Top 100 Agencies: Rosetta

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Rosetta work for dry-eye remedy Optive
Rosetta work for dry-eye remedy Optive

Rosetta, back when it was founded in 1998,  was—to put it simply—a consultancy. It would merge with agency Wishbone, and later get picked up in Publicis' buying spree in 2011. But Rosetta's background remains one of its strongest attributes, says its healthcare vertical leader, Shannon Hartley.

“Rosetta comes from a consulting heritage,” she says. “We have more than 100 people who are solely focused on strategies and insights at the beginning of the process. We have that as a foundation, and now we've grown into a full-service agency—but we've retained that ability to pull insights through the process and translate it into personalized marketing capabilities on an iPad.”

And she should know. Hartley was Rosetta's second client when she worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Now as the New York-based shop has grown out of its roots, it has expanded into new types of clients and become a partner for University Hospitals.

But the agency hasn't turned its back on pharma. In 2012, Rosetta expanded work with Takeda's Uloric business for gout, Purdue's Oxycontin pain franchise, Forest (Rosetta is the digital AOR) and picked up work for Auxilium on an undisclosed brand.

Those wins have translated into 10% growth for the agency in 2012. With double-digit growth in its rear view, Hartley now wants to focus on finding clients that match Rosetta's expertise: “Our focus from 2012 into 2013 was looking for clients that really needed personalized marketing to be core to their business,” she says. “We've refined the types of clients that are the best for us, and that's helped to strengthen the organization.”

Those clients include Sanofi's specialty arm, Genzyme, for which the agency did launch work on FH (familial hypercholesterolemia) drug Kynamro. Specialty pharma plays to the agency's strengths, says Hartley. “Personalized marketing isn't just about understanding a segment of patients; it can be even more granular and become a kind of one-on-one with patients and physicians.”

With a refreshed understanding of the agency's ideal client, Hartley says the next step is taking a similar approach for recruitment. “Finding talent is a critical issue,” she asserts, “We're talking about taking what we do around personalized marketing and bringing it to solve the talent challenge. We all have to become talent ambassadors and that's why we're kicking off this effort.”

In the coming years, Hartley sees more work coming Rosetta's way as personalized marketing becomes the lay of the land. “We [the industry] are really going to have to shift toward personal care and understanding and enabling consumers to be more responsible for their own care and to have better interactions with brands. This industry faces a lot of challenges, but I think there is a lot of opportunity. We all share the same goal of better health outcomes and I think that's what we need to focus on.”
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