Apr1

Knowledge Management

knowledge is powerIgnoring the fact that Australia is a very long way from the UK and that I have an intense fear of spiders, snakes and sharks, I recently took a trip Down Under.  My Aussie mates (actually mostly British ex-pats but all of whom have developed that distinct accent of turning every statement into a question) persuaded me I was due a visit. Admittedly, I hadn’t needed much convincing, with the reminder that the food is delicious, the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines.

My first few days in Sydney were easily occupied with zipping around the city on the superb ferry network, photographing sharks in the impressive aquarium, and seizing the opportunity to swim in the ocean. Having left behind a rather soggy Britain, it was heavenly to be in the sunshine with flip-flops (or “thongs” to our Australia colleagues) on my feet and no need for a warm coat or an umbrella.

Midway through my trip, I had arranged to visit Ogilvy CommonHealth in Sydney to meet with Muriel Wang. Along with David Chapman, Muriel and I form a global team dedicated to the management of knowledge, called Global Knowledge Management.

What is knowledge management and why is it important? Knowledge is a key asset for any organisation, but in our knowledge-intensive world, it is necessary to be able to cut through the noise. Knowledge management is the process of capturing, organising, sharing and effectively using organisational knowledge.

Obviously the starting point for knowledge is data. Whilst data can be easily stored, knowledge, intelligence, learning and wisdom reside in the heads of people. A sustainable knowledge management strategy creates an organisational memory, reducing the loss of know-how.

The value of knowledge management is better and faster decisions; by tapping into the experience of your colleagues around the world, you can avoid their mistakes, apply their solutions and make the right decision the first time. This is evidenced in our support of new business efforts, and as Muriel explained, “This is particularly relevant in Asia Pac, where products often launch later than in the US and Europe. Being able to learn from the experience of our global colleagues helps us to get a leg up on our competition, so to speak.”

In addition to improved decisions from facilitated access to expertise, knowledge management reduces “reinventing the wheel” and prevents loss of knowledge from changes in organisational structure and staff turnover. Client, brand and therapy experience can easily be forgotten if not documented, and our capture of this data into databases is proving invaluable in responding quickly to internal and external requests.

Knowledge management requires a collaborative culture and a shift from “I know” and “knowledge is owned” to “we know” and “knowledge is shared.” Global Knowledge Management meets regularly to share insights from each of our regions, and taking a brief interlude from my trip to Oz to pop into the Sydney office and meet with Muriel will no doubt enhance our global knowledge management collaboration going forward.

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Nov26

Taking Leadership Lessons From the Queen

queen elizabeth 1I’ve always been intrigued with historical perspective and, in particular, the long-established monarchy that is still firmly entrenched throughout much of Europe. So it was no surprise that I found myself unable to put down the book Elizabeth I CEO: Strategic Lessons From the Leader Who Built an Empire, which chronicles Elizabeth’s long reign and leadership lessons that helped her to win intense loyalty and lead her country to greatness.

Despite being proclaimed the “bastard child” of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn,  she assumed  the throne of England at the age of 25 and reigned for 45 years. As a female leader, I found her approach fascinating, and while the book highlights 136 guiding principles and some great historical examples, here are just a few that stood out:

  • She was confident in herself and not afraid to surround herself with extraordinary advisors—seeking the wisdom and perspective of others.
  • She was of strong intellect, worked tirelessly to build her knowledge, and always armed herself with insights and facts to make clear, unwavering decisions.
  • She had the courage to make decisions and take aggressive actions, accepting full responsibility for them, even when they were unpopular.
  • In order to win over her subjects and the hearts of her people, she leveraged her personal dynamism, and was not afraid to project her humanity.
  • She found that mentoring and effective coaching helped her to accomplish much more than by simply doing it all herself—she was not afraid of empowering her team.
  • She communicated directly and often.
  • She had no issue with being present at the front lines and putting her life at risk with those she led.
  • She acknowledged people, thanking and rewarding those who had done or offered her service.

It’s a fascinating and inspiring look at leadership which is as applicable today as it was in 1558.

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Nov7

Young Execs Within the Marketing World… Shaping Ourselves to be the Future Leaders of Tomorrow

business lady climbing stairsTIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO COPE WHILE LEARNING THE ROPES

Like any new beginning, stepping into a new job as a young professional can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s into a new career in the fast-paced marketing industry.  This is Part 2 of the 8 fundamental steps that I used to help conquer my own scary start…

(Part 2 of 2)

SINK OR SWIM? WHAT TO DO WHEN SUBMERGED IN A TANK OF FASTER SWIMMING FISH

TIP #3: BE PATIENT, YET PROACTIVE—You will only climb the rungs of the corporate ladder as high as you can raise your hand. Don’t be scared to ask questions. Although in this case, fear is the right feeling. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed with the thought of the unknown, especially when first starting out in a new career. The lesson here is to overcome this fear with frequent questioning.

In the beginning, fear will help propel your ability to ask the right questions, demonstrate your wheels are turning behind those blank stares at the conference table and your willingness to not be satisfied with silence. Display the urge to dig deeper into the thought process and even volunteer yourself to try something new.

By volunteering for new tasks that are beyond your regular 9 am–5 pm duties, you’re creating for yourself an opportunity to expand your skills. Offer your time and extra pair of hands to pitch in and get dirty. Find out how you can contribute more to the greater team. You’d be surprised how much you’ll learn when you take the chance to dive in.

Scared to dive in without your swimmies? Just remember, “An expert at anything was once a beginner.”

I THOUGHT YOGA WAS FOR GURUS

TIP #4: FIND YOUR “GO-TO GURUS”—These aren’t just the various experts of the biz (of course you need these too!), these go-to’s are your mentors, your sounding boards, your 5-minute coffee break pals who help you refocus your energy and stay positive so you can finish your day strong.

Speaking of mentors…

TIP #5: FIND A MENTOR AND STICK TO HIM/HER LIKE GLUE—Keep your eyes and ears open while around your mentor, and you’d be surprised how quickly you can pick up the catchphrases of the industry and get the lay of the land around the office.

The best part (although maybe not the favorite for most) of working in an open-cubicle environment is the full exposure you have to everyone around you. This is the easiest way to observe different operational styles. Like any good fashion designer, you observe the trends around you; see what works and what just wouldn’t look good if you tried it on for yourself.

Different People = Different Experiences, which allows you to pick and choose what traits you’d like to adopt and morph into your own as a young professional, thus developing your own unique employee “style.”

Remember when shopping for the good in people: Take the best, leave the rest!

GOING UP?

TIP #6: ELEVATORS CAN BE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS A GOOD RESUME—Spurring a small conversation on the way up to the 4th-floor lobby may be the best way to help you get to know your coworkers, and them to know you. Just by engaging in pleasant chatter, you quickly learn who does what and what areas they can assist with. Although it appears effortless at the time, this task may just be the thing that ends up getting you the answers you need in a pinch later on.

At the very least say hello—it’s just plain polite!

BATTER UP!

TIP #7: GET INVOLVED—Here’s my shameless plug… There’s always room for newbies on the corporate softball team! And what better way to meet people from all areas of the company than with a piece of Big League Chew and friendly camaraderie over the umpire’s last questionable call?

Getting to know your “team” outside of the office can help strengthen your understanding of how they operate best when in the office. It’s not just about building a bond on the field (although, always a plus), it also allows you to observe your teammates’ true personalities and preferences. Once you’re aware of how a member functions at his/her highest level, it provides the answer to the age-old question of how to successfully perform as a team where it matters the most—with your clients.

EASY AS PIE

Last but certainly not least, before considering a path forward to your tomorrow, I urge you to follow TIP #8: EXPLORE ALL CORNERS OF THE EARTH (or in this case, corporation)—In order to operate as a true team player, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of your company first. Use your x-ray goggles to really gain a fundamental understanding of all departments, their specific roles and how they fit into the overall “corporate pie.”

After all, how is a team supposed to win a game with players who don’t even know each other’s names or positions on the field? (It’s tough!)

The good news is unlike on the softball field, with a well integrated business team, it is possible at the end of the day to have more than one winner: You, Your Team and Your Employer. I’m a firm believer of the saying: “Individual talent can win games, but TEAMWORK wins championships.”

In closing, do the legwork! Use these steps to set yourself up for success and leap with confidence. Look to your teammates and mentors for help along the way to reach new heights and refine your goals, but don’t sit back and let others pave the way for you.

Remember, this is YOUR future; Pack your own parachute!

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Oct23

OCHWW’s 2nd Annual Partnership Summit

analytics thumbnail imageMy team, the Marketing Analytics & Consulting team, recently had our 2nd Annual Partnership Summit at the Chocolate Factory on October 10th. The New York office was buzzing as internal teams from OCHWW, greater Ogilvy & Mather, and clients roamed the halls eating, drinking wine, listening to presentations and meeting with various vendors. It was a wonderful turnout of around 200 total people who all found their way to try and win the door prize of the day, a Google Chromebook. A great and successful event, but also got me thinking. We had 10 total outside vendor partners at our event, in our building, trying to “sell” to our clients and teams. We trust them to sell their services and also not say anything wrong that would deter a plan or strategy from happening.

We were 100% covered for the day as each one of the vendors that attended has an agreement and is an OCHWW-approved vendor, but how many times do we invite vendors to our building, our office, our conference room, or our desks to talk to us, our clients, and our teams without a partnership agreement? What are our expectations? How do we partner with them?

Vendor partnerships have a lot of similarities to dating. They often start out with high expectations and aspirations and a common vision, and can end up in screaming matches over money and ex’s! But there is a way to avoid many of the stresses of a vendor relationship break-up – always have a partnership agreement. Think of it like a pre-nup where you and your partners agree upfront about the reason for your relationship and what will happen if either of you disagree or decide the relationship should end.

Having a partnership agreement in place is essential from the very beginning. Don’t leave these matters to chance or ignore it just because there are no problems at a point in time. You never know what is around the corner.

More than any other reason to have a partnership agreement is liability. If there’s no written agreement outlining specific arrangements, all partners are legally equally responsible for decisions made on behalf of the business, and must share profits and cover losses equally.

While every partnership agreement will be different, depending on the nature of the business, there are certain issues they usually cover, including:

  • How much money each partner brings into the partnership
  • What the different roles and responsibilities of each are
  • How disagreements are solved
  • What is to happen if a partner wants out
  • What guarantees will departing partners be permitted to have

Make breaking up easier to do. While a partnership agreement won’t cover you against all eventualities, it will go a long way to saving you time and money in the case of a disagreement or split.

All vendor partnerships are different. Sometimes we’re all friends but still have a clear agreement put together upfront.  It’s worth spending the time and money.

Our Partnership Summit was successful in educating everyone who joined on different services that external partners provide. But without the peace of mind of a partner agreement, the event would have been very stressful.

 

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Sep17

Blended Learning in Medical Education: Five Top Tips

Leigh van Wyk thumbnailAs we move into an age where “digital by default” becomes the maxim we live and work by, how do we ensure that we continue to deliver successful medical education programmes that not only meet the business needs of our clients but also the learning needs of the end-user?

The digital age is bringing about a shift in learning theory and practices. Learning is becoming more flexible, less formal and available on demand. At the same time, technology is driving change in the Medical Education industry. The expectations of both our clients and end-users are changing. Pharma clients want far-reaching educational programmes delivered on slimmer budgets. End-users want personalised learning delivered in the moment.

At Ogilvy Healthworld Med Ed, we are utilising the latest blended learning principles to design outcomes-based educational programmes that offer a mix of online digital and mobile self-paced learning and social learning to suit learning requirements.

Five tips to deliver simple, focused and blended learning:

1. Mind the gap

Do your homework and ensure both the client’s business needs and the end-user’s knowledge gap are fully understood (remember they might not be the same!). Ask yourself, what do end-users already know and what do they need to know?

2. Determine your metrics

Think about what a successful blended learning programme will look like and decide what metrics you would like to measure when the project is initiated. Data starts the conversation about effectiveness, so the more information captured regarding uptake, usability, content and functionality the more we can understand how the programme can be improved upon and how it should evolve

3. The evolving end-user experience

By focusing on the evolving learning needs of the end-user, we move away from a product-focused approach to a user-centric approach. Understand your end-user—how they learn, how they behave, what they want from a learning programme.

4. Personalise the learning experience

Blended learning is flexible and recognises that as individuals we all like to learn in different ways. Programmes should be designed to include audio, text and visual content to ensure that all learning styles are addressed and the user remains engaged.

5. When it comes to learning, less is more

When it comes to developing content for online learning, less is more. Unnecessary text and fancy interactivity for the sake of it overloads memory, detracting from comprehension. In traditional self-directed eLearning courses, simple techniques such as chunking information, bullet points and key messages can aid retention. Visually rich and engaging eLearning courses can be supplemented by resources such as slide compendiums or clinical papers to ensure the end-user can access all the information they need to support their learning.

As the digital age closes in, isn’t it time to move beyond traditional educational programmes and embrace the learning theory and technology that will allow us to deliver effective blended learning? Isn’t it time to evolve?

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Sep4

When Home Changes While You’re Away

Diane Iler Smith ThumbnailI Move Out, Big TV Moves In 

While I was away at college during my freshman year, my parents started spending more money around the house. I’m not sure if there was any correlation between my moving out and the increase in spending, but I did have a voracious appetite as a teenager. One of my parents’ first purchases was a huge projection screen TV to replace the much smaller set we had for over 10 years. When I called home, my youngest sister would go on and on about it. “It’s like having a movie theater at home, it’s sooo cool!” I thought to myself,  “Why didn’t Mom and Dad upgrade the TV last year while I was home? Damn.” I was envious, curious and a bit homesick.

I Move Out, Ogilvy Moves In  

A little over 4 years ago, I left CommonHealth after working there for much of my adult life to join an agency in the big city. While I was away, a lot of changes happened to my work home. An exciting merger with Ogilvy, an expanded footprint, including an office in NYC, Fusion, and on and on. Over the last few years, I heard about many of these changes from my two sisters, who both work at Ogilvy CommonHealth. They would talk about meetings at this magical-sounding place called the Chocolate Factory. “Hey, wait a minute, chocolate, I love chocolate!” It all sounded very exciting. I remember having that feeling that I had as a freshman, hearing about all the upgrades Mom and Dad were making to the house. Envious, curious, and a bit homesick.

Welcome Home, Welcome Change

Well, I’ve been back at Ogilvy CommonHealth for about 6 weeks, and the Chocolate Factory is indeed a very exciting place to be. The diversity of talent and brands here are exhilarating, especially from a creative perspective. There are planners and business analysts, PR people and medical media mavens, digital dynamos and consumer pros, all in one building. It’s like working with the advertising Dream Team, every day. My work home changed a lot while I was away. It’s bigger and better and it’s great to be back.

Oh, and yes, the picture on the projection screen was awesome, but nothing like the view from the window of the Chocolate Factory.

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Aug7

Intro to Ogilvy: The Journey Comes to a Close

Cole Thumbnail Why would you work for Ogilvy CommonHealth?

The internship is coming to a close and in my final few weeks I’m beginning to sort through some things that I have enjoyed. There is getting to meet individuals from all different professional and personal backgrounds. The Starbucks coffee machine downstairs—and if it’s a really good day, being able to make it to the “real” Starbucks nearby. There is hearing good news from a client regarding a project your team has put a lot of hours into. And much more. But I would have to say, out of everything I’ve seen this summer, my favorite part of working for Ogilvy CommonHealth is changing people’s lives. Everyone here does it too. Let me explain.

I’m a marketing intern, not a doctor. How could I possibly be changing lives?

I once had this idea that the only way to make a difference in the health world was to be the first point of contact with patients. I had to be a doctor. So I signed up for an education in science and checked all the boxes to get me closer to that goal. What I started realizing, the further I traveled down that path, wasn’t that I wanted to be a doctor, but instead that I just wanted to help people. Well, there was that—and also organic chemistry. Thus my search to help people through a different occupation began.

This summer opened my eyes to yet another avenue to help others. This avenue is sometimes not recognized as directly. And if done well, this avenue can effectively change people’s behavior without them knowing and being able to acknowledge it. I’m referring to contributing to a team that effectively communicates healthcare and thus accomplishes a worthwhile goal of improving the health and well-being of others.

As an advertising agency, we build awareness of what therapies patients can seek out, and what drugs may be dangerous to them. We update healthcare providers on safety, efficacy, availability, and innovative ways for using a drug or therapy. We educate the physician and patient world on what therapies will help specifically match a patient’s individual needs. We build websites to host support networks. We help grow communities in which patients can voice opinions and seek advice. Healthcare communication matters, and regardless of your position or department within OCH, your part is integral to making this all happen.

It all starts with great talent.

In addition to helping people, I enjoyed learning about how every piece to the puzzle fits in so perfectly to create art. This observation is best summed up by our very own Matt Giegerich: “Only through great talent—spirited, collaborative, supportive and supported talent—can truly great work be produced.” Sitting in on creative developments, routing job bags with minor copy tweaks, digitalizing notes from editing, staring down at finance reports, and seeing things come to life both digitally and in studio, I am witnessing synergy. I have had the pleasure of observing people combine what they truly like to do, and apply that talent toward a worthwhile cause.

One of my favorite marketing quotes is, “Success is making those who believed in you look brilliant.” Through winning a pitch, it is your client who believed in you. However, you must not lose sight of another group that believes in you, and another form of success. That group is the patients, and that success is knowing that when you walked into the office today, you helped change someone’s life. No matter how small you may consider your contribution (such as in the case of an intern), you are contributing to this cause.

All good things must come to an end.

Having experienced life at an agency firsthand now, I have grown to appreciate the vast amounts of work and talent that go into advertising. I will continue to appreciate my favorite commercials, and campaigns that make me laugh and smile regardless of the amount of times I’ve viewed them. However, leaving the agency this summer, I’ll have an even fonder image of the impact of effectively communicating healthcare, and especially the difference-makers who make it all possible here at OCH.

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Aug6

Instances of Passion at OCHWW (And Why They Are So Important)

Kristine thumbnailPassion.

As a career-obsessed, 20-year-old Penn State student, I have a lot of it.

However, it wasn’t until I was given the opportunity to intern here, at Ogilvy CommonHealth, that I truly understand the power of that passion and how it can significantly impact a company and all its products. I believe—and so should you—that the passion each and every Ogilvy employee has is the foundation to the success of this company. And I can tell you, in my six weeks so far here, there is no short of it.

However, sometimes, in the day-to-day drab, it is easy to ditch that passion you feel for your career, throw up your arms and say, “I give up!” So, I believe sharing with you some of the admittedly unconventional, but surprising and refreshing experiences I have had here, will reinforce your belief in all that extra effort you put into your work.

 Example 1: The One Word War

During my very first week here, I was invited to sit in on a meeting. It included account and creative staff members and the client (on the phone). The meeting was to discuss messaging and concepting. It began smoothly, steadily going page by page through some work that had already been established.

But then, the forward progress hit a stopping point. This point was at one word, in a seemingly random sentence, on the page: specifically, it was the adjective “powerful.”

One person voiced their opinion—a belief that the word should be changed to “best,” and then—wham! A monsoon of debate and arguing ensued before my eyes. It didn’t matter who the person was or what position they held; if they were in that room, they had an opinion and they made sure everyone heard it.

Unknowingly to me, this word held the future of the campaign in its hands. From what images would be used to what the booths would look like to what feeling the word would make someone feel; each word took on an enormous persona. For the rest of the allotted time and then some, this debate continued on! No one would give in or come to a consensus. This adjective had to be perfect to each person in the room and no one would stop until that was certain.

And I have to tell you it was incredible to watch! In fact, it was probably the best thing I could have witnessed in my first week because after that I knew that if I did not want to strive for perfection in every detail of my work, I would not be successful in this business.

And what was even more astounding—later that afternoon, I found two of the debaters sitting together STILL fighting over which word is better.

…I’m still not so sure if there ever was a winner.

 Example 2: The Pitch

When you work in Creative, you always have to be ready to sell your ideas…and sell them well. Even if it is a beautiful summer Friday afternoon and there is a creative team regroup…and your boss decides to attend; if you want your work to make it, you always have to be ready.

Sitting in this meeting, I was—admittedly—already daydreaming about the weekend, assuming everyone else in the room had a similar mindset. Meanwhile, each art director, with his or her copywriter partner, stood up and explained their concepts. Critiques were made, compliments were paid, and on the meeting went.

Then up came a controversial concept, one that no one could agree whether or not it had what it took to move on. It was at this point, where it was so easy to just throw it aside or just let it fall, where things became awesome.

The art director who came up with the concept stood up and, with every explicit word he could think of and combine together, spoke feverishly to his idea. With every word, I swear, I could feel his love and excitement for this idea and I think everyone else in the room did also.

These are the moments, I have come learn, that can drive potential to unheard of heights. It would have been so easy for that team member to sit back and let the others kill his idea. Although it was one of many, he stood by each one like he would never get this chance again.

 So, what’s the takeaway here?

Well, I believe that these little instances are perfect examples of why your passion is needed and appreciated in this industry.  Whether it’s a full-blown war over an adjective or a heartfelt speech on the possibility of an idea moving closer to being selected, there is never an inappropriate time to have passion for the work.

And, in fact, there should never be a moment that you are caught without it.

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Jul10

Intro to Ogilvy: An Intern’s Adventure

cole thumbnailSummer: Preparing for the Journey

June rolls around and it is in your nature to assume the road ahead will be full of the outdoors, fun destinations, social gatherings with friends, and personal productivity to accomplish those important goals that seem to be neglected throughout the school year—such as finishing three seasons of Game of Thrones in one week. It is the summer. It is time to kick back, relax, and enjoy your well-earned break. But you’re going into your last year of college now, and the reality is that your prior expectation of what June, and summer, usually entails, has changed. And all for the better.

I’d like to share the adventure, mystery, and beginning of a journey. This journey surely will not be the summer I’ve grown comfortable with, but most definitely will become the summer that any eager college student could hope for. This will be a journey not filled with frequent trips down the Garden State Parkway to the beach, but instead frequent trips down 287 and 80 to Morris Corporate Centers. A journey where trips to “The Pool” and going out to “Sushi” now means I have a meeting scheduled, and not a watery oasis or a fine dinner ahead of me. A journey no longer filled with intently researching which new concerts are coming up, but instead intently researching which new birth control products have launched new banner ads on WebMD. Yup, this summer will be different. But it’s a welcome change, because we didn’t spend the last two semesters working to earn a break; we spent the last two semesters working to earn an internship.

This two-part series will be the truth of my experience of an Uncommon Internship here at OCH.

Week One: The Journey Begins

As we drove back toward the Morris Corporate Centers, orientation had finished. Time to meet our mentors. We all stood around in the lobby quietly, and one by one our mentors would enter the lobby, call out a name, and just as all of us interns had been brought together, we were pulled right back apart. I felt like we were in a sports draft and the order in which we were called had some odd correlation to the amount of interest our mentor had in having us for the summer. Because I was probably the only intern crazy enough to worry about such things, naturally I was called last.

Boy, was I wrong. My mentor came up and greeted me and somehow managed to gather back my excitement, reassure me that my summer was in good hands, and convey that what help we could provide was greatly welcomed and needed. So sparing you the details about my thoughts surrounding having my own cubicle, a work phone with my name already programmed into it, and all the other simple touches that excite an intern, I’ll continue on with a valuable lesson I learned that day.

Lesson 1: Taking Marketing Classes Doesn’t Mean You Know Marketing

As I sat down and read my first DO Brief, my knowledge of marketing seemed to continuously shrink. It wasn’t that I couldn’t understand the brief in front of me, it was that I couldn’t comprehend how it got in front of me. How many minds and hands have touched this—how many hours? In looking up and seeing a product sample on my desk, the enigma grew to include how that very same brief led to the creation of that product—its message, its flavor, and its brand. It is not that I did not learn anything in my marketing classes—in fact, I would like to think I paid attention. The missing knowledge most certainly could be best explained by the fact that I was taking Intro to Marketing, and not Intro to Ogilvy. My class didn’t explain how innovation truly seemed to make every marketing entity unique. It is the “innovate or die” mentality that probably pressures each marketing firm to be unique, and is most likely the reason that there are some intangibles about marketing that no class can teach you. Only experience can show you. It is Fusion, it is many meetings in oddly named rooms (like The Pool and Sushi), and in general it is effective communication and interconnectivity in a community with a common goal in mind. It’s the uncommon way in which OCHWW creatively executes service and markets for “The Life of the Brand.”

It was once said, “Marketing isn’t magic. There is a science to it.” I may have learned a little bit of the science behind marketing through my lecture halls and textbooks; I do not deny it exists. However, I’m going to have to disagree with the preceding quote and state that the magic behind marketing also exists, and it can sometimes only be viewed through the lens of a community member—an employee, or even an intern.

In the next part of this series, I’ll share more lessons I have learned as this journey continues.

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Jun5

Falling Into Planning and Landing in Medical School

Would you ever think that a career in planning could end with medical school? Well now you know it can!Doctors_thumbnail

I started working at Ogilvy Heatlhworld as a Science and Research Specialist within the Planning Department approximately four and a half years ago, right after completing my Masters of Public Health degree from Columbia University. One quick email of my resume to a craigslist post, and two weeks later I was working at Ogilvy Heatlhworld.

At the time, I worked with two other research specialists, one a scientist and the other a medical doctor. Our main function was to work with the planners who worked on healthcare accounts to provide scientific and strategic guidance that helped our clients achieve their business goals.

Over the four and a half years, it has been a very rewarding experience. I have worked on accounts across several therapeutic categories, including:

  • Depression
  • AD/HD
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Postmenopausal osteoporosis
  • Menopause
  • Nosocomial pneumonia
  • Complicated skin and soft tissue infections
  • Transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Immuno-oncology
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia

One of the remarkable aspects of my trajectory at Ogilvy Heatlhworld was that I stumbled into advertising and planning as a career. However, over the past four and a half years I was able to learn about how to gather insights and translate them into best-in-class marketing strategy that has successfully created excellent creative that has transformed our clients’ business. One of the biggest challenges I had as a planner was taking the science and transforming it into something conceptual that helped the creatives develop campaigns across these therapeutic areas. Ultimately I have decided that, like fine wine, planning is just something you get better at with time. Today I can now say I see science differently.

My career plans were to eventually matriculate into medical school. It is with great pleasure, but sadness at the same time, that I share that I will be leaving Ogilvy Heatlhworld this year to attend medical school. My years of listening to patients in market research will definitely help me to be a much keener physician who will take a more holistic approach to treating my patients. But in retrospect, as I look back at my time at Ogilvy Heatlhworld, my experience as a science and research specialist has definitely equipped me with the right skills to become a key opinion leader (KOL) in the future. Outside of the obvious—that is, learning and understanding scientific content at record-breaking speed and simplifying it to a third-grade level—I am now able to:

  • Relearn how to pull an all-nighter to get the job done
  • Critically review fair balance for potential adverse events
  • Think of objections to challenge sales rep when they attempt to detail me about a product
  • To say declaratively…I know Ogilvy Heatlhworld did not produce that creative

Finally, without my experience as a planner, I would not have received my acceptance to medical school. It certainly provided me with great conversation points to discuss during my medical school interviews, which ultimately made my interviews stand out amongst other candidates. For that, I am grateful to Ogilvy Heatlhworld.

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