Looking back on our second year in action, we’re constantly learning about the evolving market and the needs of our clients. This gives us great insights into emerging trends and key approaches.

Here are four focus areas that have been big for The Difference Collective’s clients in 2018-19. Do they resonate with you?

 1. Social and digital campaigns

Pharma and healthcare brands and organisations have always been cautious about social media, but with more case experience to draw on and proven results to point at, there’s a growing confidence in digital campaigns and engagement. Our consultants have gained diverse, senior experience across the industry in the last decade as these channels have come of age, so as a team, they have an authoritative grasp of what works, what’s up-and-coming and what to avoid. Our campaign for Compeed is a great example of getting the best digital and social minds in the industry together to come up with a substantial and effective plan that has reaped huge rewards for the client. 

 2. Copy development

Climbing the charts in popularity, the sometimes undervalued art of good writing has been in high demand this year. With the explosion of digital content, shouting loudly and continually isn’t enough to get your voice heard and reputation respected. Audiences are discerning and want original, well-written content through every channel – from emails to blogs to white papers, apps, proposals and web copy. There’s a strong and growing demand for our copywriters and content creators who know the sector and have wide experience of satisfying different audience needs.

 3. Charity

When we established The Difference, we didn’t initially expect to work for health and medical charity clients. However, we’ve had so much demand and attracted so many sector experts to our team that we’ve been able to set up a working group to focus specifically on charity support. Smaller charities find it hard to access quality support and achieve value from their constricted budgets. After all, that money comes from hard-won fundraising. Larger agencies can’t cover their overheads working on short, tactical projects. The Difference can. There’s also a strong desire in our team to help less mainstream charities: Collective members regularly give their time for free to be part of one-hour brainstorms for a chosen charity once a month. It gives a charity the chance to assess what we could do for them and take away advice and original ideas from our experts, even if they don’t choose to engage us beyond that.

4. Virtualisation

As a virtual agency, we make use of a wide range of collaboration tools, from video and phone conferencing to cloud storage, social media channels, pay-by-the-hour meeting rooms and workspace, project management and team communications software. It turns out that our clients are just as keen on these time efficient, agile overhead-saving techniques. At the outset we considered renting drop-in office space for teams and clients to physically meet: we haven’t yet met a client who has insisted on a Difference project team having a single, fixed physical location. In fact, our flexible workstyle has enabled us to deliver work to tight deadlines without trampling on work-life balance for anyone, because of the range of working hours and locations freely chosen by our Collective members. There’s almost always someone working, somewhere!


About the author

Angie, Founder, has worked in healthcare communications for nearly 30 years, ultimately building one of the most successful UK healthcare consultancies. Throughout her career, she has constantly looked to do things differently and make a difference to the healthcare communications industry.

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