In 2019, Pixacore spent months looking for new office space in order to unite its people, then scattered across four floors. But after it located and inhabited new digs in Midtown Manhattan, the pandemic hit, dispersing the company once anew.
There was a silver lining, in that the shift to virtual life made it easier for the agency to tweak its hiring practices. Pixacore had been having trouble finding the right talent to support its expanding focus on omnichannel and behavioral marketing. The agency solved the problem by looking outside the insular world of pharma marketing for candidates, a strategy it continues to employ even as the world opens up.
“Finding the people who can elevate our customers’ capabilities and their go-to-market strategies, and think about best practices and how to bring those into the life sciences world, has been challenging,” notes founder and CEO Sanjiv Mody. The result: an influx of CRM, omnichannel and data experts.
Additions included SVP, director medical strategy Brian Loh, who arrived from personalized medicine firm Genisys Medical, and SVP, patient CX/strategy/CRM Karoline Eastman, previously with Next Think Strategy Consulting. Overall head count nudged upward, from 113 at the end of 2019 to 115 a year later.
Loh and Eastman have already helped the agency connect more deeply with clients, Mody says. “Brian comes from the client side and brings that medical lens from the patient and caregiver world. Karoline’s sole focus is to make sure that whatever decisions we make, from content strategy to channel selection to media selection, we look at them through the lens of the customer engagement,” he notes.
For the reasons one might expect, that engagement has been overwhelmingly digital and virtual, prompting clients to add patient education and marketing to their usual HCP slate. By way of example, Mody points to Pixacore’s work last year with Novartis.
“We’ve taken that CRM strategy in looking at the brands that Novartis has in its MS franchise, in order to see how the patient progresses from initial diagnosis to relapsing and refractory to treatment,” he explains. “How do we make sure that Novartis stays relevant and is a partner along that entire patient journey? The CRM strategy becomes important not only from the lens of science and efficacy and safety, but also in making sure that patients are supported through the treatment itself. Novartis needs to be a partner across every one of those touchpoints.”
Pixacore added five assignments during 2020, contributing to a 5% spike in revenue (from $25.2 million in 2019 to $26.4 million). Additions included work from Mallinckrodt (marketing and training for the Therakos Cellex photopheresis system, which treats skin problems associated with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma), Sanofi (on long-acting insulin Lantus) and Seagen (on advanced unresectable/metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer drug Tukysa). They join assignments for Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb, Intercept Pharma and Bayer Pharmaceuticals on the agency’s roster.
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The idea I wish I had…
We commend whoever first struck a kitchen pot at 7:00 p.m. to publicly acknowledge the hours of tiring and heartbreaking care by healthcare providers through unchartered dangers and rising viral rates. We needed a meaningful way to thank them — a cathartic standing ovation for those who fought to keep loved ones alive. The genuine gesture unified small towns and large cities. — Sanjiv Mody