Razorfish Health: Everyone’s Good-Looking Older Brother

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This post is part of this week’s theme of “Ones to Watch,” where Pixels & Pills keeps your list of need-to-know names in the industry up to date.

By Kimberly Reyes (@CommDuCoeur)

Razorfish is a monolithic name in digital advertising. Its huge and we mean HUGE. Its precisely 2,000 employees and 19 offices (last we counted) huge. Its 10 Webbys and 3 OMMAs huge. Thats huge.

Hard to believe that this industry giant started in a little apartment office in Alphabet City. Recent news puts Razorfish in the lap of Publicis Groupe, after being sold by Microsoft for a cool $530M. But all the buzz is around Razorfish Health, the media companys big foray into digital healthcare.

Razorfish Health was born on March 1, 2010 exactly a month and a half ago from Razorfish-propers recognition of the demand for specialization from its health and wellness clients. Its leader is Katy Thorban, a company veteran who helped grow Razorfishs health practice to over 50 pharmaceutical, healthcare, and wellness clients, including Aetna, The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, and The Alzheimers Association.

With a focus on digital, Razorfish Health leverages its parent companys strong reputation for technological insight to help brands improve the lives of their customers. And with a few awards under its belt like a Web Award for the Genentech website Razorfish Health is easily the Brad Pitt of healthcare agencies.

But theres a bit of good news for the rest of us: pharma and healthcare companies are really picky shoppers. Theres a lot to consider when choosing a digital design agency, and just like high school, the industrys Prom King might not necessarily be the perfect match.

Sven Larsen provided this list of criteria to MarketingVOX on how to hire a digital agency. We decided to add a few more questions that specifically address Pharma and healthcare companies:

1. What do you know about the digital healthcare/pharma industry?

An agency that is familiar with the environment in which your brand lives is better equipped to design an effective strategy for your brand. They keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry, which in turn will help you stay a step ahead of the competition. For example, Pixels & Pills submitted suggestions to the FDA regarding social media best practices for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.

2. What have you done to help break the industrys digital barriers?

Its a well-known fact that pharmas having a little trouble going digital, but some agencies have been taking the initiative to lead their clients into the future, and you want to be a part of that effort. Pixels & Pills created the Health Tweeder to demonstrate the potential value of Twitter to tracking the dialogue around disease states in real time.

3. What are you doing in the healthcare/pharma space that hasnt been done before?

When Mel Sokotch talked about managing marketing budgets in a recession at the DTC National Conference last week, he advised that when you’re faced with limited funds, the tried-and-true must always be considered along with outside the box; when you want to make a move that counts, the key is innovation. Pixels & Pills has some pretty exciting tricks up our sleeves but youre going to have to wait to find out what they are.

Sure, sometimes its about how long youve been around, and who youve worked for. But we think what you know and what youve done are important, too. What other questions do you think are important to ask when hiring a digital marketing agency?



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