Merkle creates healthcare practice

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In response to an increasing shift toward direct consumer relationships in the pharmaceutical marketplace, Merkle has decided to formally create a healthcare practice after years of working with healthcare and pharmaceutical clients.

“Merkle formed the business group to accommodate the growing interest among pharmaceutical firms in implementing targeted, analytically led marketing programs that deliver quantitative return on investment and measurable results,” said David Williams, president and CEO at Merkle, in a statement.

The focus of the practice will be providing data-driven marketing strategy and integrated communications to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.

Heading up the new healthcare practice as VP and client team leader is Jeff Wiltrout, who joins Merkle from GlaxoSmithKline, where he served as director, integrated marketing and media services. There, Wiltrout managed a team of account managers providing strategic and tactical CRM, Internet and emerging media marketing support to more than a dozen of the company's brands.

“Pharmaceutical firms are experiencing a shifting dynamic that is creating new challenges in how they must market their products to both consumers and physicians to achieve the desired return on their marketing investment,” Wiltrout said in a statement.
“While mass advertising and in-person meetings with physicians were once effective marketing approaches, pharmaceutical companies are finding that these methods are not providing the same results that they once did just a few years ago," he said. "The new realities of pharmaceutical marketing translate into complex, unique challenges requiring specialized expertise and vision for success.”

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