Asked to discuss the work of which she was most proud in 2022, Rapp SVP, U.S. health strategy lead Erica Kraus points instead to a program: Series R, an accelerator developed by the agency that will ultimately reward one fem-tech startup with Rapp’s services free of charge.

“The idea is that we’ll find an amazing startup with breakthrough potential and give them access to sophisticated services far earlier in their startup journey than they would be able to access otherwise,” Kraus explains.

The Rapp team spent a good chunk of 2022 working on Series R, with the goal of fostering organizations that focus on underserved women’s health needs. “Seeing that come to life has been such a passion project for us. We feel that it’s our privilege to be able to offer it to the fem-tech community,” Kraus adds.

Rapp saw revenue rise 23% in 2022, to an MM+M-estimated $70 milion from an estimated $57 million in 2021. Staff size grew in concert, from 505 full-timers at the end of 2021 to 576 a year later. Additions included SVP, data science Santanu Chakraborty, who joined from NBC Universal; and director, diversity, equity and inclusion Nicole Simpson, who slid over from corporate sibling Omnicom Health Group.

Rapp regional president Shari Reichenberg traces the company’s recent good fortunes to its personalization bona fides. “It’s about creating personalized experiences for individuals that are relevant and meaningful to them,” she explains. Not surprisingly, then, migrating its traditional consumer thinking into the HCP word tops Rapp’s to-do list.

“We’re excited about what we can bring to bear in terms of better customer experience for HCPs,” Kraus says. “When we look at the burden on clinicians — and the bad experiences that are driving them out of practice or creating mental health issues — we feel we can authentically address that by understanding HCPs in a more multi-dimensional way.”

Among the clients added to Rapp’s roster in 2022, Kraus is especially enthusiastic about the return of Merck. The idea is to help the company transform its current marketing into a “CX omnichannel-centric model.” Rapp’s mission will begin in oncology but soon expand to include other therapeutic areas.

“It’s putting the voice of its customer at the heart of its business in new ways,” Kraus says. “We’re finding ways to be more of a partner with the company than just through the constant selling of product and brand and clinical data, which is the model that it’s coming from.”

As for milestone moments, Reichenberg points to the launch of blockbuster type 2 diabetes drug Mounjaro alongside the agency’s longtime client Eli Lilly. The goal of the Mounjaro work was “personalization at scale,” she says.

“The fact that we can talk about this drug in ways that are personal to consumers, and then surround them with lifestyle support that meets them where they are — that’s something we’re extremely proud of,” Kraus adds.

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Our marketing role model…

Rapp’s original founder, Stan Rapp, who was named by Ad Age as “one of the 101 individuals who shaped the advertising industry in the 20th century.” Stan was a true pioneer, championing the age of individual-first, relationship-driven marketing that drives modern business today. He continues to inspire the way we approach our work. — Kraus