In this MM+M sponsored podcast, Marc Iskowitz, editor-at-large of MM+M, spoke with Lumanity Creative Strategy and Engagement’s Michael Parisi, global president, and Marissa Poli, head of workflow, about how Guidemark Health, an agency that specializes in oncology and rare disease, is entering a new phase.

Guidemark Health was one of a number of agencies acquired by Arsenal Capital Partners last year. The resulting new entity is Lumanity, a name that combines illumination and humanity with the goal of developing deeper and more impactful engagement solutions targeted to the scientific, medical and patient communities. 

“We are proud to be part of this organization and to officially adopt the Lumanity name,” said Parisi. Thanks to “the support of our global colleagues from across Lumanity,” he shared, the collaboration marks “an important step in strengthening our capabilities in oncology and rare disease.” 

Enhanced capabilities enable next level performance

In light of challenges in the space growing more complex, Parisi noted “we’re finding new opportunities to help our clients create meaningful, impactful moments for their brands.” Part of working with Lumanity “gives us the reach and breadth of expertise to drive change and improve the patient experience,” he said.  The brand “reflects our ambition to keep the health of the world front and center.”

As part of Lumanity, Guidemark gains access to complementary skill sets specific to rare disease and oncology as well as strategic capabilities in insights and medical affairs. “It was an opportunity to take the agency to the next level,” explained Parisi. “The other piece that was really important to us was culture and from day one it felt like an amazing fit.”

“It’s amazing to see how our teams work together and operate within the same principles we’ve always had,” said Poli. 

They are excited by the possibilities that increased capabilities and deepened expertise across a number of areas will bring to clients. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time and effort building a best-in-class patient engagement/patient advocacy offering,” he shared. With each acquisition,” I’ve been even more excited by the capabilities they bring.” Those capabilities “will get integrated,” and “help build and foster better collaboration” to elicit “the most out of the resources we have.”

More tools and talent to solve challenges

Guidemark’s deep customer engagement and technology solutions, along with its unique mix of services, including HCP marketing communications, training and patient advocacy expertise, have been integral and highly complementary to Lumanity’s medical strategy and communications solutions. By applying engagement best practices and creative strategies across medical affairs, Lumanity can focus an arsenal of powerful complementary skill sets on solving client challenges and elevating communications in numerous areas such as real-world evidence and data generation and insights. Conversely, entering conversations earlier from a commercial standpoint greatly expands the agency’s ability to accelerate new product launches and drive business results.

In addition, technology built by Guidemark will now be deployed and adapted to different parts of the business “in ways we had never imagined when we built them,” said Parisi. “We’ll be launching a few of these products in the near future.”

Poli explained that Lumanity has three global practices — value access and outcomes, asset optimization and commercialization, and medical strategy and communications. “Guidemark fits in that last pillar and we’ll focus on creative strategy and engagement. We see an opportunity to build blended teams of individuals from different areas of expertise. Based on our clients’ business needs, we can bring those collaborative teams to the table to help solve challenges,” she said.

Evolution of market requires adaptable approach

From a collaboration standpoint, legacy Guidemark teams will be part of new types of work that expand client solutions. “It’s elevated our idea of partnership because we’re able to bring more resources to the table,” said Parisi. 

Critically important to our clients and teams, the philosophy of being “one need ahead” will carry on. “There are many things that are unsaid in discussions, so listening and being able to offer added value speaks to our mantra of being ‘one need ahead.’ We look at a client’s business from the same side of the table rather than sitting across the table and we bring the best folks in at the right times so the work gets done in the most efficient way,” said Poli.

“We’ve seen quite a few opportunities in the last six months where our partners within other areas of the Lumanity business have brought Guidemark in to provide expertise to their clients, or vice versa,” added Poli. “It’s been tremendous to be able to draw on that.”

In a world in which healthcare is moving quickly, Parisi and Poli believe this new, collaborative model is positioned to help clients best address the challenges of an ever-evolving market. “Because it’s changing at an accelerated pace, we need to think about the future and what we could be doing differently,” said Parisi.