President Michelle Gross featured in PharmaVoice Agency Roundtable

In the high-demand, high-service, high-stakes advertising and communications sector of the life-sciences industry, agency executives consistently juggle myriad client priorities, business pressures, and channel opportunities, all the while keeping the creative juices flowing.

Spectrum Science President, Michelle Gross, offers her perspective on agency talent, D&I's role in recruitment, and more in the September issue of PharmaVoice. Read the full feature below.

What are some of the new demands facing your agency that you didn’t have to worry about five years ago?

Our industry has always competed for top talent, but the intensity of that competition has escalated. In this employees’ market, top talent has their choice of employer, every agency has open positions and the things that used to win new employees (e.g., salary, remote work options) are table stakes. Prospective employees choose to work for companies that positively impact the world around them beyond the day-to-day work, and, not only take a stand on key issues, but also act on them.

Clients want to see more diversity on their teams. Agencies must demonstrate their long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) and provide data on the makeup of their staff and teams. While Spectrum has always been dedicated to fostering an inclusive community, the events of the past year have placed renewed focus on the importance of proactive efforts around D&I. This March, we launched our first D&I plan with goals across talent and recruitment, client work, agency culture and marketing, and new business.

To meet the demands of today’s marketplace and future needs of the industry, Spectrum continues to focus on supporting the entire product life cycle for health and science clients with a full suite of capabilities across marketing, communications, and media. We approach business challenges not as a PR agency or a digital agency, but as a strategy-first agency with the capabilities to execute integrated programs across the full spectrum of marketing, communications, and media. This allows us to exceed client expectations and go beyond their wheelhouse to bring different, innovative solutions to reach diverse audiences.

How has digital marketing opened new opportunities to be creative in engaging and reaching out to both HCPs and patients?

Technology advancements have helped digital marketers understand audiences and what engages them like never before — where they go for information, what types of content they engage with, and how this differs across platforms. Armed with both this new information and the current technologies, content can be hyperpersonalized to maximize engagement, providing exactly what the end user wants at all levels of their experience.

As global privacy laws evolve in concert with artificial intelligence (AI) and targeting abilities, healthcare providers and patients will need to opt into data sharing. Yet, these same things are critical to providing the value through personalized content that will encourage consent to the connection.

Growth toward continuous and omnipresent dialogue at the individual level will take digital marketing from linear interactivity to understanding human behavior based on 360-degree life inputs — the implications of which go far beyond promotional messaging, adding tangible value to decision-making at every point along an individual’s digital journey.

What has been a recent success for your agency, or another, in terms of strategy and creative and what elements made it successful?

With stress and worry related to the pandemic negatively impacting mental health, we partnered with leading biopharmaceutical company Neurocrine Biosciences on a campaign to bring the mental health community together during a challenging time. The campaign took a unique creative approach to not only connect people but encourage them to share their monumental moments — how they take care of themselves and their loved ones.

Recognizing that artistic expression can help improve mental health and forge bonds between people, we worked with Me2/Orchestra, the only known classical music organization for those affected by mental health and those who support them, to help turn isolation into inspiration. The orchestra produced and performed an original score based on members’ shared moments. The piece is a celebration of these moments, big and small, that offers a new perspective of hope to help get through these challenging times. It premiered Oct. 28, 2020, with a virtual performance of nearly 100 Orchestra members to an exclusive audience of media, advocacy partners, and supporters of mental health via webcast. The performance has since been shared with and amplified by media and advocacy groups and continues to live on

This originally appeared as part of PharmaVoice's September Agency Roundtable. Read the full article here.

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