“We’re in that magic moment when our trends are crossing a threshold and spreading like wildfire,” says Kim Wishnow-Per, president of McCann Managed Markets (MMM), the managed markets arm of McCann Health.
Agency leaders cannot find the time to celebrate last year’s explosive growth—revenues grew about 15% over 2013—because the trend has continued well into 2015. “We are at a tipping point where everything is reaching epic proportions,” Wishnow- Per reports.
Not surprisingly, business growth was accompanied by a 27% staff increase. Extending the domino effect, the agency is about to move into larger digs near its current Parsippany office.
“It’s exciting to be a part of the agency right now and knowing that our expertise, experience and offerings are something our clients are looking for,” Wishnow-Per says.
MMM experienced both organic and new growth, with 10 account wins in 2014 and a handful of other accounts prepping for launch this year. Karen Shoshan, director of client services, has been instrumental to the agency’s organic growth, especially as far as its eight-year relationship with Genentech is concerned.
“Our biggest 2014 win was a managed markets partnership with Novartis on its soon-to-be blockbuster heart-failure medication,” Wishnow-Per says. Novartis’s LCZ696 received FDA priority review designation in February for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.
The agency also helped Novartis Oncology launch an app and a website aimed at helping patients overcome specialty pharmacy restrictions. “We help HCPs navigate those waters so patients can get access to the drugs they so desperately need,” Wishnow-Per explains.
Wishnow-Per attributes the surge in new business growth to Greg Novello, hired as SVP of strategy in May 2014. He lends a wealth of managed care experience from both the pharma and agency side, she says.
MMM also landed AOR status for GlaxoSmithKline’s large respiratory portfolio in the payer market space (sister agency McCann Torre Lazur has the professional portfolio). According to Wishnow- Per, the GSK work illustrates how McCann Health agencies work seamlessly with its sister companies to deliver an integrated approach for launching into the competitive landscape.
Agency spinoff McCann TL Managed Markets, while contributing to MMM’s growth, has yet to make its official entrance into the market. “It helps us provide expertise to our clients and handle growth,” Wishnow-Per says. “Especially in oncology, where there are so many overlapping indications for a single product, the separate entity helps us meet the firewall issues.”
In the meantime, the agency intends to focus on people first, in the form of clients and partners, and developing new and exciting products to drive their businesses. “We infuse creativity as much as we can in managed markets, which is tough sometimes, but we are selective about whom we work with,” Wishnow-Per says.
There’s an emphasis on properly staffing teams and then providing the recognition, mentoring and professional development they need to stick around. Perhaps the agency’s proudest product is its Boomerang Club. Exclusive membership is limited to those who have left the agency for greener pastures, only to return when they learn there is no such thing.
For the rest of 2015, MMM is focused on broadening its client base. “We’ve branched out into specialty and oncology areas because that’s where the market is moving,” Wishnow-Per says.