About > Agency news

Healthcare Agency Perspectives on 2023: MedAdNews’ Roundtable Discussion Features Thoughts from Brick City Greenhouse (BCG)

MedAdNews’ annual Healthcare Agency Roundtable Q&A covers relevant 2023 trends including the remote work environment, diversity and inclusion, and changes in the use of technology. Some of our team members contributed their thoughts to the discussion of what lies ahead of us in 2023:

Q: What excites you moving into 2023?

Brick City Greenhouse Founder and Content Lead, Fred Kinch, forecasts a 2023 with “a lot of sticky challenges,” citing political change, the ongoing COVID pandemic, and a looming recession as some pressing concerns. Kinch remains optimistic and eager to embrace the trials and tribulations this year may bring. He asserts that, “…if you’re a high-caliber agency, you relish sticky challenges and are always trying to create disruptive solutions for those problems, finding great ways to help your clients get ahead of the game. I’m most excited about really unusual predicaments that our clients might find themselves in, and how we can help in those situations.”

Todd Greene, VP, Digital Strategy at BCG, anticipates that 2023 will be, in a word, nimble. He attributes his predictions to a major increase in the use of technology that has propelled a surge in workplace agility and productivity. Greene explains, “Think of all the Zoom calls; instant communication no matter where you are. And with a rapidly evolving world, I see people making decisions faster and assessing the analytics and numbers that go behind the conversions more rapidly, driving faster ROI calculations. People are becoming more nimble. ‘Let’s get research quickly.’ ‘Let’s execute quickly.’ ‘Let’s get the data quickly.’ ‘Let’s pick it quickly.’ It feels like we’re going to have four years’ worth of productivity in next year alone.”


Q: How has the remote/hybrid working environment affected your business?

BCG was remote even before COVID-19 necessitated the change for many other workplaces. Renée Wills, Co-founder and Client Lead, acknowledges that the remote model has been a huge advantage for Brick City, commenting that, “We’ve always seen the remote model as a way to attract and retain some of the best talent in the industry, and this has positioned us well for resiliency through COVID and after.” Minnie Damle, SVP, Human Resources, elaborates on the benefits of a well-established remote-work structure. “Our remote and flexible working model is a big attraction to talent who value work-life harmony. We lean into operating and leading with trust, respect, and transparency in all we do. This allows our employees to do their jobs with comfort, ease, and enjoyment. We’ve created an organization and culture that puts our employees first. This is lived through any initiative, brand assignments, and employee development opportunities we implement.”


Wills adds to this sentiment, “While we’ve always thought of our remote model as a feature that helps in attracting and retaining top talent, it’s become even more so since COVID. In the past, with new employees, we generally had to take a chance on whether they would thrive working from home in our remote model because that employee had never experienced it before. Now, prospective employees know whether remote working suits them, so that risk is gone. And, as other companies call people back to the office, there is a large group of prospective employees who will jump at the chance to remain working remotely.”


As other offices have moved toward a remote or hybrid model, BCG’s processes have continued to evolve with them. Without the constraints of live pitch meetings, teams can “stay focused on developing ideas that really move people and are most effective at achieving marketing goals,” according to Amy Hansen, SVP, Creative Lead, Copy, at Brick City Greenhouse. Hansen embraces the ability to focus on the ideas over the presentation, reflecting that, “when I worked at other agencies that presented live, we would spend so much time, effort, and energy on the presentation and the meeting itself — on the pomp and circumstance of the presentation — which would detract from the quality and quantity of the creative ideas that we brought forward.”


Similarly, Renée Green, SVP, Client Lead, has shifted her thinking about how to relate to clients without long in-person pitch meetings. “[The remote model has] forced us to think differently, because that 2-hour pitch is rarely delivered in person. We now look for opportunities between receiving the RFP and delivering the actual presentation to build connections and allow potential clients to get to know our entire team on a deeper level.”


Q: What changes in the healthcare ecosystem are you most concerned about in the coming year?

Damle and Kinch both highlight an anticipated recession in 2023 as a concern for clients and agencies alike. They agree that BCG has ability and flexibility to accommodate clients’ financial needs if and when this recession materializes. Kinch ensures that, “we’re very, very flexible in being able to work with our clients and respond as their financial needs change through 2023 and going into 2024. We’re able to be very responsive and flexible in terms of how we work with them, how we handle their billing, how they stretch their dollars, and can help them preserve as many resources as possible while still getting the most impact in the marketplace.”


Similarly, Damle touts the unique problem-solving skills of a small independent agency. “The advantage Brick City Greenhouse has is that we’re not modeled like a big holding company agency. We can bring in very unique and personalized solutions to meet the needs of businesses, while providing high quality and value that allow clients to also balance their budgets.”


Q: In what areas do you anticipate technology making the most significant strides next year?


Brian Stack, SVP, Digital Lead, considers social media platforms to be the biggest source of influence for 2023. “I feel that the refinement of social algorithms, like the way TikTok is approaching its customers, is going to pave the way for better definition of niche targets and seamless penetration into the rare-disease world.”


Greene anticipates that decision-making in technology use, rather than specific technologies themselves, will be most impactful. He says, “The healthcare industry already has an abundance of technologies we don’t use, don’t use effectively, or have not figured out — and plenty of other technologies that we lean on only by habit. 2023 will be the year that we hold ourselves accountable for asking the right questions of technology — both during planning and in the aftermath of completion.” One such strategy that Greene expects to see is a rise in the use of embedded tech. He speculates that “…more healthcare organizations will ensure that new technologies become embedded within the products and services they are already tracking consistently. We are seeing this take off in devices that connect a patient’s real-time usage and vitals to caregivers and HCPs. We also see that customer service teams are utilizing the plethora of back-end AI and curation technologies to help facilitate conversations with their most important audiences.”


Q: What is your organization doing to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to be a prominent part of the conversation, having actionable impact and results?


Brick City is committed to an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Damle underscores that BCG is intent on “creating a diverse and inclusive culture that all our employees feel proud of and have a sense of belonging to, but, equally important, we place an emphasis on doing the same for our clients and the communities they serve. We will continue to focus on initiatives that meet the needs of our team and clients.” Damle stresses that the remote work model helps in creating a diverse workforce at BCG, as it “allows us to hire untapped talent across the U.S., widening our reach in an effort to diversify our team, enhance our approach to the work, and make a positive impact on our clients. We will continue to celebrate and raise awareness of the different cultural representations within the agency and therapeutic categories we support on behalf of our clients.”