We remove the
obstacles between them and patient care. We are leading the charge
on the public health crises that physicians and patients face today
and we’re driving the future of medicine.
- We’re about to close the 9th consecutive year of membership
growth, especially in the physician category.
- We are reaching 1.3 million unique users per month, just
through the AMA website.
- There are so many ways to segment an audience – believers,
those in the middle, and those that will never come around. And
then there are other layers of that, based on what people are
interested in. That kind of innovation in our segmentation
underlies a lot of the results that we’re seeing, because we’re
talking to people about things that they care about.
- On average for every hour spent with a patient, a physician
will spend two hours doing paperwork, sitting behind a computer
screen. So we’re working with CMS to help reduce the burden around
Connect With Todd Unger and the AMA