A healthy niche: how pharma and healthcare marketing was ripe for Orchard

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 2 August 2017
Orchard founding directors: Andrew Antoniou & Wai Kwok

This is a free excerpt from AdNews print magazine August edition. You can download a digital version of AdNews and subscribe to the premium print edition here.

The healthcare advertising sector is worth about three quarters of a billion dollars - and it’s growing fast. Orchard is 11-years-old and it’s one of the most established indie shops specialising in the space.

Health and wellness is one of the fastest growing categories and consumer trends around healthy eating and lifestyle all point to even more growth over the next few years.

Lucky for Sydney-based independent Orchard, it gained expertise in the sector early on. While it’s not exclusively a healthcare or medical agency, a large proportion of its work is in the space. The agency has been going for more than a decade, and its founders say it “stumbled” upon healthcare and pharma marketing in the early days and has worked to turn it into a specialism.

“We were a bit of a revelation to the likes of Pfizer,” says Wai Kwok, one of the four managing partners.

“We stumbled across healthcare and we had to take advantage of that by producing the best agency for health and wellness that we could,” he says.

Kwok, alongside Andrew Antoniou, Sarah Galletly and Martin Stafford, left Grey in 2006 to go it alone, and all four founders are still on the leadership team.

“We very quickly got very good at how to solve certain medical marketing problems. Now fast-forward, pharma is trying to to become much more digital, healthcare professionals are becoming more digital and consumers are much more digital, says Antoniou.

“Everyone is getting into this vertical now, but it’s a lot more difficult for a lifestyle agency to move into the hardcore medical side of things because it’s very niche and regulated.”

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Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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