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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

ICC Lowe Trio 2014

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

35 Waterview Blvd., 3rd Floor
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Telephone: 973-267-1089
Facsimile: 973-255-8702



Quick Facts

Account wins 1
Active business clients 6
Brands by 2013 sales  
Brand-product accounts held 25
$25 million or less 7
$25 million – $50 million 3
$50 million – $100 million 3
$100 million – $500 million 5
$1 billion or more 2
Services Mix  
Multichannel promotion 65%
Multichannel education 35%

Client Roster

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products
TopCon Medical Services
Vistakon, a division of
Johnson& Johnson Vision Care

At Trio, we connect better by more than just focusing on ‘the what’ of our business. We also focus on ‘the how’: how we collaborate, how we communicate, and how we innovate. The ‘how’ we do things – the manner in which we interact with clients and colleagues – that’s what drives and differentiates us.”

So says Trio President Renée Wills, whose heart-based approach to leadership continues to strengthen the shop’s reputation as an agency with a supportive culture, a solid communications philosophy, and a commitment to making daily improvements that foster brand growth and client satisfaction.

“Trio continues its roll, and that comes from our core values,” says Steve Viviano, CEO of ICC Lowe. “I’m proud that Renée’s team has been growing its business by living out those values every day. And talk about momentum: Trio’s success from 2012 kept right on going in 2013, and continues now in 2014. They’re expanding into brand new space as we speak.”

The Year’s Accomplishments

“In 2012, we doubled our client roster,” says Dominic Viola, management supervisor. “So our theme for 2013 was ‘Strengthen Our Relationships.’” The agency put new business efforts on hold for the first half of the year to better on-board new clients and foster stronger connections. Executives say Trio spent extra time with key decision makers, running presentations and work shops to better explain agency offerings, its communications philosophy, and its development processes, all of which helped the agency collaborate on more innovative ideas, leading to stronger brand growth and ultimately happier clients.

According to agency leaders, the numbers prove this strategy was right. “Once again, Trio grew by nearly 10 percent in 2013, our sixth-straight year of double-digit growth,” Wills says. The agency also scored a new client in 2013 and enjoyed extra growth from in-line clients.

That growth has continued in 2014. Trio nabbed three new business wins in the first two months of 2014: one from Merck, another from Johnson & Johnson, and the third was the global launch of an expanding new arena in pharmaceutical development for BoehringerIngelheim.

Expanding business means expanding space, and Wills’ excitement is palpable. “Our wins have given us the chance to take over an additional 7,000 square feet of offices right next door,” she says. “We’ll be filling those offices with like-minded colleagues, and it’s been great bringing on new talent.”

Trio has been seeking multi-talented, “cross-capable” team mates. “Having multiple skills. This is a key measure of the talent we’re seeking, and thankfully, we’re finding, in our new hires,” says Catherine Jones, management supervisor.

To further strengthen agency skills, Trio expanded its internal education initiative – Trio U – by doubling course offerings, and adding SEO strategy and UI/UX development, among others. Trio also continued its digital show-and-tells, called Shindigs, in which team mates share trends from in and out of the industry, helping generate better work and bigger advantages for clients.

Trio also dedicated part of the fourth quarter to begin the development of Treehouse, an online resource with daily inspiration for industry professionals. “Every day, Treehouse will give professionals valuable insights on how to connect better,” says Donna Rooney, operations director. Launching this year through LinkedIn, Rooney says, “It’s going to extend our value and culture beyond our walls.”

Speaking of walls, Trio’s office space is set up like an art gallery: nearly every hallway displays examples of agency work. As new work is produced, and new awards won, Trio changes out the “art” to celebrate the victories. “When clients and prospective employees tour our office, the gallery lets us connect better: we show our med-ed clients just how promotional we are, and our promotional clients get to see our med-ed side,” says Brian Raineri, Pharm.D., medical director.

Just as Trio ramped up its new business efforts in the second half of the year, the agency saw increased scopes of work from many clients. Additionally, Trio’s roster expanded in 2013 with the win of TopCon, a ophthalmic device manufacturer, adding to Trio’s already healthy roster of pharmaceuticals, devices, and OTC brands. “And because the vast majority of our work was produced in digital media, 2013 was the year we fully lived up to our tagline, ‘Connect Better,’ says Scott Thompson, co-creative director.

Trio enjoyed a better connection with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, creating comprehensive, multichannel engagement that helped grow the Acuvue brand of contact lenses. Executives say right now, the agency is hard at work on even stronger cross-agency collaboration, leveraging every advantage to help the brands remain the best-known contact lenses in the industry.

The better connection was felt at Johnson’s Baby Brands, as Trio introduced several digital communications platforms, including “Clicking with Moms,” and began building a new campaign that will run in 2014. “We cherish our relationship with Johnson’s Baby,” Viola says. “It’s an honor to build the brand that’s the number one choice of hospitals and moms.”

Trio continued to help grow the Johnson & Johnson Oral Care franchise, updating its award-winning Web portal. Trio helped the Listerine brand connect better with dental professionals through the “NOT JUST ORAL CARE … HEALTHCARING” campaign. Executives say they look forward to evolving that message, making even better connections with and increasing brand recommendations from dental healthcare professionals in 2014.

Additionally, Trio strengthened its connection with AstraZeneca, creating a robust portfolio of projects in the medical education arena on behalf of Brilinta tablets. Also, Trio earned praise and recognition from its U.S. and global clients at BoehringerIngelheim, developing traditional and digital disease-state communications to support the launch of a new bronchodilator for COPD.

Future Plans

With its relatively new headquarters already busting at the seams, Trio finalized its plans for expansion into recently vacated offices. “The timing is perfect: we’re outgrowing our current square footage, and this new space opens up right next door,” says Tom Clark, co-creative director. “It’s fun when it all comes together like that.”

Coming together in a special way is what the agency did in February, with the sudden loss of a beloved, long-time colleague. “We will never forget our dear friend,” Wills says. “We made a commitment to pay tribute to her contributions, as she represented the best of what Trio is all about.” The shop created memory books, renamed a conference room, and will take part in this year’s American Heart Association Heart Walk, all in her honor.


Trio once again played a role in ICC Lowe fundraising activities, kicking off 2013 with Volunteerism Day, lending hands and hearts to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Trio also contributed to the Toys for Tots program, The American Heart Association, and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. “We’re glad to be a part of the traditions of giving within ICC Lowe,” Will says. “Once again, it’s a reflection of our approach. Giving back is part of the ‘how we do things,’ which is just as important as the ‘what we do.’”

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