President, inVentiv Health Communications

Tom Sebok has long been a fixture in the advertising world. Coming to inVentiv after having been president of Y&R, Sebok, in his new role, will be overseeing seven agencies: GSW Worldwide, Ignite Health, The Navicor Group, Addison Whitney, Palio, Patient Marketing Group and inServ

“One of the things that many agencies are challenged by is delivering truly integrated expertise across a variety of disciplines,” he says. “Clients justifiably expect it, but few genuinely deliver, and I think we have the opportunity to do that.”

It should come as no surprise that Sebok, with over two decades in the industry, is passionate about what he does. “I fundamentally believe that what we do in advertising adds value; it drives business, which has radiating outcomes in improving the quality of life for people around the world. Advertising and marketing is an engine for economic progress, and it vastly accelerates improvements in products and technologies.”

As Sebok looks to the future, he sees the role of communications only increasing. “The days of having a significant product advantage relevant to competition are dramatically shortened by the access to communications that we now have,” he says. “As a result, genuine product or service innovation is distributed quicker and replicated more broadly than ever before.”

Sebok attributes much of his success in the industry to what he calls empathy, a “genuine deep understanding of the client, their business, their culture, and their challenges.” He says that “you need to be able to live, breathe and understand from the client’s vantage point so you can appreciate what drives their success.” But just as important is “having the confidence and the expertise to have a point of view. ‘You get us and you’re not afraid to take a position.’ Success in any client engagement is the demonstration day in and day out of those two things.”