Ramped up for digital
In addition to the strategic creative content that we are a big part of, we see involvement in the emerging channels of communication,
be it digital or interactive, as a place where we need to be. That's where we're making a lot of our investment internally.
Getting our people ramped up to be able to create in the digital environment, on that canvas, as well as on paper and in television
and radio. And we see acquisitions in that area will come from the Publicis Group, like Digitas, and even from within our
own Healthcare Group. So we're pushing in that direction.
Sights on distant shores
We and the healthcare community are being more broadly accepted in the world at large. We're moving into places that we haven't
been in the past or hadn't been very important, like Eastern Europe or, more specifically, China, where we just bought a new
company. And so we're moving into markets where interaction and communication about healthcare is a relatively new thing.
Where, we think, it is going to be exploding and emerging. We're going to look at India and South America as an opportunity
for us to expand geographically. And then we're looking at new channels of distribution and new channels for the creation
of those messages.
Trust is communicating
When you think about the word 'trust' and what it takes to get there, I go back to how I've built trust within my own organization
or within my family. Trust is all about communicating with people, letting them know what you're all about, and having integrity,
saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
One of the greatest things that the digital environment gives us is the ability for interested parties to opt in (and I think
our regulatory environment, particularly in the States, is going to have to learn how to deal with that). In other words,
if somebody asks the question and opts in, purposefully wanting to engage in a conversation, then it's really our responsibility
and the industry's responsibility to provide that information. And opt-in marketing is probably going to be a big part of
the future. People are going to tell us when, how, why, and what they want to communicate about.
I think the future will be centered a lot more around new levels of content and new communities created over the Web where
people will actively participate in conversations—they're doing it now to a certain degree in certain patient areas like in
breast cancer and AIDS where there's an active dialog going on with patients and advocacy groups. And I think the industry's
got to find a way to be a part of that.
Professional still the hub
The healthcare professional has been, is, and will continue to be a center and a hub by which much of the information will
be disseminated about healthcare. The patient is in the middle of that now but doctors are a big part of that partnership
And so, when we communicate with physicians now, the old marketing 101 stuff would tell you that if you have a complicated
message to a select audience, sales promotion is one of the best ways to communicate. And that's how the industry has for
many years communicated, and I believe that it will continue to communicate via sales or direct sales.