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Title: Executive VP, Global Brand Lead
Company: Ogilvy Healthworld
Education: MPH, Health Education and Behavioral Science, Rutgers School of Public Health; B.A., Political Science and History, Drew University
Family: Husband, Albert Helmig; daughters, Casey, 27; Kate, 24; and Megan, 21
Hobbies: Hiking, biking, skiing, playing tennis, being outdoors
Bucket List: Travel to Bhutan; plan a bike and barge trip in France with family and friends; attend all four Grand Slam tournaments; spend a month (or more) in Italy; and live in Snowmass, Colo., for the entire ski season
Awards/Honors: Circle of Excellence, Ciba Pharmaceutical Co.; Woman of Influence in Communications, Women’s Fund of New Jersey
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association
Global Team Leader
Maggie Helmig is a global healthcare agency leader who possesses the traits of what it takes to be successful in today’s globally connected healthcare market: a thorough understanding and assessment of the global market challenges of a brand. She has proven her mettle time and again, leading the development and execution of strategies to drive brand and agency results across regions.
Ms. Helmig’s deep knowledge of global pharmaceutical advertising and brand management stems from her time having lived in Hong Kong and opening an agency in Shanghai. She understands the various market regulations and cultural nuances, and she possesses the uncanny ability to crystalize brand positioning and strategy that resonate across the globe while maintaining consistent brand elements that are required.
Because of her experience in markets around the globe, her leadership on integrated agency teams has resulted in leading-edge creativity and effectiveness on a number of brands.
A characteristic that both her peers and her clients recognize about Ms. Helmig is that she always asks the extra question and digs beneath the surface. She is someone who is always looking for the right insight, which then often results in an innovative solution or highly strategic recommendation that her clients acknowledge as incredibly valuable. For this reason, global clients and leaders within her own organization consistently tap her to be included in the most complex and demanding marketing challenges.
“We play an important role in shaping the brand in the market and we are focused on ensuring its success,” she says. “The products we manage are fulfilling an unmet need, and I try to infuse a can-do attitude and commitment to helping patients in every interaction I have with colleagues and clients.”
Her accomplishments are wide and varied. She has helped shape agencies and clients around the world. In her role as executive VP, global brand lead, Ogilvy Healthworld, she expertly guides agency teams from around the world on some of the most important and visible brands and clients.
She comes to the table with high-level innovative ideas that drive success for the brand. Her diverse background, which includes senior-level roles on the client, sales, and agency sides of the business, as well as her public health background and industry tenure, have helped her to make meaningful contributions to address her clients’ evolving needs.
She is a true multichannel expert, having executed successful programs in professional, direct-to-patient, advocacy, market access, digital, and medical education channels.
Colleagues report that Ms. Helmig is a fierce competitor in all that she does, stemming from her days as a competitive tennis player, and she is not afraid to fight for what she believes to be in the best interest of the brands that she supports.
Her competitiveness and resolve to challenge and push her clients and her team to be the best they can be are done in a style that is personal and engaging. She is a thoughtful person who truly cares about those she works with and leads. So while she possesses extremely high standards, her approach motivates and elevates all of those around her.
Her spirited competitive nature and strong work ethic inspire her staff to get behind her and push for excellence. She leads by example and sets a purposeful course and pushes for greatness.
Ms. Helmig is an inspiring role model for all women, but especially for working mothers.
She has raised three daughters, with her husband of more than 25 years, while holding several senior-level positions in healthcare communications and recently earning a master’s degree in public health.
Title: Chief Marketing Officer
Education: Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Montreal
Hobbies: Hiking with her dog; photography
Bucket List: Sailing around the Mediterranean for a summer
Globalizing Social Networking for Doctors
According to Peter Kirk CEO of Sermo, few leaders are as visionary as Osnat Benshoshan, the company’s chief marketing officer.
“Osnat looks at a situation and sees opportunity from the vantage point of 30,000 feet and years into the future,” Mr. Kirk says. “And when she locks in on that opportunity, she has this unwavering ability to persevere and work through any barriers to realize it.”
She has had a similar transformational impact on several companies, helping them re-position and re-launch.
In one particular instance, she proved to be an invaluable catalyst influencing change with a team who were wary of any strategies not grounded in pure science. She gained their confidence and helped them understand that effective communications didn’t need to be at odds with science. The result was a company that quickly and successfully became a leader in the field of regenerative medicine.
It hasn’t taken long for Ms. Benshoshan to identify the global potential of social networking for doctors and develop an innovative relaunch and groundbreaking strategy for Sermo.
Drawing inspiration from Mr. Kirk’s relentless vision of transforming Sermo, Ms. Benshoshan has done some transforming of her own. In less than a year, she re-positioned Sermo from the original online community for doctors to the No. 1 global social network for doctors.
Ms. Benshoshan re-enforced medical crowdsourcing as the cornerstone of Sermo’s offering for physicians. She predicted that medical crowdsourcing, the global collective medical wisdom of doctors, would be the most important phenomena to arise from physician social networking and moved with conviction to align Sermo’s strategy with the movement.
“Knowing that we are dramatically changing the medical profession and saving lives via medical crowdsourcing motivates and powers me every day,” Ms. Benshoshan says.
Her strategy included refining the value proposition of Sermo as a virtual doctors’ lounge where doctors could socialize anonymously, without repercussions, and thus share medical knowledge.
As part of refashioning the company, she consolidated Sermo’s offerings into one powerful brand.
By regularly polling physicians on what mattered to them, and broadcasting those opinions publicly, she turned Sermo into a platform for doctors to share genuine thoughts and insights with each other as well as with the external world. This helped position Sermo as the voice of physicians.
All of Sermo’s almost 400,000 members are verified and credentialed physicians. Sermo, now the largest global medical social network, includes physicians from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand; and there are plans for a continued global expansion.
She helped commercialize Sermo by developing a deeper understanding among pharmaceutical customers of the value of physician social networks and the importance of engaging with doctors where doctors are truly engaging.
Ms. Benshoshan is more than a marketer; she is also a passionate business leader, with the incredible talent to seize strategies that take companies to the next level.
She has the ability to take complex strategies so often seen in healthcare and simplifying them and delivering real-world business growth.
Ms. Benshoshan has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and has helped both start-up companies as well as integrated herself into established companies.
“It’s in my DNA to do things better, smarter, faster,” she says.
Ms. Benshoshan’s successes are evident by the numbers: Sermo’s awareness and reputation propelled it to the No. 1 organic Google position for social networking for doctors with a 665% increase in business leads from the same period last year; a 202% increase in media reach; a 40% increase in physician registrations; a 96% increase in visitors to the site; a 47% increase in page views; and a 39% increase in sessions.
“To innovate or encourage others to do so, one must inspire an intense desire to simply do it better, preceded by a deep understanding of how things are currently done,” Ms. Benshoshan says.
Title: Chief Marketing Officer
Family: Husband, Michael; son, Ben, 14; daughter, Avery, 10
Hobbies: Running marathons, reading
Bucket List: Break a 3:15 marathon time; go on safari; skydive with her son; own/work a farm in Provence, France
Not Marketing as Usual
Nicole Hyland is a different type of life-science marketer; she is able to blend right-brain intuition with left-brain analytics, helping her recognize nuances and opportunities others may have missed. Part of this is natural talent. She’s one of those rare people who is both acutely analytical and spontaneously creative, but the rest is hard work and determination.
This duality in thinking led to her playing a key role in developing Natrel’s proprietary approach to brand differentiation, Bilateral Branding, which leverages both the emotional power of brand personality and the intellectual power of positioning to clearly distinguish clients’ brands from competitors.
This approach resulted in Natrel doubling in size in 2014 and solidifying its prominence as a global agency — one-third of agency revenue now comes from global business.
“On the heels of a major agency reinvention, we landed nine major account wins, nearly tripled our staff and space, and saw triple-digit financial growth,” Ms. Hyland says. “I often refer to our rapid growth and resource expansion as building the race car while we’re driving it.”
Under different circumstances, the wheels may have come off that race car, but not with Ms. Hyland behind the wheel. She ensured that operational excellence and efficiencies were in place as the company dramatically increased in scale.
Another contributor to the growth was a system she co-developed with Chief Commercial Officer Ed Shankman, called Persona ID, which identifies the unique soul and personality of a brand, giving marketers a way of differentiating their brands that isn’t bound by regulatory constraints. It entails a rigorously analytical process that examines all brands in a category, determines their personalities, and identifies aspects of the client brand that can be played up to dramatically stand apart from the others.
Colleagues say this process is a “joy to behold” and they credit Ms. Hyland with being a genuine visionary who relentlessly challenges the status quo to find new and ingenious ways to propel clients’ brands. Her uncanny ability to synthesize massive amounts of information in mere minutes keeps her poised to uncover that brilliant hidden gem that would take others weeks to find.
Ms. Hyland began her career as a market research analyst, acquiring the discipline, insights, and analytic capabilities that now distinguish her as a world-class marketer and brand strategist. For almost 20 years, she has honed her craft, managing all phases of project development from strategic and tactical planning to execution of product launches and re-launches. Often called “a force of nature,” she is courageous, norm-shattering, and inspirational.
Her passion for running marathons is a fitting metaphor for her work life. Failure is not an option for her, both inside and outside of the office. She is always training and seeking ways to improve. She recognizes that building a brand is not a sprint. There are hurdles along the way, but once a brand finds its stride, it’s a clear path to the finish line.
Like many brilliant people, however, she has her quirks. For example, she never gets an idiom right. But that’s okay, co-workers say, because she seldom gets anything else wrong.
Title: Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Education: M.A., Nutrition, Immaculata University; B.S., Business, Penn State
Family: Wife, Crissy; daughters, Fiona, Julia, and Alexa; son, Declan
Hobbies: Running, reading, coaching kids, Philly sports
Bucket List: Travel more, learn to play the guitar, retire at the beach
Awards/Honors: MedAdNews Agency of the Year — Category III, 2014; Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest Growing Companies, 2013, 2014; Best Places to Work, Albany Business Review, 2013, 2014; President’s Club, Cephalon, 2008, 2009;
Product Management Today Silver Award for Excellence and Achievement in Marketing, 2004; National All Star, Abbott Labs, 1999
Associations: Cannes Lions Health: Philly
A Marketing Rock Star
Hard to believe looking at him today that the founding partner of Fingerpaint, an employee-owned pharmaceutical-focused marketing and advertising agency, was a mullet-sporting high school student. Thirty years later, he is a rock star marketer (sans mullet) and an instrumental leader in the competitive and cluttered life-sciences marketing world.
Colleague say in a world where pharmaceutical companies search for a hero to hoist their brand colors and charge into the marketplace fray — a hero who stands for integrity, honor, and creativity — there is one man coming to the rescue: Andy Pyfer.
He is a vocal advocate for the creation of customized and creative marketing solutions and has been instrumental in the growth of Fingerpaint — a 120-plus person, $20 million agency with four offices in three states — as well as leading the development and implementation of some truly impactful campaigns.
This charismatic leader is also known for his breadth and depth of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Mr. Pyfer played a pivotal role in one of Fingerpaint’s early successes — a partnership with Alimera Sciences — in 2010. Alimera was the first major pharmaceutical client for the then fledging Fingerpaint; the agency was contracted to market and drive sales of its innovative product Iluvien. Securing Alimera as a client helped propel Fingerpaint from a small start-up to one of the fastest-growing agencies in the nation. In 2013, Fingerpaint won an Inc. Hire Power Award for top job creator in the country and its fastest-growing companies award for two years running. Fingerpaint’s headquarters, located in upstate New York, now boasts more than 100 employees.
Also in 2013, Mr. Pyfer spearheaded the establishment of Fingerpaint’s first satellite office, located in Villanova, Pa. In its first full year the Villanova office generated almost 20% of the agency’s total annual revenue. While the agency doesn’t assign titles to employees, Mr. Pyfer assumes the role of managing partner and general manager of the Villanova office. Mr. Pyfer’s leadership style and personalized approach to client management also influenced the creation of the agency’s mantra of “uncommon collaboration.”
He is known for his dedication to his clients and devotion to his team.
“I’m truly motivated by creating customized solutions for our clients’ challenges and helping patients find the treatments they need,” Mr. Pyfer says. “I feel like I’m here to help connect the dots between patients, healthcare professionals, and payers in the simplest manner that drives brand success.”
Mr. Pyfer is also connecting the dots within his community. He lends support to Bringing Hope Home (BHH), which is dedicated to emotionally and financially supporting local families battling cancer in the greater Philadelphia area.
“I love this charity because almost everyone has been affected by this disease and BHH focuses on the reality of the financial impact and subsequent emotional distress the disease can have on a family,” he says. “I also am in awe of its founder. He and his cause are truly motivating and remind me what life is all about — caring for others.”
It’s this deep empathy for others that makes Mr. Pyfer such a successful pharmaceutical marketer; he’s all about helping patients get the treatments they desperately need.
Title: Executive VP, Communications Strategy, Executive Creative Director
Company: Triple Threat Communications LLC
Education: B.S., Social Relations, Harvard College
Family: Spouse, three grown children, two dogs
Hobbies: Golfing, racket sports, music, reading, imagining
Bucket List: Finish the novel and play that he has been tinkering with for the past 25 years; play golf in Ireland and Scotland
Awards/Honors: DTC Agency of the Year, 2006 and 2007, Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare; Gold Effies for Federal Express and Detrol LA
Associations: Board of Advisors, DTC Perspectives
If companies such as Amazon and Facebook use it, why not pharma? The “it” is behavior design and Bob Hogan, executive VP, strategy, executive creative director, at Triple Threat is asking the question.
Behavior design is the technique of creating customer communications programs to drive specific behaviors. An example is how Amazon shows consumers other items people bought that are similar to the one they are checking out. Consumers click on the other books or items without even thinking about it. This science works in healthcare for determining when to supply education to a patient for the best results. By applying behavioral science, marketers can determine the best time for patients to receive and process educational information. For example, right after a traumatic event, when the patient is in shock and focused only on survival, is not a good time to try to educate him or her.
Mr. Hogan wonders why marketing communications are still being used via traditional methods to target most efforts on that slim 5% of the cognitive reasoning part of the brain, when scientists have proven that 95% of the time, people’s behavior emerges from the instinctive, emotional part of the brain. Mr. Hogan has been challenging his clients to reconsider investing in the 5% and instead start communicating with consumers differently. He is leading the charge to develop communications that are aimed at that emotional 95% of the brain. His goal is not to motivate, but to directly and reflexively activate actual measureable behaviors that achieve TTC’s clients’ goals. His influence with this behavior model has had a direct impact on the patient programs he helps create. And his collaborative, hands-on approach helps ensure that the vision is carried through each new assignment he takes on. While bringing behavior design fully into mainstream pharma communications will take some time, Mr. Hogan’s influence has started a swing in the pendulum.
According to colleagues, Mr. Hogan’s vision for seeing things differently and affecting change makes him a true industry leader. And he’s been reshaping the way the agency engages with customers through his deep understanding of how to communicate and collaborate effectively.
He distills complex thoughts and issues down to basic fundamentals and is able to navigate clients and colleagues to all get on the same page to solve a problem. He is intelligent, personable, and has a great sense of humor.
Co-workers admire his ability to challenge the status quo and to get others to think in a new direction.
Although he is not afraid to speak his mind, he does so in a nonconfrontational manner. Using these skills, Mr. Hogan has worked closely with clients to adopt TTC’s behavior science approach to developing marketing materials.
Mr. Hogan views his career in three successful segments: starting, building, and sustaining his own agency, R.W. Hogan Associates, for 12 years; tripling revenue at Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare in the early 2000s; and being a vital part of Triple Threat’s success over the past six years.
From account executive, to creative, to strategist, or from global agency to start up, Mr. Hogan has done it all, done it well, and done it with grace,youcolleagues report.
A friend of his told us that Mr. Hogan is blessed, or cursed, with an amazing memory and is often able to recall the most detailed accounting of any given situation. That same friend spilled the beans on his secret talent: Mr. Hogan likes to sing, and when music is playing at a party, he is at the microphone, especially if Beatles songs are being played. (PV)