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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
|Active business clients||21|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||18|
Siren Interactive is a rare disease marketing agency that its leaders say has unmatched expertise in addressing the challenges and unmet needs of patients, caregivers, and physicians dealing with rare disorders. For more than 14 years, across more than 30 different disease states, Siren has had one focus: Finding rare disease patients and connecting them to their clients’ brands. “As trailblazers in recognizing that patient-driven decision making is central to successful orphan drug commercialization, Siren is constantly innovating to meet patients and caregivers where they live,” management says.
“The rare disease space leads the industry in many different ways, but one of the most important is the power of patients and caregivers in speeding diagnosis and participating in decision-making related to treatment,” says Wendy White, founder and CEO of Siren Interactive. “Because of my own experience as a rare disease caregiver and my involvement in the community at many different levels, I have made it a priority for Siren to provide services that help our clients understand the needs of the community and build lasting relationships built on trust and mutual respect.”
Siren took a giant step forward to diversify its client base in 2013, working with a number of new clients including Aegerion, Communispace, Incyte, Recordati, Vidara, ViroPharma, and GlaxoSmithKline.
The agency’s long-standing relationship with Baxter’s hemophilia marketing team included a redesign of the Advate brand Website in 2013 which provides a uniquely personalized experience for patients and healthcare professionals while integrating the branded Unlocking Self-Potential campaign. Baxter, with its focus on treating hemophilia and blood disorders, concentrates on understanding and continuously improving the patient experience. Agency leaders say this approach has been at the forefront of the company’s success in maintaining Advate market leadership. According to Siren, the Website personifies this philosophy with segment-driven tabs available on the top left corner of each page offering a personalized experience for all audiences by directing them to the key efficacy, safety, and dosing content; but also, by providing links to additional resources throughout the site that are important to each group.
Siren’s leaders characterize the relaunch of the agency’s branding as another of the year’s accomplishments, with a redesign of all its marketing assets bringing a fresh look to the agency’s online presence. SirenInteractive.com uses bold, emotionally engaging design that communicates the agency’s unique experience and expertise in the rare disease community, educating patients with rare diseases and connecting them to clients’ brands.
Siren continues to receive accolades for its work including winning the WebAward Health Care Standard of Excellence for NPS Hypoparathyroidism Answers, the MarCom GOLD for the PPMD DuchenneCentral Clinical Trials Finder App, and a MarCom PLATINUM for Siren’s Website relaunch design.
From a strategic perspective, executives say, Siren extended development of innovative service offerings for its clients based on their unmet business needs. Adding high touch to its reputation for high-tech digital solutions, Siren expanded its capabilities by providing patient advocacy strategy to BioMarin, organizing patient advisory programs for QOL Medical and Vidara, as well as leading a rare disease immersion experience for top executives of one of the 10 largest global pharmaceutical companies.
White was recognized as a rare disease thought leader in 2013, in which she contributed to an e-book on orphan drug marketing; hosted a workshop, “A Roadmap to Patient Advocacy Investment,” at the third annual World Orphan Drug Congress in Washington, D.C.; and helped to generate ideas for the 2013 Global Genes RARE Patient Advocacy Summit, “From Symptom to Cure: The Journey of a Rare Disease Advocate – Equipping Patients to Make a Difference.” At the same event, Frieda Hernandez, VP of strategic initiatives, led a 2013 through 2014 strategic planning session with industry colleagues of the Global Genes Corporate Alliance Patient Education Committee.
A cross functional team including content strategists, designers, developers, and media experts contribute to Siren’s social media presence that includes an active blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and other content marketing outlets. Three Siren team members were cited in Terrapinn’s Top 50 Social Media Influencers in Orphan Drugs and Rare Disease, more than any other organization.
The agency also celebrated its fourth consecutive year on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the United States.
In August 2013, Siren moved its offices from suburban Oak Park to Chicago’s vibrant West Loop.
Siren’s new VP of account services, Suzanne Tsuchiya, brings more than 20 years of experience in client side pharmaceutical marketing leadership and advertising agency expertise to the team. Tsuchiya has led strategy and marketing/account teams at numerous pharmaceutical organizations. Before joining Siren, she was an account director at AbelsonTaylor.
Tsuchiya is partnering closely with clients and internal teams, drawing from her vast experience in this industry to support high-level strategy and time-tested processes. “We’re delighted to have Suzanne leading our account team,” White says. “She’s passionate about pharmaceutical marketing, strategy, and ensuring the highest level of client satisfaction. She also has the kind of deep understanding of this industry that comes from working in many different capacities with a variety of clients.”
“I am thrilled to have joined an organization that so directly impacts patients’ lives,” Tsuchiya comments. “Everyone in the organization shares a common goal of doing what’s right for the patient and for our clients that serve them. I see great potential at Siren and opportunity for impressive growth. I look forward to using my experience both in pharmaceutical marketing and agency client services to help Siren achieve great success.”
Siren has big plans for the future. As more pharmaceutical and biotech companies focus on developing and launching orphan drugs, Siren is well positioned to capitalize on its more than 14 years of experience and expertise in the space. To leverage that trend, Tsuchiya, along with the Siren management team, is implementing new processes and restructuring the company for scalability and growth. This includes closing the company’s Philadelphia office to consolidate staff in one location, clarify roles and responsibilities, create efficiencies, and eliminate silos. The new West Loop office is an open floor plan environment with lots of collaboration space. The company has also expanded its strategic service offerings such as patient advocacy, experiential engagement, and clinical trials recruitment programs to meet client demand for solutions across the orphan product lifecycle.
White is extending the company’s thought leadership into the clinical community as well, planning innovative programming for 2014 that will address the issues around the unmet needs of physicians for greater awareness of and more robust diagnostic tools for rare disorders.
Patient advocacy is a large focus for Siren. Through its partnership with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the Siren team developed the clinical trials mobile app on a pro bono basis. The app enables the Duchenne community to learn about and locate clinical trials and clinics, view status details on trials, enroll in the organization’s patient registry, and stay up-to-date with the latest Duchenne news.
Siren continues to support Global Genes|RARE Project and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). Hernandez co-chairs the Patient Education Committee for RARE and White is a board member. White has served on the board of HBA for the last four years and served as its second VP in 2013. In 2014 she is serving as its president-elect. Executives say going into 2014, Siren had all the pieces in place to extend its network and burnish its reputation for leadership within the rare disease and orphan drug niche.
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