Who emerged victorious at this year’s Marketer of the Year, Communications Team of the Year and Sales competitions?

On November 14 the best of the best from marketing, sales and communications in the pharma sector gathered at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel with their colleagues to discover who would take home a coveted Pharma award.

Hosted by GP, TV Presenter and ex- Gladiator Dr Zoe Williams, with assistance from ‘Voice of the Balls’ Alan Dedicoat, the awards gala celebrated the finalists at the top of their game and showcased the exceptionally high level of talent across each of the disciplines.

Addressing sponsors before the main event, Dr Zoe said the competitions saw an “extremely high calibre of entrants who put their expert skills and knowledge to the test,” and highlighted “the overall increase from last year in the number of companies represented – 40 to be exact!”. This increase “undoubtably shows how well respected these long- standing competitions are to the industry”, she stressed.

The evening kicked off with Dr Zoe unveiling the winners from each of the Sales Awards categories – which were represented by Sobi, Kyowa Kirin, Star and A Menarini. As a special bonus for winners, the positive feedback received from their respective healthcare professionals was relayed to the audience before they were crowned, amplifying their superb achievements.

Anna Munroe of Star, who claimed the top spot in the Primary Care Sales Professional of the Year category, said: “It means a lot to me to win the pharma, it was really nice even to be nominated to compete!” Commenting on the competition, she said it was a “tricky experience as the process was difficult, but I really, really enjoyed it. It really motivated me to think outside the square, and to push myself that little bit further. I would definitely recommend the competition to other people – I already have, even before I won!”

Up next came the results of the 2019 Marketer of the Year competition, which once again saw an overall increase in entry numbers over 2018 – signifying another fantastic year for this long-standing and highly respected event.

As in previous years, the 26th Marketer of the Year competition saw the most talented individuals in the industry test themselves in a category-specific process, designed to encapsulate developments and trends within the industry to ensure that it remains a relevant and highly respected benchmark of achievement.

This year there were successes for Leo Pharma, Takeda, Sanofi, AbbVie and Besper Solutions LTD. AbbVie’s Victoria Black took home the Pharma for Marketer of the Year, saying: “It means so much to me to have won this award, because I feel like it’s given me additional confidence and belief in myself.”

The competition “gives you a really good opportunity to benchmark yourself against others in the industry, but also pushes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to challenge yourself,” she said. “Also, the feedback you get as part of the process allows you to work on your development, and identify the gaps you need to work on going forward in your career.”

It was a particularity successful night for AbbVie, which won the coveted Company of the Year award for cumulative efforts and successes throughout the competition – a very well done to all involved!

Lastly, the night moved on to results of the 2019 Communications Team of the Year competition, which saw Publicis Resolute win both of the individual categories: Aspiring Communications Manager of the Year and the brand new Communications Manager of the Year.

The competition comes at a time when “communications is becoming an ever more critical and impactful element of the marketing mix, with so much to consider and so much to optimise” commented Angie Wiles, founder and head of Collectivity and member of the steering group. “As someone who’s participated in the competition, I know first- hand what a challenge and equally enriching learning experience it is for all involved, but one that compels teams to produce and present their absolute best work.”

The International Challenge and NHS Challenge trophies deservedly went to Hanover and Makara, respectively, with Emotive winning the Charity Challenge.

Hanover’s Emma Gorton said that the team was “super proud to have won”, and hailed the process for offering “a really good insight in to how things work” and a “realistic test of what you can achieve in a limited amount of time.”

This year’s Charity Challenge saw teams respond directly to a brief crafted by the charity Autistica. The teams’ responses to the challenge weren’t just for the benefit of the competition, but also provided an opportunity to actively help towards the charity’s work.

During the awards dinner, Laura James, an autistic person diagnosed at 45 years of age, took to the stage for a discussion with Dr Zoe on the condition, giving a valuable insight into living with the developmental disorder.

Jonathan Dancer, managing director at Redbow and competition steering group member, said this year the awards night “brought together so many different disciplines and had a lovely informal feeling. I have loved the dynamism of the competition this year, watching the judges and competitors interacting creates a real buzz that I think is unique among industry competitions.”

He continued to say: “It’s clear how much people love working in this industry” and how “hearing first hand from an autistic person really brought it all to life.”

PharmaTimes would like to thank the sponsors for their support, commitment and generosity, as well as all the judges and steering group committees for their help and dedication to the competitions – and not to forget the finalists and winners for their continued efforts and tenacity.

Next year’s competitions are being developed now - so if you or your company would like to get involved please contact Anna Yeardley (anna.yeardley@ pharmatimes.com) or Luci Sargood (luci.sargood@pharmatimes. com) for more information.