Concentric Health Experience

Concentric had a very successful year. Relationships expanded with such long-time clients as Novartis, Roche Global and Medtronic, and the agency landed big wins from new clients, including Walmart, Otsuka and Lundbeck, and Sunovion.

“It was a phenomenal year,” says founder, CEO Ken Begasse. “We launched six very diverse brands globally—a few in the hospital institutional space, two devices, an oncology and dermatology product. Most importantly, we drove deeper engagements with existing clients.” Revenue climbed 30% (in the $15-million to $25-million range).

The agency’s work with Walmart spans more than 200 generics and includes full strategic and creative execution across multiple channels as well as analytics reporting. Other new client wins included an AOR assignment on brexpiprazole (major depressive disorder) from Otsuka and Lundbeck, and AOR assignments on three respiratory products from Sunovion. The New York and London offices are working on brexpiprazole.

EMD Serono and Pfizer awarded patient-driven CRM and multicultural outreach work on Rebif (MS).

Concentric also helped Nutrisystem position its products as a medical and health benefit to insurers and employer groups, and it worked on GoJo’s Purell with MDC Partners sibling Doner.

“We’re helping non-pharma healthcare brands position themselves for differentiation and build value within healthcare reform using our deep pharma expertise, and we’re cross-pollinating innovative customer experience gained on non-pharma brands back to our pharma clients,” Begasse says.

Oncology work expanded with existing clients Roche Global (AOR for the launches of Herceptin SC and MabThera SC) and Helsinn Healthcare (AOR on two indications for anamorelin). Helsinn also awarded new corporate work. London is running business for both companies.

Medtronic awarded a new AOR assignment on ONYX (cardiovascular) and a branding assignment for its entire CV franchise. The agency also won a consumer AOR assignment (including social media and digital work) for Novartis’s Exjade (iron overload).

Preferred vendor status with Pfizer meant work was lost on Enbrel when Pfizer turned it over to Amgen.

Several EVP-level strategists have joined—Andrew Bast, director of strategic integration; Antoinette Bobbitt, director of strategy; and Lori O’Neill, who was named the agency’s first director of payer strategy. Staff was up from 110 in 2012 to 130 last year.

Begasse sees the intersection between technology and regulation as an ongoing challenge, but notes it also presents opportunities. “Closing the gap between patients and their healthcare treatment of choice is an extremely promising area—from wearable tech to ways in which community can support a patient decision and journey,” he says. Digital work represented 55% of business in 2013. Begasse expects it to approach 70% of all execution business this year.

“Customers are used to high-level engagement and conversation on digital and social media channels,” he says. “The value agencies provide is no longer just a really memorable and pithy creative line or visual that communicates a brand’s benefit. Brand value needs to be truly individual and customer-focused, and that requires robust use of data, intelligent analysis and intuitive online engagement.”