The Bloc, which for over 20 years has redefined what a health creative agency can do, has recruited Jay Appel as its first-ever Chief Digital Officer. In this newly created role, Appel will use science-based tools and tactics to integrate The Bloc’s award-winning creative into unique digital experiences for highly targeted audiences.
Appel will be taking leadership over The Bloc’s UI/UX, digital solutions, and innovation teams. Appel is planning a rapid build-out in 2022, including a content strategy team. His work with The Bloc’s clients will be directed toward providing evidence-based changes to traditional marketing teams so that they can engage physicians, consumers, and payers in new ways.
“Most people think of digital as a light switch you can turn on or off, but in fact there’s a lot that needs to be thought through strategically – everything from engagement strategy and customer experience to platform choices and integration,” said Appel. “I was actually a client of The Bloc for several years, and I felt we shared a vision for transforming the customer experience leveraging technology. Ultimately, we agreed we’d make formidable partners to change the agency landscape together.”
Most recently, Appel was Executive Director of Worldwide Engagement & Channel Planning at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he led several large teams of marketers to integrate customer touchpoints across the BMS portfolio in 20+ markets. He’s driven several product campaigns from launch to maturity by deploying emerging technologies and sophisticated analytic models to carry out evidence-based solutions. Prior to BMS, Jay held a variety of transformation and leadership roles in digital health and multi-channel at Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Digitas Health and Merck-Medco.
“We’ve created the role of Chief Digital Officer because we don’t want digital art directors or digital account managers for specific projects – we want digital expertise to be an implied part of every role at The Bloc,” said Jennifer Matthews, President and CEO at The Bloc. “I can’t think of a better person to bring us this company-wide expertise than Jay.”
Jay has been recognized over the years by the industry including awards such as “Top 25 DTC Marketer” in 2020 (DTC Perspectives), “Top 40 Healthcare Transformer” in 2018 (MM&M), “Digital Disrupter” in 2016 (PM 360), and “Innovative Marketer of the Year” in 2016 (MM&M). He was one of the earliest recipients of “PharmaVoice 100” honors in 2008. In May 2022, Jay will be named as an MM&M Pinnacle Award winner for his lifetime achievements and impact in digital innovation.
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