Having recently welcomed Sarah Brooks to the team, we are now giving a warm welcome to Vitaliy Yavtukhovskyi, who joins Dice as our Studio Services Manager.

Here’s a little bit about Vitaliy…

Vitaliy’s professional pharma/comms journey started over a decade ago when he joined his first agency, Sparkworks. With three people, four desks and a lot of ambition, it taught Vitaliy a lot about working in the creative communications industry.

Since then, Vitaliy has been fortunate enough to work for some creative industry leaders – including TBWA and Publicis – as well as ambitious start-ups such as Cognite. During this time, he gained a lot of experience working with a number of large global clients, producing award-winning work in the process. 

Outside of work, Vitaliy loves to work on cars, race cars, watch various motorsports live or on-screen, and just driving in general. His ideal holiday is a road trip, particularly if it’s driving a classic car somewhere picturesque like Scotland.

When he’s not in the driver’s seat, you can usually find Vitaliy keeping active and spending quality time with his family. This usually involves sports such as volleyball, cycling or badminton, all the way through to home DIY, playing with his girls and relaxing on the sofa with a good movie and some nachos.

Vitaliy told us a bit more about why he chose to work at Dice…

“I knew that wherever my next move would take me, I wanted to be able to make an impact, and a real contribution to the lives of patients. After doing my research I realised that Dice would be the perfect place to do just that. 

After meeting Matthew and spending a couple of hours with him over coffee – sharing my experience and better understanding his vision for the future of Dice as a growing agency – I was convinced that it was the right place for me. 

I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the team, and look forward to working, learning and building an even stronger agency going forward.”

Welcome Vitaliy, we’re very happy to welcome you to the Dice team!

Careers at Dice

If you are excited at the prospect of a career in medical communications, or are looking to take that next step within a medical communications agency that specialises in creative strategies, we’re always on the hunt for great talent. You can get in touch with us here – simply let us know a little bit about yourself and the type of role that interests you.

Alternatively, take a look at our Guide to Careers in Medical Communications article, for insight into the types of careers available and what employers looks for in candidates.

This month at Dice we are welcoming not one, but two new members to our growing team. While Vitaliy Yavtukhovskyi has joined us as Studio Services Manager, we are also saying “hello” to Sarah Brooks, who joins us as Manager – Data Analytics, bringing with her a wealth of data-driven marketing and communications experience.

Here’s a little bit about Sarah… 

Sarah brings over ten years’ experience in client services and delivery, plus an extensive background in working across healthcare and health informatics agencies. But what made Sarah really stand out from the crowd for the team at Dice was her passion for improving the lives of patients. 

In recent years, Sarah’s focus has centred primarily on how healthcare data can be utilised to improve patient outcomes and results. This data-driven approach has allowed her to deliver informatics to companies that need to identify key messages and opportunities that support the core claims of their products and services. In doing so, Sarah has helped to build strong, patient-centred strategies through the intelligent use of patient data and market access insight.

When she isn’t deep in data, you can usually find Sarah travelling somewhere! Whether it be a long countryside walk with her gorgeous dog Kaija, or slightly further afield, you can guarantee Sarah is planning her next trip! 

As a keen traveller, Sarah counts Australia, Thailand and South Africa in her top three destinations, and loves to explore new places and cultures as she goes. However, Sarah is also a self-professed lover of all things handbags and shoes, so if she’s not outside, you can normally catch her doing a spot of online shopping!

Sarah told us a bit more about why she chose to work at Dice:

“I was really intrigued and impressed with Dice’s Pharmacohesion concept when I first viewed the Dice website, in particular how the strategy encompasses and brings together all elements of the project lifecycle. 

After meeting with Matthew, Neil and Sandra, it felt like it was a great fit in terms of personality and culture, and I loved the passion they demonstrated for what they do.

The fact that Dice is a full-service agency is a big attraction to me also, and I am really excited to start building the Health Informatics offering to new and existing clients.”

Welcome to the team, Sarah. We’re excited to have you on board!

Careers at Dice

If you’re interested in exploring a career in medical communications, or are looking to take that next step within a growing medical communications agency, we’re always on the lookout for great talent. You can get in touch with us here – simply let us know a little bit about yourself and the type of role that interests you.

If you’re looking for a change of direction, or have decided to advance your career in medical communications, take a look at our Guide to Careers in Medical Communications article, for advice from our team on the types of careers available and what employers looks for in candidates.

What is it that gets you, as a marketer, excited? Are you all about the strategy or all about the tactics? Do you get excited about where you’re going or how you’re going to get there?

As the Chinese military strategist, writer and philosopher, Sun Tzu, is credited with saying:

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

So, we need to get both the strategy and the tactics right…but they need to work together, and that’s where it most often goes wrong. If I had a pound for every tactic not aligned with the brand strategic objectives and CSFs (Critical Success Factors)…well you know the old adage! But why does it happen and how do you stop yourself falling at the tactical hurdle?

I’ve always followed a simple three-step process…

Three Steps to Aligning Your Tactics with Your Strategy

Take the Technology Challenge

We used to have our heads turned by the pretty pictures and the ad men’s engaging strap lines. Now, we are seduced by the technology. The app that will engage the patient. The virtual meeting that will ensure high attendance. It all sounds fabulous…and it probably is! But no matter how fabulous the tactic, it needs to help you to achieve your goals or it’s worthless. So, stop, think. Are you excited by the technology or what the technology will do for your brand?

Use ‘Three Honest Serving Men’ – Why, What & How!

Ask yourself simply “why am I doing this, what will it achieve, and how will it achieve it?” If you can’t answer all of these with clarity and conviction, the tactic should be shelved.

Bring it Back to the Strategic Objective

The CSFs should be aligned with strategic objectives, but sometimes they suffer from drift. So, always go back to the strategic objective. If your strategic objective is to drive market share, is a tactic that drives earlier diagnosis really appropriate? If you are not market leader then the simple answer is NO. No matter how you try to justify it, the answer is NO!

So, next time you are taken with a great idea, stop and remember – just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Assuming your great idea passes the test…then it’s all in the execution.

At Dice, we strategically align your brand’s tactical initiatives across all channels, allowing us to execute your strategy with impact. We do this through Pharmacohesion; our unique approach to consistent, cohesive brand storytelling. Get in touch with our team here, to find out more about our process.

I’m passionate about the value the pharmaceutical industry brings to patients… but I never cease to be amazed by just how bad the industry’s reputation is.

My 13-year-old’s friend came home a few weeks ago, around the time Coronavirus was entering common parlance, and started spouting industry ‘poison’. Turns out that her science teacher had been ‘educating’ her students on the industry and its many, many failings. Had she ever worked in the industry? No. Did she actually know whether what she was saying was based on fact? No.

I was incandescent with rage… but it did make me think. Why is an industry which brings so much good, that is working tirelessly as we speak to research and develop a vaccine for the very virus that set the science teacher in a spin. Why?

The level of industry investment in research and development (R&D) is colossal, and the failure rate at every phase of the clinical development programme punishing. The research landscape in littered with dementia trials. So far all but a very few have failed to alter the course of the disease, but with time, effective treatments will be found. How much of this do we communicate?

Pharma Success Stories

There have been so many major wins in the last 20 years, let alone the last 100. To highlight but a few of these: As a result of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV is now seen as a chronic condition rather than a death sentence. The introduction of effective treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration has saved the sight of many older people, and there are an ever-expanding list of available treatments for haematological malignancies.

Why doesn’t the press pick up these stories?

Investing in Image Management

In part it’s our own fault. As an industry our image management is poor. We don’t invest in it, we don’t prioritise it and as a result you could argue that we get what we deserve.

Perhaps we need to take a lead from the consumer sector. Bodyform’s CEO Caroline Williams witty ‘apology’ video to Richard Neill who had complained that the company was misguiding people into thinking that women’s periods were ‘happy’ times of the month.

Although this may not be directly relevant to pharma, it does demonstrate just how important consumer companies take their image management. We need to more actively manage the press and continually work with the media to seed the positive stories.

So, what we need is more ‘Breaking Bad’ to turn negative publicity around. Our advice to brands? Don’t wait to become ‘the’ news. Talk about the good things your company is doing. Get out more and shout about your great achievements and products.

In short, get into the press, and the press will get off your back.

At Dice, we define define and refine a precise strategy for brands based on a comprehensive understanding of the market situation. We do this through Pharmacohesion; our unique approach to consistent, cohesive brand communication. Tell us more about your brand or product by getting in touch with our team here.