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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
|Active business clients||12|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||17|
|$25 million or less||14|
|$25 million – $50 million||2|
|$50 million – $100 million||1|
|Web/digital marketing and SEO/SEM||30%|
|Sales support collateral||15%|
|Media planning and management||5%|
|Meetings and speaker-related events||2%|
CRC Health Group
Providence Speech and Hearing Center
According to its leaders, Brandkarma is all about getting healthcare brands noticed – for all of the right reasons.
“Every healthcare brand has a unique difference that we work to expose and nurture,” executives say. “We have the skill to combine art and words that entice with science that proves. Through years of studying human behavior, we understand how and why people react to messages across multiple channels. The result is messages that are felt, not simply heard. We also bend the rules of traditional healthcare communications (just enough) so a brand’s message is never ignored. We love it. We live it. And our clients feel our passion, too.”
Executives say 2013 was Brandkarma’s strongest year ever. The agency completed a multichannel relaunch of Accera Inc.’s Axona, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The hallmark of the campaign was a direct-to-consumer television and print ad, which agency leaders claim “turned the category upside down.”
The agency also experienced multiple new business wins, including professional communications for Vidacare Corp. for its EZ-IO intraosseous vascular access device; and professional and patient communications for two Pamlab brands, Cerefolin NAC for patients with mild cognitive impairment and Metanx for diabetic neuropathy. For another new client, CRC Health Group, the agency is developing healthcare professional and patient communications for several of its adult and child behavioral programs, including Aspen Education Group, Sierra Tucson, Life Healing Center, and Sober Living by the Sea. The work also includes renaming and rebranding.
Other new business wins are corporate branding, signage, and wayfaring for Dart NeuroScience and search engine marketing, media buying, and planning for CentraState Healthcare. Brandkarma continued to build the Pompe disease franchise for Genzyme as well as professional and patient communications to grow three Prometheus Laboratories Inc. brands: Prometheus Anser IFX, Prometheus Anser ADA, and Prometheus IBD sgi Diagnostic. The agency is also nearing the rebranding launch of RSDL, a neutralizing skin decontaminant from Emergent BioSolutions. Last year also marked the agency’s fifth year of partnering with Actavis for professional and patient communications for the overactive bladder treatment Gelnique.
“Brandkarma doesn’t do washing machines, flavored vodkas, or haute couture,” agency executives say. “What continues to keep us excited after 22 years is pharmaceuticals, biologics, devices, diagnostics, OTC healthcare brands, and anything else that can change the way we care for people’s health.”
According to agency leaders, clients call Brandkarma its “go-to guys” for solving even their fiercest marketing challenges “because everything we do starts with a strategic plan, we tell them what they need to hear (without the fluff), and we never, ever give up on them or their healthcare brands.”
The agency’s approach to problem solving is always rooted in human behavior. “Creative has a purpose,” executives say. “It has to communicate. It has to move. It has to motivate and spark the imagination. It has to trigger questions and then provide answers. Our driving ambition is getting people to think that using a healthcare brand was their idea from the beginning.”
Management says as an independent company, Brandkarma has a reputation for being nimble and cost-effective. Areas of expertise include business and strategic consulting, creative brand development, advertising and promotion, professional and patient/consumer promotion, DTC and DTP, patient education, customer relationship management, online digital marketing, SEO/SEM, social media, Website development, sales force communications and motivational programs, corporate identity and communications, medical/scientific communications, and public relations.
The agency claims one of its greatest strengths is being able to motivate both professionals and patients/consumers to change behavior or take action. Brandkarma will continue to partner with clients who understand that medical communications are not one-size-fits-all for every target audience. The agency will also continue to grow its East Coast and West Coast offices with the most talented people who excel creatively and strategically.
Ken Ribotsky, CEO, and Dr. Devon Malecki, senior VP of brand and medical strategy, continue to play a leadership role on the board of directors of Providence Speech and Hearing Centers (PSHC), a nonprofit organization in Orange, Calif. PSHC provides comprehensive services for the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of speech, language, and hearing disorders.
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