Garnett Dezember, Navicor Group

June 2, 2008

The expectations I had of agencies when I was a client and those of our clients today are very similar. The agency was expected to be a partner in determining the best overall strategies and positioning, which drove the creative executions. However, many agencies today seem to be searching for a growing range of services to offer their clients. As long as the services are communications-focused, they will be seen as complementary and will be appreciated. If they are not communications-focused, then the challenge for the agency will be to demonstrate value and avoid diluting the core capabilities upon which it was founded.

The expectations I had of agencies when I was a client and those of our clients today are very similar. The agency was expected to be a partner in determining the best overall strategies and positioning, which drove the creative executions. However, many agencies today seem to be searching for a growing range of services to offer their clients. As long as the services are communications-focused, they will be seen as complementary and will be appreciated. If they are not communications-focused, then the challenge for the agency will be to demonstrate value and avoid diluting the core capabilities upon which it was founded.

As we look at the evolving research pipelines, we see an increasing number of targeted therapies—not only molecularly targeted, but patient-targeted. To leverage the latter, diagnostics will need to be more closely coupled with specific therapies. Companies will need to lessen their dependence on historical mass marketing appeal and apply more targeting to their communication and promotional plans. Targeted therapies and targeted marketing should grow in parallel to help ensure treatments are going to the patients who will benefit most from them.

Ideally, the agency should be viewed by the client as an extension of the client brand team. It should be seen as just another discipline, such as clinical affairs or sales, with the agency's discipline being customer communications. This is best achieved through transparency, involvement, and recognition of expertise.

The Skinny

The Navicor Group, an inVentiv Health company, is a full-service healthcare advertising agency offering expertise in oncology and immunology.

Telephone: 614-543-6011

E-mail: gdezember@navicorgroup.com

Web site: www.navicorgroup.com