Healthcare Agency Roundtable 2022: Moving into 2023

By Maria Fontanazza • [email protected]

What new initiatives do you plan to implement to elevate your business and client relationships in 2023?

Mike Guarino, IPG Health

Mike Guarino, IPG Health

Mike Guarino, Chief Commercial Officer, IPG Health: As we look ahead to 2023, IPG Health will double down on interconnectivity and interoperability – we’ve seen how successful they’ve been for our global network this year, and we’re confident that these force multipliers will allow us to continue to innovate, adapt, and lead change in our industry. We also will continue to expand our already unparalleled global footprint via affiliates to help our global clients accelerate their business and impact in key markets. And as we move into a new year, we are reinforcing our longstanding commitment to ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion permeates everything we do, especially when it comes to our creative solutions. To that end, we recently launched ALLinQ, a proprietary tool that ensures inclusive experiences in the creative work we produce for our clients every day. We look forward to continuing to apply this framework across our global network and create experiences that welcome people in, and drive behavior change for good. Last but not least, having a world-class omnichannel capability already embedded within the fabric of each of our agencies, we’ve been able to more seamlessly assimilate data and insights throughout the entirety of the creative process. The value for our clients is greater connectivity, efficiency and application of high-performance strategies, creativity, tactics and programs. You can say that’s been and will continue to be one of our healthy obsessions. 

Amanda Powers-Han, Greater Than One

Amanda Powers-Han, Greater Than One

Amanda Powers-Han, CMO, Greater Than One: Our new initiatives each year are driven by our continual pursuit to deliver solutions on the forefront of healthcare. In 2023, those priorities are building analytics solutions to enable omnichannel marketing, continuing to expand our social media practice, and exploring virtual reality (e.g., Metaverse) to help clients get ready for the next phase of healthcare innovation. 

Client relationships are finally moving to hybrid interaction versus video-only interaction driven by COVID. We look forward to expanding our in-person engagement with clients next year, leading brand workshops, brainstorming ideas, and supporting their internal events. In addition, as we pursue strategic partnerships to deliver more value to clients, we expect to invite our partners in to collaborate with clients more often, and to co-
create in new, innovative ways. 

Jeff Berg, AbelsonTaylor

Jeff Berg, AbelsonTaylor

Jeff Berg, President, AbelsonTaylor: One of our key initiatives for 2023 will be “Back to the Future.” For the past three years we have relied almost exclusively on virtual meetings with our clients. While convenient, much is lost in translation when people are not interacting in the same room. For those clients who are back in the office, our senior leadership team will be out in the field meeting with the client teams. Many years ago, when I worked for Cardinal Health, Bob Walter (founder & CEO at the time) was speaking to us about time-management and efficiency. It seemed to be the usual talk about being productive and creating value, when he paused and said something like, “When it comes to clients, you need to force yourself to be inefficient and go meet them.” At the time it didn’t quite make sense, but I soon realized that he was right on so many levels, whether it’s trust, better communication, priorities, being heard, or any other important consideration. I believe that this form of “inefficiency” will elevate our business and client relationships in 2023. 

Lynette Hunter, AbelsonTaylor

Lynette Hunter, AbelsonTaylor

Lynnette Hunter, EVP, Director of Client Services, AbelsonTaylor: We placed significant focus in 2022 on growing our expertise in data aggregation and analytics to establish a multi-touch attribution model for our clients.This allowed us to measure and optimize the performance and effectiveness of their marketing efforts within an omnichannel marketing plan. As we move into 2023, we want to know more about our target customers’ behaviors and better predict how they will individually respond to our marketing communications. This is critical to the success of any campaign, as it is the true definition of delivering the right message at the right time to the right person. 

We believe the key to an accurate prediction is having data that tracks behavior at the individual level and automating that data in real-time so we can decide the next best action for that individual customer and serve appropriate content in the channel they prefer. Doing this requires additional investment and commitment to incorporating artificial intelligence technology within our analytics system. This initiative will allow us to collect and analyze data faster and ultimately automate the selection of the next best marketing message and ideal tactic to deliver that message. Others may create fancy names around this process and offer promises of what their “proprietary platform” can deliver, but for us it is less about marketing our approach and more about seeing the actual results and business growth for our clients and attributing that growth to our creative, engagement, and marketing intelligence strategies on their brands.  

Kristofer Doerfler, Director of Innovation, CMI Media Group: There is no shortage of new initiatives across our various clients as we are leaning into greater experimentation with partners and de-risk the future for our brands.  As a result, we are implementing innovative approaches to ensure we are spreading knowledge across the agency, are at the forefront of new media inventions with our partners, and are enriching the story-telling process so our clients understand the value of testing solutions. Through these new innovation approaches we are pioneering industry-first activations in such areas as mixed reality, blockchain, audio, telehealth, and more.

Jennifer White, Klick Health

Jennifer White, Klick Health

Jen White, Global Head of Growth, Klick Health: As we announced earlier this year, we made the strategic decision to “scale the Klick magic” to the rest of the world with new regional hub offices in Brazil (LATAM), Singapore (APAC), and the UK (EMEA). In 2023, we will continue to expand our global growth with our next key office locations in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Japan.

Why is this strategic expansion significant? While we have actively serviced clients globally in varying capacities for many years, we recognize there is an opportunity — and an obligation — to continue to evolve the way we do global. With this in mind, we have thoughtfully and aggressively pursued this global expansion — true to Klick’s founding principles that have served our client partners so well for over 25 years.

John Fitzpatrick, PRECISIONeffect

John Fitzpatrick, PRECISIONeffect

John Fitzpatrick, SVP, Omnichannel—Digital & Interactive, PRECISIONeffect: We’re entering 2023 primed to bring our clients highly sought and effectively integrated offerings that maximize brand opportunity across the product lifecycle. From corporate PR to DOL/KOL mapping and engagement through omnichannel strategy and execution, powered by the proprietary Navigator 365 data and power tools, we’re able to work with clients to develop and execute highly targeted initiatives to change behaviors and advance standards of care.

Nick Cavarra, OgilvyHealth

Nick Cavarra, OgilvyHealth

Nick Cavarra, SVP – Growth & Marketing, Ogilvy Health: What we are most excited about for 2023 and beyond is to help our clients deliver true impact. While we must always align on the business goals of our clients to drive increased revenues, the industry at the macro level and as an agency at the micro level, our mission is to create programs that drive positive health outcomes not outputs. We are going beyond just identifying HCP and patient populations as well as crafting messaging and assets to deliver critical messaging; rather, we’re developing programs and platforms to impact their lives in measurable ways.  Be it educating and delivering vaccines to those that need them or convincing those who are hesitant to reconsider and convert. Programs to enable self-care with devices like continuous glucose monitors for those suffering from T1D and T2D or portable oxygenators, which can literally bring tears to the eyes of users when they are no longer “the sick old person” in the back bedroom the grandkids are afraid of.  Delivering IMPACT improves lives; changes lives; extends lives. A lofty mission, but one worth getting out of bed for each morning to deliver. 

Steve Bernstein, Partner, CrowdPharm: CrowdPharm is planning to launch an overseas office that will enable us to work around the clock without asking any of our team to lose sleep while delivering that kind of efficiency to our clients. 

Joanna Jacobs, TBWA/WorldHealth

Joanna Jacobs, TBWA/WorldHealth

Joanna Jacobs, President, TBWA\WorldHealth: We see a tremendous opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with our clients not just as marketing partners, but as true business partners. Our clients are consistently looking for that competitive edge, and at Omnicom Health Group, we feel as though we can offer that true competitive edge through our Omnihealth data capability. Omni is the largest healthcare database in the world, sourcing audience-level data from OHG and client data sources that allow us to create performance-driven business strategies. We’ve already seen how game-changing this data intelligence can be for many of our clients, and we look to surround them all with this capability as a core offering in 2023.  

In addition, we plan to elevate the role of Omnicom Health Group in all our client engagements so that they can truly benefit from the leading-edge innovation that is happening across our network. Our suite of experts across critical areas of complexity and growth, such as addressable media, content attribution modeling, payer, and health equity and inclusion, are key areas of focus that we will leverage to drive business acceleration in 2023.  

Faruk Capan, CEO, EVERSANA INTOUCH & Chief Innovation Officer, EVERSANA: We will continue to expand our capabilities in MedComm, media and omnichannel. Our automation efforts are already paying tremendous benefits to our clients. 

Chris Ozanian, Chief Experience Officer, JUICE Pharma: At Juice we have seen our clients, both big and small, continue to struggle with the meaningful utilization of data in marketing their products. Clients continue to invest heavily in platforms and people to procure and manage greater volumes of data without establishing a clear path to business impact. As a CX-focused agency, our mission is to deliver both business and customer impact. To that end we’ve developed products focused on directly transforming data to results. 

One of those products is AMP.  AMP acts as the connective tissue between disparate customer, channel and market data and the insights and ideas that drive performance. AMP combines proprietary ML-based data processing with CX strategy to build predictive models that target high priority market opportunities. AMP defines addressable targets that lay at the foundation of our omnichannel programs. Most of all, AMP provides a deeper level of customer insight that helps us craft personalized experiences and creative that have shown to demonstrable lift in brand performance. AMP is a product core to our offering, and AMP is also just as much the way in which we work.

Jon Koch, Chief Executive Officer, Fishawack Health: We are constantly looking to progress our organization’s service offering, processes, and platforms for service delivery to improve our interdisciplinary offering for clients. In addition to closely monitoring and act on client needs, we are rolling out a group wide client satisfaction program, supporting continuous improvement and our desire to exceed client expectations.

From a service offering perspective, we are expanding them in several ways to meet our clients’ evolving needs.

We’re advancing our partnerships with leading clinicians across the globe to deliver independent insights for clients. We continue to expand partnerships with leading networks of global clinicians in dermatology, hepatology, oncology, and hematology to deliver actionable insights that meet the needs of our clients in fast-moving, complex, and data-heavy areas. Alongside expert partnerships, our consultants have developed an artificial intelligence and machine learning tool to quickly find and prioritize thought leaders, driving efficiency and speed to help clients rapidly identify and connect to thought leaders in categories and topics of interest. The application is particularly pertinent for clients entering categories for the first time, on a steep learning curve with a new asset, or for those working in less-conventional therapeutic domains with multiple stakeholders involved.

We’re leveraging our proprietary technology, tools, and data to bring innovation to the hands of those who can benefit from it. Across the biopharmaceutical industry, there is significant appetite for tools, data, and technology to uncover product value and drive efficient and effective launches. We have developed a suite of cloud-based technology and tools, which enhance our expertise for biopharmaceutical clients. 

We are also honing our offering for leaner companies who do not have launch excellence function, developing a cloud-based tool to provide a single view of the launch. The tool drives best practice, facilitating fast decisions and identifying concerns before they become issues, along with building consensus cross-functionally and socializing tactical planning.

With the rapidly evolving health economics and outcomes research (HEOR)and market access landscape, we are now on the cusp of significant acceleration in the use of digital applications to explore value options, gain strategic advantage, and provide innovative HEOR and market access solutions. It’s inevitable that digital applications will be increasingly used within HEOR and market access. To meet this need, we’re enhancing our technology to unite biopharmaceutical teams with structured and robust approaches.  

Our applications span the product lifecycle, from preclinical to reassessment and range from simplifying advanced HEOR modelling to driving a systematic and robust assessment of market access risks and opportunities, enabling clients to adapt to evolving payer expectations and delivering high-quality multiple health technology assessments and other payer submissions.  By evaluating how digital technology can better enable processes and prioritize activities, clients can fully unlock and optimize product value and elevate competitiveness.

Digital technology, data, and analytics are playing an integral role at every stage of product commercialization. Alongside our applications in market access and HEOR to support our clients in meeting the needs of payers and regulators, we are also evolving our digital capabilities to develop innovative solutions for engaging patients and healthcare professionals.

The long-held aspiration of right customer, right message, right channel at the right time is no longer just the stuff of conference presentations and panel discussions. The tools, partners, technology, data, and capabilities now exist to engage the right customers in the right ways. The greatest challenge to marketers is that these brilliant capabilities are still limited in their scope, channel, or reach. 

As an integrated marketing agency of record, we are investing in enhancing our ability to connect and wield these tools and technologies in a manner that “pulls it all together” in service of our clients’ specific brands and needs. In the marketing realm, we are helping clients find, quantify, and value customers. We are increasingly identifying the healthcare professionals associated with the expert treaters and the caregivers and supporters connected to the likely candidates for a particular therapy through our go-to-market launch toolkit so they can execute with the greatest confidence and that no patient will be left behind and that they will make the business impact they expect. 

Mary Pietryga, Peregrine Market Access

Mary Pietryga, Peregrine Market Access

Mary Pietryga, Partner, Director, Strategic Marketing and Creative Services, Peregrine Market Access: 2023 is shaping up to be another exciting year as we grow and evolve our contract commercial organization (CCO) business. As biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturers realize that early and effective market access strategy is paramount to achieving market success, an increasing number are seeking our “end-to-end” commercialization support. Peregrine not only has the market access experience and expertise to help our clients achieve optimal product access and reimbursement, but we also have expertise and a proven track record on the marketing and communications, media strategy, and launch execution sides of the business. We lead with market access strategy and deliver on all fronts, and therefore expect our CCO business to expand significantly.

Additionally, we anticipate expanding our contract account and sales team (CAST), which is a unique offering that differentiates Peregrine. We have an in-house team of national account managers, sales teams, and medical science liaisons (MSLs) with decades of experience calling on formulary decision-makers. Peregrine’s CAST can be used to help a client pressure-test the market to determine the right strategy and field effort to optimize their P&L. For smaller startup companies, Peregrine’s CAST can be brought in to lead everything, making it a much more affordable and effective option than bringing on and training staff from the ground up. 

Maria Tender, GSW/Syneos Health

Maria Tender, GSW/Syneos Health

Maria Tender, Head of Strategy, GSW/Syneos Health: In order to meet healthcare providers (HCPs) where they are, you have to know who they are – understanding how HCPs feel, what drives them, and the context they live within. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the Mindset Engine, a cutting-edge platform that aims to understand how doctors make choices. The Mindset Engine allows us to access the deeper, smarter, more specific insights that crystallize a story supported by data and rooted in human behavior.   

This proprietary tool gives GSW and the rest of Syneos Health an exclusive ticket into the mind of HCPs. By pairing behavioral profiling with a diverse look at personal and professional preferences, we form a holistic understanding of what drives HCP choices and behaviors – showing the nuanced realities of the human behind the white coat. Insights from the Mindset Engine spark provocative stories that are backed by behavioral science, driven by data, and rooted in emotion, leading to work that meets HCP needs in ways that are both intuitive and unexpected. We’re excited to spark these stories in the coming year. 

What excites you moving into 2023?

Jeff Berg: Greater stability in the labor market. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all managers to rethink employee engagement. Unfortunately, the enormous employee turnover made it very difficult to establish sustainable relationships and improve engagement. Hopefully, reduced turnover will allow implementation of new ways of engaging with employees, leading to more fulfilling experiences for all.

Lynnette Hunter: As we head into 2023, one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of change and impact to our healthcare system will be the growth and entry of biosimilars to current biologic medications. The long-standing biologics have been in a concentrated market for several years and now, for the first time, will be facing even more competitive pressure from multiple biosimilars set to gain approval in 2023. Entering the market at a much lower cost, these molecules will give physicians, patients, and health systems more choice and access in what has traditionally been a costly area for several chronic diseases. Some have estimated the global growth of biosimilars to reach $60 billion by the end of this decade, but what is even more impactful is the massive savings they will generate to our overall healthcare system in that same period.   

An interesting and exciting dynamic to watch will be the strategic choices behind the marketing of both the incumbent biologics and the newly approved biosimilars. How will the traditionally heavy promotional spending and large revenue-generating biologics protect their share when faced with a lower cost biosimilar that has been proven to be equally efficacious and safe? And with the likelihood of much smaller marketing budgets, how will the biosimilars gain awareness, credibility, and trust with physicians and patients to drive quick uptake?  

We are already starting to see multiple biosimilars for the same reference biologic, and with competition heating up among the biosimilar category itself, this is causing even further pressure on pricing and contracting. An interesting differentiation strategy among the biosimilars will be the process of achieving interchangeability designation from the FDA, essentially gaining the stamp of approval to switch between the reference biologic and biosimilar at the pharmacy without physician approval. How these new versions of old brands innovate to ensure they are not perceived as a traditional generic medication but rather a value asset is likely an inflection point for healthcare and our industry that we will be talking about for years to come. 

Todd Greene, VP, Digital Strategy, Brick City Greenhouse: I feel like in 2023 I see a sort of peak nimbleness coming. People have become more comfortable with the utilization of technology and communication. Think of all the Zoom calls; Instant communication no matter where you are. And with a rapidly evolving world, I see people making decisions faster and assessing the analytics and numbers that go behind the conversions more rapidly, driving faster ROI calculations. People are becoming more nimble. “Let’s get research quickly.” “Let’s execute quickly.” “Let’s get the data quickly.” “Let’s pick it quickly.” It feels like we’re going to have four years’ worth of productivity in next year alone.

Fred Kinch, Founder, Content Lead, Brick City Greenhouse: Coming through an election year, change in the political makeup of the country, COVID an ongoing concern, a looming recession, and instability, I think they’re going be a lot of sticky challenges in 2023. But if you’re a high-caliber agency, you relish sticky challenges and are always trying to create disruptive solutions for those problems and find great ways to help your clients get ahead of the game. I’m most excited about really unusual predicaments that our clients might find themselves in, and how we can help in those situations.

Kathleen Nanda, FCB Health New York

Kathleen Nanda, FCB Health New York

Kathleen Nanda, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Health New York, An IPG Health Company: With the incredible capabilities of AI generated creation, technology is about to disrupt our industry once again. We have powerful new ways to create — what we create, and how we create. It’s an exciting time, and it’s up to us to discover where we can go. Harnessing the technology and mastering how we can use it to our creative advantage will be a tremendous opportunity for our creatives and our clients. 

Bruno Abner, McCann Health New Jersey

Bruno Abner, McCann Health New Jersey

Bruno Abner, Chief Creative Officer, McCann Health New Jersey, An IPG Health Company: The overall quality of the health and pharma category is growing faster than ever before. 2023 will be the year that will show us if we are getting even more traction or not – I would bet we are! So, I’m very excited to see what creative cases will surface next year, not only from our team but also from the whole health and pharma creative community. 

Nick Cavarra: Are the regulatory walls coming down – or at least keeping up with the times? Sometimes it feels the status quo will never change – but when game changing events happen, we must celebrate them and double down to do more. COVID of course changed everything. Suddenly big pharma companies were working together to create and deliver a vaccine across the nation in less than one year.  The crisis demanded it and the industry responded with the urgency required. Too often the long-established systems of delivering healthcare are no longer efficient for today and now serve as obstacles to overcome. Worse yet, these systems are locked into place to ensure high profits at the expense of better care. Here is hoping for more of us to demand impact by breaking down old regulatory laws or outdated systems. Another great example? As of October 17, it was no longer required to have a prescription to get hearing aids. 50 years ago, it made sense to require seeing an audiologist to tune, fit and adjust what were clunky and unattractive devices.  That is no longer the case, and folks can go into their local pharmacies and pick up a new pair of Bose devices to improve their hearing like never before at a cost of $200 – not $6,000. That will deliver measurable impact to millions.  

Lew Campanaro, General Manager, Business Unit Lead, Fusion: What excites me most is the seemingly endless desire for innovation in our industry. Fusion continues to be challenged to create new, transformative ways to engage with HCPs and patients. The pandemic has shown us that the demand for in-person engagements and educational opportunities can be fulfilled in a virtual and on-demand environment with the same impact. The need for targeted and personalized engagement experiences continues to increase. We need to keep thinking of the HCP and patient audiences and how best to provide valuable live and on-demand learning opportunities through personalized channels. Feedback received following peer-to-peer educational programs increasingly includes requests for virtual interactive content in bite-sized pieces. This will raise the bar for innovation and creative thinking in our industry, and that benefits everyone. 

Jacob Harrison, CMI Media Group

Jacob Harrison, CMI Media Group

Jacob Harrison Director, Ecommerce, CMI Media Group: Many of the largest e-retailers are consolidating to make healthcare more accessible to the consumer. I think that in the next 18 months, you will see this consolidation continue, followed by a marketing evolution within the Rx and OTC space. What does that mean for ecommerce? Contextual advertising will become a huge play, display marketing on platform, enhanced search programs driving to e-retail platforms. Next year is going to be about how you can circumvent targeting issues, but is going to be the first large push of Rx product marketing and, hopefully, an explosion of OTC product marketing. While OTC is not new to e-retail, expansion on smaller/niche platforms will occur as they begin to catch up to the Walmarts and Amazons of the world.  

Christine Mormile, Director, Media, CMI Media Group: Each year we get closer to ‘bridging the gap’ between HCP and patient dialogue. Media becomes increasingly more targeted to both audiences, which leads to more educated conversations and decisions at the point of care. Also, technology continues to allow physicians to communicate with their patients in between visits and provide patients with more control and awareness of the importance of self-care. Long term, we expect these technology improvements to support product adherence and promote brand loyalty.

Kristofer Doerfler, Director of Innovation, CMI Media Group: There is so much that excites me in 2023, but what I am most excited about is the growth of the mixed reality world. Although the metaverse needs improvements before it is widely adopted, augmented reality (AR) capabilities are exploding both online and in-app, which are creating new healthcare & media capabilities that are revolutionizing digital interactivity and slowly developing a digital overlay on the physical world.  Entire shopping, entertainment or education experiences will become AR enabled directly from web pages without advanced technology or apps.

John Guarino, founder and president, Peregrine Market Access: We continue to be most excited about the tremendous talent and holistic offerings that we have at Peregrine Market Access. Our eight functional business pillars allow us to execute a blue ocean strategy that is aligned to solving client problems, not siloed by vendor type.

Our mission also energizes us as we look to a new year. Peregrine Market Access is driven to change the way healthcare is valued and we are proud of the progress we are making by helping a growing number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients communicate the value of their treatments, medical devices, and diagnostics. We have new business from some of the largest pharma companies in the world and are helping one to launch a new, transformative gene therapy. The scientific advances of today’s innovative products, especially the gene and cell therapies, really motivate and engage our team, and we are honored to contribute to them. We are driven to ensure the value of transformative treatments is fully understood and effectively communicated so that they can achieve positive formulary coverage and help patients who desperately need them.

JD Cassidy, President, Advertising, GSW/Syneos Health: As always, we look towards our Syneos Health Trends Team to tell us what we should be looking out for in the coming year. Here are some things we’re excited about that you should keep on your radar. 

  • Technology evolution: Technology and data are affecting human health and healthcare in ways we never imagined, and 2023 sets the stage for even more high-utility change. We expect to see fast growth in AgeTech, and rapid realization on the value of AI in the life sciences industry.  
  • Human engagement: The last few years – but really, the last few decades – have been incredibly difficult for medical professionals. The coming year represents an important reset — a chance to reinspire HCPs and create the flexible choices they need for life, work and mental health.  
  • Healthcare advancement: Our industry is set to make rapid advancements in 2023. The coming year is prime time for discussions on value, making the race to create new models that spur innovation and ensure access more important than ever.  

Jeremy Howell, Associate Creative Director, Greater Than One: I am really excited about new technology, especially extended reality which comprises virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality where one can create their own reality. We are in an era of smarter devices including artificial intelligence, wearables, smarter personal devices, etc. Now is a great time to be in the healthcare space working with clients who embrace technology and have a willingness to push boundaries and think outside the box. These new technologies will allow companies to connect with their audience on all new levels especially in healthcare, and I look forward to being a part of that.

Mindy Telmer, EVP, Executive Creative Director, Greater Than One: There has never been a more exciting time to be part of pharmaceutical marketing and advertising. In 2023, we think innovation and focus on women’s health will come into maturity. And, in my opinion, not a moment too soon. The estimates say that the “femtech” market is poised to double from $22.5 billion last year. These “femtech” companies who are coming up with unique ways for women to overcome health problems specific to their sex will need an advertising agency like Greater than One – women owned, full of a diverse group of employees and very experienced marketing in this category. 

In addition, I think this will be the year that social media marketing will become mainstream for pharma. The needle is moving towards Tik Tok, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram. We are helping more and more clients develop digital influencers, humanize their brands, and educate their audiences via these platforms. In 2023, it will be exciting to work with clients, in this heavily regulated industry, to transform how we all approach content creation and how we interact with our target audiences. 

Mike Myers, Managing Director and Partner, CrowdPharm: We’re excited to continue to expand our interaction with global creative and strategic healthcare professionals who help us to provide our clients with exceptional, insightful work. Right now, one of our favorite art directors in Nigeria is doing work for our USA-based clients, and we have a developer in Ukraine working on CrowdPharm’s website. It’s so fascinating to me that we can seamlessly tap into that type of expertise and unique experience. So, where and who we will tap into next excites me greatly! 

Jon Koch: One area I’m particularly excited about is the application of multiomic techniques in complex areas with high unmet need. From unraveling the underlying biology of rare diseases to developing advanced personalized therapies, multiomics enable us to paint a more complete picture of human health and disease, inspiring and accelerating biomedical breakthroughs. Multiomics integrates the evaluation of various biological processes including genetics and studies of messenger RNA, proteins, and metabolites. By leveraging novel technologies to study the interplay of these biological components, we can advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of diseases and revolutionize the way therapies are developed, marketed, and used to treat patients. This isn’t just theoretical; multiomic approaches recently informed models to predict the severity of COVID-19 in individual patients and helped to describe the physiologic responses to infection and to the mRNA vaccines.

Multiomics is intriguing as it offers a variety of applications for drug discovery, driving more efficient and effective clinical trials, improving equitable patient access, and ensuring the right patients are treated with the right therapies, at the right dose, and at the right time. Central to this will be using computational technology such as AI and machine learning to analyze and translate the data into meaningful results. Through partnerships with technology companies, there are now greater opportunities for smaller biotechs to leverage platforms to analyze the data and drive developments that previously were the realm of larger pharmaceutical companies. 

The challenge for biopharmaceutical companies will be to effectively integrate these techniques and translate the science into clinically actionable tools and information. This includes collaborating with clinicians and developing educational materials to help them confidently implement omics research. Applying human-centered design and a behavioral science lens can help uncover these unmet needs and lead to impactful communications. Overall, we’re seeing a lot of innovation in these areas, and we’re taking the rights steps to help clients fully realize their potential benefits.

Gail Flockhart, Chief Commercial Officer and President of Marketing, Fishawack Health: It’s exciting to see that companies large and small across the industry have embraced incorporating platforms and data, even at the early stages of commercialization. It is no longer a question of “if and when” but a question of “how and now.” Now our job is to not only deliver engaging creative, and compelling content that forges empathy into connection, but to architect coordinated experiences that can be rapidly optimized based on in-market learnings to inspire, transform, and most importantly, create lasting benefit for patients. 

For one rare disease client, we created and are now evolving a patient engagement and education campaign that addresses both customers’ needs as a whole people (not just as a patient or caregiver) into a lifestyle management and improvement program now that the client’s product is in-market. What started as an empathetic effort to fill an information and communication void for this rare disease patient community has become — in the words of real patients — “a movement.”

To do so we must guide our clients through the complex landscape of technology and platform choices.  Ultimately, identifying and delivering long-term fit-for-purpose solutions to drive marketing spend efficiency based on what’s working best.

For example, our omnichannel product launch campaign for the same rare disease product built on the momentum and good will engendered by our patient disease education efforts to contribute to expectation-shattering growth by enlisting digital media with streaming and broadcast DTC TV campaigns in a novel manner for a rare disease therapy. What allowed us to develop, propose, size, and optimize this convention-defying campaign was the use of data and analytics to for inspire and support clever marketing ideas.



Faruk Capan, CEO, EVERSANA INTOUCH & Chief Innovation Officer, EVERSANA: 2023 is going to be another record year for our team. We will solidify our AOR leadership position as we continue to innovate in AI and digital transformation with our clients. We are excited to work towards doing what we do best: tackling challenges and producing more seamlessly integrated solutions to benefit our clients and improve patients’ lives, ultimately creating a healthier world for all. 

Boris Kushkuley, Ph.D., President, Commercial and Consulting, EVERSANA INTOUCH: After joining forces with EVERSANA, we’re in a unique position to provide to our clients something that very few agencies can. First, continue leveraging EVERSANA INTOUCH’s legacy and digital expertise to deliver true omnichannel solutions that the industry is hungry for. Second, leverage the breadth of EVERSANA’s business capabilities to deliver effective, integrated solutions focused on business impact. Third, focus on efficiency and value, streamlining our processes and automating some of the tasks while focusing our staff on creative and strategic work.

Susan Perlbachs, Chief Creative Officer, EVERSANA INTOUCH: The ever-evolving omnichannel landscape is something I’m excited about in the year ahead. While we’ve been talking about it for a while, the realities of what we are able to deliver is growing more and more sophisticated. Personalized communications are what all of us want, experiences bespoke for our interests and needs. The ability for brands to connect the dots for customers, truly giving them the content they want is the way we will increase brand loyalty and awareness and transform marketing. 

John Fitzpatrick: The industry has been greatly excited by omnichannel throughout 2022. It is the buzzword of the year. But as we enter 2023, I’m excited to put that word into action and make omnichannel a reality for our clients. Making good on the promise of omnichannel will lead to greater connectivity, visibility, and optimization for commercial organizations and better experiences for HCPs and patients — which could enhance patient identification, compliance, and adherence. We see this as building on our heritage of understanding the customer mindset to influence behavior change. With deep data sets, like the core of our Navigator360, which illuminates the preferences of doctors in nine core specialties around the world, we’re able to go deeper than ever in creating messages and initiatives that answer their current needs.

Robin Shapiro, CEO, TBWA\WorldHealth: As we head into 2023, we are excited to bring together humanity, data, creativity, and DEI in new ways. Omnichannel marketing drives precision and greater efficiency, while creativity and storytelling amp up effectiveness. 2023 is the year where precision meets persuasion. 

Healthcare Agency Roundtable 2022: Positioning for resiliency: Back to the (virtual) office, building and retaining talent (Part I)

Healthcare Agency Roundtable 2022: Uncertainties of 2023: Looming recession, inflation, and reduced investment (Part II)

Healthcare Agency Roundtable 2022: Tech trends, opportunities, and woes (Part III) 

Healthcare Agency Roundtable 2022: Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Putting words into action (Part IV)


Maria Fontanazza

Maria Fontanazza is the director of content, Med Ad News and PharmaLive.com.