Robert Finkel, Kane & Finkel Healthcare Communications

June 2, 2008

When you hang out a shingle as a full-service healthcare communications company, you must be prepared to offer fully integrated marketing and communications products and services. That translates into some fairly block-and-tackle kinds of offerings, including an ability to provide online and traditional off-line promotional solutions that work synergistically to meet an objective. Also, the agency must be compliance-ready, armed with an up-to-the-minute understanding of FDA promotional guidelines.

When you hang out a shingle as a full-service healthcare communications company, you must be prepared to offer fully integrated marketing and communications products and services. That translates into some fairly block-and-tackle kinds of offerings, including an ability to provide online and traditional off-line promotional solutions that work synergistically to meet an objective. Also, the agency must be compliance-ready, armed with an up-to-the-minute understanding of FDA promotional guidelines.

Another value agencies can be expected to share includes product life-cycle management, including patent expiry strategies. The number of agents facing generic intrusion appears to be at an all-time high. Positioning a brand's point of difference becomes quite challenging when cost containment pressures come into play. No one that I know of has found the magic bullet relative to managing generic intrusion. A practical agency recommendation is to start planning early, not just a year, or a few POAs ahead.

Clients will get a better result from their agency if they share whatever target audience or market information they can. ATU (awareness, trail, and usage) studies are often worth their weight in gold. When clients invest in attitude and usage research, we welcome that input. Although most agencies are used to feeling their way along the mysterious wall that can lead to a viable recommendation, no agency wants to work completely in the dark.

The Skinny

Kane & Finkel Healthcare Communications, an independently owned and operated branding and promotional agency, is located in San Francisco. The agency's capabilities bridge professional and consumer audiences and include online and traditional media.

Telephone: 415-777-4990

E-mail: rfinkel@kaneandfinkle.com

Web site: kaneandfinkle.com