Uptick in revenue to an estimated $40 million
“We expect to achieve double-digit growth. We expect to add two to three new health system clients” — Adrian Sansone
“Health systems are going to take a greater role in delivering care to patients, and we need to shape our services and capabilities to help them achieve that” — Adrian Sansone
Publicis Life Brands Medicus maintained its healthy glow in 2016 with several client wins, three new therapeutic categories, and a renewed focus on diversifying its capabilities and client base. Revenue grew to around $40 million, up from $35 million in 2015 (both figures are MM&M estimates), while staff size landed just north of 150.
Driving the firm’s vision is a fresh marketing philosophy that prioritizes what managing director Adrian Sansone calls “the three I’s.” PLBM, he says, “wants to shape brands and the experiences they create by producing work that is intimate, inspirational, and, most importantly, intuitive. It has got to be simple for the customer.”
Further shaping these principles is what PLBM refers to as the “shifting ecosystem of care,” which incorporates such trends as EHR adoption and integrated care. “When you talk to patients, HCPs, and health-system execs, there is a realization that healthcare is becoming complicated and impersonal,” notes head of strategy Carl Turner. Naturally, PLBM sees this as an opportunity to help clients and their brands deliver healthcare experiences that match customer expectations — assuming clients get with the program.
“Pharma has been focused on products and selling, but because of cost and outcomes, there needs to be more of a focus on service, experience, and on helping providers manage their practices,” explains Turner. “The tipping point is now.”
To meet this challenge, PLBM has reimagined its strategy, ramping up expertise in social media, analytics, technology, UX, and behavioral science. Likewise, it has broadened its creative talents by deepening its digital capabilities and hiring talent from outside the industry.
“A few years ago, I would have said that it’s very hard to get consumer talent into the health space, but if you look at the trends in popular culture, it’s becoming more about giving,” says executive creative director Ellen Gorczyca. “Millennials are purpose-driven so health firms are right where people want to be professionally.”
While PLBM spent much of 2016 nurturing existing clients and evolving its offerings, it picked up a handful of wins while “selectively” pitching. In doing so, it expanded into three new therapeutic categories: men’s health (Santhera), vaccines (Sanofi Pasteur), and hepatitis C (undisclosed client).
The agency is particularly proud of its work on a patient app it produced for Novocure’s glioblastoma treatment device Optune, which streamlines a complex disease-management regimen and places all needed information at the HCP’s fingertips. “From a UX perspective, it’s beautifully done,” says Gorczyca. “Those are the types of projects that we want to keep doing.”
For the rest of 2017, the firm plans to continue to diversify its client base, perhaps via the addition of a health system or three.