In August 2004 Matt Staller was brought into Basking Ridge as a desktop publisher, reporting into three separate business areas -- Marketing, Sales and Proposal Development. He was tasked initially with developing a new proposal template for the development group. After that success, he moved into working on creative assets and slide templates with the marketing group, providing application and graphics support to all of business development, and acted as an ad hoc resource to the greater organization for any projects well-suited to his skill set.
Before coming to i3, Matt spent nearly ten years in advertising at a big New York agency. His experience there included six years of analytical and development work for DTC campaigns for pharmaceuticals like Zantac and Claritin. His work on Claritin included optimization models to link media spending directly to peak allergy suffering periods.
He is a specialist at deciphering, intepreting, analyzing, reporting and presenting data and information clearly, cogently and quickly and is able to take projects to completion with minimal direction and management.
The following exhibits show examples of his work for i3, sensitive to the corporate image and identity and at the same time very aggressively and cleanly portraying critical information. Not only is the product beautiful, but it is always provided at lightning-quick response times.
Benefits and Advantages
First of all: cost. An internal resource that can provide services traditionally provided by advertising agencies and creative studios (sales graphics, slides, presentations) and information technologists (spreadsheets, applications troubleshooting and support) will cost far less than outsourcing each of those services individually.
Secondly, the availability of such a resource frees up billable FTEs from tasks that could consume hours or days; incrementally (but, ultimately, exponentially) increasing the productivity of everyone who utilizes the resource.
Finally, the dissemination of knowledge and learning that comes with every process-oriented query is of incalculable worth in its ability to make the entire organization smarter. Quick answers to small "How do I?"-type questions grow the knowledge base for everyone.
In addition to the types of documents and graphics shown above, there is a service component that is less easy to illustrate in images. This would include file conversion and transfer issues, specifically when dealing with files from Powerpoint, Acrobat, Word, Excel and other desktop applications. Often, for example, content arrives locked, and is needed more quickly than when a solution could be provided by corporate IT.
Other types of this work would include manipulating logos, screencaps, spreadsheets and text from one document or standard to another. These types of things normally vex most IT departments, for they generally tend to shy away from the specialist knowledge that they require.
Analytics and Mathematical Analysis
Unlike most graphics resources, this one has a little bit of a mathematical bent, which comes in handy when things get out of control. Like this:
This is a piece of a complicated spreadsheet detailing the specifics of a 23-trial bundle. What was not made easily clear from the data: how many FTE units exactly are allocated to these trials, and over what time frame? At this point, the Business Development team was able to hand this off for a more detailed analysis of the problem. The result of the analytical service is illustrated in the graphical product:
The first thing we see is: they're trying to make us think! Study numbering is hardly chronologically sequential, but now we have a better understanding of timelines. But that is only half of it.
The FTE drain is now clear, nearly 200 at the peak in late 2006 when nearly every trial is on line. This is a great example of where analysis and graphics intersect, providing not only a nifty couple of slides, but actionable and critical information as well.
The contract between i3 and Matt Staller concluded amiably in February 2006. A key issue was cost: with an intermediary agency collecting a 100% premium on a full-time contract position. We are now exploring opportunities to continue the relationship in a more prudent and cost-effective manner.
We are proposing making Matt available to the wider i3 organization -- with specific "red-alert" attention to Top 10 sales opportunities. The cost basis for such a contract would have two effects (a) create an incentive for i3 to use his services and (b) offer a cost-competitive alternative to certain projects currently sourced to the Ingenix marketing team in Salt Lake, or to our outside advertising agency. To that end, it would (i) reduce overall costs for marketing services and (ii) provide downward price pressure in future advertising services contract negotations.