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With the emergence of digital technology as the fastest growing means of delivering brand marketing and messaging, digital training is one of the best investments agencies can make to address the increasing pressures and speed of change cited by so many of your experts in the April article: On the Client’s Side.
As much as I do agree with the body of the article, being a coordinator myself, I just wanted to underline those points. When it’s tough to find time in the day to meet with the industry leaders who are shaping technology, the constant challenge is how to build a digital training program that moves beyond the usual show and tell oneoff. This past February, Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Communications Group tried a new approach. We brought technology lead ers together under one roof so our brand teams could learn about the latest in digital technol ogy in a concentrated, efficient environment. Personal tech trainers from Google and Yahoo helped some 350 staff members brainstorm client solutions with applications from sources ranging from Sermo to Toonboom. This innovative training program was a suc cess among both agency leadership and staff, so we are planning another Tech Fit event this summer. It is important to note that without fluen cy in the latest technologies, agencies lack the perspective to incorporate the digital space as one of many critical vehicles in a strategydriven brand marketing program. And while strategy will always come first, pharma companies — as well as other manu facturers and service providers across the healthcare continuum — have certainly embraced the idea of new media. But we still have a long way to go to build a digital expe rience that truly is sustaining as it is useful to customers. Agencies with the expertise to do this, as well as integrate the experience effi ciently into a comprehensive brand cam paign, will be best positioned to create the kind of successful partnership that all agen cies and clients continually seek. Sam Welch PRESIDENT SAATCHI & SAATCHI HEALTHCARE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP InField Strategies Best Practices For stakeholders involved in the brand sus tainment process, infield strategies have become more educational rather than promotional because of regulatory changes and guidelines implemented by the OIG. Sustained performance is most effective in a motivating environment where both sales repre sentatives and sales management achieve higher levels of performance with fulfillment and cus tomers become committed to the brand mes sage. Sales representatives must have the skills and tools to add value during every call. By developing strong customer relationships, rep resentatives can engage in more indepth con versations to uncover points of differentiation. Alignment to these unique needs can be driven by sales managers who can drive successful implementation of sales efforts and accountabil ity in the field. As marketing creates the most impactful brand messaging initiatives with many cus tomer touch points, sales representatives can also become credible sources of value by lever aging unique followup opportunities in the field. When interviewed, healthcare providers said in addition to unbiased clinical information, the most valuable service a pharmaceutical compa ny can offer is to create innovative educational strategies for them and their patients. With the rapid development of technology, the idea of delivering engaging learning initiatives using many different platforms in the field and with customers, is now widely embraced. Celeste Mosby VP, LIFE SCIENCES WILSON LEARNING WORLDWIDE Digital training is one of the best investments agencies can make to address the increasing pressures and speed of change cited by so many of your experts. Sam Welch SAATCHI & SAATCHI HEALTHCARE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP Year in Preview What’s Hot and What’s Not As we enter into the second half of the year, it’s time once again to start to think about the trends that have impacted busi ness practices in the first half of 2008 and what market defin ers are expect ed to influence the remainder of this year, 2009, and beyond. Experts are already predicting major changes in salesforce models, marketing prac tices, research and development processes, tech nology advancements, in fact there is no area of the lifesciences industry that will not be held up to greater scrutiny and analysis. As in the past, we welcome the insights and views of thought leaders from around the indus try. We value your contributions and look for ward to hearing what you have to say. So please forward us your thoughts on what’s hot for inclusion in the November/December Year in Preview issue. Thedeadline for submissions is Sept. 1, 2008. To submit your hot topics, please email email@example.com, subject: Year in Preview. RAISE your voice A SHIFTING LANDSCAPE We asked our agency executives to evaluate what they believe have been the biggest shifts in client service in the past five years. We also asked them to project what they believe the client service role will encompass in the next fiveyears. HOWDOYOUMANAGECLIENTCHALLENGES? DUNN. VOX MEDICA. Time is, and always has been, the enemy. The rise of information technology and the expansion of readily available information on the Internet were meant to help solve some of our time woes. And while we have been able to stream line certain activities, our clients are faced with increasing demands that far outstrip the savings afforded by technology. They spend their days running between meetings and managing dozens of projects spread among various agencies or other part ners. They no longer have the time to devote to managing any given project or to ensure that all of the moving parts fit togeth er neatly without overlap. These time constraints are similarly affecting client services. Client service historically has existed in the space between the agency and the client: when with our clients, we are charged with representing the views of the agen cy; when back at the agency, we are charged with representing the views of our clients. As our clients become less available in the face of evercompressing timelines, client service personnel find themselves at risk of upsetting the delicate balance of their position and assuming the client perspective too strongly. This shift facilitates the completion of projects, but can inhibit the creativity on which we pride ourselves. Over the past five years, we have seen client service personnel and agencies struggle to find their way to workable position in this changing dynamic. Our work will always be about negotiating the best possible solu tion. We believe in the next five years client service personnel will need to redefine their positions and focus, and address issues SPECIAL FEATURE CLIENT SERVICES # BY TAREN GROM PharmaVOICE is pleased to publish this special feature showcasing the agency executives who are charged with fostering the allimportant workings of the client/agency relationship. A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP CAN LEADTOBRAND SUCCESS. Conversely, dysfunction among team members can prevent a brand from achieving its best results in the market. # ore than 25 advertising executives reveal their client service secrets: what it takes to keep clients happy;how this important discipline is changing with the times; and who the “client” is. M ONTHE CLIENT’S SIDE NANCYBEESLEY HC&B Healthcare Communications The demand to create original conceptual thinking is very high, yet most clients don’t want to wait very long for it. It’s not criticism of clients, per se, but rather an expectation set by quicker and quicker delivery by agencies that want to keep clients satisfied in an era of realtime everything. # 30 A 20 PharmaVOICE # LETTERS On The Client’s Side THE FORUM FOR THE INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE November/December 2007 YEAR IN PREVIEW 2008 SPECIAL ISSUE www.pharmavoice.com P L C O R&D Biometrics Making a Mark TECHNOLOGY Driving Development SALES An Educational Approach MARKETING New Media, New Messaging 7/07 12:22 PM Page PV0608 Layout PROOFS 5/22/08 11:37 AM Page 6