The Crisp Digital Business Series: Lee Gazey, Hall & Partners Health
In the next interview in this series, Matt speaks with Lee Gazey ; the Global CEO of Health at Hall & Partner’s Health, which is one of the world’s most successful healthcare research and strategic insight businesses.
Matt: Hi Lee! Could you please give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Lee: Hi Matt, no problem, I’m the Global CEO of Hall & Partners Health and have been in my latest position for over 6 months now but have been with the company for 5 years. We’re an agency that concentrates on insight strategy with Pharma and Healthcare companies. I run the team across the globe.
Matt: How many employees do you have?
Lee: In total, there’s around 500 at Hall & Partners and we have offices in the US, Australia, London and various other places. Health is 80 strong; split between Europe and the US, in which we have offices in New York and Chicago.
Matt: How is digital enabling you to engage your markets?
Lee: In three quick words, it’s faster, cheaper and better. Technology has meant that our clients can demand more from us and can now ask for things to be delivered to them in a faster and more cost-effective way. We are able to look for insights more broadly and deeply and search for contact groups we wouldn’t have been able to before. Now we can get instant responses from consumers and customers. Finally, it’s allowed us to be more accurate in our analytical capabilities through machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence).
Matt: So, you mentioned machine learning and AI. Would you like to expand on some of the tools that you’re using?
Lee: Yeah, sure! Some parts of our machine learning and AI are allowing us to become more efficient. We use technology to enable us to become more streamlined at the dull jobs such as analysing data. This is a repetitive functional task, but we can just get the machine to do it for us. We’re also using AI-enabled platforms to allow us to become better at research such as social, corporate websites and trial data in a much more expansive way.
Matt: Fantastic! So, how is digital enabling you to increase understandings of customer’s behaviour?
Lee: That’s actually one of the areas where it’s had most impact. It’s allowed us to understand their behaviours in the sense that we can look in places we would never have before. At its most basic, we can go into social media, private forums and all kinds of different communities and hunt down data on particular groups of people. Technology has allowed us to spend more time with these people; such as using mobiles to be with our customers on a 24/7 basis and talk to them during the most important times of their day. It also allows us to get closer to the truth and the things that are actually happening; as opposed to perceived behaviour. It’s allowing our clients to understand their patients and customers in a much better way which goes on to have a knock-on effect on the products and medicines they’re able to produce for them.
Matt: How is digital enabling you to increase your reach?
Lee: Reach is slightly different to the way we perceive it in comparison to what you may be referring to. We use reach to expand our horizons on who we find to talk to. One of our jobs is to recruit people. Historically, this would have been someone else’s job to find the patients and doctors, but technology has enabled us to do that ourselves. We can search the web, search forums and communities to find people that are more suited to our clients. Technology has enabled us to find experts which may not have come to our attention beforehand and gives us the chance to find different people to talk to. But in terms of reach, this question is probably less appropriate for the type of service we deliver, than say a company who markets specific products.
Matt: Yeah, of course. I understand. So, presumably you must be an integral part of the briefing process for your clients?
Lee: Yeah, absolutely. We work very closely with them to find out who they want to speak to and what they want to talk to them about. There’s a range of other agencies and partners that we work with either to use the technology they have to talk to them or find people we want to talk to in the first place and analyse the data.
Matt: Fantastic. What trends do you see digital impacting on marketing in the short-term future?
Lee: I think there’s two strands to that. Firstly, the impact it’s having on our clients and secondly, the impact on our business. Our clients are very conservative and a little bit behind the curve when it comes to new technologies and new approaches, certainly compared to the consumer world where they take things on very quickly, but they are getting better at integrating digital into their marketing mix. Still a long way behind, but they’re catching up.
We now get digital medicines. The FDA recently gave approval for the first ever digital medication. So effectively, it’s an app that you use to enable treatment for a particular disease.
It’s also changing the way medicine is brought to patients. There are so many brands such as Spotify, Amazon and Deliveroo designed to get products from one person to another and provide a service. That trend is moving into healthcare, meaning there is now a huge platform-based delivery service that can deliver prescriptions, for example. Everything is getting easier for the consumer.
We’re talking to our clients about the need for speed, cost-effectiveness and better understanding. To make sure we’re making better decisions as we want to make sure our insight is as good as it can be. Technology is an enabler, but it’s actually the human experts which create the answers to their business questions.
Matt: What one thing do you think digital could do better for your business?
Lee: Good question. We’re at a stage with our business now where we’re experimenting a lot with what digital can do and I guess we’re yet to see the results. I think, over time, we’ll start to see more self-serve which will integrate into what we do more naturally. I hope we don’t lose out on the quality over the faster and cheaper aspects; I’d like to see human expertise combined with digital expertise.
Matt: Thank you ever so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.
Lee: Thanks for your time, cheers Matt!
NOTE: If you’d like to be considered for the Crisp Digital Business Series please do get in touch with me via my LinkedIn profile. And of course if you have any digital business needs please do take our Digital Scorecard or get in touch.