ver the past few years, Digital Pharma West has become a
can’t-miss conference for west
coast marketers. Stocked with
plentiful case studies and solid
results, I left excited and filled with illuminated
possibilities. From the latest in Virtual Reality
to imaginative Social Engagement approaches,
here are my Top Five Digital Marketing takeaways for 2017.
VR boosts business… and just got
Both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Re-
ality (AR) have proven that they are not just the
latest fad, and have firmly secured their place in
the marketing “tool box.”
Whether used in convention settings for phy-
sician education or in hospital settings to reduce
patients’ pain, VR has shown that it can have a
powerful impact on positive patient outcomes.
After all, unlike VR, not many technologies can
boast a retention rate of about 80%!
Things are getting very exciting on the development side of things as well. Apple released
a new Augmented Reality platform that will
make advanced special algorithms accessible
to the wider development community. Expect
to see new inventive creative solutions at more
Partner with your creative agency and a VR-spe-cialty vendor like Pixacore to create high-quality
experiences that truly move the needle.
AI is the new mobile… don’t miss out
Whether communicating with Alexa and chatbots or discovering insights for better patient
adherence, Artificial Intelligence is becoming the
next transformative movement in marketing.
As more sensors are placed on, in, or near our
bodies, AI is how we analyze and provide insights on all those data. Coming soon – ”smart
virtual coaches” will guide all aspects of life.
AI-powered chatbots are now available for
Facebook, and we learned that half of US consumers are interested in using voice assistants
for health-related needs. Health Tap’s Facebook
Messenger bot is leading the way to make access
to healthcare information and resources easier
for everyone at scale.
Amazon Alexa and Google Home could become a future primary touchpoint along the patient journey. Merck’s Alexa Diabetes Challenge
is showing us the potential for Alexa to become a
new partner in diabetes management.
Social media builds business
Social media has been a sore point for market-
ers in the pharmaceutical world due to worry
about risk and regulatory. Fortunately, Jack
Barette, CEO of WEGO Health, has solved the
problem and is ready to help you overcome
the myriad of seemingly unsurmountable
hurdles associated with this channel. WEGO
Health leverages patient influencers through
co-branded Facebook and Twitter posts that
have proven to bring real results.
Sunovion used social media to successfully
drive advocacy and conversions for three differ-
ent brands. Gilead and AbbVie used Facebook
and Twitter to tangibly demonstrate social com-
mitment to their patients and their conditions –
and people noticed.
Here are three social media highlights you
should memorize today:
• Yes, you can measure the e;ects of social media. Experts can show you how.
• “Organic social media is dead.” Paid social media is the only way to go.
• “Quiet” videos are required: 84 percent of videos on social media are watched with the
Customer experience is e;cacy.
E;cacy is customer experience.
As the world around us changes, so do our expectations. Uber picks us right up at our location. Tide will pick up and wash our laundry.
We have grown to expect superb service from
everyone around us, and it is no different for
pharmaceutical companies. HCPs and patients
alike expect you to make their lives easier beyond the pill.
Manhattan Research shared these key insights:
• 59 percent of people say they expect the
healthcare system to o;er the same level of
customer service as other industries.
• 46 percent of physicians expect more than a
product from pharma companies.
• 21 percent of online consumers agree that the
experience they have with a pharma company is just as valuable as having a drug that
It is time for the healthcare system to step it
up. Look to One Medical and their concierge
approach for inspiration as you plan your next
customer-centric promotional plan.
Win big with a test-and-learn
HCP access is limited. Marketing channels are
moving targets. What works today may not
work tomorrow. What can we do?
Actually, quite a lot. Abbott Labs, Mylan, and
Orexigen all showed case studies on how effective embracing a test-and-learn approach can
be. Data-driven insights can really increase volume while reducing costs.
If you’re not learning from your campaign,
you’re losing. Losing time. Losing money. Losing share of voice.
A bright future
Our pharma future is bright. I saw a solid digital foundation across companies large and
small. My focus is always on what’s next, and
I see some exciting potential to create some
amazing work. medadnews
Ben Putman is senior VP, Director of Creative Technology
and Innovation, JUICE Pharma Worldwide.
Five key digital insights for your
brand from Digital Pharma West
Keri Hettel has been made senior VP, Analytics and Strategy, and Brandon Ashcraft was promoted to senior VP,
Operations, at Razor;sh Health. Executives say these new
roles for Hettel and Ashcraft mark the agency’s commitment to meeting their growing client needs. Both report
directly to David Paragamian, managing director.
In her new position, Hettel adds strategy to her portfolio at a time when executives say the agency is growing
its strategy and account planning team and expanding
its services to drive a client portfolio based on customer
insights. Hettel brings 15 years of analytical experience
and 11 years of strategic healthcare marketing experience to the position, having climbed the career ladder
at Razor;sh Health and previously working as a strategic
marketing analyst at Elsevier.
“By leveraging these two vital functions under Hettel, Razor;sh Health is able
to elevate its capabilities and ensure a seamless integration of agency disciplines,”
As senior VP, Operations, Ashcraft will oversee technology, project management functions, as well as the agency’s
regulatory team, and is charged with building an e;cient
engine to serve the agency’s clients.
He was promoted from VP, Technology, where execu-
tives say he “successfully aligned business and technology
by synchronizing the creative groups and new business
through the development of software cycles.”
Ashcraft is experienced in technical, IT, and manage-
ment. Before coming to Razor;sh Health, he spent 18
years at Kaplan Test Prep as executive director, technology
product manager as well as a stint at Mobiquity Inc. as a
senior mobile solutions architect.
“Razor;sh Health’s position as the agency of the future
is hinged on our dedication to three things: unsurpassed
digital experience, outstanding and award-winning creative, and world class analytics, making us the agency of the future,” Paragamian says. “The promotion of both
Keri and Brandon further enables us to meet our commitment to clients of a unique
marketing approach with customer deep insights and ;awless execution. The
appointment of Keri to SVP, Analytics and Strategy is exciting for both the agency
and our clients, as we invest in our growing team to meet client needs. With Brandon
at the helm of Operations, we now have one uni;ed team focusing on best-in-class
execution and deliverables. I’m excited for the future of Razor;sh Health with these
two on our leadership team.”
Two new senior VPs
at Razor;sh Health
Fingerpaint has named a longtime creative duo as the
new leaders of the agency’s creative team. Katie Beller and
Andy Spitzer will be based in the agency’s headquarters in
Saratoga Springs, New York.
According to executives, Beller and Spitzer, professional
partners for a number of years, have won coveted industry awards, such as American Advertising Awards, Clio
Awards, Manny Awards, and honors from the prestigious
Cannes Lions Health Festival. The pair, who most recently
served as creative directors at GSW Worldwide, will work
together to lead copy and art, instilling at Fingerpaint a
new structure for creative direction.
“Katie and Andy regularly demonstrate their creative
prowess by producing work that very clearly re;ects their
symbiotic rapport with each other,” says Bill McEllen, who
leads Fingerpaint’s Saratoga Springs o;ce. “Katie’s talents
are rooted in language while Andy’s are anchored to visu-
als. From a branding perspective, their forward-thinking,
cooperative direction is invaluable.”
Beller’s career began with copywriting duties for
consumer brands and evolved to creative direction,
where executives say her in;uence and leadership
proved critical on a number of high-pro;le healthcare
campaigns that earned global praise. According to Fin-
gerpaint’s managers, she brings a portfolio of experience
that spans more than 20 years and includes work on
campaigns for surgical devices, dermatology, osteoporo-
sis, eye care, diabetes, and ADHD.
Spitzer began his career as a storyboard artist in
England and spent the next two decades rising through
the ranks to the respected and well-earned role of creative
director. His background includes consumer and healthcare experience, from medical
devices to ophthalmology to chronic disease, oncology, and hair loss. Executives say
his unique stamp has been placed on campaigns used by some of the world’s most
“We value collaboration at Fingerpaint, which is why it makes sense to have Katie
and Andy lead our New York creative team together,” says Ed Mitzen, Fingerpaint’s
founder. “Their collective vision and impressive talents will not only elevate the work
our teams create, but also serve as a guiding in;uence for our agency’s future.”
In addition to its Saratoga Springs o;ce, Fingerpaint has locations in Arizona,
Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Fingerpaint taps duo
to lead creative team