Great Work is Rewarded with More Work
How Halo Pharma Extended Its Relationship with Brandwidth Solutions to Grow Its Business
Halo Pharma, a contract development and manufacturing organization, increased its brand awareness, market visibility, and orders after engaging Brandwidth Solutions to promote areas of expertise and excellence in pediatric doses, fixed-dose combination products, and topicals.
Founded in 2008, Halo Pharma seven years later took on a controlling strategic growth investment partner in SK Capital to gain the resources necessary for acquiring assets to build out Halo’s dosage form offerings and formulation technologies, and enable superior customer service as a one-stop source for formulation development through commercialization. Having brought in Lee Karras as CEO, Halo was ready to re-engage in marketing and promote its distinct areas of expertise. In 2017, Karras brought in Brandwidth Solutions to help the CDMO promote its capabilities in formulating and manufacturing difficult-to-produce pediatric doses of approved adult drugs.
Brandwidth Solutions, a full-service marketing agency dedicated to scientific clients, is able to scale its services to meet each client’s needs. For Halo, this meant developing an integrated campaign to promote its Pediatric Center of Excellence using a mix of both print and digital ads with a related landing web page, public relations, conference presentations and trade show exhibits, a case study, and a gated white paper to generate leads.
After extensive brainstorming sessions with Halo stakeholders to develop a creative brief, Brandwidth outlined a plan that included launching news of the Pediatric Center of Excellence at the first CPhI North America trade show, based in Philadelphia. A press release was issued the week prior to the trade show, and editor meetings were booked for sessions with Karras for journalists attending the busy trade show.
Meanwhile, in just a few months, the Brandwidth team created a choice of three ad concepts and executed print and digital versions of the selected concept in time for inclusion in CPhI’s show daily as well as journals and online publications with appropriate target readership. The ad theme, Size Matters, paid tribute to the size of pediatric patients and doses — which tied to the size of Halo, which is small enough to be flexible and responsive yet large enough to possess the best equipment, technologies, and expertise for pediatric dosage development, manufacturing, and packaging.
In addition, Brandwidth interviewed subject matter experts to develop a case study and white paper on Halo’s pediatric capabilities. These were offered from a unique landing page that more fully explained Halo’s services for pediatric formulation development and manufacturing. The case study was offered without registration, while the white paper was gated as a lead-generating asset.
By the end of CPhI NA, Halo had conducted a half dozen media interviews, seen hundreds of pickups of its press release, and had hundreds of views of its landing page and plenty of white paper downloads — not to mention several prospects ask for meetings to talk business worth potentially millions of dollars.
The ad campaign, which ran several months, drove significant traffic to Halo’s website. For example, the month after the ad launched, Halo’s pediatric landing page accounted for 8 percent of all its web traffic. A month later, registering 239 percent growth in site visits, it was 21 percent, and two months after that, it was 40 percent of all Halo page views. “Developing an ad campaign that is a mix of print and digital — and always with an effective landing page to finish your messaging and drive prospects into your site and into your CRM — makes all the difference in your end result,” says Debra Harrsch, CEO at Brandwidth Solutions.
Halo gained 20 solidly qualified leads from the pediatric dosage marketing campaign, and closed five deals. It is in talks with an additional five customers. And, Karras notes, other CDMOs have since started advertising their pediatric capabilities.
He was so pleased with the impact of the pediatric campaign that he asked Brandwidth to do it again for the Halo’s fixed-dose combination products capabilities, and then again to promote its topicals development and manufacturing. Brandwidth redeployed its successful strategy, leveraging trade shows to gain Halo speaking opportunities, issue press releases and schedule editor meetings, as well as create advertising campaigns and develop case studies and white papers. As with pediatrics, both campaigns garnered similar attention from the industry press and Halo’s prospects, and delivered similar results for landing page traffic.
With the relationship between Halo and Brandwidth Solutions well-solidified, Karras placed his company’s website in Brandwidth’s hands. Given a limited budget through year-end, the goal was to give the site a visual refresh and better integrate the messaging of its three campaigns for pediatric, FDC, and topical dosage forms into the website. Much of the web copy, while reviewed for updates and SEO, was simply repurposed throughout the new site.
Brandwidth delivered Halo a selection of visual themes, and managed the on-time, on-budget transition from old site to new without any disruptions. This included overseeing a photo shoot to capture the types of images Karras wanted the Halo brand to portray, as well as coding the new site without breaking — or in some cases by improving — forms and links to Halo’s CRM. The new site went live to rave reviews and increased visitors who are spending more time on the site, and going deeper into its pages.
Halo Pharma’s success as a CDMO, and in promoting itself through marketing, gained the attention not only of prospects, but also other companies looking to acquire its extensive capabilities. In July 2018, Halo announced it was being acquired by Cambrex Corporation, a leading manufacturer of small molecule innovator and generic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). The acquisition creates a leading small molecule CDMO with a broad range of capabilities and a robust customer base for pharmaceutical services.
“Brandwidth Solutions really helped put Halo Pharma on the map with the types of customers we wanted to attract,” Karras says. “The team was a pleasure to work with, staying focused on our goals and bringing engaging ideas and concepts to the table — then delivering on the execution, from content to web design. Their marketing expertise helped us to position our expertise in a competitive market — and stand out.”