Innovators 2014: Strategies

The Harvard Business Review recently interviewed 58 CEOs in the healthcare sector, and the words they most used to describe the keys to their organizations’ futures: Change and innovation. What else could it be? As the healthcare system continues evolving and becomes more focused on delivering value, companies need to find new ways to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. Innovation may be more important to this industry’s success than ever before—and marketers are not exempt from this challenge. Not only should they help find ways to provide more value to customers, but they must also continue to adapt to the ever-changing means by which people communicate. This requires new solutions, offerings and thinking that can solve the problems life science companies currently face—as well as problems they are sure to face right
around the corner.

We highlight these forward-thinkers in our third annual Innovations in Pharma Marketing special issue and provide a guide to the Companies, Divisions, Products, People, Services and Strategies that can help create success in the New Year. Once again, our call for innovation did not go unheard. We were bombarded with remarkable submissions from across the industry. The following represent a select collection of today’s best industry innovations and innovators. These range from exciting new ways to speed up drug discovery and development to a platform that can revolutionize rare disease marketing. That’s just a taste! Between the 62 innovations/innovators in this issue and the directory of some of today’s most innovative companies, we believe you’ll find plenty of ideas to help make 2015
a great year.

Here are our picks for strategies. Never-before-tried approaches that are changing how the industry

operates—or a new twist on a familiar tactic that makes it even better.

iPREP: AstraZeanca


AstraZeneca’s Commercial Operations team was challenged to roll out a new CRM/CLM app—and the business process and workflow changes that came with it—to over 7,000 Field Sales and Service teams without causing a negative impact on productivity. The team had to have content ready for 34 shows, which needed to be integrated with nine existing systems—and they only had six months to build, integrate, train and deploy. Still, the team delivered a smooth, seamless transition with no time out of territory for training and no increase in support structure.

How? By becoming entrepreneurial: The group eliminated pilots and created post-launch teams to address any issues. They used lessons learned from previous deployments and created an aggressive deployment plan, and then were relentless in developing the best communication and training tools for it. The team produced a change management campaign featuring engaging videos and used social media for communications and user support. The centerpiece is a custom-developed virtual training app called iPrep. With this app, learners decide how much training they need and choose their own path through the content.

iPrep offers a library of more than 100 short tutorials and allows users to collect badges as they progress through the training. Learners can get it all with an end-to-end iRep course; browse to find topics of interest; or refer to it for just-in-time guidance.

THE COM-B MODEL: Atlantis Healthcare


Pharma marketers struggle to solve the issue of treatment nonadherence effectively and cost-efficiently. Atlantis Healthcare leverages a proven psychological framework to understand why patients don’t follow prescribed treatments. Their strategic approach—used for decades globally—is new to the U.S. market and promises to shift how pharma tackles adherence.

The COM-B model proposes that an individual’s behavior is influenced by an evolving set of multiple factors, all of which can be grouped into three components:

1. Capability: The patient’s physical and psychological ability to implement prescribed lifestyle and medication regimens necessary for adherence.
2. Opportunity: Factors external to the patient, including the quality of social support, access to filling prescriptions and communication with the healthcare team.
3. Motivation: Factors related to patients’ beliefs about their disease and prescribed treatment, including the importance of following the treatment regimen, feelings about side effects, understanding and acceptance of diagnosis and levels of depression or anxiety.

Two patients with the same condition, on the same medication, can have different reasons for not following their treatment. One patient may fear side effects, another may stop because she doesn’t feel any better. A one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work in changing behaviors.

Health psychology specialists at Atlantis Healthcare use the COM-B model to assess the beliefs behind each patient’s non-adherence in order to develop targeted interventions that address those specific barriers. The result is the development of customized, relevant interventions to improve adherence long term and help patients better self-manage their condition.



Cadient is bringing a new approach to digital marketing innovation to market. Why? Because life sciences companies around the world have significantly increased their emphasis on web, mobile and social engagement with all of their stakeholders, while increasingly leveraging enterprise-level analytics to drive a customer-centric approach to marketing and sales. This structural disruption is necessary as marketing services enable new digital ways for companies to engage with patients and providers and create compelling user experiences.

As part of the Multichannel Marketing Strategic Growth Organization within the Cognizant Life Sciences practice, Cadient is squarely focused on customer centricity, insights, analytics and responsive design. The combined capabilities of Cadient’s digital specialists and Cognizant’s Life Sciences technology services organization can collectively explore what Cognizant calls Code Halos. These digital footprints will help both life sciences and broader healthcare companies to increase customer centricity and gain competitive advantage by managing the information that surrounds people, products, organizations and processes. Cadient supports its customers by creatively and effectively applying the knowledge gained from insights to answer, and ultimately, to anticipate user needs through richer, more personalized brand experiences.

Cadient also recently built a state-of-the-art user-experience research lab within their new office space in Malvern, PA, an emerging hub for life sciences and technology companies in the Philadelphia region. Through these efforts, Cadient is re-imagining experiences for healthcare providers, patients, clinicians and other life sciences stakeholders.



While Dudnyk is uniquely positioned to work with specialty clients who depend heavily on strategic and novel ideas, the firm is also independently owned and therefore has the latitude to make decisions quickly and intelligently. And 2014 has been an explosive and truly innovative year. The company methodically integrated carefully chosen outside talent across departments with its stronghold of tenured employees to influence new ways of thinking and constructively evolve historical ideas.

Through its 2014 DUDNITION initiative, Dudnyk has undergone business transformation in the areas of network marketing, experience and content strategy, and organizational management. The initiative employs multiple experimentation work streams, including: Crowd-sourced creative development for client brands; new research and listening tools; active analytics monitoring and storytelling; and more.

Dudnyk has also evolved its classic AOR traffic function in favor of more agile methods of workflow management and creative development, opening up space for even bigger business ideas. Iterative experiments allow Dudnyk’s leadership to learn from what works, what doesn’t and to refine accordingly.

The firm is also looking to advance the way healthcare marketing is done, to incite the most motivating brand experiences, and to help clients move away from older funnel marketing models and outdated verticals that can’t survive in today’s dynamically evolving business world.


Havas Lynx Strategies

This past year, Havas Lynx redesigned its entire agency offering around an innovative activation methodology that works from the inside out, starting with the customer experience and then designing relevant, consistent, on-strategy tactics targeting specific points of need along the customer’s journey with the brand. The agency’s goal: To redefine the role of the marketing agency in the health ecosystem.

It’s called Healthcare Service Design—and this emerging discipline is rooted in a new understanding: There is no such thing as isolated interactions between users, brand and the contexts in which the brand appears. Customers mentally meld all their fragmentary, moment-by-moment impressions of interactions together into one overall impression. Healthcare Service Design is about brand owners and marketers building a true whole picture view and using it to create more valuable service-oriented  experiences for customers. It’s set to be a major force in healthcare, and in practical terms it can be described in four stages.

1. Develop deep patient perspective (understand what the patient is experiencing).
2. Understand your current brand/service in relation to the condition concerned.
3. Identify desired brand/service outcomes and patient behaviors.
4. Design and build a service.

The agency’s Healthcare Service Design process ensures that every touch point, across channels, contributes to enabling or changing a critical health behavior, teaming HCPs, patients and caregivers in entirely new ways to reveal and deliver entirely new service offerings that will define and build the health experience of the next decade.


HealthPrize Strategies

An innovative collaboration between HealthPrize Technologies and West Pharmaceutical Services will transform a patient’s relationship with their injectable medications for chronic conditions. HealthPrize’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) medication adherence and patient engagement platform will be linked to West’s injectable drug delivery systems to provide an end-to-end connected health solution to pharmaceutical companies and the patients they serve.

The combined offering will provide electronically connected drug delivery systems that track when patients take their medication; educate and engage patients to increase adherence and medical literacy; and reward them for compliance with their prescribed regimen.

The HealthPrize platform leverages a combination of gamification, behavioral economic concepts, education and rewards to maximize motivational impact. Patients enrolled in HealthPrize programs demonstrate persistently high engagement rates and materially higher adherence rates, nearly 50% higher than baseline, on average. In collaboration with West, HealthPrize will also offer real-time verification of medication usage via wireless connection to West’s drug delivery systems, including various biologics and other self-injected therapies. West intends to develop system technology that will allow both West drug delivery systems as well as existing drug delivery devices of other manufacturers to interface with the HealthPrize software.

West is a leader in drug containment and delivery systems and is one of the largest contract manufacturers of pens and auto-injectors globally, producing more than 100 million of these devices each year.

Although executing upon the collaboration poses challenges inherent in linking a complex device with software within the regulatory constraints of healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry, both companies are well poised to meet the challenge.

OCULUS RIFT: Klick Health

Klick Strategies

Klick Health recently expanded Klick Labs to further innovate using rapid software prototyping tools and new fabrication technologies, such as 3D scanning and printing. Klick is working with emerging devices and technologies, including wearables, micro-location beacons, motion controllers, and virtual and augmented reality interfaces, in addition to new ethnographic research techniques.

Among Klick’s latest innovations is using Oculus Rift to rethink how companies approach their trade-show booths. Designing a conference or trade-show booth is as much art as it is architectural science. Traditional means of planning (diagrams, layout plans, etc.) are useful for execution, but will the booth be effective at attracting and retaining visitors?

Oculus Rift, recently acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, is an immersive headset that fills your vision with a virtual reality scene that fools the brain into thinking it’s been transported to a different place. This allows the agency’s expert 3D modelers to create the booth using pixels and polygons and move the space around in real time—allowing clients to rapidly iterate on design and layout.

Clients can see their booth framework, fixtures, signage, décor and any other element fully staged to gain a real sense of how their booth will look and integrate within the overall exhibition floor—without having to commit to expensive fabrication and construction. Ultimately this gives Klick’s clients added peace of mind and efficiencies in bringing their vision to life.


Merkle Strategies 2

Personalization is an expected mainstay for top digital properties across the web—outside of health. Getting relevant digital health experiences in the moment of truth today is more difficult. Merkle’s Life Sciences practice seeks to change all that. Marketers have piloted personalization—and today that opportunity can be scaled. Mass personalization of health content for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals requires smarter frameworks and greater discipline to convert digital exhaust into the success factors that empower health entities to provide relief to millions of individual patients.

Ensuring the right experience can be adjusted, delivered and optimized in real time in a highly scalable way is how Merkle has rationalized the ad tech stack across the industry. The good news: A fast-growing foundation of Big Data and insights can be accessed to provide unique breakthrough ideas and executional ability to power first movers and sustain competitive advantage at the same rapid pace of change.

Merkle’s approach, the Addressable Customer Experience, is defined through the 3C’s: Context, content and connectivity. Context is driven by detailed knowledge of consumers as well as their behaviors, motivations and location (physical or digital). Content refers to the unbranded and brand stories, offers and engagements relevant within the context of the dynamic patient-physician conversation. Connectivity is the integration, targeting and tracking of the addressable platforms to bring context and content together. Healthcare marketing is entering its most exciting transformation yet.


mms Strategies

Did you know that customer engagement via email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined? Were you aware that email also actively engages nearly all prescribers it is sent to?

Email may seem old fashioned, but in terms of customer engagement, it is right up there with the most innovative digital customer engagement technologies—especially mobile email. A McKinsey & Company study even shows that sending email is still the most effective way to acquire customers.

Fully 51% of smartphone users open these emails, according to Inbox Marketer, so it’s not surprising that today’s email marketers employ best responsive design practices and are more streamlined and strategic with their messaging.

mms is one such company positioned on the cutting edge of digital innovation across all platforms and media. They are pushing the email envelope to help deliver messages more efficiently and effectively. From creating the perfect email to guaranteeing that your emails are opened, mms works to help companies earn the ROI that email continually achieves. Strategies including mms’ Automated Email Remail also increase open rates 50% by retargeting prescribers who don’t interact with an initial email deployment.

The Next Big Thing—Knowing Your Customer

In 2015, mms will push the envelope even further to enable product teams to target actively engaged prescribers across all digital media. So stay tuned.

Live BOLD, Live NOW: Remedy Health Media

Remedy Strategies

To connect with patients and improve action and engagement metrics, Remedy Health Media developed innovative strategies to present condition-specific patient education. Remedy created Live BOLD, Live NOW, an empowerment initiative that positively influences health-seekers through personal stories of triumph over disease to tap into the power of emotional marketing.

Real patients and experts—through an industry unique execution of beautifully produced video, editorial, animation and tools—share intimate stories about living boldly with their health condition. These compelling and inspiring stories motivate patients like them to take more action to better their health and overcome challenges.

The emotionally charged multi-media pieces—combined with data targeting—have proven to be a powerful resource for patients and a great environment for pharmaceutical manufacturers. The programs have generated significantly greater engagement with KPIs than standard content. For example, research shows that Live BOLD, Live NOW patients were three times more likely to request a prescription from their doctor by brand name.

More work goes into creating an emotional and immersive experience than industry standard flat condition content. So Remedy diligently scouted out patients with compelling stories that truly inspire other patients and sought out partners for funding. After months of technical work, casting and partnership discussions, the project was a success. The program proved that having an emotional connection with the audience not only inspires patients, but it fosters brand loyalty and scrip lift.


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