When most agency leaders are asked to name a COVID-era defining experience, they point to a first successful virtual pitch or a long-awaited in-person get-together. TCS Interactive Life Sciences chief commercial officer Alok Ghosh, on the other hand, points to the strides his company made in figuring out how to optimize patient experience around adverse event reporting.

“We used our unique blend of creativity and data technology to create a different experience for patients that were getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” Ghosh explains. “That’s extremely important, because it had an impact on patients’ lives. In 2022, patients and customers are looking for experience transformation that’s technology-driven.”

Such projects fueled another year of growth at TCS Interactive Life Sciences. North American revenue rose 24% during 2021, to an MM+M-estimated $52 million from $41.8 million in 2020.

Staff count similarly spiked, from 651 at the end of 2020 to 755 a year later. Key personnel additions included director, design experience Richard Verne and account director Stephen Dumas.

Much of the year’s growth was spurred by a handful of new offerings, including e-learning services, human-centered design and data-driven customer journey mapping. The agency also added what it calls Next Best Action, a dynamic, AI-driven recommendation engine.

“If we look at campaigns that are effective, it’s not just based on the creativity piece,” explains chief digital officer Nitin Kumar. “We need intelligence in terms of who and how you’re targeting, what the message should be and how you’re delivering it. We’re able to generate a lot of data and artificial intelligence analytics to make campaigns detailed, driven and measurable — which makes them more effective.”

2021 also saw TCS Interactive Life Sciences snare more AOR engagements, representing a change from the agency’s past reliance on project-based relationships.

“That was a first for us as an international business unit,” Ghosh notes. “It was a recognition of how we started in digital factory technology, moved into creative and then pushed deeper into strategic opportunities.”

That shift is in line with how the agency sees itself evolving in the months and years ahead. “We’re trying to drive growth and transformation opportunities for clients,” Ghosh continues. “We’ve done it in terms of technology, and now we’re moving over to more strategy and marketing opportunities as a result of all the foundational work we did before 2021.”

Not surprisingly, Ghosh says the evolution from technology to creative to strategy — which includes what he calls the agency’s “holistic, A-to-Z services” of customer analysis and segmentation, customer journey mapping, creativity and campaign analytics — will continue.

“A lot of our clients state they have an HCP agency, a consumer agency, a digital agency and maybe somebody to help them with their data and analytics,” he adds. “What’s starting to hit home in the marketplace is that we’re a true one-stop shop.” 

. . .

Work from outside pharma you admire…

The best ads entertain and educate through experiences that are based on universal human truths. Progressive Insurance’s Un-Become Your Parents campaign starring Dr. Rick delivers on all counts. It combines very relatable human insights and truths with tongue-in-cheek humor to deliver an extremely enjoyable and memorable campaign with broad appeal. — Ghosh