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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
|Active business clients||5|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||3|
|$25 million or less||2|
|$50 million – $100 million||1|
Merck Animal Health
Celebrating its eighth year in business, BullsEye Healthcare is a full-service independent agency that its leaders say focuses on finding insights and ideas and creating innovation for its clients. The agency’s goals are to work with clients who share a passion for transformational ideas that will help create value for their brands. Agency leaders Guy Dess and Al Paz believe that in the current competitive environment, more than ever, clients require an agency that can find and define market opportunities, and then help them capitalize on these ideas with innovations that will help sustain a competitive advantage.
Dess and Paz say they share a passion for bringing a deep understanding of their clients’ issues to each assignment. “Over the years our way of doing business has remained consistent,” Paz says. “We work very closely with the senior people on the brand team and immerse ourselves in the data, producing insights that clients say they don’t get from large network agencies.”
BullsEye added several new clients to its roster even while several large strategic and branding initiatives came to a conclusion. New clients include Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc., Merck Animal Health, Depomed Inc., Cadence Pharmaceuticals, and JDS Therapeutics LLC.
Portola Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to meet patient needs in thrombosis, other hematologic disorders, and inflammation. BullsEye was engaged to help provide company managers with strategic support for developing their intellectual property pertaining to the company’s two drugs in development: betrixaban, a novel, oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor to prevent thrombosis, and andexanetalfa, a first-in-class recombinant, modified Factor Xa inhibitor molecule that is being developed as a direct reversal agent for patients receiving a Factor Xa inhibitor who suffer a major bleeding episode or who require emergency surgery.
Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being, and performance of animals through science. Late last year BullsEye was engaged to consult on a new antibiotic and use its “ScienceStory” concept planning, which provides the scientific, conceptual underpinning of a brand as an overall strategic structural framework that helps maximize the brand’s commercial potential. Dess and Paz say the ScienceStory locates and describes the inherent differences from other therapeutic agents and can serve as the foundation for educational communications as well as product differentiation while taking into account the values and biases that affect the way customers think about the issues they are trying to solve.
Depomed is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat pain and other central nervous system conditions. BullsEye continued to support the marketing team with tactics for Gralise, the first and only oral once-a-day prescription medication that offers 24-hour pain control for people with after-shingles pain.
Cadence Pharmaceuticals is a biopharma company focused on in-licensing, developing, and commercializing proprietary products principally for use in the hospital setting. Cadence’s lead product, Ofirmev injection, is indicated for the management of mild-to-moderate pain, the management of moderate-to-severe pain with adjunctive opioid analgesics, and the reduction of fever. The BullsEye team has been working with the client to enhance the value of Ofirmev to hospitals and disseminate the Ofirmev value proposition using a narrative that will fit into customer’s existing “world view” of analgesics.
In the fourth quarter of last year BullsEye was engaged by JDS Therapeutics, which markets proprietary, high-quality healthcare products to physicians, healthcare delivery networks, and other healthcare professionals and is focused on providing patients with scientifically backed, natural approaches to meet their healthcare needs. BullsEye worked with the sales and marketing team of JDS to develop the launch promotional materials and a professional and consumer Website for Zeramax, a once-a-day, orally administered medical food intended for use under medical supervision to address the unmet dietary need for chromium in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Executives say BullsEye Healthcare continues to offer a full set of marketing and branding services ranging from strategic consulting, advertising, professional and patient-marketing materials, branding, promotional materials to AD boards, and Web and social network services. In 2013 the agency began offering its proprietary Data Intelligence Platform to clients, which allows for the leveraging of big data to accelerate marketing and sales efforts. Significant enhancements to the offering have since been made, particularly in the area of target audience identification.
According to agency leaders, unlike behavioral, contextual or managed placement campaigns, campaigns using BullsEye’s platform can identify the probabilistic internet protocol range of an advertiser’s target audience, as determined through patented algorithmic data techniques that match online and offline proprietary and public data sets. “By targeting audiences at their IP address, advertisers can be increasingly confident that they are reaching their target audience and are no longer reliant on click rates alone as the primary measure of campaign success,” Paz says. “Advertisers can now shift their focus to the total engagement rate, as such a metric reveals the interest of both their clicking and non-clicking target audiences.”
Leaders say the full-service agency continues to provide a unique blend of creative thinking, consulting, and advertising offerings. BullsEye is organized to think strategically in terms of media-neutral results-oriented marketing. The agency practices “brand engagement” marketing, which means they are ongoing, active participants in the continual knowledge accumulation about a brand. This participatory partnering is highly appreciated by clients who seek help in sifting through the myriad, often disparate, pieces of data that marketing teams accumulate and want to use to make strategic and tactical decisions.
The agency’s “BrandStory” technique continues to strike a chord with clients seeking to understand the ever unfolding narrative of their brand in the market, executives say. This proprietary, narrative methodology is often able to help clients who have all the necessary facts to win in the market but are unable to communicate their value in a cohesive manner. “What we do is help clients create a strategic narrative that takes into account a multiplicity of facts, but ends by having everyone saying the same thing,” Dess says.
Built upon story telling methodology, the BrandStory creates a narrative and increases the chances that the brand message will be accepted by the target audience since people remember stories more than facts, executives say. Agency principals claim that the need for a narrative has become increasingly important as the access to facts via the internet and other media has overwhelmed an individual’s ability to bring the parts into conceptual focus. “Sooner or later companies realize that they are not telling a coherent story about their brand, which is what they really need,” Dess says.
According agency principals, a practical and very intense strategic offering that has gained a following with clients is the Science Story. The agency’s Science Story was an outgrowth of the BrandStory process. The Science Story is designed to provide the scientific, conceptual underpinning of a brand that documents its difference from other therapeutic agents and serves as the foundation for all educational communications, as well as product differentiation. Executives say the idea underlying the Science Story is: what problems are physicians trying to solve in a disease category? And, what is the dynamic between a physician’s problem and their understanding of the disease itself? “In many disease categories the answer is not always obvious,” Paz says.
As the agency has begun executing more creative work, it has also had the opportunity to use its unique methodology to creating a brand personality. “Over the years we have developed a sophisticated psychological approach based on archetypes to help define the personality of a product,” Dess says.
The agency has created a model from having combed the literature and combined the scales and audits used in the leading personality assessment questionnaires to help clients do a deep dive into the psyche of their brand. “Our use of key word audits, personality inventories, and the “Big Five” personality assessment, coupled with the color work done by Kobayashi, goes far deeper and is more accurate than simple image or word associations,” Dess says.
Another service agency principals claim clients find useful is contingency planning. “This is not scenario planning, or the often-used ‘war games’ approach to thinking about the future but an organized and coordinated set of steps to be taken if disaster strikes,” Paz says. It requires clients to have, or develop, a firm set of planning assumptions, based on fact, and then maps out the response objectives, strategies, and mitigations in case a “perfect storm” takes place.
BullsEye plans to continue to concentrate on its core offering, which centers on its ability to bring ideas, insight and innovation to its clients’ brands. The agency’s offer of value contribution has continued to strike a receptive chord with clients. BullsEye aims to stay true to its operating mission: to focus on translating data into knowledge and transferring it to those who need it in innovative ways. “The pharmaceutical/health sciences industry is an intellectual-property based business model, as are the agencies that support it,” Dess says. BullsEye continues to believe that only those who can extract insights and generate value enhancing ideas from information can create the intellectual capital that leads to a strategically superior advantage for a client’s brand.
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