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 people. These are the visionary change-agents who ensure that the industry continues to move forward with new technologies, methods and strategies.

THE MERGER WHISPERER: Jody Blakeway

Jody Blakeway

COO & SVP of Strategic Integration
Epocrates, Inc.

f6_Innov_People-Jody-Blakeway

A calm and inspiring force, Jody Blakeway is a leader who met the challenge of combining two dynamic companies into one powerhouse. When EHR and practice management company athenahealth announced it would acquire mobile health company Epocrates earlier this year in a game-changing move for the healthcare industry, Jody played an instrumental role in driving the success of the acquisition.

Building on her previous experience in leading strategy and operations for some of the most complex organizations, including Proctor & Gamble, AT&T and UPS, she infused humanity and clarity into the business transaction. Jody, with her expert mentoring skills combined with her business acumen, led the cultural and operational integration of the newly merged company. The result: Stronger employee engagement, more efficient processes and a more collaborative environment.

Prior to the acquisition, Jody served as Senior VP of Client Services for athenahealth. When she first came to athenahealth in 2008, client satisfaction was declining. Last year, she continued to build on the work she had begun four years earlier to scale the athenahealth organization to a new implementation and service model focused on clients’ needs, process and communication and training—thereby building it into a much more stable, high-performing company.

Today, in part due to Jody’s efforts, Epocrates continues to rank as the No. 1 medical app among U.S. physicians, and its union with athenahealth is thriving among the health and pharma sectors.

THE SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR: Faruk Capan

Faruk Capan

CEO
Intouch Solutions

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Faruk’s story is a unique one, exemplifying the great entrepreneurial spirit of the American Dream.

In 1990, after completing studies in his native Istanbul, Turkey, Faruk came to the U.S. to complete a master’s degree in information technology. He stayed to become a naturalized citizen and accepted positions at pharmaceutical companies Marion Merrell Dow and, later, Teva Marion Partners. It was in these positions that Faruk saw the potential for the digital medium to help pharma companies reach their customers.

At Teva Marion Partners, Faruk was the mastermind behind the industry’s first patient-community portal, MSWatch.com. In 1999, he founded Intouch Solutions with two employees. Now, 14 years later—and 460 employees strong—Intouch increased its 2012 revenue 31% to more than $51 million. The agency’s success is proof-positive of Faruk’s innovative and entrepreneurial drive.

Today, Faruk is always looking for what’s next as he is continually bringing forward-thinking ideas to the industry. Clients look to him as a friend, visionary and strategic advisor. Employees regard him as a fair leader and inspirational innovator-in-chief.

Faruk was recently named a Kansas City Top 40 Under 40 by Ingram’s magazine. He also has been extremely involved in the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP), inspiring other young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams—just as he did.

LEADER OF GLOBAL INNOVATION: Nick Colucci

Nick Colucci

Chief Executive Officer
Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG)

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As CEO of PHCG, Nick Colucci sets the pace for the pharma marketing industry. Under his leadership, PHCG has been ranked as the largest healthcare communications network in the world by Advertising Age. This laud stems from Nick’s vision to create a streamlined network, which he was instrumental in growing from a fragmented group of regionalized agencies to one global powerhouse network spanning multiple continents, capabilities and technologies.

His focus on collaboration as a catalyst for innovation has helped the network advance as a leader in the marketplace. Nick understands the importance of smart network expansion, as evidenced by the recent creation of Publicis Health Media, a strategic media planning and buying agency, and Heartbeat Ideas, one of the most highly regarded digital agencies in the industry. With the recent Omnicom and Publicis Groupe merger, Nick continues to encourage network-wide collaboration designed to drive creativity and provide clients with exceptional results.

He also leads key initiatives for the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, and serves on the board of the American Heart Association (AHA) of New York, where he was recently honored as a Superhero of Heart and Stroke.

The network’s new way of working has been lauded by the industry in the form of recognition at top award shows, including the Global Awards, Rx Club Awards, Pharmaceutical Marketing Society, Aspid Awards and more.

PATIENT-CENTRIC LEADER: Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards

Director, Patient Relations, Insights, & Stakeholder Management
LEO Pharma Inc.

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Mike Edwards joined LEO Pharma in January of 2011 to build and lead the U.S. Sales and Training group from the ground up. In January 2013, he was promoted to start and lead a new area of focus at LEO that is 100% based on patient-centricity: The Patient Relations, Insights & Stakeholder Management Department (internally known as PRISM). (You can read more about the division on page 56.) As Director of this division, his duties include ensuring that patients are at the center of everything LEO Pharma does as an organization. In order to effectively do that, Mike’s team is responsible for making sure that everyone in the organization has a connection to the patients that the company helps. Additionally, it means he takes what is learned and seeks to build better products, support and services that enhance the patient experience.

Mike has been responsible for a number of innovative patient-centric programs, including: The expansion and launch of an improved patient support program, QualityCare; “Patient Days,” which helps connect LEO employees with patients suffering with skin diseases; and “Frontier Meetings,” in which he travels across the country talking directly to patients affected by a variety of skin conditions to assess and develop relevant solutions. Mike reports directly to John Koconis, President and CEO of LEO Pharma. He can be reached at michael.edwards@leo-pharma.com.

DATA MANAGEMENT MASTER: Dan Goldsmith

Dan Goldsmith

General Manager, Veeva Network
Veeva Systems

f6_Innov_People-Dan-Goldsmith

Dan Goldsmith has crafted commercial strategies and solutions for most of the world’s largest global pharmaceutical companies over the last 20 years, driving global business transformations in sales effectiveness, mobility, medical information, master data management, digital channel execution and marketing. More recently, Dan has focused his efforts on developing Veeva Network, Veeva’s most recent product offering and the industry’s first and only cloud-based customer data master solution combining data, software and stewardship services.

For many years, life sciences organizations have attempted to compile customer data in isolation, often resulting in disparate data sources, duplicate information, inaccuracies and inefficiencies that made managing customer information both difficult and costly. Dan saw an opportunity to harness the power of the cloud so that users could contribute updates to the master repository in real time. He took the familiar crowdsourcing concept at play in many consumer markets and applied it to the life sciences industry to solve a pervasive, expensive problem—customer master data management (MDM).

Thanks in large part to Dan’s drive to innovate, rich technical know-how and creative spirit, Veeva Network has six early adopters since it was announced in June. He also won the prestigious Siperian Masterpiece Award for Best MDM Implementation, Vendor Excellence Awards at both Merck and Eli Lilly, and is a previous recipient of two Oracle Titan awards for innovation in the life sciences industry. Dan can be reached at dan.goldsmith@veeva.com.

DISRUPTER OF PHARMA MARKETING: Morten Hjelmsoe

Morten Hjelmsoe

CEO and Founder
Agnitio

f6_Innov_People-Morten-Hjelmsoe

 

Morten Hjelmsoe is the CEO and Founder of Agnitio, the provider of leading pull communication and closed loop marketing software for pharmaceutical companies. Agnitio is a direct result of Morten’s vision to transform the relationship between medical professionals and pharmaceutical representatives following the digital revolution.

Bridging modern-day technology with a sophisticated sales strategy, Morten developed Agnitio to propel pharmaceutical marketing from a top-down, paper-heavy function into its next evolution as a nimble, responsive and strategic arm able to deliver unparalleled value to medical professionals. Agnitio provides revolutionary software that helps pharmaceutical companies generate effective relationships with medical professionals by understanding and responding to their individual needs through the use of extremely targeted information and services. As a result, the medical community’s perception of representatives is changing. Providers are once again opening their doors and minds to representatives as they provide the services and information that uniquely address their practices’ needs.

Through his development of Agnitio, Morten has redefined how representatives connect with physicians. A testament to Morten’s impact on the industry: The use of Agnitio in more than 45 countries, 25 languages and by major companies including Allergan, Roche, Bayer and Takeda. Morten is also slated to introduce the next generation of the Agnitio technology in 2014 that will continue to strengthen the relevancy and reputation of pharmaceutical representatives around the globe. He can be reached at mh@agnitio.com.

PHARMA MARKETING’S PROGNOSTICATOR: Mike Marett

Mike Marett

SVP, Head of Global Business Development
WorldOne Interactive 

f6_Innov_People-Mike-Marrett

 

As SVP, Head of Global Business Development, Mike Marett is charged with working closely with his colleagues, team and clients to translate WorldOne’s mission and vision into innovative product development and marketing strategies that uniquely position the organization for near- and long-term growth. Not surprisingly, Mike sees unique opportunity in an industry that is undergoing dynamic change. His foresight to identify emerging trends and harness progressive technologies has enabled the release of game-changing, highly differentiated platforms and channels that truly distinguish WorldOne Interactive.

Mike’s forward-thinking focus on areas such as social, gaming and progressive intelligence led to the establishment and advancement of new genres in pharmaceutical marketing, including FastResponse Market Intelligence and Competitive Education. As a result, the company has released the industry’s fastest and most cost-efficient self-service global HCP intelligence portal (MedLIVE), and the first and most enriched Competitive Education (HCP gaming) platform (DocTANGO). Mike was also instrumental in the acquisition of Sermo, and its subsequent evolution and upcoming global expansion, helping to redefine social engagement and bolster the value proposition for both physicians and industry.

His vision, business development, marketing and product innovation are first rate. Mike has had a hand in curating and developing a range of unique and powerful digital platforms that support the physician decision journey, enable unique branding and marketing opportunities, and contribute to improved patient outcomes—an aspirational result shared throughout the industry. He can be reached at mm@worldone.com.

AGENT OF EFFICIENCY: Natalie McDonald

Natalie McDonald

President and Founding Creator
Create NYC

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Natalie McDonald has brought new meaning to the word efficiency when it comes to supporting pharmaceutical brands. After 15 years of experience in leadership roles selling, marketing and advertising the largest brands in the world, including Lipitor and Nexium, Natalie saw the market rapidly changing. The days of huge budgets, big launch meetings and large agency teams were dwindling. In their place were fewer marketers often responsible for several brands with limited budgets that still demanded the same level of speed, accuracy and support.

Leveraging her insight from both the client and agency side, Natalie founded Create NYC, the first fully virtual, on-demand agency to service the pharmaceutical industry with a specific focus on post-launch brands. Her innovative, virtual model identifies and uses only the most appropriate and essential resources. This enables Create NYC to bring core marketing materials to market with incredible speed and efficiency that traditional agency models cannot match. Natalie has assembled a growing team of account creators from backgrounds that mesh client and agency experiences in order to expertly engage clients. Creative development is powered via her Creator Hub that provides clients with the best, most efficient service possible.

In under five years, Natalie has turned her dream into a reality with a nearly $8 million agency that services a range of pharmaceutical clients, including many she used to work with. She can be reached at natalie@createnyc.com.

DRIVER OF EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING: Kurt Mueller

Kurt Mueller

Chief Digital and Science Officer
Roska Healthcare Advertising

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Kurt Mueller once raced cars semi-professionally. But these days Kurt’s more focused on being a driving force for what he calls multi-social experiential marketing—the holistic integration of digital, social, mobile and offline channels to create customer experiences that deliver functional and emotional value.

In short, he evangelizes shifting from content-centric to experience-centric strategies. To drive that shift, he and his engineering team are connecting brands with experiential technologies such as 3D virtual environments reminiscent of The Minority Report; Adobe Systems software that enables migrating audiences from email and web properties to subscription-based and digitally-distributed experiences; and the Gracenote platform (the company powering iTunes and Amazon) to spark second-screen engagement via audio and video fingerprinting.

He is also widely spreading the word on experiential marketing strategy and the technologies behind it. As Kurt states, “I’m on a mission to forge alliances with technology companies and help pharma brands super-charge awareness, adherence and outcomes across the healthcare continuum by creating immersive experiences like those we see succeeding in other industries.”

According to Roska’s CEO, Jay Bolling, “Kurt’s constantly pushing brand, agency and technology teams to explore past conventional boundaries, but always with a relentless focus on the over-arching strategy and goals of the brand. That blend of imagination and business sense is propelling industry change.” He can be reached at kmueller@roskahealthcare.com.

THE DIGITAL STRATEGIST: Will Reese

Will Reese

Chief Innovations Officer
Cadient Group

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Will Reese is a pioneer of new thinking and idea generation within the digital marketing space. Will and his colleagues work tirelessly to identify strategic opportunities within the tech and healthcare space that will help their clients drive deeper relationships with professionals, consumers and payers.

Over the years, Will has developed award-winning campaigns for numerous category-leading brands and has extensive product launch and professional marketing knowledge. Especially noteworthy are his efforts in leading the strategic positioning, design and launch of multiple HCP portals and providing consulting to more than 15 product launches.

His most recently published white paper, Healthy Expectations (EngagementInAction.com), provides marketers with best practices for managing healthcare expectations through enhanced patient and provider engagement. Whether it’s between patient and provider or patient and product, expectations in the healthcare space do not always align. This disconnect can cause distrust, dissatisfaction and negative outcomes for both patients and providers. In this paper, Will helps to outline how marketers can move from expectation to action by taking steps to identify, manage and optimize these expectations.

One of the secrets to Reese’s ongoing stream of innovation: Frequent trips to Disney World with his family. Looking ahead to 2014, a quote from Walt Disney that Will thinks is especially appropriate for brand marketers focuses on Visual Storytelling: Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.Will can be reached at will.reese@cadient.com.

AN INNOVATOR OF INNOVATION: Carrie Schaal

Carrie Schaal

Sr. Training Manager, Innovation, of U.S. Commercial Training and Development
Genentech  

f6_Innov_People-Carrie-Schaal

Genentech understands the importance of innovation. In 2013, Carrie Schaal was charged with identifying innovation practices that would create behavior change in the biotech industry. Her strategy included researching cutting-edge innovation concepts, developing instructional content, creating tools and embedding change leaders in each business unit, while supporting Genentech’s world-class commercial organization. Implemented in 2013, this strategy strengthens the mindset, skills and behaviors necessary for a culture of innovation and has begun to change the environment while influencing and gaining attention from the broader global organization.

Identifying eight behavioral skills critical to innovation, Carrie formed the basis for a commercial-wide innovation curriculum. She and her team trained more than 500 future innovators across the nation in 2013. She created a skills assessment and a one-of-a-kind web portal consisting of tools, dynamic assessments and cultural success stories furthering innovation and igniting a process of change within Genentech. Not only were these creations important for establishing a common language and understanding for the organization around innovation, but also helped to reinforce the ability of individuals to enrich their own innovation competencies. Carrie can be reached at schaal.carrie@gene.com.

AN ONCOLOGY MARKETING VISIONARY: Pritesh Shah

Pritesh Shah

Head of U.S. Sales & Global Marketing
Novocure, Inc.

f6_Innov_People-Pritesh-Shah

Spend two minutes with Novocure’s Pritesh Shah, and you’ll realize this is a man who sees the future unfold as the rest of us are caught in the present. Spend five minutes, and witness an incredibly articulated plan come to life before your eyes. A marketing visionary for oncology, Pritesh is known for keeping a constant eye on how a competitive landscape impacts brands and—more critically—what this means for patients.

No stranger to the specialized world of oncology, Pritesh hails from some of the industry’s most established players: Genentech, OSI Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche Pharmaceuticals. It is with Novocure and their NovoTTF (tumor treating fields) Therapy device that Pritesh’s vision truly shines. He led a team of gifted marketers in establishing one of the newest breakthroughs in recurrent glioblastoma therapy to hit the market in nearly two decades.

Novocure initiatives completed under Pritesh’s leadership include the development of global positioning, establishing a new brand identity, and spearheading the launch of a new patient-centric web property. He also is a driving force in identifying new ways to reach out to HCPs. For example, the Novocure Surface Experience for ASCO 2013 was a virtual way for oncologists to engage with the NovoTTF Therapy components, breaking down the system and seeing how it delivers therapy inside a specific type of solid tumor. He can be reach at pshah@novocure.com.

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