Tag Archives: HAVAS LYNX

#LXAcademy Awards

At the heart of an agencies success are the people. Heritage, structure and framework are simply the platform. As a business we are committed to attracting, developing, engaging and retaining the very best talent. The #LXAcademy was conceived to build core expertise, and inspire imagination, curiosity & courage, across science, creativity & technology. The #LXAcademy Awards was a celebration of everything we have all achieved in 2014 – it was our finest night.

The submissions were exceptional & really quite humbling. The team behind Care4Today combined insight & innovation, with passion & belief. Their presentation belied their engineering background & claimed the Grand Prix award. The team driving Novartis Dermatology deservedly won Creative use of Technology, as we continued our track record of being digital pioneers at EADV. Combining consumer technology with pharma insight, they quickly & efficiently created a unique point of difference in a competitive environment. Having clocked up 320,000 miles for AstraZeneca and revolutionised their Japanese market, the team of the year was entirely deserved. Not everyone can travel the world & consistently bring energy, ideas & value. One of my personal highlights for 2014 is our partnership with Lundbeck, we share vales & ambition, and I was delighted that our team recorded best online campaign, it demonstrated superb alignment of insight & innovation. It also demonstrated a client-agency relationship working in tandem, towards a shared goal, delivering results. #SKINTOLIVEIN rightly won campaign of the year, described by a Big Pharma CEO as the most progressive digital campaign in their portfolio, there was little more for the judges to add. However it was also impossible to ignore the effort, expertise & collaboration required to make something so unique and of so much value to patients & pharma.

There’s a buzz in the agency & the awards epitomised this. It has also set expectations for 2015, with regards to #LXAcademy, the awards and #LYNXLife, which is scheduled to be launched in January. Our number one priority is our talent, we believe that the rest follow. Our staff retention is at 90%, we receive 120 applicants a week and 50 people have celebrated 5 years with the business. HAVAS LYNX is a great agency with great clients, and the #LXAcademy Awards were a fitting celebration.

None of this would be possible without @carlwalker & Lisa Jones, driving the #LXAcademy, supported by the amazing internal experts and our external thought leaders. And a special thanks for organising the awards to Sam Luk & the LX  Ambassadors.

You can watch some of our inspiring LX Academy thought leadership sessions on our Youtube channel and see photos from the night on facebook and twitter10356266_785876774803420_9066949141867259432_n

The more you put in, the more you get out

Merger; From the Inside, by David Hunt

Part IV, Two years in & the lessons we learnt

With hindsight, would we still join Havas? If there were no financial incentives, would we still be willing to merge with a global network? Are we  proud to be HAVAS LYNX? Yes, yes and yes.

As I have previously discussed on this blog, there are numerous benefits to joining a global network. However in isolation, it is not a silver bullet. It requires considerable effort from both parties to fulfil the potential.

Working together

Working together

Our team have really embraced the opportunity that Havas represents. They’ve worked with talent from across the group, learning with every interaction, growing with new perspectives, ideas & confidence. In addition, their return is always accompanied with praise, gratitude & recognition of their passion, creativity & innovation. They are representing themselves, LYNX, Manchester & London.

Have our clients benefited from the Havas Strategic Toolbox? Yes, but not at first. The tools are exceptional, but also seductive. We became guilty of talking too much, and doing too little. But, you learn. Today we use the tools at the right time, for the right results. We leverage best-in-class strategy with creativity, innovation & delivery to exceed our client expectations.

Have our global campaigns benefitted from the global footprint? Absolutely. One of the networks greatest strengths is their ability to curate local opinions, challenges & opportunities. Havas Health invest significantly in Global & Regional meetings, the result is a genuine willingness to collaborate across international boundaries.

Fiscal pressure & the patent cliffs are driving big Pharma to explore potential cost efficiencies. The hottest concept is decoupling, with investment focused towards insight, ideas, intellect. Havas prioritise thought leadership, and we are supported to do the same. Today we invest heavily in research & development; publishing white papers on our insights, piloting smart technologies & establishing strategic partnerships.

And for me? It was a challenge, it was a far steeper learning curve than I had expected. But that’s brilliant, it’s sparked my interest, maintained my passion, & driven my ambition. Like the rest of the team, I have now got a much bigger pitch to play on.

Part I, Initial engagement

Part II, Finer details

Part III, Business as usual

 

A brave new world

Merger; From the Inside, by David Hunt

Part III, Business as usual

You’ve not told your team, your clients are blissfully unaware, the world needs to know & so might your family. Business as usual is the priority, but first comes the news.

Announcement

First comes the news

Before discussing our communication strategy, I think it’s worth noting the confidentiality & respect with which all discussions took place. I was naturally concerned that our discussions would be leaked destabilising clients & our team. With the odd exception all parties conducted themselves impeccably and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Our number one priority was our staff, we told them first. Despite agreeing to join Havas for all the right reasons; exciting briefs, strategic insight & global support, we were naturally apprehensive. Would they be anxious, confused, cynical? Inevitably there were pockets of concern, but the overwhelming response was excitement. The agency saw it as an opportunity, a new challenge, they saw it as a promotion to the big league. A Manchester agency united with a global ambition. 18 months later we would be crowned Havas Agency of the Year.

Clients, an equal mixture of cynicism, ambivalence, excitement & recognition. To those that were cynical we outlined the benefits the merger would bring with the addition of strategic tools, shared expertise & global footprint. With hard work & determination we have allayed those fears. Some were ambivalent, they knew our values & trusted our judgement. Most were excited, they employed us for our strengths, they forgave our weaknesses, and knew that a global partner would address many of them. Our long-term partners, those that have known us since the beginning, were pleased. They understood all the benefits & helped celebrate our next step.

Having emerged from the process of a merger, nothing could be more refreshing than the day job. The process is  both intellectually & emotionally draining. Ironically, across both clients & staff were small pockets which expressed their concern that with our announcement would come distractions. They worried we would lose focus on their business and be consumed by a network. This could not be further from the truth, the distraction was over. The extra work done. In many ways the public announcement, signified back to business as usual.

Part I, Initial engagement

Part II, Finer details

Part IV, A year in & the lessons I learnt

Technology is the means to an effect, it is the idea that counts.

Healthcare Digital Communications, by David Hunt

HAVAS LYNX celebrates 28 years of business this month, and a decade in healthcare digital communications – so what’s changed in the last decade?

Closed-loop marketing (CLM) has never been far from the agenda. Promising more efficient use of resource & more rewarding customer interactions. The ambition has barely changed, but unfortunately neither has the reality. There are some notable exceptions & I am very pleased with our work in this area, but it could & should be so much more. And it will be. The release of the iPad acted as a catalyst for an important shift in ownership from IT to Business. As a result, we are now driven by function & value, not constrained by fear & naivety. In 2014 merely embracing new hardware is not enough. In a world whereby the paper sales aid has become unique, and digital tools are omnipresent, points of differentiation must be earnt through innovation and ideas.

HAVAS LYNX Celebrates 28yrs

HAVAS LYNX Celebrates 28yrs

It would be hard to categorise the broader Pharma marketing community as innovators or early adopters. But as Facebook has celebrated its 10th birthday, I think we should recognise the progress made in social media. It has always been a hot topic of debate, but now we are starting to see more frequent, more tangible outputs. In addition there has been a noticeable increase in the social media briefs that we receive. The usual tone of caution has been replaced by one of courage, underpinned by a belief in ethics over our previous fascination with rules.

I believe in Pharma sponsored healthcare professional product websites, but I am definitely in the minority. The last decade had seen limited change, limited innovation and unsurprisingly limited success. However, poor execution & a lack of imagination should not render the tool redundant. If I’m looking for a car, I check the manufacturers website before validating the information in social media, the same is true for hotels, new trainers & my next laptop. I don’t discount the company’s website just because they are marketing to me, in the same way doctors don’t discount reps. It is true, the product website is not a silver bullet, but with renewed passion & a dramatic improvement in user experience, it can play an important role in integrated campaigns.

In 2004 I wasn’t addicted to my mobile. I didn’t use it for news, I didn’t ask it’s opinion on the new local restaurant & I didn’t use it to broadcast my opinions. The biggest change in the last decade is EVERYONES digital behaviour. It is absurd to think that healthcare professionals use digital for finance but not research, that they use digital to follow news but not medicine, that they connect offline but not online. Today, more than ever, we are not limited by our customer, but by our imagination. 

LYNX London; What is the ambition for an agency start-up?

Agency expansion, by David Hunt

Emergence of a great team? High profile account wins? Excellent financial performance? Awards? 18 months in and HAVAS LYNX London have ticked every box.

The team is spread over two locations. I’m sure management consultants would describe it  as on-shoring and outline the benefits in cost efficiencies. Being very smart, they would also talk about even greater savings with alternate locations – quality is not everyone’s priority. Quality is LYNX London’s number one priority. We describe it as an agency, a modern agency, defined by expertise and not geography. Combining the creative & digital pedigree of Manchester, with the strategic and scientific expertise of London. We know the benefit is a best-in-class service.

HAVAS LYNX London

HAVAS LYNX London

The teams don’t share an office, rarely take lunch & have entirely different accents, yet they are tight knit & getting closer, creative & getting bolder, innovative & getting smarter. At the heart of their success are the people. From junior developers in Manchester through to account directors in London, the team is blessed with intelligence and drive.

The team that a client sees is important, but so too are the experts behind the scenes. Last year HAVAS LYNX London collected a number of high profiles accounts, through their exceptional service and high quality product. The team front-of-house and the guys in the kitchen aligned to the needs of the client. And fiercely determined too.

But it would be wrong to say it has all been easy, it has not. They have to make every communication count, but in a world when meetings are often bloated & ineffective perhaps this represents another strength. The creative leads are not just across the office, but equally they have few disruptions and an atypical opportunity to focus. Cultures are more difficult to align, but more rewarding when they do. Maybe it is harder, evidence would suggest it’s certainly worth it.

Since 2009 and a record award haul of 6 wins at the PM Digital Awards, HAVAS LYNX have had unprecedented success at industry events. Before that first glorious night, I remember attending countless events without success. As the saying goes, good things come to those that wait. It is with a slight twinge of jealousy, that LYNX London only had to wait 12 months to win their first significant gong – Digital Campaign at the PM Society Awards. Entirely deserved.

But their greatest achievement? Every member of the team contributing to a culture of success. From the top to the bottom, from the Manchester-based studio to the account team of London, from ping-pong to pitches, they want to win every time (and so far do).

Know-why is better than know-how

As young children, most of us will have taunted our parents with one incessant line of questioning: ‘why?’ Such persistent inquisitiveness is perhaps curbed somewhat as we grow a little older and learn a little more, but the instinct to probe for cause and reason should never be forgotten or dismissed as childish curiosity. It’s the founding principle of all good design.

childish curiosity

A client’s first question is often ‘what can you do?’ An account manager may ask their designers ‘how can you do this?’ However, long before either of these questions can be answered, a thorough understanding of the end-user’s underlying needs and motivations is required. You should know these users like you know your friends, appreciating their quirks, ticks and habits.

You must understand how your users behave and, of course, why. A deep empathy for the
people you’re designing for is the cornerstone of delivering user-centred designs that make a real difference to people’s lives. UX (User Experience) is a term that is sometimes misused, misunderstood and even feared, though there is no need for this to be the case. It’s simply the matter of knowing who you’re designing for, what their needs are and ensuring that what you’re doing meets these needs. In healthcare, we should always envisage the end-user as being the patient. Whatever surrounding stakeholders we deal with, whatever the means of delivery, the output must always have a positive impact on the lives of patients.

The above is an extract from HAVAS LYNX white paper: Designing Human experiences – Applying science to the creative process to improve lives 
http://www.havaslynx.com/work/library/

HAVAS LYNX are partnering with eyeforpharma at the Barcelona summit, 18-20 March 2014. At the event, we will be hosting a workshop on UX: The key to unlocking ROI. The LYNX team will take you through the techniques you need to deliver compelling experiences that make a difference. We will show you that UX covers more than you think, can cost less than you expect, and that it is more important than anything else.

Mind and matter

Stuart Wilson founded Creative Lynx in 1986. In 2012, when the company became HAVAS LYNX, Stuart took the position of non-executive chairman. Below he writes about the values and beliefs upon which the company was built and I am proud to say still remain true today.

building up

It’s so easy to criticise big pharma. The Constant Gardener didn’t help and acts of altruism can wrongly be perceived as market development, but compared to bankers, politicians or energy companies I believe they have been a much greater force for good in society over the last 20 years. We quickly forget that drug and device developments have improved and extended the lives of millions.

In 1996 we launched Aricept for Eisai/Pfizer as the world’s first treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. At that time ‘Old People’ were, at best, given little more than tea and sympathy; at worst totally ignored. Our clients had a mountain to climb to promote an understanding of the appalling challenges Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families faced. Geriatricians knew what a game changer this drug was – but to change the perceptions of government, the payers and the media our clients invested not only millions of dollars but massive amounts of time, energy and commitment. I was proud to see how a client can look beyond stigma and ageism to fight for better social care… not just to sell their product but to genuinely try to improve lives. Nearly 20 years on and Alzheimer’s is now recognised as a difficult and life changing disease the world over. There are many other products in many therapy areas that have done the same.

So, back in 1986 when we started out on this long, creative road I believed the LYNX ethos shouldn’t be based on vacuous and transient consumerism. Instead we should use our talents for the greater good…in some small way. Of course, consumer work is more glamorous, especially when you are asked what you are working on by your mates in the pub…Carling, probably the best advertising job in the world… or is it? McDonalds? Nike?

Now, I know we’re part of a multinational advertising empire and that’s all well and good. At HAVAS LYNX we fiercely believe that we can help change things for the better and thankfully that’s how our clients think. And, nearly 30 years later, when everyone talks about ‘ethics’ or ‘business morals’ we can honestly say that’s where we came from, where we are, and where we will stay.

And, after 30 years, I can happily say that I am proud of our stance. It’s still difficult to explain what we are working on at a dinner party and sometimes it’s not that glamorous, but to my mind the main thing is it matters.

The above post was written by Stuart Wilson, Non-Executive Chairman of HAVAS LYNX