Spotlight: Susan Stugelmeyer, Director of Partnerships

This month, Spotlight meets up with Susan Stugelmeyer. Susan is a driving force behind Media Bridge’s overall growth and evolution. As a key player in our development team, she brings years of med tech and healthcare experience to energize our MB Health specialty practice. 


So you’re new to both Media Bridge and MB Health, right?


Yes, but definitely not new to health care and medical technology. I joined Media Bridge in August 2023 and have been working to launch this new offering to the world. But before arriving here, I worked in relationship-development roles for medical device manufacturing and other life sciences companies. My specialty is working with clients to develop alliances and find other collaborative ways of meeting their goals. I’ve also done a lot of work in building awareness around professional services and new offerings. So this new role is very much in my wheelhouse.


What does Media Bridge do differently than other agencies who specialize in heathcare?


Our sweet spot is DTC (direct to consumer) relationship-building, and we’re already helping brands do that across categories ranging from sleep apnea, pain treatment and cardiovascular health to incontinence and diabetes glucose monitoring. Media Bridge pioneered a DTC approach for Inspire Medical that helped them grow into a hugely successful, publicly traded company. We did that by marketing its sleep apnea solution directly to consumers via TV, radio and other media. Seeing Inspire’s success, other device and therapy creators want to explore the same model.


Why is DTC marketing so important in the health space?


It started with those pharma ads we’ve all seen a million times that end with “ask your doctor about … ” Before that, most life sciences and medtech brands assumed that you marketed only to doctors and healthcare providers. Now we know that it’s just as important, if not more important, to build awareness and demand among patients themselves.


Healthcare is a high-tech/high-touch space. How does that affect how MB Health approaches advertising and media?


Media Bridge is brilliant at merging technology with the human element. It’s one of the things that impressed me most when I joined. We must be the only ad agency in the country with our own digital media buying platform (MBX), our own SaaS campaign performance tool (eMBi) and our own medical advisory board. That translates into helping companies make their media dollars work as hard as possible while also being able to stay on top of trends and regulatory changes.


Why are compliance issue important for a healthcare-focused agency practice to know?


The entire industry is heavily regulated, so brands need a team who understands this climate and can, if needed, work directly with their internal compliance people. You need to understand product quality and usage standards. Depending on the company’s market, you need to stay on top of state, national and even international law. You need to understand the language of FDA clearance, DTC advertising and promotion laws, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation in Europe), and be aware of nuances related to culture and language. It’s a lot. But we’ve spent a long time building a highly tailored offering, and it’s already attracting a lot of attention.


Sounds like there’s a lot of opportunity for MB Health.


Absolutely. We’re built to work with everyone from entrepreneurial startups to large, established brands. We do everything from early brand development (like company and product naming) to highly sophisticated media-buying on a global and local scales that makes the phone ring. Speaking of which, give us call!