Executive perspectives: Mark Read

Paul Tunnah interviews Mark Read

WPP Digital

At pharmaphorum, we’re constantly striving to speak to different stakeholders in the healthcare space to hear their perspectives on the industry, with previous interviews focussing on digital pharma experts, patients, physicians and the media. However, it’s those at the top of large organisations that often have the best view of the overall landscape and who can provide some very unique strategic insight on the right direction for pharma.

So to launch a new series of interviews with C-level executives, pharmaphorum spoke with Mark Read, CEO of WPP’s digital division and a corporate leader with significant experience in the digital space. During our interview, Mark shared with us his perspectives, from looking across multiple industry sectors, on where digital has come from and where it is now heading. Crucially for pharma, he also highlights some areas where he thinks there are cross-sector lessons to be learned and provides his thoughts on pharma’s digital initiatives as an expert looking from outside the industry.

To listen to the full interview, please click on the play button below, with a shortened transcript of some edited highlights shown in print below.

Quicklinks

0:16 – The biggest changes in the digital landscape over the last five years

1:15 – How digital is most powerful for large corporates

3:17 – Examples of companies who are getting digital right

4:04 – How pharma can learn from others whilst complying with industry regulations

6:15 – Measuring return-on-investment for digital initiatives

8:02 – Quick wins and key digital opportunities for pharma

9:21 –Most significant digital game changers coming up

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About the interviewee:

Mark Read is WPP’s Director of Strategy and CEO of WPP Digital. He has been a member of the Board of WPP since 2006. Mark’s responsibilities include the development of WPP’s strategy, its relationship with key clients and enhancing cooperation across the Group. His primary focus as CEO of WPP Digital is strengthening the Group’s digital capabilities across all WPP’s operating companies and developing its technology capabilities.

WPP Digital encompasses an agency group, including Possible Worldwide, Blue State Digital, iconmobile (49%), and Syzygy (29%) as well as the technology companies, 24/7 Real Media and Fabric. In addition, WPP Digital holds the Group’s investments in leading technology companies including Buddy Media, eCommera, JumpTap, Say Media, Visible World, Wild Tangent.

Mark joined WPP on leaving university in 1989. Prior to rejoining WPP in 2002, he was a Principal at Booz-Allen &amp, Hamilton where he worked in the media and marketing areas. He subsequently founded and developed the company WebRewards in the UK.

He has a degree in Economics from Trinity College, Cambridge University, was a Henry Fellow at Harvard University and has an MBA from INSEAD.

For more information about WPP, please visit www.wpp.com.

What digital advice should pharma be taking from other industries?