The Pharma Report: Klick Health

Creativity and innovation with a unique approach
Named one of the best workplaces by AdAge, Fast Company and others, Klicksters collaborate across disciplines from creative to project management.

Named one of the best workplaces by AdAge, Fast Company and others, Klicksters collaborate across disciplines from creative to project management.

Many agencies talk about innovating beyond the traditional boundaries of marketing as a new way of doing business. Toronto-based Klick Health, however, has been doing that for years. Because of its unique approach to helping life sciences companies from pre-commercialization through launch of their life-saving therapies, the 22-year-old company has made innovation an everyday affair.

Make no mistake: as a marketing agency it produces head-turning creative that wins international acclaim. In 2018, for example, two of the company’s campaigns won prestigious Cannes Lions Health awards. The first was the educational “Lighter Blue” social media campaign for Takeda that raised awareness about Major Depressive Disorder. The second was Novartis’s unbranded “The Wrestler,” a direct-to-consumer campaign that raised awareness about carcinoid syndrome.

Collecting over 20 years of know-how, Klick’s new 230-page Adaptive Brand Playbook is filled with research and insights to help healthcare marketers build, activate and modernize their brands.

Collecting over 20 years of know-how, Klick’s new 230-page Adaptive Brand Playbook is filled with research and insights to help healthcare marketers build, activate and modernize their brands.

The company is experiencing double-digit growth, reaching nearly 800 full-time staff thanks to its people-centric culture, pure-play focus on life sciences and ability to adapt healthcare brands at multiple points throughout their life cycle. That award-winning creative is backed by strategy, innovation and a vast number of subject matter experts who can bring big ideas to the table upstream of the marketing department.

According to Lori Grant, Klick Health’s president, Klick is much more than an agency. “We are a commercialization company,” she says.

As an example, Grant points to Circulation, a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) firm Klick co-founded in 2016 to help get more patients and clinical trial participants to their appointments. Klick Health helped build the privacy- and security- compliant (HIPAA) platform that allows healthcare facilities to arrange rides through ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft — billing those rides through insurance providers when needed.

Novartis’ little wrestler earned a Cannes Lions Health award by dramatizing the symptoms of a carcinoid syndrome sufferer to raise awareness of the condition.

Novartis’ little wrestler earned a Cannes Lions Health award by dramatizing the symptoms of a carcinoid syndrome sufferer to raise awareness of the condition.

The company may have crossed your radar last year when it was acquired by LogistiCare. By that time, Circulation’s rides had covered more than a million miles in service of 3,000 facilities across 46 states.

Where a traditional pharma agency may address problems with marketing solutions, “our heritage is as a tech company, building infrastructure,” says Grant. “So as we brought on marketing services, we looked at it through data and outcomes.” Klick is able to examine market and consumer data, then ideate, experiment and invest in a solution regardless of the disciplines involved.

“Our clients’ industries are changing,” Grant told strategy. “Our job is to solve problems, regardless of whether that client is in the pharma space, the biological sciences, hospital systems or anyone touching life sciences in any way.”

Klick Health worked with Boston Children’s Hospital to develop HealthVoyager, a bespoke VR platform to help patients visualize and understand their medical conditions and treatments.

Klick Health worked with Boston Children’s Hospital to develop HealthVoyager, a bespoke VR platform to help patients visualize and understand their medical conditions and treatments.

Adding to this solution-focused approach is Klick Labs, the innovation division founded in 2013 that gets involved in products from inception to market launch. Its mix of coders, inventors, data scientists and marketers develop new ideas for tackling products beyond the realm of PSA campaigns.

For example, it created the SymPulse Tele-Empathy Device, which precisely replicates a Parkinson’s patient’s tremors in real time through a muscle stimulation device worn by doctors and caregivers. SymPulse (currently in the proof-of-concept stage) was designed to give medical professionals a “booster shot of empathy” and a better sense of what their patients go through.

Similarly, Klick Labs developed HealthVoyager with Boston Children’s Hospital — an education and experience platform that lets patients visualize their medical conditions through virtual reality and helps them understand their treatment.

“Lighter Blue” was a Cannes-winning social campaign that explained symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder and illustrated coping strategies with a touch of humour.

“Lighter Blue” was a Cannes-winning social campaign that explained symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder and illustrated coping strategies with a touch of humour.

Supporting all of this is Klick Health’s growing team of passionate “Klicksters,” whom the company continually seeks to empower to maintain its culture of innovation (which seems to be working since Fast Company named the firm one of the 50 Best Workplaces for Innovators in 2019).

Employee engagement is a paramount priority to Grant and her leadership team. She says interviewing or “casting” for a team is “investing in that team’s future.“We want to know who you are as a person and as a professional when we interview you,” she says. “We want to know what you want out of your career. We take our time getting to know you, and then marry what you want to do with the role we have.”

It’s part of Klick Health’s goal to become “a centre of gravity” for the industry’s most brilliant minds, Grant says. “A client can sense passion. So if you have happy teams, you have happy clients.”

CONTACT:

Alec Melkonian

Senior VP, Sales & Client Services

am@klick.com