Chief marketing officer, North America, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

When GlaxoSmithKline prepared to engineer an always-tricky Rx-to-OTC transition for Flonase in 2015, the stakes were high. Flonase had been considered one of the allergy space’s hallowed brands, and there was considerable worry that mishandling the transition could scuff its veneer.

GSK’s skillful marketing work, which was as digital-heavy as all comparable efforts to date, obliterated any such doubts. “The launch was considered innovative because of our go-to-market digital approach, with a strong focus on mobile, social media, and building digital content that consumers are looking for and are engaged with,” Theresa Agnew says.

Agnew and her consumer-group peers aren’t ones to back away from a challenge. For example, toothpaste ranks among the most difficult health-adjacent categories in which to launch a new brand. So when GSK introduced Parodontax in the U.S. this year, it went straight to dentists and oral hygienists with a message that emphasized awareness of the condition it treats (individuals with sensitive gums that bleed during brushing).

Up next: a continued digital push on behalf of consumer-facing brands such as Excedrin, Nicorette, Tums, and Theraflu. “How we go to market in the digital world is critical to our success with both consumers and healthcare professionals,” Agnew explains.

 

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