In the fall of 2021, Maven launched a COVID-19 education and advocacy campaign, allowing pregnant people to meet with a Maven OB-GYN or midwife for free to learn more about the vaccine. The campaign was a direct response to the CDC alerting the public of low COVID-19 vaccination rate among pregnant women—which hovered at less than 30%, despite recommendations from the CDC to get vaccinated.
Our goal with this campaign was to raise awareness and to empower pregnant people to make informed decisions about the vaccine in a judgment-free zone. Shortly after the CDC reported on the low vaccination rate amongst pregnant people in October, Maven sprung into action. With a mission rooted in building always-on access to expert care, our company saw it critical to meet this moment of need and support pregnant people by providing them with more information on the vaccine. Our campaign focused on positioning Maven as an empathetic resource that was there to listen and support, and not cast judgment on pregnant people who were reluctant or on the fence about getting the vaccine. At the same time, it was imperative for us to lead with clinical credibility and reinforce what nationally accredited organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, were saying was the prevailing standard of care—getting vaccinated. We saw it paramount to remove barriers to access, so we provided free consultations on our platform with Maven providers who could answer questions and educate pregnant people on the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The crux of our campaign was a 5-question survey of 500 pregnant women around the factors that are influencing their decisions about the vaccine. Among the key findings, we found that most pregnant people were unaware that the CDC recommended vaccines during pregnancy; and nearly 70% said they avoided getting the vaccine while pregnant because someone advised them against it. We leveraged the data to underscore the importance of having providers meet people where they are by truly listening to their concerns. To that end, we opened up the Maven platform to any pregnant person who wanted to speak to an OB-GYN or midwife for free about the vaccine. Women and families who had access to Maven through their employer or their health plan also had the chance to book appointments with providers at no cost—something they are able to do at all times when they have access to Maven as a benefit.
With the goal of getting as many pregnant people as possible to see our campaign, we used the following channels to distribute our news:
Press outreach to national business and consumer reporters, leaning into our new survey findings as the timely news hook
Email campaigns directed at our clients, containing toolkits and resources for employers on how they can support their moms-to-be during the pandemic
We leverage our social platforms - Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to deploy the following:
Instructional video posts on how to use Maven to talk to women’s & family health experts about the vaccine
Stories to gather questions and concerns about getting the vaccine while pregnant or trying to conceive
Educational posts geared at our employer audience with resources for supporting their pregnant employees
Campaign amplification by Maven’s executive thought leaders
There were two main challenges we had to overcome as the campaign came together:
Urgency: On September 29, 2021, the CDC issued a clear recommendation for pregnant people to get vaccinated, and revealed that August 2021 had the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths in pregnant people during the pandemic. Time was of the essence. In the following days, we put together the campaign and began to execute on the key elements. Our official campaign launched on October 28, less than one month after CDC’s alert. Designing, fielding and analyzing a survey in this timeframe was particularly challenging.
Building trust: As our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Neel Shah pointed out, “there's so much social messaging around pregnancy that makes pregnant people feel like everything around them could be a threat.” That baseline feeling of being under threat only intensified with pregnant people receiving conflicting information about the COVID vaccine. As our survey found, pregnant people were receiving misinformation from a broad array of sources. Further, for many people, there is not a single source of truth. We had to acknowledge that fact in order to build trust with all communities and provide them with judgment-free advice while COVID infection rates continued to climb.
The success of our campaign hinged on how much awareness we generated with the public on this issue. We measured awareness in the following areas:
Press: We generated over 74 million impressions across 10 pieces of press, with top-tier news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, Boston Globe and WIRED sharing our survey findings.
Social results: (10/26/21–11/26/21)
189% increase in overall impressions across all channels
40% increase in overall engagements across all channels
32% increase in post link clicks across all channels
54% total audience growth across all channels
27% increase in traffic to the Maven website from social
In order to expand the reach of this campaign, we leveraged our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Neel Shah’s Twitter audience of 18k followers. Dr. Shah’s tweet thread about the campaign drove a 2,557% increase in Twitter impressions and a 1,159% increase in Twitter engagements for Maven.
Member support: Our ability to support Maven members with judgment-free advice was another key success metric. This support is best seen in the feedback from one of our members: “My main concern in taking the COVID vaccine was how it would affect the fetus, both in the short and long term. Therefore, I was reluctant to take it. My own OB was very tight-lipped about it and didn’t tell me much. At that time, I reached out to OB-GYNs at Maven.”
Beyond press and social, one of the awareness metrics we’re most proud of is the White House noticing our efforts. We were the only digital health company invited to take part in the White House’s first-ever Maternal Health Day of Action last winter. To celebrate this historic day, Maven expanded its free COVID-19 vaccine education and advocacy initiative for the entirety of 2022.