BBK Hones Healthcare Focus With New Name and Divisions

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BBK Communications has changed its name to BBK Healthcare Inc. and has opened two new divisions to better position itself as a communications and direct marketing agency targeting the healthcare industry.

The new divisions are BBK Patient Recruitment -- which will focus on clinical trial patient recruitment -- and BBK Brand Ingenuity.

"We believe there's no such thing as a healthcare consumer," said Joan F. Bachenheimer, director of creative strategies/CEO at BBK. "In our mind, consumers shop, patients make decisions. When you understand that, you can specifically develop more hard-hitting direct response programs for people who are making healthcare decisions."

BBK, Newton, MA, last year posted capitalized billings of $18.9 million. Billings this year are projected to reach $35 million. It offers advertising and public relations for all phases of a product's life cycle in addition to direct marketing. This includes recruitment and clinical research studies as well as product approval, launch and promotion of mature lines.

BBK Patient Recruitment will seek business for clinical trial promotions, which is a $600 million market that is largely controlled by clinical research organizations lacking marketing savvy, according to the agency.

"This division will create direct response programs for patients to participate in," Bachenheimer said.

Patient recruitment also includes customer relationship management and information services as well as targeting hospital chains, online healthcare marketers and physicians' practices.

BBK often enters into a risk-sharing relationship with many clients. The shop guarantees results. For example, it will deliver a certain number of patients who will participate in a round of invasive tests, within the budget allotted and by a particular date.

Clients of BBK Patient Recruitment include the Boston Public Health Commission, Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and Temple University.

BBK Brand Ingenuity primarily conducts outreach to physicians and insurance companies. It uses direct marketing as well as online and offline advertising, PR and special events.

BBK Brand Ingenuity's clients include Amicas Inc., CareScout, Davol and Jordan Hospital, Plymouth, MA.

"Healthcare is very different from other branding challenges," Bachenheimer said. "There are so many audiences that affect the decisions. It isn't like buying a car.

"In order to make the ultimate product or service decision, many audiences are involved and exert a great deal of impact, including physicians, family members, regulatory bodies and managed care and insurance companies," she said.
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