The Brand Builders

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Jay Carter The Brand Builders The Michael Jordan of Medical Advertising Although he aspires to humility, Jay Carter is described by those who know him as the “Michael Jordan of Medical Advertising.” His staff members refer to this team captain’s management style as “bench strength.” When extra help is needed, he quickly suits up or finds the right person to step up to the line. Known for his integrity, communications skills, good judgment, and ability to motivate, Mr. Carter’s demand for excellence and determination for success have helped Abelson-Taylor launch some of the most successful, and award-winning, pharmaceutical brands in the industry. His colleagues say if there is something about pharmaceutical marketing that he does not know they would be astonished. His understanding of how physicians select medications and how patients view their choices is based on real-world experience; and because of this, his colleagues say his strategies are workable, successful, and lead brand managers to trust him implicitly. He expresses his ideas with energy and enthusiasm, yet this self-described “peasant with panache” has a down-to-earth mentality that his associates say sets him apart from others in the industry. With know-how and talent that are grounded in practicality, he is no pie-in-the-sky dreamer or academic strategist. With more than two decades of experience in pharmaceutical advertising, more than 15 of them at Abelson-Taylor, Mr. Carter, as senior VP and director of client services, is someone who many talented people want to follow. According to his colleagues, there are several things that make Mr. Carter standout, two of which are his laughter and his mental speed. Mr. Carter has a laugh that booms down hallways, and he laughs quite a lot, probably because he loves this industry and embraces it for all of its challenges and wackiness. He’s also quick — he can assess a situation in nanoseconds and be working on his solutions while the rest of the room is still absorbing the details. Fair, direct, and unflappable, Mr. Carter provides his colleagues with direction, support, and independence and manages not through fear, but by showing appreciation. What sets Jay Carter, Senior VP, Director of Client Services of Abelson-Taylor Inc., apart from other smart people in the healthcare advertising industry is that his know-how and talent are down-to-earth and grounded in practicality. His understanding of how physicians select medications and how patients view their choices, is based on real-world experience. Taking advertising and marketing to the next level, these individuals have the brand-building process down to a science. Harnessing the Power of Marketing Taking an innovative approach to marketing pharmaceuticals, David Stern, VP of Marketing at Serono Inc., knows the power of the customer and of an integrated marketing campaign. For Mr. Stern, the customer breaks down into three distinct constituencies: the patient, the physician, and the salesforce. By moving pharmaceutical marketing beyond the traditional methods and incorporating some of the technological tactics being used in the packaged-goods world, Mr. Stern believes that there are ways to get more information from patients and give more back in terms of value. This takes the immediate “sell” off the table and allows marketers to develop a relationship, thereby providing more information that the customer is looking for and increasing the value proposition. Mr. Stern also believes that developing relationships with the physician customer base is essential. While market research provides some insights, the most valuable information is gained in a real-world setting, either in the physician’s office or in the exam room. Furthermore, he coaches his marketing teams to be innovative to help find solutions that make life better for patients. He encourages them to ask physicians point-blank questions about what their challenges are and what they as marketers can do to help from an education standpoint to bring value to the sales proposition. While it’s not always easy, Mr. Stern has engineered some very successful programs based on simple ideas that come directly from the physicians. Lastly, by working closely with the salesforce, whom he considers to be marketing’s main customer group, and involving them in the development of marketing programs and collateral materials, as well as genuinely respecting their feedback before going forward, Mr. Stern has achieved a great deal of success. Coming up through the sales ranks and having been a district manager, he has an understanding for what the needs are in the field. He encourages product and brand mangers to take ownership of the product. Through mentoring and coaching, he guides their career development and plays to an individual’s strengths. David Stern, VP of Marketing at Serono Inc., is a real champion for change within the world of traditional pharmaceutical marketing and coaches his teams to develop solutions that are off the beaten track to make life better for patients. David Stern August 2005 PharmaVOICE 100 David Wood A Branding Pioneer Faced with an industry that he believed had huge future potential, but that at the time had little interest in developing sophisticated marketing and branding strategies nor global brands, David Wood had his work cut out. He had to rely on his instincts, his belief in his vision of the future brand environment in the global pharmaceutical industry, and his desire to better address what at the time was an approach to branding that was product-oriented, largely undifferentiated, and rarely appropriate for global use. In 1985, when he decided to concentrate on pharmaceutical branding, the space was almost totally wanting in terms of expertise, experience, and vision. Mr. Wood’s instincts proved correct, and his talents have led to the development of many of the world’s breakthrough blockbuster brands, such as Viagra, Prozac, Zocor, and Celebrex. After successfully establishing David Wood Associates as a brand in the pharma naming and brand consulting space, he realized that to expand the company’s services to adequately serve a global industry, he needed to take his company to the next level. He did this in 1997 with the opening of offices in San Francisco and Geneva and by renaming the agency Wood Worldwide. In 2001, again to expand both the reach and the range of services, the agency was acquired by Omnicom. At that time the company entered its third phase; it was teamed with Interbrand to form Interbrand Wood Healthcare, which now has six offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Wood is a firm believer in the “10% inspiration, 90% perspiration” formula and that success requires a very clear focus on goals and objectives, coupled with a single-minded resolve to achieve those outcomes. With true pioneering spirit exemplified in all that he undertakes, he also established rxmark in 1990, dedicated to the specialist and unmet market need of assessing the dispensing, regulatory, and marketing viability and risk inherent in pharmaceutical brand names. Mr. Wood’s associates say his success stems from his inspiration, passion, and professionalism, coupled with his leadership abilities. One of the keys to his success, he believes, has been choosing the right people for his business and then spending the time, effort, and expertise to train and motivate his staff. David Wood, Chairman and CEO of Interbrand Wood Healthcare, sets the standard for pharmaceutical brands and branding in all that he does. Marty Driscoll Leader of the Brand In his more than 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Marty Driscoll has demonstrated great leadership, integrity, courage, and compassion. As senior VP of sales and marketing at Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., he inspires those around him to try new approaches and strategies to address the myriad challenges facing sales and marketing today. At Schering-Plough, where he spent 18 years, his ability to inspire people and to create an atmosphere of excellence and teamwork was such that those who worked with him felt a strong loyalty to Mr. Driscoll. By combining strong marketing skills with team spirit, he has been able to demonstrate success time after time. Mr. Driscoll established three new U.S. business units for Schering-Plough, including a diabetes, primary care, and acute coronary syndromes group. He also was involved in several major product launches, including the blockbuster allergy medicine Claritin and the successful cardiovascular agent Integrilin. In 2000, he joined biopharmaceutical company ViroPharma Inc. to build the company’s commercial operations. At ViroPharma, Mr. Driscoll’s leadership skills and ability to work across teams came to the fore in a significant deal: the completion of a $200 million copromotional/ codevelopment collaboration agreement with Aventis for the lead ViroPharma product, an antiviral medication for the treatment of the common cold. A man with the courage to be innovative, Mr. Driscoll has the ability to look ahead and try new approaches that benefit both the teams he leads and the companies he has worked for. A true team leader, Marty Driscoll, Senior VP, Sales and Marketing, at Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., inspires those around him and is not afraid to try new approaches to projects. Dale Taylor Redefining Creativity A special place to work that also did special work was the vision Dale Taylor had when he cofounded Abelson-Taylor in 1981. As the agency approaches its 25th anniversary, it would seem that Mr. Taylor has achieved what he intended. Under his direction as president and CEO, Abelson-Taylor has become the agency of record for more than 40 brands and has earned more major creative awards than all the other U.S. agencies combined. Under Mr. Taylor’s watchful eye, the agency has done more than build brands for its clients and a reputation for itself — its creative output has a distinct look and feel that have become synonymous with the agency. Mr. Taylor believes that while it’s good to be different, to stand out, and to be iconic, the goal was never to create a new and distinct look. A new and distinct look was really the means to an end. The end was more effective promotion, and it just happened that Abelson-Taylor figured out a way to do it that caught a lot of peoples’ attention. Abelson-Taylor’s creative work and reputation may be what attracts many of its employees, but the agency’s corporate environment and the culture cultivated by Mr. Taylor are what keep them. Over the past 10 years, Abelson-Taylor has expanded its creative group fourfold; in the midst of that growth, the agency has retained more than 70% of the original creative team. When he started the agency, the goal was to create an environment where people took pride in their work and created work they could be proud of. They were treated like professionals and expected to perform, and they were rewarded for the performance. One of the ways that Mr. Taylor has rewarded some of his most loyal staff members was to make them partners in his firm, which was a sole proprietorship until late last year. Mr. Taylor celebrates the contributions of those 11 people, who were the ones, as much as he, responsible for making the company what it is today. With his name on the door, Mr. Taylor recognizes that naturally the public attention turns to him; but he insists that in every case, the agency’s successes are the result of a lot of hard-working inspired, bright, creative, and smart people. Dale Taylor, President, CEO, and Cofounder of Abelson-Taylor Inc., has been an exceptional force in changing what the term creativity means in medical advertising. Taking Care of Business part of what Larry Star does as chairman and ceo of the Harrison and Star Business Group is to foster an environment where there is respect, where clients are in the spotlight, and where creativity is rewarded. More than 18 years ago, when Mr. Star and Tom Harrison started the agency, they set out to not only create a business but to create an environment where people enjoy coming to work every day and do great work for clients. As a copywriter, Mr. Star spent most of his career in his office bent over a typewriter — later over a computer — writing, which is where even today he is the happiest — out of the spotlight. It was only when Mr. Harrison and his other partners left the agency to pursue other opportunities that Mr. Star assumed the reins of the agency. With no agency management or financial experience, Mr. Star talked to a lot of CEOs at other agencies, listened to their advice, and quickly got up to speed. Since opening its doors, Harrison and Star has launched more than 25 brands. In a business where there’s too much following and not enough leading, Mr. Star has mentored many to go on to be successful writers and creative directors. With patience and respect, he explains how to get into the head of the reader, so that the message conveyed makes an impression that lasts. He also has instilled in his staff the belief that they should never be satisfied. There’s always another great idea out there — they just have to look for it. At the same time, he has never forgotten a lesson he learned from a creative director early in his career: to work on the creative end one has to develop a thick skin. Clients will change the copy just for the sake of change, even when the writer thinks it’s perfect. The fact of the matter is that nobody is going to remember a headline five years later, but people will remember the good times, overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges, and relationships. At the end of the day, Mr. Star still believes these are the tenets of running a successful agency. As Chairman, CEO, and Cofounder of The Harrison and Star Business Group, Larry Star believes at the end of the day the agency’s success is based on the staff’s trust that management is interested in them as people and as professionals. Larry Star

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