Company Profile: Healthcare Consultancy Group
New York US (HQ), Connecticut US, Pennsylvania US, California US, Ohio US, London UK, Manchester UK, Manila Philippines
Medical communications – commercial, medical affairs, publications; Regulatory services; Digital - communications strategy, external engagement, internal solutions
Chameleon, Health Science Communications, ProEd Communications, ProEd Regulatory, Synergy, TSG, HCG Engagement Group
We live in an extraordinary time. A time of continued change and innovation for society, our industry, and for pharma’s medical communications.
The fabric of medical communications is transforming in its science and data, its audience, and in technology and channels of communications and HCP preferences. Additionally, the role of medical communications is also changing, now front and centre in pharma’s strategic mission.
History shows us how the champions of change seized opportunities and succeeded, while caretakers of constancy have fallen to the past. The only constant is transformation. This mantra applies equally to medical communications.
But, to lead transformation, organisations need to be built for transformation to reimagine the way the industry operates.
This has been the secret behind the impressive growth and success of Healthcare Consultancy Group (HCG).
HCG, a global medical communications agency, is thriving through reimagination.
Comprising of seven dynamic agencies with a single vision to bring medicines closer to the patients who need them, HCG’s transformation and reimagination are deeply rooted in HCG’s culture of curiosity, innovation, collaboration, and purpose.
The result: HCG’s 1,000+ staff are united by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, embracing new ideas, technologies, and approaches to propel medical communications into new and exciting territories.
With each project, they challenge conventional thinking and ignite a spark of creativity that fuses science and art seamlessly, while merging the power of digital technologies with human-centric strategies.
So, what does this mean for the medical communications of HCG’s clients?
“We like to think of this reimagination as taking the medical science on a three-part journey,” says Matt D’Auria, Global CEO of HCG. “Shape – Engage – Reach.”
HCG’s reimagination begins with shaping the science. And HCG has an incredible army of 350+ PhDs, MDs, and PharmDs to do so.
It allows HCG to translate complex science into clinical meaning – crafting messages that inform HCPs on how to make the best use out of scientific advance.
“When we talk about shaping the science, we’re focused on messages that resonate,” says D’Auria. “Medical communications today must break through the noise to deliver customised messages to their audiences.”
HCG’s passion is shaping complex data into impactful stories, translating data into effective visual and innovative narratives, with powerful personality and emotional energy to convey meaning and information.
The second part of the journey is how HCG engage HCPs with scientifically relevant visualisation and meaningful creative expression.
In a time of information overload, faced with busy data tables and figures, death by PowerPoint and one-size-fits all generic stories, HCG has shifted the approach to bring together focused visual stories that consider the core message and why it matters, concrete and credible data with clear visualisations that inspire confidence, and optimised content designed to spark curiosity and hold attention with steadfast human-centric and audience-focused narratives that resonate.
Powered by the HCG Engagement Group, a unique industry powerhouse of 150+ in-house digital and creative expertise dedicated to medical communications, HCG places great focus on purposeful information design with scientifically relevant visualisation and meaningful creative expression.
“We take dense data that is challenging to interpret and transform it to be visually engaging and resonant,” says Greg Imber, Chief Engagement Officer, HCG Engagement Group. “Infographics and data visualisation are two examples – similar in nature, but uniquely different to drive home their strategic objective and hit their intended audience.”
HCG is shifting the needle away from static content towards the interactive and memorable, transforming exhaustive slide content into dynamic assets, pulled through on the web, congress booth, and Veeva – and all this is underpinned by HCG’s focus on breakthrough science-based creativeness to drive HCP behaviour.
Last, but not least, is reaching the audience using the latest technologies to ensure they get the right message at the right time in the channel they prefer.
“We need to reach these audiences using intelligent design systems of where people are along their journey,” says Imber. “This must be personalised. The HCP doesn’t have time to search for the relevant content, so the HCP needs the right message at the right time in the right channel.”
There are three pillars to HCG’s reach strategy: peer-to-peer, omnichannel, and artificial intelligence (AI).
KOLs and DOLs build authority and credibility for pharma’s scientific data across channels and HCG are fastidious in leveraging the power of the KOL and the DOL for success in medical communications.
While similar in skill set, HCG sees a key difference in their utility. Traditional KOLs are used in traditional medical communication settings (ad boards, congress, live and virtual peer-to-peer engagement), while DOLs are used to influence peers. HCG actively co-creates content with DOLs, leveraging their network in social channels, and ensures they disseminate information that reaches HCPs differently.
“DOLs are incredibly impactful in breaking through the noise,” says D’Auria. “Now, more than ever, every brand should be on social media, or you are missing a mainstream channel for reaching your HCPs – you need to listen, be aware, and participate.”
Powered by the HCG Engagement Group and the HCG Omnichannel Task Force, HCG is leading the way on how to use data to understand and meet HCP audiences where they are and developing pioneering partnerships with pharma clients to drive omnichannel adoption.
“Though we have always been experts at delivering effective content for HCPs, that is no longer enough in today’s world,” says Imber. “We lead our clients through the omnichannel adoption process.”
This journey between HCG and its clients involves three key pieces: data to inform; appropriate content to engage them where they are (creativeness, storytelling, atomic, etc.); technology infrastructure to bring it to life.
“Only when you have all three in sync, do you have an effective ecosystem,” says Imber. “To get there we can leverage our process, data, tools, and technology, or develop effective content and journeys within yours, depending on your existing infrastructure, partnerships, and preferred approach. Each partnership looks a little different.”
HCG sees AI as a path to digital transformation and pioneering the way with investment in cutting-edge technology and partnerships to drive innovation.
Jan-Willem van Doorn, Chief Transformation Officer at HCG, leads these initiatives with the support of 40+ cross-disciplinary team members who constantly monitor AI trends and innovations in the pharma industry and beyond to keep HCG ahead of the curve of new technologies and AI initiatives.
“While HCG client partners may be engaging AI-powered content automation for efficient creation and dissemination of key data across channels, HCG’s strategy and focus is far greater,” explains Van Doorn. “We are excited to bring the connected power of Omnicom to align and drive the integration of AI onto our businesses in the short, medium, and long term – whether for driving efficiencies for our clients, enhancing client capabilities, or broader transformation of industry approaches.”
In such a fast-evolving space, HCG is establishing strong partnerships with industry-leading AI vendors and platforms, collaborations which have enabled HCG to leverage cutting-edge AI technologies to develop innovative solutions for their clients.
So, what powers the success of HCG and its 100+ strong client partnerships?
“The answer lies in 4 simple pillars – innovation, collaboration, people, and vision”, says D’Auria.
Innovation is not a buzzword, but a movement within HCG, which boasts 100+ innovation catalysts across the group and a momentum of initiatives and client partnerships, resulting in two client innovations per week.
This momentum is equally matched by the powerful collaboration and inclusivity of HCG that harnesses the collective power of a great diversity of mindsets.
“Our trust, respect, diversity, and synergies both within and with our clients forge an unbeatable bond of collaboration,” says D’Auria.
But despite the transforming world and its myriad pioneering initiatives and innovations, one foundation stone remains HCG’s bedrock – that is its focus on its people and vision, continually building a people-centric organisation with a steadfast vision to bring clients medicines closer to the patients who need them.