Top 100 Agencies 2014: Rosetta

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Longtime "patient-centric" agency sets the engagement standard

Top 100 Agencies 2014: Rosetta
Top 100 Agencies 2014: Rosetta

Rosetta continued to build on its consulting foundation last year, says Shannon Hartley, the agency's healthcare vertical leader, albeit with a renewed focus on customer engagement.

“If you think back to even how Rosetta was founded, it was the whole belief that deep consumer insights— which lead to a personalized marketing experience—would define the future of marketing,” she explains.

While the rest of the agency world has recently deemed themselves “patient-centric” and have just begun catering to these “empowered patients,” Rosetta started with that vision 15 years ago, Hartley says.

“We've been very deliberate in how we built our capabilities along that vision. That term of personalized marketing has now become more broadly utilized as customer engagement,” she explains. Market research firm Forrester named Rosetta a “strong performer” in the customer-engagement segment two years ago.

“It's a pretty new term in the industry,” adds Shade Vaughn, Rosetta's head of global communications, “but it's very much organized around intelligence, consumer insights, technology and then experience.”

One such program, according to Hartley, is a strong example of the kind of programs that can be made possible by leveraging deep insights to engage customers. “The product was an Rx-to-OTC switch where customers in this particular disease area were embarrassed to even talk to their doctors about the condition. The solution there was about helping to provide information, but also helping provide anonymity, and then also helping them realize that they're not alone—and that this condition is more prevalent than they think—and in doing so, create a sense of community.”

Negotiating that balance, Hartley notes, has allowed the agency to excel in an industry that's placed more emphasis on its consumer segment than ever before.

That emphasis has led Rosetta to high single-digit growth, she says. While the agency is unable to disclose the majority of its clients, Hartley notes that it did pick up launch work for Auxilium and a few other undisclosed companies. “We have helped companies launch new brands this year in a number of therapeutic areas,” she says. “That continues to be a real strength for us, bringing new products and brands to market.”

To bolster those offerings, Rosetta added global chief creative officer, Lars Bastholm, formerly of Ogilvy, and brought in chief technology officer Joe Lozito, as well as healthcare lead technologist, Ram Sarma.

Hartley believes the regulatory environment will only become more complex—putting the onus on savvy marketers to navigate its murky waters. “The greatest challenge in healthcare is always the regulatory environment and the changes happening in real time in terms of FDA guidance and products facing approval. We needed to make sure that our teams continue to have depth of understanding and expertise on the evolutions happening in compliance and regulatory.

“What we ended up doing is partnering with the CCC Group (Center for Communications Compliance) and became the first digital agency certified in compliance. Everyone who works in [our healthcare vertical] has gone through the training. Now they understand what's going on and they're more comfortable in what they can recommend to clients—it's been a big source of comfort for them.”

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