SVP, Executive Creative Director
Thriving in Restricted Environments
Martin Canniff has never let regulatory restraints limit his creative ability. Marty jumped from the creatively restrictive world of financial services to the more regulated healthcare industry. But despite the high level of scrutiny that the work done for these industries must endure, he has welcomed the challenge and thrived.
Marty’s work has even fundamentally impacted how healthcare marketers operate. One of Marty’s greatest achievements came about in 2010 with the redesign of a major pharmaceutical brand website for one of the best-selling products in the industry. The Intouch team didn’t just design a site to compete against other brand.coms but also with more consumer-needs and health-oriented sites such as WebMD. Marty encouraged the use of the inverted pyramid approach in which the most relevant content is provided first, followed by supporting details, and then other relevant topics. Understanding that answering user’s needs was more important than marketing messaging may sound obvious now, but it was rare at the time.
Marty is also responsible for impacting the creative evolution of Intouch’s Chicago office. For example, in order to enhance the creative environment within the office, he led the charge for a space focused on visibility, collaboration, and community. Amenities included sliding glass walls, writing and posting surfaces everywhere, large gathering areas, and ad-hoc work areas.
He also pushes innovative problem-solving. In early 2013, Marty jump-started Intouch’s understanding of the value of personal tracking and health data by initiating the Quanified Self project. Everyone in the office was required to track something and present back their findings—how they tracked, what insight was gained, and how it affected their behavior. More recently he created a design-in-browser contest to evolve the creative team’s workflow and their focus on solving for user needs, and implemented a behavior-modification framework that results in more fun and meaningful user experiences.
At the core of his approach is a 360° understanding of what the client wants and what the end user needs, despite often strict parameters. But limitations mean little to Marty. He is a big thinker and idea generator who finds a way to change how the industry approaches a problem.