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Traditional advertising: 22%
Digital Advertising: 78%
Account wins: 12
Active business clients: 10
Brands by 2015 sales
Brand product accounts held: 17
Change at agencies may not always be embraced with open arms, but according to executives at AgencyRx, 2015 was a year of momentous, positive evolution. “While the short-term effects of change can sometimes be painful, it has already had a positive impact on AgencyRx,” leaders say.
The year’s accomplishments
“We’ve restructured our leadership team to reflect the evolving needs of clients,” says Michael Schreiber, who in addition to being president added the title of executive creative director in 2015.
Of the change, Schreiber says, “Ideas continue to be the most tangible asset we produce, and I needed to get myself back into the day-to-day creation of the most important client deliverable.”
More than ever those ideas are manifested through digital channels, and Matt Goff, associate partner, director of digital marketing, heads up a full-service digital department, including digital insights and strategy, development, analytics, and process, which are inextricably linked to the creative department.
Amanda Hunt, associate partner, director of strategic services, oversees medical and scientific affairs and account planning, ensuring that all work is insight-driven and well-positioned in the market.
The most notable change is in account leadership. Doreen Eckert and Eileen Yaralian now serve as co-directors of client services. “Given the changing nature of our industry and the need for our most senior leaders to be intimately involved in client business, we believe a co-directorship is the ideal model for AgencyRx,” Yaralian says.
AgencyRx added a number of new brands to its roster in 2015, as well. In a joint effort with fellow Omnicom shop Chameleon, they were awarded the Teva Migraine portfolio, which includes 10 pipeline molecules. The agency expanded its footprint at AstraZeneca by securing respiratory pipeline work, as well as convention and KOL mapping assignments for AstraZeneca corporate and its pipeline. Celgene also expanded its long relationship with AgencyRx by awarding nurse/patient work and a number of corporate initiatives.
In 2014 AgencyRx launched DriiverSeatTM, a patented interactive selling tool that allows for co-navigation. This past year they successfully launched new projects on the platform for three clients including two that were utilized at conventions and one with the client field force. DriiverSeatTM is now housed at iVentures Health, a CDM Group partner agency.
In the spirit of the AgencyRx values of Brains, Guts and Heart, the agency participated in an IBM Watson hackathon and continues to grow its digital prowess developing partnerships with myriad health/tech start-ups.
Structure and services
In addition to the co-directors of client service model, the ability to embrace change has helped AgencyRx employees by creating new opportunities.
AgencyRx hired Angela Cole, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in public health, as part of its medical and scientific affairs team. “The practice of healthcare is rapidly evolving and nurses are at the heart of patient care and act as the intermediary between patients and doctors,” Hunt says. “As agencies, we are invariably charged with communicating in a meaningful way to physicians and often patients, and there is no one more adept at this ask than nurses.”
The agency also invested in junior creative talent. “We’ve brought a level of raw talent and energy into AgencyRx this year,” Schreiber says. “It’s inspiring to see them contribute in such meaningful ways.”
The agency’s leaders are committed to staying closely connected with clients and their business. Every brand sees regular involvement from partners, as they stay apprised of the continually evolving needs of each brand.
Leaders say AgencyRx takes pride in a history of innovation, pioneering a wide array of industry firsts, from the first Clio awarded to an eDetail to first-to-market social media campaigns. Looking ahead to AgencyRx’s second decade of industry leadership, three current initiatives (data mining, wearables, and visual-centricity) are aimed at stoking the fires of creativity and innovation to ensure that AgencyRx’s heritage as pioneers of digital opportunity continues to drive clients’ business forward.
According to executives, AgencyRx currently boasts a robust analytics offering that has been strategically integrated into all brand-building activities. AgencyRx has evolved data analytics from a tactical reporting function into a strategic well of insights that has informed large-scale campaigns. This approach to insight-driven data mining is a formal capability that AgencyRx is building over the next 18 months. This effort will pull together myriad data sources to inform and spark brand action. This offering is being developed in partnership with organizations such as IBM Watson and other partners who are able to scale current methodologies to dig deeper into data and realize better solutions for their customers.
Wearables is a second area where AgencyRx is devoting R&D resources to capitalize on the growing integration of healthcare wearables into the lives of patients. The agency is currently exploring different wearable hardware platforms that can open new doors to solve age-old problems such as compliance, dosing, and clinical practice. The AgencyRx wearable offering is expected to provide clients with additional options beyond the current suite of bracelets and trackers available on the market today.
Visual-centricity is a growing trend of aesthetic communication. AgencyRx is exploring new methods of leveraging this trend to improve communication of complex data. From retina display hardware to visually focused social network growth, the agency believes that aesthetic communication is rapidly evolving and impacting mainstream content consumption norms. AgencyRx is dedicating a task force of digital gurus and content experts to formalize methodologies and canons to escalate the impact of visual communication. This task force will drive the core offering provided to AgencyRx’s clients.
Executives say AgencyRx has always been at the forefront of patient advocacy. In 2015 the agency increased its advocacy partnerships and disease awareness efforts. AgencyRx created a viral Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance campaign that raised awareness of the differences between the pink ribbon causes of the world and the often neglected, more lethal MBC.
AgencyRx leaders say the agency doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to supporting the causes it works on. Literally, agency employees walk the walk. AgencyRx people participated in Light the Night, a fundraising walk for blood cancers. AgencyRx also raised money through a number of creative initiatives for Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, the American Cancer Society, and the Conquer Cancer Foundation.
“Brains, Guts and Heart is not just a tagline. It’s an ethos. And it’s how we conduct ourselves every day in the agency and in representing the healthcare industry,” Schreiber says.