These pioneering organizations are just starting to make their mark on the industry—all have been in business for only five years or underwent a strategic re-launch during that same period.
Peter F. Drucker—writer, consultant, educator, founding father of the study of management— once offered a simple piece of advice: “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
Innovation is a simple idea and its execution requires a bit of courage. It is ignoring the way things have been done and finding ways to do them better. It is choosing not to be comfortable, safe or content. It is solving a problem even when no one was aware that one existed.
In our first ever Innovations in Pharma Marketing special issue we highlight those 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: There is no shortage of new ideas and trailblazers in this industry, but here we present 50 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.
The late Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Here is a glimpse of the people and companies leading pharma into the future.
Ron Kane, Vice President
Founded in 2011, start-up Allora Health offers an entirely new class of digital marketing performance through Allora, its iPad platform for pharma reps. This cloud-based platform leverages the full potential of the iPad, responding to the needs of physicians and pharma companies alike.
With 79% of physicians saying they prefer to use iPads for clinical use, Allora caters to their needs and preferences, not only enhancing conversations between pharma sales reps and HCPs but also helping to extend them to the patient. For pharma companies, it manages the seamless delivery of content and custom tools and offers the ﬁrst and only tablet-based platform that can be customized across brands. Allora can empower a sales force and leave HCPs with valuable information long after the conversation.
Allora Health represents the latest innovation to come out of creative digital agency Intouch Solutions. Today, Allora is a fully operational platform and has already moved the needle on digital detailing, with every indication that the best is yet to come.
Jim McDonough,Director of Marketing
Pharma marketers’ access to physicians is extremely limited these days. To maximize efﬁciency many physicians have developed their own restrictive communications and information-gathering protocols. To gain access, BulletinHealthcare came up with a solution: Be a part of their daily protocol.
BulletinHealthcare is a subsidiary of Bulletin News, which provides top-notch global news aggregation and editorial content to the White House and Fortune 500 CEOs. Starting with the AMA, BulletinHealthcare formed exclusive partnerships with 25 leading medical associations to provide daily, custom eNewsBrieﬁngs to their 552,000 members as a valued member beneﬁt. These partnerships provided all-important third-party credibility and unrivaled physician access. The brieﬁngs achieve an average daily open rate of 37% and a mobile reach of 51%.
BulletinHealthcare has further moved the needle with innovations such as true mobile optimization, out-of-the-box ISI solutions, ads that link doctors to a brand’s digital assets, and multi-channel communication platforms in association with the Cleveland Clinic and the medical associations. The integration of all of these elements provides unique value creation for the physicians who read the eNewsBrieﬁngs every day and the brands that advertise there.
Qi Zhu, Community Manager
Founded in 2012, healtheo360 is a patent pending, rapidly growing online Caring Network. Patients, caregivers, family and friends share their stories to inspire, motivate and support each other and others affected by a serious health condition.
The healtheo360 team realized that people with chronic conditions are looking for a trusted venue to share their stories. They want to connect with others “Just Like Them” to feel less alone and to better understand how to manage their condition and deal with the many challenges they might encounter in the future.
healtheo360 gives patients, caregivers, family and friends the ability to share their stories via video or text. Members follow each other on their journeys and participate in various support groups.
healtheo360 is an important social resource for patients and caregivers to understand and manage their conditions as well as receive relevant medical content from third-party, authoritative sources through its support group network.
Nick Klein, MS, Director of Innovation, Partner
What would healthcare communication look like if cutting-edge game and simulation technologies merged with the elegant accuracy of classic medical illustration?
iSO-FORM, LLC was launched three years ago as an answer to that question. By using the latest innovations in game technology, digital storytelling and biomedical visualization, the company’s artists and developers create exceptional mobile apps, web experiences and kiosk displays.
Patient education, pharmaceutical sales, marketing and training, and peer-to-peer communications are just a few areas in which iSO-FORM’s custom programs have been used. Many utilize true real-time 3D technology, meaning no pre-rendered frames as in traditional animation. This allows the user to interact with 3D elements in exciting new contexts, create custom learning experiences or be right in the middle of the action.
iSO-FORM’s unique capabilities facilitate the creation of anatomical and molecular art assets that are more accurate and detailed than anything that’s come before.
Cross-functional teams, which bring together experts from disparate backgrounds, are iSO-FORM’s greatest asset. Bringing function to form through innovation and the redefining of digital medical communication is the company’s driving force.
Jim Pantaleo, EVP, Sales & Marketing
In 1981, MediScripts pioneered the personalized prescription pad industry, offering a product that placed branded messages in front of HCPs at the point-of-prescription. With measurable engagement by HCPs and a 21:1 return, the current challenge is demonstrating MediScripts’ relevance in conjunction with today’s digital marketing solutions.
Marketers are spending more on digital media and struggling to prove brand impact. Multi-channel/digital campaigns may raise awareness; however, MediScripts delivers brand messages at the exact moment a prescribing decision is being made, providing the ultimate engagement and complement to integrated marketing campaigns.
MediScripts recently completed a strategic rebranding and relaunch with a modernized logo, tagline, new website, updated sales and direct mail materials, digital advertisements, and thought leadership pieces. The grand launch commenced at the September 2012 PM360 Trailblazers Awards ceremony.
Today, MediScripts is a trusted partner to eight of the top 10 pharma companies, proving it is the gold standard in driving new prescriptions, new patient starts and more HCPs writing the brand.
Mike Rutstein, Founder and CEO
In 2009, STRIKEFORCE launched the industry’s ﬁrst dedicated “open source” model, designed to give clients access to better people, a better work product and a better pricing model. This revolutionary approach allows the agency to cherry-pick talent and teams and pair them with clients’ speciﬁc needs.
The model began yielding results in 2011, when STRIKEFORCE was nominated for the Med Ad News Vision Award, recognizing agencies that are transforming the communications landscape. In 2012, STRIKEFORCE was nominated for Best DTC Launch, Best Consumer Print, Best Integrated Campaign, Best Website and Best Consumer TV, winning Gold and Silver at the 2012 DTC National Awards Show. STRIKEFORCE also won Best Social Media Campaign and was a ﬁnalist for Agency of the Year at PM360’s Trailblazer Awards, as well as Silver winner for Best Print and Best Integrated campaign at the MM&M awards.
The STRIKEFORCE Precision Pairing model has gained widespread acceptance and has been tested by clients such as Pﬁzer, Abbott, Azur, KCI, Alcon, Pozen, Orexigen and Teva. The agency acts as the agency of record for many of these marketers today.
Anne Stroup, Managing Director
TRUE Health + Wellness is a healthcare advertising agency with a twist: It goes beyond the traditional single-minded value proposition to build brands that are relevant and singularly to each individual, including each provider, patient and caregiver.
The agency believes that a brand must be built for both the broad market and the individual. When a brand is built in this way, it more deeply understands individuals within the target audience. Only then can behavior change, brand adoption increase and positive outcomes occur.
The most inspiring aspect of creating this innovative agency model has been reimagining brand development. Considering the value of brand and principles of relationship marketing together enables a brand to be ready to live in a patient-centric world. The agency’s blended team of brand, relationship management, digital, analytics and technology experts are laying new ground. TRUE Health + Wellness is exposing the industry to a new idea and motivating brand managers to make a change.
Heather Varela Director, Marketing Communications
Formed in May 2012, Symphony Health Solutions is a triumvirate of independent yet complementary healthcare analytics companies woven together to create a one-stop shop of innovative solutions, delivering specialized information services and analytics to the healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceutical spaces.
The company includes AlphaDetail, a provider of global market insights for the pharmaceutical industry; ImpactRx, the pioneer in mobile healthcare research and in measuring the impact of promotion on physicians’ attitudes and prescribing behavior; and Source Healthcare Analytics, a provider of market data, visualization tools and custom analytics designed to improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Symphony Health’s innovation lies in its ability to offer multiple perspectives, including those of the provider, the payer and the patient; and in how it synthesizes its diverse offerings to provide a breadth of solutions, giving unparalleled insight into the dynamics of the biopharmaceutical marketplace. This provides clients with a comprehensive, multidimensional understanding of their markets that helps them measure brand performance and informs strategies for optimal business decision-making.
Rob Likoff, CEO
Vpak Media is a revolutionary marketing technology company offering a line of proprietary, portable, and affordable “video in print” solutions. Vpak Video Empowered Print marketing tactics are the next generation in video engagement, enabling marketers to put video content right into the hands of their targeted customers. Stakeholders can interact with the videos anywhere and keep them as powerful brand reminders. They won’t need a Wi-Fi connection, website link or an app. Everything is self-contained.
Vpak solutions combine enduring printed content with the multisensory power of video and audio embedded in a custom-printed vehicle. Devices come in several formats, but can be customized to ﬁt any need or substrate. Features include standard or HD screens up to 10-inches; buttons to control video play; nearly unlimited ﬁle size; prerecorded or user-recorded video; regular or rechargeable battery; button-activated or auto-start; volume control and more. The newest device is the innovative, credit card-shaped plastic Vpak Mini.
The best way to appreciate Vpak efﬁcacy is to see one and engage with it yourself. Vpak Media was launched by former Group DCA Co-Founder, Rob Likoff.
Michael Marett, SVP Head of Global Business Development
WorldOne Interactive burst on the scene in 2011 and is disrupting traditional industry practices by accelerating healthcare professional engagement at scale. The company combines 12 years of trusted global HCP communication (established by parent company, WorldOne), with truly progressive digital marketing and communication platforms. By unlocking emerging trends (gaming, social, mobile) and investing in innovative technologies and companies, the organization is pioneering differentiating digital HCP engagement and intelligence models.
WorldOne Interactive offers a range of game-changing commercial products. MedLIVE is a self-administered “FastResponse Market Intelligence” portal that enables users to query targeted HCP segments globally and receive responses in hours. The company is also pioneering the pharma marketing category of “Competitive Education.” DocTANGO is a ﬁrst-in-class social health game that delivers brand education, drives awareness and inﬂuence, while deriving real-time HCP insights from immersive engagement, peer competition and crowd sourcing at scale.
In July 2012, the company strategically acquired Sermo, the largest online community exclusively for physicians, adding to its Global Networked Community, comprising over 1.8 million healthcare professionals spanning 80 countries.