Eversana and Intouch Solutions formally joined forces in December 2021. As a result, company leaders say, the newly merged Eversana Intouch was able to hit the ground running in 2022.
At the time, Eversana CEO Jim Lang predicted that the organization would “shoot toward $400 million” in 2022 — and it didn’t fall far short. Revenue surged a tidy 20%, to $390 million from the two companies’ combined 2021 take of $325 million.
“We’re going to beat it this year,” predicts president, full-service agencies Angela Tenuta.
It takes more than being customer-focused to reach this level of growth, Tenuta believes. “We’re more like customer-obsessed,” she says with a laugh.
The agency now works with more than 60 healthcare and pharma clients representing 275 brands. “We’ve moved nearly a quarter of our revenues into oncology-based products, which is quite a change for us,” Tenuta says. Client mainstays include Regeneron, Urovant Sciences and Gilead.
Eversana Intouch clients tend to stick around for a while, with Intouch’s first two clients — Teva and Sanofi — remaining very much in the organizational fold. Intouch has similarly worked for decades with Takeda and AbbVie. “It’s a point of pride,” says Faruk Capan, CEO of Eversana Intouch.
President of commercial and consulting services Boris Kushkuley believes the Eversana/Intouch marriage helped vertically integrate the company in a manner that set it up for client success.
“Now we can go far beyond marketing and communication, all the way to executing and pulling through using data and technology,” he explains. “It’s in our roots, because Intouch was built as a digital agency. We just keep expanding therapeutic categories and acquiring a larger footprint in many of the big pharma clients.”
Tenuta agrees, adding that the agency’s brands (Eversana Intouch Solutions, Eversana Intouch Proto, Eversana Intouch Seven, Eversana Intouch Media, Eversana Intouch B2D, Eversana Intouch Oxygen, Eversana Intouch International and Eversana Intouch Engage) have significantly broadened their scope of work.
“Last year, we adopted many more service lines, including medcomms, market access, media and enterprise technology consulting.”
Capan, who founded Intouch Solutions in 1999 and is now also chief innovation officer of Eversana, says that the agency’s work has transcended industry lingo.
“I know that ‘commercialization’ has become a new buzzword, but we are truly doing it,” he stresses. “We have so many opportunities for commercialization partners, and that gives us a much bigger way to change the industry than most other agencies.”
By way of example, Kushkuley points to the company’s work on Sunlenca, Gilead’s treatment for people with drug-resistant HIV. “Last year, we were very successful in global product launches in highly science-driven categories,” he says.
Such assignments play to Eversana Intouch’s strengths, Tenuta adds. “Everybody here is an innovator at core, a geek at core. That’s why our top leaders stay with us — in many cases for a decade or more. They love the learning mentality that advancing the work gives them.”
The company grew head count by 205 people in 2022, ending the year with 1,875 staffers under its roofs. The one major departure was EVP, marketing and communications Wendy Blackburn, who had initially joined Intouch in 2003.
Eversana Intouch nevertheless endured the same staff recruitment and retention challenges that many other firms did.
“We did everything we needed to do to keep our people feeling valued, to keep them growing and being promoted,” Tenuta says. “It’s not all about money; it’s about the work we do here.”
Then there were the challenges posed by the need to integrate Intouch’s culture within the larger Eversana organizational framework, which was further complicated by the need to find the balance between in-person work and collaboration from afar.
That’s why Eversana Intouch has consistently gone out of its way to keep office culture alive, whether via in-
person events or virtual ones. The company’s Virtual Vibes program ran 127 virtual events across the network last year, ranging from classes in financial planning and cannoli-making to pet talent shows. The agency also hosted more than 70 wellness events related to fitness, meditation and mindfulness.
At the same time, Eversana Intouch revved up its training efforts. “We probably train our team members way more than any other company,” Kushkuley says. “This benefits us as a business, but it also helps people grow through the ranks and build their careers much faster. Plus they feel a long-term commitment to a company that truly invests in their goals.”
Then there are Eversana Intouch’s philanthropic efforts. Last year saw the official launch of The Give Back, an internal program through which employees are allotted paid time to volunteer in places of need around the world. Agency staffers assembled almost 1,000 hygiene kits (containing items like toothpaste, soap and shampoo) for refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine. The effort was engineered alongside global nonprofit Heart to Heart International.
Overcoming healthcare inequities remained another priority in 2022. Through the same Heart to Heart partnership, Eversana Intouch started Adopt-a-Lab, part of a push to improve free health clinics serving communities whose residents face extra barriers to getting the healthcare they need. The program installs point-of-care lab facilities in those clinics.
As for what the future holds, Capan notes the longtime digital and futuristic bent of the company he founded — so it’s not surprising when he references ChatGPT and generative AI.
“That’s going to be a very big change. I encourage our team members to use it, to play with it and learn it,” Capan says. “I like to say, ‘AI won’t replace your job, but people using AI will.’”
Capan is similarly preaching the omnichannel gospel to clients and staffers alike. “We’re heavily investing in omnichannel — there’s another buzzword — to make technology shifts work for our patients and doctors.”
Tenuta’s take on what lies immediately ahead is a bit different.
“This is the year we change the way we work, not just at our company but in pharma companies in general,” she predicts. “There will be fewer silos, less red tape and more acceleration. We’re reflowing a big piece of how we do production through Tedavi Studios, an affiliate dedicated to streamlining turnkey assets. Doing more with less actually benefits everyone.”
. . .
Our marketing role model…
As part-owner of Mint Mobile, Ryan Reynolds is an innovative thinker and an early adopter of new technologies. He recently created one of our favorite ads of the year using ChatGPT. The spot is a great example of how to use technology to make a lasting impression. Beyond technology, he weaves in humor and charm to engage customers, making a commodity product very memorable. His ability to leverage technology while staying authentically human sets him apart. — Capan