Like many other healthcare agencies, OCHWW is conscious of the need to diversify its client base, although Giegerich notes that the majority of this new business to date has come, not so much from proactive pitching, but from opportunities that have presented themselves.
“We're diversifying into more devices, diagnostics, implantable technology, health service providers, distribution networks, ophthalmics and over-the-counter products,” he says. “So, we're diversifying out of necessity, but it's where the marketplace opportunities are growing. They are growing outside of the Rx environment.”
Giegerich notes there have been significant changes in the commercial model in a short space of time. “If you go back just three years, at every one of these large top 20 biopharmaceutical clients, the model was broken,” he says. “We needed a new commercial model. Many of them developed centers of innovation and had people with that responsibility. A lot of them reached outside of pharma and brought on people from consumer packaged goods and other technology clients to lead the charge. Now three years later, you're looking at organizations that are pretty adapt at system-wide integration, brand-oriented technology, alternatives to sales representatives, online service portals, multichannel marketing coordinated with a backend of data and analytics. I mean there's a much more sophisticated marketing environment that has emerged. It is partly out of necessity and partly of a quest for ROI.”
Chapman believes agencies must get up to speed with digital in order to compete in a world of more specialized medicines. “Everybody has recognized that it is a time-shifted liquid medium world that we live all in,” he explains. “You watch TiVo when you want to. You listen to FM radio wherever you are. That has to be the same in how we are going to capture and communicate with our healthcare provider audiences, so digital—and how innovative you are with it—is going to be really important. Unless you really have a true understanding of the healthcare equation, the dynamics, the value of opposition that needs to be in it defines that you can talk about it. If you don't have that blood and heritage, it's going to be very hard to kind of bring yourself up into a pharma company and say I'm the one who should be doing this for you.
“Where you're doing Claritin, you're doing allergy,” Chapman continues. “You have 40 million sufferers and you can do a whole bunch of stuff. But when you're talking about something that's going to be for Gaucher's disease, it's just as important. It's just as difficult to explain the science, but you have to do it in a completely different manner. That manner is going to require a great deal of digital structure and output to it.”