Aarti Shah 04 May 2020 // 12:00PM GMT
CHICAGO — ICF Next veteran Bryan Specht has landed at healthcare powerhouse W2O as group president with a focus on bringing consumer marketing practices to healthcare.
In the newly-created role — group president of transformation, consumer activation and marketing — Specht reports into W2O global president Jennifer Gottlieb. Before this, Specht spent more than a decade leading Olson Engage/ICF Next. He left the newly-consolidated company earlier this year. Specht's former employer and W2O Group also shared a private equity investor with Mountaingate Capital.
“My main focus will be on the consumerization in healthcare,” Specht told PRovoke Media. “[W2O CEO Jim Weiss] has talked about the appification and uberification of healthcare — that’s been accelerated by Covid-19. My remit is around the consumerification of healthcare and to bring best practices and strategies from consumer marketing, influencer marketing and build this on healthcare.”
Hiring Specht is the second major investment W2O has recently made around its consumer healthcare expertise. Earlier this year, the independent agency bought the advertising firm 21 Grams to apply “Netflix-style” creativity to healthcare advertising.
“Bryan understands the human side of healthcare and that patients expect real-time, personal and direct access to health information,” Weiss said. “As a firm we have been on a journey to infuse the marketing principles of the consumer and influence world with science and healthcare to reach people in new ways, giving them more control for healthier lives.”
Specht will be based in W2O’s 50-person Chicago office. His remit also includes overseeing the agency's external marketing efforts. W2O ended 2019 with $220m in revenue and 12.5% organic growth. This marks 18 consecutive years of double-digit growth for the agency.