The agency world may still be scrambling to stay ahead of the curve, due to unprecedented changes in digital channels and overall upheaval in marketing budgets, but Targetbase, part of the Omnicom Group, has seen the marketplace begin to shift toward its model.
“The marketplace is moving to the space we've always been in,” asserts Brian Kaiser, VP, Strategy, “the ability to use data intelligence, especially given its proliferation in social media, has our clients asking: ‘How do I filter relationships? I should know my patients and consumers better, why can't I know them better?' And looking at their current platform, they need a company like Targetbase to come in and find those insights and translate them into deliverable business.”
Targetbase's analytics-driven model has proved successful in their business, and it has also helped ease the strain on clients as well. Robin Rettew, EVP, Managing Director, explains: “Our clients are now held very accountable for the results and their marketing budgets. Our whole approach is that the work we're doing for clients is very measurable.”
Targetbase has seen steady growth over the past year. They brought on unspecified work for Bristol-Myers Squibb, GSK's Lovaza, UCB's Cimzia and Astellas' VESIcare. “With the win we had for BMS, they were really looking for an agency that can be the integrator and could bring the insight, and utilize and share that insight with other agency partners. That was a huge win for us and was really a great opportunity,” Rettew says.
The majority of the agency's work is for consumer projects, mainly in the digital, web and mobile space, which accounted for 60% of its business in 2011. As the agency looks towards the future, they hope to continue that trend. “Mobile has got to be at the forefront. Not only it is a channel that is truly more personal in terms of managing health, but it's also becoming a very crowded space. Not with content that healthcare companies are putting out there, but that consumers are creating for themselves. We need to fold that in. If we're having this conversation a year from now, I'd like to be able to tout some innovation we're bringing forth in the mobile space,” Kaiser quips.
Targetbase is proud of its expertise in customer engagement analytics, and finds new tools also present new challenges. “Because data and insight is being generated so quickly, the ability for the client to move at the speed of that conversation can prove difficult. So one of the challenges is being a strong partner and helping to facilitate change within the client's organization. DTC is only 15 years old for them and yet the game has already changed. It's become much more of a real-time marketing dynamic and their internal structures aren't set up for that,” Kaiser says.
The challenge Targetbase faces with clients, he adds, is more indicative of the industry as a whole. “Healthcare is a service business now, it's not just about selling product, and it's about generating health outcomes and being where your patients need you to be as a brand. A challenge is making sure we're doing a good job of educating our clients and giving them the right tools to get there.”