Top 100 Agencies: closerlook

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closerlook's data-driven approach gives it a leg up when it comes to analyzing HCP outreach
closerlook's data-driven approach gives it a leg up when it comes to analyzing HCP outreach

Chicago firm closerlook is having something of a moment. With Big Data in the spotlight, the agency's staff of 100, combined with its history of digging into data and assessing marketing at a granular level, has put it in a prime position: it can satisfy clients' current appetite for assessing HCP outreach, while at the same time it's poised to usher clients through the next wave—communicating with the broader HCP universe, which includes the nurse practitioners and physician assistants who will be influencing patient regimens and decisions.

CEO David Ormesher says it comes down to the right conversation, and realizing that healthcare providers need to be treated like consumers with distinct interests. “Many brands… now recognize they dropped the ball with healthcare professionals… I'm grateful that many of them are past that now.”

The agency says the key is helping clients to understand that a broad-based message is a waste of time—individual conversations are what matter. That point of view has contributed to closerlook's increasing reach within its existing clients' portfolios as creator and originator of content, as well as being the agency that combines input from third-party groups and translates it into data that shows what outreach is making an impact and with whom.

“When I talk about touchpoints, I'm talking about everything from a sales rep call to a sample drop at a conference… every place where we're somehow communicating with a physician,” he says, so that closerlook knows “what kind of response they get by physician—we're not looking for an aggregate.”

As an example, Ormesher says his company is able to see which doctors in a given office building like to take home direct mail, and which ones never even look at it, but do go home and explore using a mobile device.

It also means understanding just who comprises the audience and how to tune each type of outreach so it makes sense to each individual and each group.

As an example, Ormesher says physicians “crave the knowledge, they crave the latest study or insights” and go to grand rounds when there's something significant to see “not just because pharma has a luncheon.” NPs and PAs, whom healthcare reform has made of increasing importance, are another HCP audience with distinct interests, and information needs.

Homing in on opportunities like this is part of what's pushed 2012's revenues 40% higher than 2011's and has forced the agency to lease a second floor.

The agency, whose client roster includes Novo Nordisk, Takeda and GSK, among others, is also able to use its metrics to go back and find what's been overlooked. Among the CEO's favorite examples is doing a retroactive review of a drug that still had four to five years of patent life left to it, but no sales support behind it. In doing so, the team realized the sales force had ignored a segment of healthcare providers—around 12,000—whose patients would benefit from the drug, but who were ignored because the HCPs didn't fit the general concept of a marketable audience. What was missing was the right message, and the result was that Ormesher's crew helped his client “find” millions of late-stage incremental sales, something Ormesher says would have happened earlier if the drug maker “had just talked to them” instead of going for the broad messaging approach and metrics.
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