Top 100 Agencies 2014: Wunderman World Health

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Employing the tools clients and audiences want yields success

Top 100 Agencies 2014: Wunderman World Health
Top 100 Agencies 2014: Wunderman World Health

Well ahead of the curve is a place any business strives for. Wunderman World Health, which has been honing its expertise in the payer space, has been poised to steer clients through the healthcare moment payers, patients, physicians and pharmaceutical companies find themselves at now.

“Our core value proposition is helping healthcare companies connect with that empowered consumer,” president Becky Chidester tells MM&M. “Consumers today have so many choices they are really being encouraged to take an active role in their healthcare.”

The WPP agency shepherds clients through the space using tools that help clients connect with audiences through multichannel marketing that combines the new—data-informed targeted marketing—and a reinterpretation of standbys like consumer relationship marketing, This sort of thinking helped the agency add 50 US employees to its roster in the past year, as well as opening offices in Chicago and Washington, DC.

The way clients are asking Wunderman to connect them is clearly leaning towards digital, web and mobile which accounts for 75% of last year's billings mix, with direct marketing making up the other 25%.

Chidester, who admits to happily uploading personal information “to the Nike app to help me with my exercise routine so I don't get bored,” says a willingness to play in this space is critical for healthcare and is the new, relevant form of patient centricity.

This term has been kicked around a lot, but the meaning of patientricity has shifted, and Chidester notes that while the emphasis has been on acquiring audiences, the era of acquisition and retention is pushing healthcare agencies to rethink both the tools they use to connect with customers, and how they speak with them.

As an example of the conversation points available, Chidester notes that pharmaceutical companies and payers have an opportunity to help patients go from getting prescriptions to filling them. She said this is a critical gap, and if patient support programs can eliminate it, it's a data-driven insight that puts patients first.

Insights like this have led to seven new accounts in 2013 and a third consecutive year of growth. Chidester says new business has contributed to the growth but that “our organic growth has almost outpaced” the new business that has flooded the agency portfolio which includes Boehringer Ingelheim, Astellas, Pfizer and an array of BlueCross BlueShield insurance plans.

Digital, a core Wunderman skill, is a given in its client recommendations, but Chidester says clients now want more for their digital efforts. She says one of her firm's skills is helping clients identify which key performance indicators they should apply to given outreach.

Moving this forward, Chidester notes that the healthcare industry's flux will only accelerate and the reliance on communications that reach customers in the right way and right mindset is going to be in greater demand, because the sophistication of everyone in the continuum—payer, patients and physicians—is going to increase. “I don't think it's 10 years out… this is really going to change very dramatically and very rapidly,” she says. She also expects the firm's consultancy business, which addresses this need for in-step communication and data, will continue to refine and expand the company's strengths.

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