ELITE 2018 Disrupter Nancy Ibach of Merck & Co.

Nancy Ibach

Consumer Director, U.S. Oncology Marketing

Merck & Co.

Bringing Testimonials to Oncology

Nancy Ibach is every bit a true disrupter: Always on and always thinking about how things can be better—for the work, the brand, and ultimately the patient. She has left her mark on every challenge she’s accepted and, as a result, she’s changing consumer marketing at Merck, where she leads and inspires a large team working on accelerated indication launches for its Keytruda megabrand.

“Do not be fooled by her quiet demeanor and her reserved nature,” says Oswaldo Barbosa, Brand Steward for Keytruda at TBWA UNIFIED. “She is brave and a force. While she sits, she observes, all the while quietly calculating plans that will challenge the status quo and improve the patient experience. She is relentless in her pursuit of the larger truth—the fundamental patient need that fuels the marketing engine. In doing so she’s established new processes, leveraged new technology, and changed business models to bring her vision to life.”

A perfect example of that approach: The new Keytruda “IT’S TRU” campaign, which tells the stories of real people diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Although testimonials were not in practice at Merck—or anywhere in oncology marketing—she saw the potential in the campaign. And she led the charge in transforming Merck’s oncology consumer marketing from an adherence strategy to a full-stage acquisition and conversion program.

The Merck Keytruda launch is only the latest in a history of team leadership that includes her years leading the patient strategy across GSK’s entire oncology portfolio and her tenure at AstraZeneca, where she led consumer marketing for Nexium, Crestor, and Abraxane. Her efforts led to her being named as one of the “Top 25 Direct to Consumer Marketers of the Year” by DTC Perspectives in 2010. Her passion for the patient and thoroughly understanding their unique needs is what drives every decision she makes. Nancy leaves a great mark on every brand and organization she touches.

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