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Patients & Purpose


Revenue increased 11% to an MM&M-estimated $50 million


“To continue to evolve our capabilities in order to offer clients leading approaches to healthcare marketing”
— Deb Deaver


“We see a continued trend toward tighter budgets and shorter timelines as clients seek to get initiatives into the market faster than before with increasing expectations on ROI performance”
— Deb Deaver

Any conversation about the last year in the life of the agency formerly known as CDMiConnect ought to start with its new name, Patients & Purpose. Longtime CEO Deb Deaver says a soul-searching process culminated in the name change, designed to better reflect the agency’s focus.

“For the past few years we’ve been committed to putting patients first. We’ve really thought about healthcare marketing from the patient perspective and their needs and where that fits in the market,” she explains.

The new name represents a milestone in the firm’s evolution from an interactive agency to one with top-flight patient-marketing know-how.

“We’re an agency that understands how to speak with people, how to find the emphasis that’s needed, and how to make programs that matter,” Deaver continues.

We’re an agency that understands how to speak with people, how to find the emphasis that’s needed, and how to make programs that matter – Deb Deaver, CEO

To that end, Patients & Purpose has developed co-creation labs, established to bring patients and agency employees together in a single room with the hope that they’ll uncover new insights in that setting.

“It breaks the paradigm of normal research efforts,” enthuses managing partner and executive creative director Dina Peck about the co-creation labs. “It brings that insight and cooperation to the forefront and keeps it there throughout the process.”

Patients & Purpose’s co-creation lab work assumes many forms, from hackathons to sessions with patients from a particular disease community. “We’re making patients better communicators with their doctors, better managers of their treatment, and better advocates of their own health,” Peck lets on.

On the new-business front, the firm claimed assignments from five clients in 2016, including AbbVie (for hypothyroidism drug Synthroid), Amgen (for multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis), and Pfizer (patient and HCP oncology assignments).

The agency’s relationship with AstraZeneca expanded to include four new drugs: Tagrisso, Iressa, Imfinzi, and tremelimumab. P&P also added an assignment from Radius (for Tymlos). The one assignment the firm lost was work on Horizon’s anti-infective Actimmune.

To service the new business, Patients & Purpose added 36 people, increasing the total to 180. MM&M estimates revenue for 2016 at around $50 million, up from an estimated $45 million in 2015.

Looking forward, Deaver notes the agency, like many others, must be wary of challenges posed by downward pressure on client budgets.

“The cost structure and the role of procurement with our clients is stronger and more aggressive than ever,” she stresses.

But don’t let the name change fool you: Patients & Purpose will continue to prioritize the role of technologyin its campaigns, just as it did in its CDMiConnect days.

“We put a lot of effort into 360-degree video, cognitive computing, our IBM Watson relationship, hackathons, and VR,” Peck says. “We’re not doing all this because it’s cool and innovative, but because it’s smart for patients.”