Robin Robinson, Kim Ribbink, and Taren Grom, Editor
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Dr. Jeffrey Berg
Curiosity Captivates the Client
Driven to innovate by Survival
Combining a unique blend of medical knowledge, curiosity, and pragmatism, Jeff Berg, Ph.D., has exactly what it takes to deftly oversee client services in healthcare marketing. It’s a role that requires scientific knowledge, an understanding of strategies and channels, and collaboration and effective functionality across teams — all while maintaining an approachable leadership style. Mr. Berg is one of those rare individuals who can juggle all of these skills with ease and grace.
He takes highly complex technical concepts and culls them swiftly, selecting only those that are most relevant and geared toward client goals, then repackages these complexities in a language that multiple audiences can embrace.
His unique insights were especially valuable when the agency launched some of the most successful DTC campaigns of the past five years, including the Enbrel Phil Mickelson campaign and the Aczone Mirror Image campaign.
He brings vast experience and knowledge of the healthcare industry to all his client dealings, helping clients to navigate internal and external challenges.
Mr. Berg’s intellectual curiosity has allowed him to fine-tune his critical thinking skills to cut to the most salient points of any issue immediately. This innate skill enables him to influence teams and brands.
The ability to adapt to change is key for Mr. Berg, who says innovation not only allows one to survive, but to thrive.
And speaking of innovation, Mr. Berg, along with several executive leaders at AbelsonTaylor, has been involved in innovating the agency to better compete in a broader health and wellness market as well as to solidify its position in the pharmaceutical market. In this role, Mr. Berg is spearheading the advancement in project management, which will improve overall efficiencies and create new standards and best practices. The initiative is especially important as the agency’s digital offerings continue to grow.
Clients say he is a calming force during rough times and a counselor and friend during calm times. He always has the best interest of the brands at heart.
One example of his dedication to brands is his role with Sunovion’s Latuda. In early 2009 he was the account lead for the product. Early in the brand’s life he was active in helping to develop the brand strategy and key tactics. Post launch he stayed close to the brand and collaborated with the team by giving his strategic insights.
And when the FDA gave its feedback to approve Latuda for schizophrenia and bipolar depression, Mr. Berg was instrumental in reviewing and interpreting the FDA’s response on promotional materials.
Winning pitches is always a highlight for Mr. Berg, who notes that for both big and small brands, the thrill of working with brilliant creatives and inspired strategists in a constrained timeframe never gets old.
Another item that Mr. Berg believes never gets old is seeing great people doing great things. To encourage this behavior, he follows an open-door policy and actively engages people. Mr. Berg looks to understand what intrinsically motivates people as individuals and then find ways to engage them in their work.
Those who have battled through setbacks due to circumstances beyond their control are especially inspiring.
Mr. Berg says their courage in the face of adversity provides a perspective when thinking about the daily challenges at work and everyday life.
Mr. Berg is a strong supporter of both the the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance on Mental Health. He saw firsthand the devastation Alzheimer’s disease can have on patients and their families, and he believes the current state of care for those suffering from mental illness is shameful.
Getting to Know…
Jeffrey A. Berg, Ph.D.
Title: Senior VP, Director of Client Services
Education: Ph.D., Pharmacology, University of Minnesota; B.S., Biochemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Family: Wife, Susan; children, Jennifer 25, Amanda 25, Daniel 23, Ethan 21, Jacob 17
Hobbies: Running, cooking, reading
Bucket List: Running a marathon; eating his way through Italy; finishing a New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzle; seeing the Aurora Borealis
Tweet at: @berg1132
Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram
Leading by Authenticity
Driven to innovate by Restlessness
He could plan your wedding, cook you a gourmet meal, or lead your agency team to the next award-winning level. Enter Matt Brown, general manager of ICC Lowe. With more than 20 years of experience leading award-winning creative teams at Ignite Health, GSW Worldwide, and JBW Productions, Mr. Brown now heads the flagship office at ICC Lowe, where he is responsible for strategic direction and overseeing client relationships, new business activities, and brand development. In his early years, he worked as a wedding planner, and almost made the decision to pursue a career in culinary arts. He was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., the same month he took his first marketing job.
It is not his cooking skills that inspired his colleagues and peers to nominate him as a PharmaVOICE 100, it is his ability to inspire those around him with his sincerity, honesty, and enthusiasm.
He has implemented several changes at ICC Lowe, all with the goal of creating a positive workplace where innovation thrives and staff members are heartily supported. For example, he created Town Halls for an open exchange of ideas; implemented a novel model for coalescing strategic, medical, and engagement offerings; and developed a new presentation lab for client experiences.
ICC Lowe colleagues say in his two-year tenure he has created such a sweeping vision, exhibited such a zeal for what is possible, demonstrated such compelling leadership, and displayed such inexhaustible enthusiasm, that they can’t help but believe in what he is doing and, in turn, believe in him.
His tenacious spirit of imagination and excellence, fueled by integrity and ingenuity, is not only shaping but galvanizing a whole new future for the agency.
Mr. Brown recently moved his office to be in a high traffic area of the agency — near the copier — so that he would come in contact with more people daily, and so he could invite them in for a quick hello or for them to share an idea.
True to form, Mr. Brown views his career highlights reflected in the performance of others.
“Honestly, the biggest highlight to me has been seeing people I have mentored go on to do great things and achieve their goals,” he says. “Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to mentor both established leaders and young people. It is absolutely thrilling to see people in all stages of their careers achieve success because you helped them align their skills and passions with their opportunities.”
He has also created a culture of transparency that allows staff members to have a more intimate understanding of the agency, both good news and bad.
Colleagues have no doubt what makes him tick: his passion for the business, the staff, and doing great work that makes a difference for people.
Referred to as the “the glass is half full guy,” Mr. Brown strives to make healthcare and healthcare advertising achieve a better place in the hearts and minds of the world and he approaches each day like a kid digging into his favorite game or toy.
That is telling, as Mr. Brown says the best career advice he ever received was, “Play your game.”
In other words, stay true to who you are and the type of leader you want to be, he says.
Getting to Know…
Title: General Manager
Company: ICC Lowe
Education: B.A., Communications, Ohio State University
Family: Wife, Julie; three children, Madeline, 11, David, 9, and Jonathon, 7
Hobbies: Coaching, swimming, camping, farming, fishing
Bucket List: A trip into space, an African safari, a trip to the deep ocean, boating the entire U.S. intercoastal waterway
Tweet at: @mbrwn
Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook