Home CompaniesB2B EngagedMedia | Triple-Strength Medicine for Pharmaceutical Marketing

EngagedMedia | Triple-Strength Medicine for Pharmaceutical Marketing

by Kristyn Back

EngagedMedia, a patented technology platform engaging healthcare clients directly with their customers (like helping patients fill their prescriptions on time), started calling Atlanta Tech Village home earlier this year and growing with the startup tide. EngagedMedia has come a long way from their bright idea and grotty PowerPoint presentation, now seeing triple-digit growth and providing marketing mastery for the likes of Crestor, Lipitor, and even Viagra. We recently caught up with SVP Operations & Client Services Hoss Sooudi to get the scoop on how EngagedMedia has become the go-to vendor for pharmaceutical drug manufacturers – and improve health outcomes for patients along the way.

Tell us about EngagedMedia:

We currently serve multiple clients, from new companies bringing their first Rx product to market, to the largest pharmaceutical drug manufacturers in the world. We administer our programs on behalf of our clients, and many of our largest clients are household names to the average consumer, such as Viagra, Crestor, Lipitor, and others. The experience and knowledge of our cumulative team is matched by no other, and having a staff of MVPs allows us to stay lean while maximizing productivity and profitability. Our clients are among the best and brightest in the industry, and they depend on us to help differentiate their brands in the most regulated and competitive industry on the planet.

We have also been a benefactor of great local talent: CIE Creative (a small agency in Midtown) has played a major part in the marketing and creative distinction of EM & our clients, as well as Elev8 (tech staffing firm at ATV) who helped us bring the right people onto our team right when we needed them. Although we have been in existence for a number of years, our record growth in the last two years can be directly correlated to the key contributors on our team who continue to distinguish EngagedMedia as the go-to company for innovative technology and marketing experience.

As the only primary member still involved with EngagedMedia, can you tell me about the original founders?

Originally, there were three of us involved that I would describe as a tech genius, an industry veteran, and a jack of all trades. Now a much larger team than when we first started, the original tech partner is no longer involved, Jim Smeeding (an industry veteran) maintains a seat on the board, and I’m still handling all aspects of the business. We are entirely privately owned, and while I manage our day-to-day business from ATL, our current board members are all remote and consist of partners who are involved in the overall guidance of the company. Members of our board have primary experience from pharmaceutical manufacturer sales & finance (Joe Farkas & Peter Wolfe, respectively), patient health services & managed care (Jim Smeeding), healthcare IT (Faisal Saeed), healthcare law (Allen Langjahr), and general rebate/coupon businesses (Sam Garvin). You can find out more about us hereengaged_media

How’d you get the idea for EngagedMedia?

Based on our founding members’ deep understanding of electronic pharmacy claim data and patient engagement, we started with and eventually patented our technology that fuses pharmacy coupon transactions with digital messaging. From there, we expanded our proprietary technologies to include multiple methods of patient engagement via digital means, primarily via text messaging and copay cards. We called this the EngagedPatient platform. We then built a suite of services on top of this platform designed to help patients be more adherent and compliant on prescription therapies while also providing a previously unseen level of convenience and intelligence in service to patients, with measurable returns for our clients. Over the years and after working with over 40 different brands, we have honed our services to provide solutions with the greatest ROI to our clients, while at the same time, improving patients health outcomes.

Do you have any competitors and how do you stand out?

While the pharmaceutical marketing industry involves a number of moving parts and commoditized pharma services, we have no direct competitors. Ours is a niche business that not only relies upon unique experience with the services that we offer and the breadth of knowledge they require but also on our intellectual property portfolio, which consists of 3 issued patents and several others pending. We are the only company that can offer dynamic, digital messaging directly to patients based on pharmacy events and individual patient Rx information.

There are very few people in pharma that possess the understanding and experience necessary to navigate this particular vertical, as it relies on a mastery of HIPAA/HITECH compliance, mobile messaging standards, pharmacy transaction processes, and pharmaceutical marketing to name a few of the major components. I think most new entrants to a market like this would be reluctant to attempt something with as many moving parts as our business, without having a good idea that it would work – however we had the good fortune of both timing and vision in order to pave a new path where there previously was none.

What problem are you solving?

Our client brands depend on their products to be accessible to patients and for those patients to be adherent and compliant to their prescribed therapy. Too often, patients are left uncertain or confused about their prescription medications as well as the costs and usually fail to be fully adherent or compliant. Through our patented EngagedPatient programs and services, we allow brands to harness the power of digital technology to communicate directly with patients, assisting individuals as personally as possible, in a manner that works for them. Put simply, EP programs are one of the very few examples of a true WIN-WIN scenario in healthcare – where a brand’s bottom line improves as their patients’ health outcomes improve.

Please describe the market/industry impact:

Until recently, patients were not the center of the pharmaceutical marketing programs and initiatives. There has been a growing emphasis on DTC marketing for pharma brands over the last decade, where patients are encouraged to take a larger role in their prescription therapy. Our EngagedPatient platform and the services made possible by its technology not only allow patients to be better informed about their prescriptions and what goes on at the pharmacy but also puts individual patients in better control of their own health decisions. Our first-to-market technologies provide our clients with the ability to actually move the needle with a marketing program, which historically has proven to be as difficult as spotting a unicorn. The combination of unique services, measurable returns, and widespread patient adoption has created a groundswell of interest in EM and its services and has changed the way brand managers assess the viability of CRM, adherence, and patient engagement tools in pharma.

How does ATL weave into your story?

I grew up in Dunwoody and have lived in Atlanta since college. I went to elementary school, middle school, and high school all within a 4-mile radius. I’ve always held an appreciation for the city and its surrounding areas that helped shape me. In the same vein, the first group of people I brought into the company were based on the relationships I already had – which centered on those that I’d known for quite some time, many of whom were still local to the Atlanta area. As we have expanded and sometimes contracted our core staff, the heart of the organization has always remained here in ATL. Thus, it was only natural for us to have our physical presence located where the vital components of our company already flourished.

Furthermore, Atlanta has more recently served as a hotbed for emerging tech companies along with a burgeoning healthcare scene and is fast becoming a magnet for entrepreneurial spirits in the South. So when it came time to select an office location, I wanted us to be in a place that was in line with our non-traditional company culture and would also help us support the type of unbridled growth within our staff that we sought, and in turn, our company’s growth. It is important to us that the place we work not simply be a productive environment for us, but also a community – and we found that habitat at Atlanta Tech Village.

Keep up with EngagedMedia by following them on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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