Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of the very innovative Walt Disney company says, “The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.”

Creativity and innovation are clearly a marketer’s best friends. Trying something new and innovative certainly takes a lot of heart—it can be risky, no doubt, but can also lead to great success. It also takes a lot of soul: The ability to step into the customers’ shoes and feel what they’re feeling. Insights are uncovered here, giving marketers the ability to solve problems and anticipate needs now and in the future. These abilities may well be the kindling of innovation—the spark that ignites creativity, the fire in the belly that burns away the old revealing something utterly new.

In our second Innovations in Pharma Marketing special issue we highlight these types of risk-takers and problem-solvers in the following categories: Companies, Divisions, People, Products and Services. We received an overwhelming response to our call for innovation, proving what we already knew: This industry has no shortage of new ideas, and trailblazers are everywhere. On the following pages, we present 60 offerings we feel are making an impact on the industry and on the lives of patients, while making the lives of brand marketers a little easier.

Journalist Walter Lippman says, “When we all think alike, then no one is thinking.” This is a glimpse of the people and companies who do think differently, who are leading pharma into places it has never been before.

Here are our picks for companies. These pioneering organizations are just starting to make their mark on the industry—all have been in operation for five years or less or underwent a strategic relaunch during that same period.


Clean Strategy Group

Jeff Burkel, Managing Partner


Clean Strategy Group is a new way for life science companies to form internal and market movements for their brands. Jeremy Holden, recently with ad giant Publicis and author of Second That Emotion (Prometheus Books, September 2012), and Jeff Burkel, formerly Partner at MicroMass Communications, formed Clean Strategy Group this year to help companies and brands create authentic experiences for their consumers. “We build brands from the inside out,” says Burkel, “which is a critical and new way of thinking in this period of disruption in the healthcare industry.”

“The word ‘strategy’ has become small and has lost its true meaning,” adds Holden, who has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands including Audi, NASDAQ and P&G. “Clean Strategy helps companies grow by aligning operations with communications to build sustainable movements. Strategy that drives the business and the brand so that it lives internally and externally, and can fuel a movement, is big, because it was conceived to be.”

Both Burkel and Holden saw a gap (and opportunity) between what life science marketers were claiming and the experience their customers were receiving when they went in for care, filled a prescription or interacted with their insurance provider. “We call it ‘putting lipstick on a pig,’ ” says Holden, “and it is really the reason I had to leave to build something new.”



Bob MacAvoy, SVP, Business Development


Doximity is the largest, fastest-growing network for U.S. physicians and HCPs. With over 240,000 verified active members, Doximity’s network more than doubled in 2013. Physicians manage CVs, exchange HIPAA-secure messages, collaborate on clinical cases, and keep up with the latest clinical news in a custom news feed.

Doximity’s DoxConnect platform is pharma’s key to accessing the physician inner circle. Within each physician’s DocNews feed, brands can sponsor clinical alerts. DocNews items can include images, videos and links to external content. DocNews is multiscreen, reaching physicians on iOS, Android, email and online.

DoxConnect also enables brands to deliver clinical or formulary alerts via the Amion Mobile App (pictured above), the No. 1 IDN and hospital-scheduling product in the U.S. (built and maintained by Doximity). No other channel can help brands target increasingly hard-to-reach, IDN-based physicians so easily at scale.

DoxConnect programs can target physicians by specialty, subspecialty, location, keyword or list match. Many brands are leveraging Doximity’s rich physician data to supplement existing target lists. For example, a diabetes brand targeted all endocrinologists and then included other physicians with “diabetes” listed in their Doximity profile. This extra targeting intelligence is included in the fee for DoxConnect programs. Additionally, Doximity’s KOL Finder platform helps brands to understand the digital and social influence patterns of key MDs in ways previously impossible.

Doximity continues to deliver next-generation product offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of MDs and the pharmaceutical industry alike.


Hale Advisors

Zoe Dunn, Principal



At Hale Advisors, we help our clients innovate by improving organizational readiness to drive business results in a digital world. Innovation is critical for evolution, and companies that do not evolve are at risk of falling prey to the competition. To drive innovation, companies must establish a baseline of digital knowledge throughout the organization to remain relevant in the face of a changing communications landscape. This includes improving the relationship between compliance and commercial, driving the sales force toward greater effectiveness and efficiencies, and creating an opportunity for enhanced patient and physician interactions. Hale Advisors has been driving this digital evolution at mid-sized and large pharmaceutical companies since its founding in 2011. We are doing this through a combination of organizational design, educational programs, internal best practice sharing, valuation of digital tactics in the marketing mix, and guidelines development for how to use digital platforms and channels in absence of regulatory guidance. We are helping pharmaceutical companies overcome obstacles through the following:

  • Creating opportunities for legacy knowledge management, which reduces inefficiencies that come from the average 18-month brand management rotation cycles.
  • Building a stronger relationship between commercial and compliance to reduce inefficiencies and budget waste in the review cycle.
  • Helping communicate the value of digital across the organization, as well as its use and purpose, to enable greater connectivity between the company’s physician and patient customers.


Havas Lynx

Larry Mickelberg, President


Amid all the changes in healthcare, we’ve been looking hard at how we too can change. As health marketers, how can we apply our experience and expertise in communication to change what we do and provide greater value? How can we harness developments in and around the intersection of digital technology and healthcare to foster better business for our clients?

These questions are the founding principles of Havas Lynx, a new type of agency launched in late 2012 by Havas Health, and created to advance the practice of health marketing far beyond its traditional forms. With a strong digital core and a unique focus on the customer experience, Havas Lynx designs integrated communications programs that connect at multiple points on the healthcare journey.

Our work transcends the marketing rulebook by not just understanding, but leveraging the complex relationships that drive the search for better health and wellness. Delivered though smart technologies, our standard of action is significant benefits in terms of health outcomes. Havas Lynx is aiming for nothing less than the digital transformation of the health experience. We leverage our global capabilities in marketing strategy, content, design, technology and media to identify challenges, promote innovation and create powerful new ways to help our clients make the most of the rapidly evolving opportunities in health.



Janet Kosloff, Co-Founder and CEO
Diane Hayes, Co-Founder and President
Kathleen Poulos, Co-Founder and CMO


InCrowd’s innovation is changing the speed of business decisions. How? We’re giving pharmaceutical companies on-demand access to targeted, pre-screened healthcare professionals who have agreed to answer market research questions quickly, via their smart devices. Why? So pharma can make smart decisions, faster.

We’ve designed the InCrowd platform from the ground up to meet the unique needs of the life sciences community. We’re a subscription-based service, giving you the freedom to ask questions 24/7. We’ll build you a custom Crowd or you can define your own; quickly building your Crowd from our extensive, double opt-in database of healthcare professionals. Then we’ll screen even further based on your demographic needs. We’ve recently added pharmacists, dentists and veterinarians to our Crowds and we have patients, too. Our international reach covers more than 14 countries and is growing rapidly, which means that with a single click you can be conducting native language micro surveys in the European Big 5.

Extensive data analysis and data sharing tools are built into the platform, taking you from data to insights within hours. The pharmaceutical industry is fiercely competitive and market intelligence collected four to six weeks ago is old news. Making decisions and reacting to your market based on feedback collected during the last 12 to 24 hours gives you a competitive edge. The InCrowd platform is your immediate connection to real-time market intelligence.



Kristin MacDermott


Currently, less than 3% of people experiencing serious illness or extreme stress have access to “the other half of care”—care for the person. The first company of its kind, Reimagine is providing the other half of care by offering tools and teaching skills to address the social and emotional challenges associated with a cancer diagnosis or any major life struggle. Through an affordable and accessible online platform, Reimagine combines the evidence-based Pillars4Life curriculum with access to the top health and wellness experts, trusted information and an online community.

In a study at the Duke Cancer Institute in 2008, the Pillars4Life curriculum was proven to enhance the quality of life of cancer patients across a range of symptoms including distress, despair, helplessness and hopelessness, as well as a critical physical symptom—fatigue. Pillars4Life is the proud recipient of the 2012 LiveSTRONG Community Impact Project Grant and has been able to help thousands of people in 20 hospitals around the country, including the LiveSTRONG headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Reimagine provides a supportive online classroom, with a live instructor that teaches the Seven Pillars of Personal Strength, including Balance, Hope, Inner Strength, Life Story, Self-care, Spirit and Support. Providing a one-of-a-kind online community, Reimagine gives you the tools to feel better and thrive. “Everything we do,” says Reimagine Co-Founder Tina Staley, “is about taking your life back from cancer and thriving.”



Debbie Casey, Director, Corporate Marketing


Leapfactor provides breakthrough business apps to transform the way companies engage with its sales force, employees, partners and customers. We understand that every second counts when meeting with busy HCPs, so we’ve designed our Salesfactor app to increase engagement and to be sure to help influence the influencers and boost prescription intent. With key features such as presentation builders and visit planner, combined with the ability to get real-time access to information and key updates, sales reps will be able to maximize their efforts in the field and overcome common barriers.

Our philosophy for building the Salesfactor app was to situate the users in the center, and then build a mobile experience that allows them to perform the tasks at hand in the easiest and most enjoyable way. We believe business apps do not necessarily mean boring and convoluted interfaces. Bringing this philosophy to life has challenges; one of them is that we recognize that the users’ needs will not always be in sync with the business requirements. We are able to overcome this by closely monitoring and supervising literally “every pixel” of the screen at all times. Task-oriented interfaces should be designed around user discovery. We strike this balance by embracing the scarcity of screen real estate on mobile devices, which enables our designers to use gestures and multi-touch interfaces as the premiere vehicle for such discovery.


Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals

Lynn Phillips
Manager, Media Relations


Earlier this year, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals spun-off from Covidien plc to start a new chapter using experience and expertise from its more than 145-year history. Mallinckrodt is poised for an exciting future as a publicly traded company, with a new logo and identity dedicated to unlocking its potential as a leading specialty pharmaceutical company.

As a newly independent company, Mallinckrodt’s commitment to offering innovative solutions for patients is rooted in its long-standing core values of quality, integrity and service. Making the most of its unique set of core strengths, Mallinckrodt aims to innovate and find unique answers for complex problems in an exciting, challenging space. As a world leader in the manufacture of controlled substances, including opioid medications for the treatment of pain, Mallinckrodt is committed to examining the issues, taking action where necessary and supporting solutions toward reducing the ongoing issues of addiction and abuse.

Mallinckrodt is an industry leader in suspicious order monitoring at the manufacturing and supply chain stage. Looking to the future, the company aims to expand the use of abuse-deterrent technology in its product line, improve stakeholder education for patients, providers and the public at large and enhance drug take-back and addiction rehabilitation programs.



Nita Nehru
Vice President – Business Development & Channel Partnerships


New technologies have ushered in an era in which HCPs want and expect pharmaceutical companies to engage them on their terms.

Today, most pharmaceutical marketers remain unprepared to incorporate data-driven insights into their marketing, missing opportunities to better connect and engage their audiences. Marketers must personalize marketing messages and understand HCP behaviors and preferences to build trust, foster engagement and drive ROI. Furthermore, they must leverage physician intelligence to segment audiences, optimize content and channels, drive engagement and react to real-time changes in physician behaviors.

Medikly, built by a team of physicians and pharmaceutical marketers, harnesses the power of digital technology, social media and Big Data analytics to help pharmaceutical marketers better understand, reach and engage HCPs, and measure the effectiveness of their interactions in real time.

The Medikly OS is the only cloud-based physician engagement platform that helps uncover the online behaviors of HCPs, map their influence among peers, and provide insights into their engagement patterns. Such an understanding of individual-level profiles and preferences enables marketers to personalize messaging, increase targeting and design new tactics to increase the effectiveness of their multi-channel campaigns.

Key benefits of using Medikly include:

  • Increase access, improve targeting and personalize engagement.
  • Create, manage and monitor brand campaigns from a central dashboard.
  • Leverage real-time insights to optimize campaigns.
  • Manage audience value, optimize spend and improve ROI.


nLIVEn Health

Brad Jersey, Founder, CEO


nLIVEn Health realized healthcare today is moving toward a “patient-centric” model where the goal is to improve outcomes through collaborative care. Educated and empowered patients have better outcomes because they are invested in their own care. It also remains critical that the pharmaceutical and healthcare communities continue implementing communication strategies with providers, specialists, hospitals and patients. This is where nLIVEn Health has found its niche.

By capitalizing on unique venues with broad consumer reach, such as airports (see image above), nLIVEn offers the ability to drive branded disease education and health and wellness messaging to hundreds of millions of consumers, along with the ability to establish one-on-one encounters between our clients and their professional audiences and targeted consumers.

nLIVEn’s ability to create consumer-controlled messaging, coupled with a hyper-targeted communication channel on the ethical and OTC side of the business is unparalleled within the industry. Our service offerings include:

  • Measureable product trial
  • Meaningful data collection
  • Innovative hyper-targeted sampling
  • Disease/compliance education
  • Sponsor-based health screenings
  • Social media activation

We call our approach the “New DTC”—Direct The Conversation. We recently completed a successful pilot at the Chicago O’Hare airport with a specialty pharmaceutical company, and have just launched a campaign at Boston Logan International with a regional healthcare system and a number of co-sponsoring organizations that will run throughout 2014.



R. A. Bavasso, President


RIMEDIO is a virtual B2B marketplace for healthcare; a digital bazaar in which doctors, payers, manufacturers and patient advocates have a place at the table. Think eBay meets Amazon and LinkedIn—but in the context of a regulatory compliant social network.

For instance, life science manufacturers can use it to completely transform their selling model, gaining significant cost savings and agility. A physician group in need of supplies can ask for a competitive bid. Or patients could assemble to negotiate a group rate for an elective procedure.

RIMEDIO is the alternative to in-house or contract field forces whereby the manufacturer or supplier pays only a transaction fee for executed sales calls (live or remote). These companies can use the platform to access thousands of reps, or agents as RIMEDIO calls them—not just the ones on their payroll. The company can contract with whoever has the best relationship with the targeted customer. Better yet, agent compensation is awarded based on sales impact and client ratings.

This helps companies lower costs, improve accountability and provide greater customer satisfaction. It is a low risk model for both big and emerging companies as all selling technology, e.g., LMS, CRM/SFA, CLM, eDetailing, social utilities, and reporting are provided at no cost. RIMEDIO’s virality provides manufacturers the real-time opportunity to regain trust by being responsive to the needs directly expressed by healthcare practitioners, 24/7.



Jeff Bander, President



New York-based tech startup, Sticky, has started a SEEN revolution. SEEN allows advertisers to track and analyze what matters: Which ads consumers spend time focusing on and paying actual attention to. No more guessing. No more “spraying and praying.”

Reallocate spend and budget to do more of what works, and stop wasting money on what doesn’t. By optimizing for “actually seen ads,” not the “potential to be seen” (aka viewability or in-screen), Rx brands obtain a greater return on ad spend by increasing the number of seen ads and time seen for the same budget.

Sticky technology was developed in 2009 in close partnership with Tobii Technology, the world leader in eye tracking and eye control. Our patented global technology uses regular consumer webcams to track eye movement and identify which ads are seen and for how long.

With applications in ad tech and market research, Sticky is revolutionizing how Rx brands measure engagement. Expect to hear more from us next year: We’re developing new tablet technology that will allow Rx brands to optimize their mobile investment.


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