The Top 75: Ogilvy Healthworld

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It's been a year of change for Oglivy Healthworld. In addition to the retirement of worldwide chairman and CEO Steve Girgenti, other key personnel changes have taken place along with the addition of some significant new business. The agency has managed to weather the economic storm and is preparing for exciting new challenges.
The most notable wins this year were a couple of pieces of new business, according to Donna Tuths, president of Ogilvy Healthworld. “We're excited by the mix of business there, we have won some consumer and professional business at Novartis and we have one business on three different brands there.”

“2008 was Ogilvy Healthworld's year to bring all of our consumer and professional capabilities under one roof, under new management,” says Tuths, who adds, “2009 is our year to go beyond in terms of launching new practices and initiatives that will define the future of healthcare marketing over the next five years.” 

Ogilvy also won Xalatan from Pfizer in the CRM space as well as a very large consumer professional launch for Boehringer Ingelheim for Flibanserin.

“We continue to see a lot of vitality in the market place,” says Tuths, adding that while individual clients aren't spending as much as they did in prior years or as fast, no business has moved and they added new clients to the roster.

“That's probably what's allowed us to maintain business as usual through what's been a rough period of the economy. I think that, in that regard, we feel like we are very well set up for 2010,” says Tuths.

Ogilvy's existing roster includes: GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd., Besins Naturaceutics, Eli Lilly and Roche. In the past several years, key wins include: Allergan's Lap-Band System;  Sanctura's overactive bladder control franchise; Concerta from Johnson & Johnson; Takeda's Lapaquistat; Sanofi-Aventis's Xyzal; as well as various campaigns from Roche Diagnostics and consumer for Smith & Nephew knee and hip prosthetics.

In addition to beefing-up the research department and scientific staffs, Ogilvy brought on Dan Chichester as chief digital officer. Another key person to join the team was agency veteran Barbara Pelham.

Oglivy also hired Amy McAllister a 17-year veteran from Digitas Health to head up its professional relationship marketing group. As part of its transformation to a fully integrated consumer-professional marketing powerhouse, Tuths says that Ogilvy Healthworld hired McAllister to focus on defining and implementing a suite of offerings that are focused on launching next-generation professional marketing programs with our clients.

“Amy is currently spearheading a number of initiatives at Novartis which are aimed at piloting new and innovative ways to reach physicians and healthcare professionals,” says Tuths. The work involves piloting new approaches to heathcare professional marketing, new ways to reach physicians and new ways to partner with sales forces. “I feel like that's very timely work,” says Tuths. “It's the basis for a lot of the work that we'll be doing moving forward.”

These programs, she says, are using new channels that allow physicians to receive important information when they want it and in the format they need it.

“Our data shows that many physicians are moving these interactions to weekday evenings, or even to Sundays when they are catching up on paperwork,” she says. “This is providing new and interesting ways to deliver virtual details—and to allow physicians to access studies, research—and even samples on their own terms.”

Tuths noted that the agency has been spending a lot of time on its global marketing skills and has solidified a full-service global hub in New York. “We have an international staff on sight in New York, they are trained at doing global launches and helping our largest clients achieve global alignments on brands.”

This year, Ogilvy Healthworld launched Planeta, a multi-cultural marketing unit headed by Jodie Abbatangelo-Gray and Daniella Tineo-Cohn.

The idea behind Planeta, explained Tuths, is to take a more expansive approach to multi-cultural marketing. “In particular, we wanted to add a substantial research and planning component that would not only explore the messaging dimension of multi-cultural marketing— but take a detailed look at the specific epidemiologies that are pervasive in these ethnic communities.”

Tuths notes that the research that was conducted creates a series of “consumer/patient prints” that delve into how disease states differentially affect particular ethnic groups.

“We have assembled a strong team of planners and researchers that specialize in understanding the health issues facing these communities,” she explains. “Ultimately they design communications programs that ‘go beyond' in defining the behavior paradigm in that they not only focus on the diabetes experience as a whole—but, as an example, the unique challenges that diabetes poses for African Americans and their dietary traditions.”
 Planeta is working on new launches in allergy, acid reflux and depression. Like Ogilvy Healthworld, Planeta is an integrated unit which develops both consumer and professional communications needs, across all channels, from traditional advertising to CRM and digital.

Ogilvy also launched a new initiative that is focused on the development of scientific platforms and the translation of that key scientific information into compelling stories and formats. OHW Applied Sciences, is led by Deepthi Prakash, and has a team of 15 working scientists and brand planners on its staff.

Further evidence of Ogilvy's sustained growth is reflected in a move shortly, into new office space at 46th Street and 11th Avenue in New York City.

DTC will remain not only a challenging area for the industry, but it will also continue to evolve, according to Tuths. She also sees a continued evolution of marketing to healthcare professionals and as a result of the aftermath of all of the downsizing that's occurred in sales forces, she believes that the industry needs to continue to look at how its clients are dealing with that. It is also important that the industry monitor how clients are continuing to adopt technology and integrate technology into everything that they do.

“That's part of where the challenges lie,” says Tuths. “These are all new sets of skills and they are needed in order to reach physicians and consumers in new ways which is what we need to do on both sides, because we can no longer rely on some of our huge reach medium on the consumer side.”

She pointed out that relationship marketing, targeted marketing and online marketing are going to continue to be the wave of the future and at the same time the industry has to find new ways to help its clients reach physicians segments with strong ROI and, in many cases, no longer utilizing their classic sales force.
“So, now it requires things on the physician side and professional side, segmentation skills, data skills, technology integration skills. And I think that the marketplace is in various stages of incorporating those skill sets into what they do,” says Tuths.     

Another trend that Tuths has observed on the part of clients is a desire to collapse their own organizations and become more integrated themselves and to take away some of the barriers in some of their own organizations between consumer marketing and professional marketing. “We continue to see a pressure on eliminating those redundancies and I think that we've needed to respond with very integrated services.”

For Ogilvy that's a relatively easy task because they have incorporated professional and consumer under one umbrella. In fact, 40% of its business is based on clients that are doing consumer and professional marketing with the agency on brands where Ogilvy is providing integrated consumer and physician support.
Tuths laments: “We felt that that was a logical niche for us.”
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