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Title: Senior VP, Account Service and Operations
Education: BS, Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University
Family: Her husband and her two young boys who inspire her every day
Hobbies: Reading, occasional jogging, photography
Awards/Honors: Fingerpaint Piton Award; PM360 ELITE 2016
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society; Philly Ad Club; Cannes Lions Health
The Calm Within the Storm
Michelle Petroff, senior VP, account service and operations at Fingerpaint, works in a rollercoaster ride environment, but through it all, colleagues say she remains calm and focused through even the roughest turbulence. People seek her out for her serenity and her sage advice amid the crazy world of pharmaceutical marketing. She never falters, always delivers, and along the way she never forgets that advertising is a team sport. This attitude makes everyone around her — clients and agency team members alike — feel good about not just the accomplishments and results, but the journey along the way.
Ms. Petroff joined Fingerpaint in the summer of 2010, when it was just a fledgling, 10-employee agency. Right out of the gate, she led the agency’s first AOR win and global launch. She has helped the agency grow from a single office and 10 employees to three offices in three states and more than 140 employees. She has been recognized numerous times at Fingerpaint for her contributions and exceptional results. She has received the agency’s coveted Piton award, which symbolizes her ascent to a senior level of responsibility and achievement.
From early career accomplishments, including the management of a client with a blockbuster pharmaceutical brand with sales in excess of $1 billion and an A&P spend of more $60 million to the more recent development of a groundbreaking disease awareness program for the agency’s largest client, she employs strategic thinking and a leadership vision.
The disease awareness program was unique within the pharmaceutical industry when it launched and paved the way for others in the industry to replicate the approach. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the effort helped the program achieve award-winning success. Colleagues say Ms. Petroff is one of the agency’s most innovative thinkers and is incredibly strong in terms of providing unique solutions to clients, and she has spearheaded and launched numerous successful campaigns that have helped drive brand performance beyond expectations.
Her biggest career highlight to date has been her contribution to the growth at Fingerpaint over the past six years, and most recently the establishment and expansion of the firm’s Pennsylvania office. In just 18 months the office grew from three people to almost 50 employees and $12 million in annual gross revenue, necessitating a move from its original office to a new and larger office.
Growth does not come without its challenges, and Ms. Petroff says she is proud of how the new team has kept up the pace.
“Agency life is a rollercoaster and expanding so quickly layers on an additional set of leadership challenges,” she says. “I try to minimize the obstacles and develop a simple and digestible plan that keeps the team motivated.”
She is a marketing talent who has the ability to cut through the clutter to identify the key things a brand must do to be successful. Many marketers have difficulty ignoring the often misplaced pressures of senior management or synthesizing all of the information they’re bombarded with, distilling what’s important from what’s not, but Ms. Petroff sees through to the core factors that determine brand success and relishes the opportunity to create solutions others don’t find easily.
Ms. Petroff also possesses an incredibly high EQ (emotional intelligence). As an active member of both the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, she leads by example, motivates others to exceed expectations, and services clients with an unparalleled personalized touch. She’s extremely effective in understanding what motivates people and what drives them to make decisions and perform at a high level.
She would like to take more risks, and would tell the younger version of herself to do so.
“I think what made me great at my job early in my career was my attention to detail, commitment to exceeding expectations, and a little bit of fear of not getting it right; all of which served me well then and now, but I’ve also learned that it’s okay to not get it perfect all of the time and asking ‘the stupid question’ or pushing back against a group can pay off,” she says.
Jason M. Noto
Title: Director, Neurology Customer Strategy
Company: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
Education: BS, Marketing, LeMoyne College; MBA, Boston College (ETA 2017)
Family: Wife, Amanda; son, Brayden; daughter Milana
Hobbies: Baseball, coaches son’s T-ball team
Bucket List: International travel with family, expose children to ex-U.S. cultures and norms
Awards/Honors: PM360 ELITE Award; Spotlight on Excellence Award, Sunovion; President’s Club Award, BMS
Partnering for Marketing Success
Jason Noto, director, neurology customer strategy, at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals couldn’t wait to begin refining and implementing a new approach to targeting healthcare professionals. The innovative HCP segmentation and promotional strategy was developed with a media agency, and Mr. Noto worked hand-in-hand with the agency to make the transformation a successful reality at Sunovion.
The approach customizes and personalizes targeting beyond traditional deciles by incorporating advanced behavioral analytics to identify optimal, opportunistic healthcare provider segments. The end result is a revolutionary approach to multichannel promotion that is customized to the individual physician level to ensure a best-in-class customer experience.
Colleagues say Mr. Noto is a joy to work with and is always interested in exploring and creating ways to better market the brand he represents, in addition to being a smart, creative, and innovative marketer.
His agency colleagues say he is a one-of-a-kind client, extremely dedicated to the effort of moving the needle regarding results-oriented innovation, noting he constantly seeks ways to enhance brand strategy, targeting, measurement, and execution.
Other colleagues paint a portrait of a straight shooter with a sense of humor who is not afraid to take risks, especially if it means learning a better way to reach physicians and in turn serve patients.
“To fundamentally transform the impact of healthcare marketing, we can’t be afraid to be wrong or make mistakes along the way,” Mr. Noto says. “The lessons learned often serve to fuel future innovation.”
An outside-of-the-box thinker, he strives to discover new and more efficient ways to market to healthcare providers. Mr. Noto is open to taking calculated risks with innovative ideas, such as programmatic buying for HCP display, and leveraging the technology of consumer and healthcare provider geotargeting. In his role as the neurology customer strategist, he is able to take a holistic view of his brand’s business drivers and identify innovative initiatives that alter the traditional marketing mix.
“I have a strong desire to always uncover ways to do things more effectively, more efficiently, more creatively, and with greater impact than previously thought possible,” he says. “I’m fortunate to work for an organization that values and encourages that sort of entrepreneurial spirit and motivation. It’s easy to assess Rx lift and ROI on commercial investments made to further the business. Where it becomes a bit more challenging is when you try to measure the success of some of the intangibles such as a disease specific social media initiative focused on sharing best practices for disease management or in measuring the management approach you take in trying to enhance morale and engagement.
Measuring success can be really challenging at times.”
He looks forward to expanding his commercial experience in the biotech space to assist life-changing products to be more rapidly commercialized and put in the hands of the patients who need them most.
Mr. Noto hopes to be remembered as someone who always kept the needs of the patient top of mind.
“At times, I think it’s easy to lose focus when dealing with business challenges and internal reporting, etc.,” he says. “On a regular basis, I try to reflect on our collective mission and why we chose a career in pharmaceutical marketing as opposed to commercial packaged goods. We’re changing the lives of patients for the better, and we should never lose sight of that fact.”
One of his career highlights was creating the launch plan and leading the commercialization efforts of Cinryze for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE), a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition that includes episodes of edema (swelling) in various body parts, including the hands, feet, face, and airway. HAE occurs in about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. The disease had no viable treatment options at the time of approval.
His leadership approach, which includes strategic execution across multiple agency functions, has created positive workflow outcomes, cross-functional collaboration, and instilled a model example of how these synergies should be conducted. Mr. Noto enjoys the incredibly collaborative environment at Sunovion and values the collective approach to problem-solving that is engrained at the company.
Whether in his professional life or in pursuit of his personal goals and spending time with his family, Mr. Noto believes that life is short, so make every moment count.
Title: Head of Marketing, Ophthalmics
Education: BS, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Family: Husband, John Kolesa
Hobbies: Fitness classes, roaming cities
Bucket List: Live in Paris — weekends are not enough
Awards/Honors: DTC Hall of Fame Marketer, 2015; Shire CEO Award; AstraZeneca Multicultural Marketing Award; Top 25 DTC Marketer of the Year, 2007
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Women of Shire
Blazing Campaign Trails
For more than 20 years, Victoria Noble, head of marketing, ophthalmics, at Shire, has established her own voice in the industry, and has in many ways become a brand in her own right. Time and again, she has displayed a vision for keeping things “big” yet simple, often emotive and always impactful. In short, she connects with her customers.
She isn’t short on diverse industry experience either; she has been an IPO analyst, a legislative associate, and a film producer in addition to having significant agency and client-side experience. It’s all come back to pay handsomely in her role as one of industry’s leading success stories and fuels her ability to help bring about a new level of understanding between healthcare providers and their patients.
In 2008, Ms. Noble joined Shire, and she has been blazing trails there ever since. Colleagues say she has proven herself to have a talent for infusing consumer sensibility across numerous Shire brands. She conceived of and launched Shire Cares, Shire’s patient assistance program that helps cover medication costs for patients with limited financial resources.
From 2008 to 2013, she re-energized the gastrointestinal business unit (GIBU) by developing and deploying a new GIBU culture, including a mission, vision, and belief system. She was responsible for the breakthrough, illustrated “Partner” campaign for Lialda that placed a much-needed friendly face on a condition people simply wanted to hide from. She also led a new strategic methodology for the cross-function customer brand positioning team, which resulted in the brand’s best-performing integrated communications strategy in the market.
In 2013 she joined the neuroscience business unit (NBU) as director, consumer marketing, for the ADHD medication Vyvanse. At the NBU, she continued to develop brand strategies and engagement plans across multiple consumer targets with “helping” at its core. In 2015, she spearheaded “keep momming,” an endearing and personal disease education campaign that uses storytelling with actress/philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete and her daughter Ryan. Everyday moms and daughters were the cornerstone of the effort helping to educate moms on the inattentive symptoms of ADHD, which are often overlooked in tween girls. The campaign integrates a coalition of ADHD advocacy partners, women’s roundtable forums, and self-esteem experts to ensure relevancy and impact.
Most recently, Ms. Noble is doing nothing less than helping to launch not just a brand but the marketing culture for an entirely new business unit — Shire’s new ophthalmics unit. With Ms. Noble at the helm as the OBU, head of marketing, she is leading her teams with her trademark consumer-focused swagger, no idea is too big approach, she is quickly positioning the OBU for success.
“Helping patients get what they need, from education to therapies, watching my team develop innovative marketing, and delighting customers with great brain experiences, is how I measure my success,” Ms. Noble says. (PV)