Revenue was flat in 2016, remaining at $16 million
“ViiV Connect and Lilly’s Conversations in Motion are part of our goal to offer more services that exist beyond the brand”
“Selling to the C-suite is different from selling to physicians. While the traditional work still has to be done, it doesn’t have the impact it used to have. You have to surround stakeholders and KOLs with more touchpoints”
Sentrix Health Communications EVP and managing director June Carnegie is already seeing the benefits of the launch of WPP Health & Wellness in February, which reorganized its parent company Sudler & Hennessey, as well as Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, ghg, and CMI/Compas, under a single umbrella. The reorganization promotes cross-pollination within WPP that is more congenial and effective than before, she says.
“We’re able to take our best people, add the best people from Ogilvy CommonHealth and ghg, then work seamlessly together,” she explains. “It makes it better for clients without making it contentious between us. It’s a happier collaboration.”
Last year was a year of ups and downs for Sentrix. On one hand, the agency enjoyed organic growth from existing clients Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Eli Lilly. On the other hand, a few products didn’t hit their trial targets, ending Sentrix’s work earlier than it had anticipated. The biggest hit came when the FDA rejected Dynavax Technologies’ hepatitis-B vaccine in November, a piece of business worth $3 million in revenue. Nonetheless, revenue was flat in 2016, remaining in the $16 million range.
Making up for the Dynavax loss, Sentrix picked up work from ViiV Healthcare on the launch of ViiV Connect, a portal allowing patients and physicians to access information on insurance coverage and other financial assistance programs. Sentrix promoted the portal’s debut via journal advertisements, direct mail, email, and banner ads.
Sentrix also worked on the launch of Eli Lilly’s unbranded Conversations in Motion program, a combination of promotional and medical education work aimed at facilitating physician-patient conversations. Through the program, patients can choose how much information they want to receive about their condition, while physicians can tailor messages according to these preferences.
“This is about how physicians can talk to patients about their disease states, about how to make it palatable for their patients,” Carnegie says.
Outside the U.S., Sentrix piloted a dentist trial program for Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine mouthwash in Germany. Dentists who enrolled received a one-month supply of the mouthwash and were encouraged to share feed-back about the product. The logic was that dentists who used Listerine for their own oral hygiene would be more likely to tell patients about it. Listerine, she adds, has overtaken Colgate as the number one mouthwash brand in Germany.
In 2017, Sentrix plans to continue its focus on oncology and diversify wherever opportunities arise. Carnegie reports minimal turnover in 2016; staff size sits at 55, versus 50 at the end of 2015. Recent hires include former CDM exec Cara Morgan as EVP, client services director, and David Hymson as SVP, strategy director.