The hyperfocus on customer experience, seized upon by any number of marketers in early 2020, has remained a post-pandemic priority in many sectors. And according to TCS Interactive Life Sciences chief experience officer Alok Ghosh, healthcare is no exception.

He reports surging demand for his company’s user-experience-related services: “Everybody wants their UX changed, from supply chain to clinical trials to internal portals.” So as the COVID-19 public health emergency began to ease in the second half of 2022, TCS responded by overhauling its “run-of-the-mill” marketing focus into one combining digital transformation with experience design.

“CX transformation has elevated from a CMO priority to a real board-level one,” Ghosh explains. “Over the last year, we’ve really pivoted, and the point of the spear is toward CX and employee-experience transformation, versus a typical AOR strategy.” 

This, he believes, has proven a strong point of differentiation for the firm. By way of example, he points to Bayer Consumer Health, which tapped TCS to weigh in on the company’s internal portal. The agency was only too happy to oblige, transforming an average portal into the next-gen Starmind question-and-answer platform powered by artificial intelligence. 

Considering one recent report that described member experience with health plans as a “bleak reality,” it’s no surprise that TCS made inroads last year with B2B payer audiences. Ghosh notes that the agency has enjoyed “exponential growth” among such organizations.

On the back of its revamped CX emphasis, TCS saw revenue rise by 20%, to an MM+M-estimated $62.4 million from 2021’s estimated take of $52 million. Staff size grew accordingly, to 938 from 755 at the start of the year.

2022 brought several shifts on the personnel front. Most notable among them was the retirement of Geoff Melick after a long pharma marketing career, the last four years of which were spent establishing TCS’s life sciences/healthcare practice. It was the fourth agency Melick birthed.

Fifteen-year Accenture veteran Kress Riley joined TCS last summer as partner, strategic planning and employee experience, while the agency deepened its transformation bench with the hiring of Peter Malecha as partner, group creative director. Malecha spent four years at Asics, where he served as global marketing director and founded a studio and on-location content creation hub. 

Two other hires bolstered TCS’ ability to further migrate traditional marketing under the tech-forward experience transformation umbrella. Two-decade agency veteran Albert Tien arrived at TCS from TBWA\WorldHealth in September as head of CX (and was elevated to senior partner this March), while Dominic Siano, formerly a global digital marketing and experience partner at Infosys, joined in the fall as senior partner.

New offerings debuting during 2022 included a production studio for creative services and video; an expanded metaverse strategy; and TwinXSM, a supply chain simulator. While awareness of these and other services provided by Ghosh’s group is “starting to hit home,” by no means is the agency a household name among healthcare CMOs and CXOs. 

Look for TCS to push aggressively to change this. “We have a long way to go, but that’s part of the exciting challenge in the year ahead,” Ghosh says.