The Top 75: Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Innovations
“We're doing exactly what we do for our clients,” says Annemarie Armstrong, head of account leadership at the shop. “We have done a situation analysis and looked at our competitive strengths and differentiators, and we are developing our brand strategy platform and our plan for growth for the future. This is really the final stage of a reinvention that we have gone through over the past year. We've taken a good hard look at the context in which our clients do business to make sure we're in line with where our clients' needs are today.”
The agency is putting resources toward a greater focus on strategic marketing, said Armstrong, through education of existing staff and new hires in accounts and strategic planning as well as creative.
That's not to say the shop's performance has disappointed. Armstrong won't talk numbers but says Innovations had a “good year,” revenue-wise, with “very nice growth,” including additional Sanofi Pasteur business that moved over from Saatchi & Saatchi Health New York—the Fluzone franchise and Menactra meningitis vaccine, along with travel and rabies vaccines. “Immunology is an area of expertise for us, and we'd like to continue growing and expanding within that,” says Armstrong, noting that Innovations already handled Sanofi Pasteur's Pentacel and Adacel vaccines. The 55-person shop didn't lose any business in the past year, and headcount inched up.
Innovations launched a new campaign for Pfizer's Torisel, for advanced renal cell carcinoma, last year and worked on a joint positioning initiative pairing the brand with Pfizer's Sutent. “It was a good opportunity to work with some of the other teams within Pfizer's oncology unit,” says Armstrong.
Sanofi and Pfizer are the shop's largest clients, and around a quarter of their business is digital, with another quarter in strategic work and the remaining half in traditional professional advertising and promotion.
Armstrong assumed leadership of the shop when managing director Bob Eck left in November. She joined Innovations from indie agency Mangos.
Previously based in Newtown, PA, Saatchi & Saatchi Innovations moved into a new 90,000 square foot building in Yardley, co-locating with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group sibling shops, including Publicis Touchpoint Solutions and Publicis HealthWare International.
“The idea was to have all the PHCG companies in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area come together in one building,” says Armstrong, “So, we're able to collaborate and integrate our capabilities with our colleagues, whether it's inside sales and video detailing that Touchpoint Solutions offers or the digital and e-health technologies that HealthWare offers.”
The new space features an open floor plan, aimed at promoting a “collaborative brand ownership team model,” with all aspects of brand teams seated together in sections Armstrong has dubbed “thinkpods.”
“That really is part of our business model going forward,” she says. “We want to have very integrated teams where our creatives understand and embrace strategic thinking and strategists and account people embrace creative thinking so that everyone truly owns the brand from every perspective.”