Given that he joined Artcraft Health in February as MD, after the departure of EVP and GM Marc Sirockman, Joe Poggi is hesitant to discuss 2015 on his own. So he introduces members of his team. “To me, it's the people who make the place go,” Poggi says.
Artcraft enjoyed a steady 2015, with revenue remaining in the range of $15 million to $20 million and headcount at 70 full-timers. It won assignments from Ethicon, Smith & Nephew, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, and Helsinn and expanded engagements with existing clients Celgene, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, and Pfizer.
What impresses Poggi most about Artcraft is its health-education expertise. It has expanded its offerings to include education solutions across different types of products and therapeutic areas, from medical devices to oncology, infectious-disease, and metabolic-disease drugs. Most recently, the firm branched out into animal health.
Since the debut of its innovation team, in 2014, Artcraft has developed a range of solutions in house for clients, among them customized software applications, video, and animation. “That's the great thing about Artcraft: We don't source anything out,” says chief creative officer Stephanie Murrin, who also joined the agency in February. “We can do combinations of video and animation. We have motion graphic artists. Everything's here.”
Similarly, Artcraft's CODE (customer-on-demand education) software platform is now being used in house and by clients for patient education and can be customized according to user needs. This proved essential in Artcraft's development of a Trumenba augmented-reality starter kit for Pfizer, which incorporates augmented reality to motivate teenagers to get vaccinated for meningitis B.
“After they download it, users hold their phones over three separate augmented-reality ‘targets' to experience a 3-D view of a video clip of a meningitis B survivor sharing her story,” Poggi explains. He reports the app has been downloaded more than 1,600 times.
Another key growth driver for Artcraft in 2015 was work in and around clinical trials. “What we do in the clinical- trials division is use our foundation to drive recruitment, retention, and compliance,” explains VP of clinical trials Brian Schaechter. “We use education to tell patients what's involved in the clinical trial, what they can expect by participating in it, and what the future may hold for it. Using the technology we have, we can put solutions together that really appeal to the way people learn.”
As for challenges, Artcraft must remain vigilant on the compliance front. “I look at it as not so much a great limiter, but an opportunity to be as creative and impactful as possible within established guidelines,” says Poggi. “That's a challenge for the industry and agencies, but it's one that presents an opportunity.”
The remaining months of Artcraft's 2016 will be about expanding its core expertise to include more project-based innovation solutions, Poggi continues. With Murrin taking a lead role, Artcraft will likely do more branding work and attempt to forge longer-term strategic relationships with clients.
Look for it to push into new segments. “Diagnostics is one we can penetrate and gain traction with clients,” says Poggi.