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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
315 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
Account wins 1
Active business clients 3
Brands by 2014 sales
Brand-product accounts held 7
Digital marketing/media 40%
IM Healthscience LLC
This past year has been perhaps the most exciting in the 20-plus year history of MDC, executives say. According to MDC leaders, it was during this time that the agency began a major repositioning and rebranding effort reflecting its total commitment and expanded capabilities in the area of programmatic marketing and media.
“Simply put, the advent of programmatic media has turned the world of consumer marketing upside down in the past year,” executives say. “MDC not only recognized the huge potential of this opportunity for its clients, it took the lead in developing and driving programs in both the prescription and over-the-counter markets. In 2014, MDC launched several highly successful programmatic marketing and media campaigns for its clients, with case studies and positive returns on investment to prove it.”
“I’ve been in healthcare advertising for more than 40 years, and nothing has been as exciting as programmatic media” says MDC Founding Partner and CEO Eric Malter.
The year’s accomplishments
MDC was pleased in 2014 to continue its relationship with Mission Pharmacal, an association that goes back more than 20 years. MDC focused on post-launch efforts for the prescription dry mouth product Aquoral, as well as a range of professional activities for the Mission Dermatology brands Avar, Ovace, and Eletone. These efforts included the launch of the healthcare industry’s first programmatic marketing and media campaigns, targeting both consumers and healthcare professionals, MDC claims. “These campaigns were tremendously successful, and formed the foundation for subsequent programs with additional clients, thus firmly entrenching MDC as the programmatic healthcare agency going into the new year,” executives say.
In 2014, MDC also continued its work with MonoSol Rx, the manufacturer of PharmFilm, a unique drug delivery vehicle. Projects included not only traditional ongoing advertising and promotion campaigns, but also the enhancement of the PharmFilm website and the search platforms and social media that helped to drive traffic to the site and generate awareness for the brand among pharma marketers.
In other news, MDC became very involved in the launch activities for a unique over-the-counter therapy for irritable bowel syndrome, called IBgard, from IM HealthScience, an emerging leader in the field of gastroenterology. Among these activities was the strategic planning and finalization of a programmatic media campaign that will roll out nationally in the early spring.
Overall, then, MDC retained its two largest clients in 2014, while adding a third with tremendous potential, without suffering the loss of any accounts. At the same time, the agency fully realized its internal programmatic strategy and capabilities, and successfully put them into effect in the healthcare marketplace.
Structure and services
MDC continues to be guided by the principle that less is more, its leaders say. By employing a small, core team of very senior industry professionals, and maintaining a virtual roster of experienced writers, designers, account managers, and production personnel, the agency is able to keep its overhead low, and pass subsequent savings along to its clients, while closely matching the best talent to any given task. “In this way, MDC will continue to operate under the direct, hands-on guidance of its three partners, each of whom is intimately familiar with every aspect of the agency’s business and its clients,” executives say.
Powered by its relationship with MediaMath, a preeminent global technology company, MDC is pioneering the use of programmatic media strategies for highly targeted, data-driven digital marketing programs within the healthcare industry, executives say. “Deploying programmatic campaigns in the healthcare space, however, is not without challenges, and requires a deep understanding of regulatory and privacy issues,” executives say. “MDC’s long history in the medical marketing industry enables it to drive high performance campaigns that are also compliant with relevant regulations guiding the healthcare industry.”
According to MDC Partner Peter Niemi, “With MediaMath’s TerminalOne Marketing Operating System, we are efficiently executing high-performing campaigns for our clients.”
The move to programmatic marketing and media has not diminished the creative capabilities that MDC’s clients have come to rely on, according to agency leaders. In fact, these new channels have given rise to new and different ways for the MDC creative staff to exercise their talents.
“And, most interestingly, with programmatic media, feedback from the various constituent target audiences arrives almost in real time,” executives say. “It is literally possible to run a series of banner ads for a day, and be able to identify the very next day not only the ads that were successful, but also which ads were not, and why. This is the type of feedback that traditionally has been seen in healthcare-related advertising and promotion only after many months of media impressions and may dollars spent.”
As MDC Partner and CCO Peter Zamiska points out, “Through programmatic, we can adapt messaging and other creative elements in the moment based on real-time campaign results.
In terms of corporate citizenship, CEO Eric Malter was once again re-elected to the board of directors of Child Find of America, a national organization dedicated to the needs of missing children and their families, and the agency committed it resources to this dedicated organization on a pro bono basis.
“All in all, 2014 was an excellent year for MDC, and 2015 has already begun to see the realization of its vision to stay ahead of the curve and lead the way as the premier programmatic healthcare agency,” executives say.
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