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The challenges of being creative in pharma


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In pharma, Creative Services can be a particularly challenging discipline. As creatives our goal is to bring to life the concepts that become the words and art, the designs and interfaces, which should ultimately resonate and compel specific audiences to action. To produce the very best work, we apply a process that’s part ingenuity, part curiosity, part talent and part specialized knowledge.

This means as a group – copywriters, art directors, designers, producers, and editors – we need to have a rich understanding of the subjects we’re communicating and the audiences we’re speaking to. The specialized science and the ability to interpret corresponding data like clinical trial results requires a depth of scientific and medical knowledge that isn’t always needed in a lot of other sectors. To complicate things, many of our audiences, like patients and caregivers, are facing significant challenges and have specific needs that require real sensitivity, empathy, and understanding.

Layer on top of that the responsibilities of medical, regulatory, and legal bodies, that can dramatically alter the work we produce. We sometimes find that what we intended to create is not always exactly what we end up producing and shipping out the door.

To perform our best in this discipline creatives need to be adaptable, amenable, and collaborative. Being adaptable means solving problems on the fly and quickly coming up with new ways of expressing ideas. Being amenable means recognizing there can be many right answers – not just one – and having the curiosity and willingness to seek them out. And of course being collaborative is the cornerstone of the creative process.

Creatives need to seek out others who have the specialized knowledge they may not.  This includes having the ability to talk to doctors and researchers who can help us visualize the science. We need to collaborate with outside agencies that often conduct market research, consumer testing and competitive analysis. And it also means communicating effectively and easily with internal teams, like user experience specialists, strategists, and technologists.

The Klick Solution

A lot of this is addressed in our processes and workflow. We try to avoid waterfall processes, in favor of more flexible methodologies, where creative and design teams are brought in early and can help shape the outcome. We design our projects so different teams, like creative and UX, can work together throughout the project as problem-solving units.

We even design our workspace to help reinforce this approach. Our more open environment with few walls and low dividers facilitates conversation. Having many meeting spaces, both formal and informal, lets us break into collaborative groups quickly and easily. Placing particular disciplines or groups, like copywriters and editors in close proximity gets rid of the physical barriers that get in the way of collaboration.

Of course we can’t have every discipline seated next to each other, but we try to empower our team members and encourage them to seek out the interactions they need, in order to be much more effective.  We also design our spaces with common areas that encourage ‘accidental interaction’, like lunchrooms and lounges that are social spaces that double as informal meeting areas.

As a digital agency we strive be innovative, find new solutions for our clients needs, and continually improve the work we produce. Building creative teams that strive to be adaptable problem-solvers, who are amenable to new challenges while fostering collaboration at every point of the process helps us all produce innovative ideas that are functional, effective, and appropriate for our audiences.

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