Omnicom Health Group taps tech and data veteran as new chief digital officer

Omnicom Health Group hired a data- and tech-experienced exec as newest chief digital officer. (Alpha Stock Images)

Omnicom Health Group’s new chief digital officer comes armed with extensive data, digital and tech experience.

Tom Edwards joined the agency group this week from gaming marketing agency Tripleclix, where he was chief marketing officer, and before that served as chief digital and innovation officer at the data-driven marketing company Epsilon, bought by Publicis Groupe in 2019. Edwards also worked at Omnicom’s The Marketing Arm as executive VP of strategy and innovation.

Edwards joins the pharma and healthcare group at a pivotal point in the industry’s digital transformation forged through the pandemic.

As physicians and hospitals closed their doors for shutdowns and safety restrictions, pharma field sales teams scrambled to connect with healthcare providers through virtual means. The use of digital tools from virtual conferences and KOL training to social media and email connections surged in 2020.

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Industry insiders and observers believe many of the new digital communication strategies—and virtual connections—will continue even post-pandemic.

“We’ve already seen a transformation, but I think it will become more intentional as we move forward,” Omnicom Health Group CEO Ed Wise said. “It was by necessity, but now it will become a matter of optimization and using data and content management to reach those physicians.”

He added, “It’s almost a transformation of the sales rep from personal delivery of information to hyperlocal brand manager.”

In that transformation, data and analytics will play key roles—cue tech expert Edwards. His goal is not only to expand and optimize Omnicom’s current offerings, working across the 15 companies under its umbrella but also look to future changes and opportunities.

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“Modalities are shifting,” Edwards said. “We’re moving beyond desktop and mobile, and getting into voice and touch—our environment adapting to us versus us adapting to it. As all of this is happening and shifting, we have the acceleration of the patient experience to digital.”

Edwards steps into the role vacated by Jo Ann Saitta in December. Saitta joined W2O Group as its global chief digital officer in January.