Transparent, two-way relationships between marketers and their customers are common outside pharma. But not in our industry, which is fraught with regulatory difficulties. And yet, now more than ever, brands need the ability to speak directly with consumers. Why? Consumers absolutely need it. In fact, they demand it.

According to Michael Banner, author of Building Brands With Purpose, the accelerating shift toward personalized healthcare is moving a larger share of the medical decision-making burden to patients, leaving them with unanswered questions that could be addressed by marketers. But, a brand “built with purpose” is a model that could help patients get the answers they need. It would require taking some risks—particularly in social media—because the alternative is losing relevancy in patients’ eyes.

Then again, it’s actually difficult to find any great endeavor in which risk is not a player. In our Greatest Creators special section, you’ll find that many of our marketing community’s best campaigns featured in our annual Showcase stretched beyond traditional boundaries to develop new creative partnerships; turned common concepts on their head; and addressed topics typically considered taboo. These are great campaigns, made by some of our industry’s greatest creators. The type of people companies are loathe to lose, which is harder to do in today’s competitive job marketplace.

Fortunately, our Think Tank, Creating, Managing, and Retaining Great Team Leaders, features 10 experts who explain how exactly organizations can transform their best employees into the company’s future leaders. And once you develop those leaders, how to keep them from seeking opportunities elsewhere. As Pamela Berman, Chief Talent Officer, Publicis Health explains, “retention means addressing the questions and doubts employees may have about their career trajectories before they start thinking about it themselves.” If you are lucky enough to develop great talent, you don’t want to risk losing them. That means being proactive and taking risks as an organization to provide employees with what they need to grow. Ultimately, your company will reap the reward.


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