Healthcare ad agencies of the future? Klick Health says disruption needed

Lori Grant

Data makes the modern marketing world go round. But what does that mean for advertising agencies that tend to specialize in creative executions and big ideas? Whether broken, dead or just evolving, the traditional ad agency model just doesn’t work anymore. And that goes for healthcare agencies too.

Independent digital health agency Klick Health thinks it’s got the jump on the competition, having worked to create its own model ad agency of the future for years. 

“In our space over the last 20 years, there has been very little adaptation towards use of new techniques or technologies adapting the agency service model,” said Klick’s chief growth officer, Doug Burcin. “ … At Klick, we want to change the game. … We’ve created a different model with the ability to create brands using data.”


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The 19-year-old agency, based in Toronto, officially opens its New York office today, led there by president Lori Grant. 

Advertising Age outlined the “ad agency of the future”  in a recent article, as a one-stop shop that manages a client’s marketing and advertising across devices and platforms, and excels at technology, data, creative and media buying integration. The article poses the question of who will be that one-stop partner: traditional agency holding company, consultant, media owner, giant e-tailer, mobile phone carrier or a marketing services specialist that doesn’t exist today?

Burcin said the new competitive set for agencies today are not traditional creative shops, but rather technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple, which have the strategy, data and analytics that clients now demand. That’s where Klick’s data expertise is important, Grant said, especially in healthcare, because it needs built-in security, privacy, and HIPPA compliance from the start “as opposed to something that’s just being bolted on later.”

Klick clients agree digital and data expertise is a plus for them.

Ron Cohen, CEO of Acorda Therapeutics said, "Klick has mastered advanced digital platforms and tools, the special needs of the healthcare industry and the essentials of communication. Better yet, we've found that they are not only comfortable with, but actively foster, collaboration with our own internal digital and creative teams, combining the best of both.” 

- read the Ad Age article

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