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Successful International Growth
Industry Insight

Successful International Growth

Successful International Growth
Industry Insight

Successful International Growth

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Zinc Ahead has recently celebrated winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second time, following on from a successful increase in export sales over the last three years.

We spoke to James Brown, CEO at Zinc Ahead, to learn about some of the challenges facing pharmaceutical marketing, and find out how Zinc Ahead products can help.

AM: Can you tell us a little about Zinc Ahead?

JB: We originally formed Zinc Ahead in 2001, as the only dedicated provider of digital promotional material approval solutions to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. Today, Zinc is the leading enabler of content compliance and rich media management for the life science industry. Two million digital assets have been approved through the Zinc cloud, transforming the digital media development and compliance community. 

Our team blends extensive pharmaceutical industry expertise and outstanding web development skills to deliver tailored approval solutions that enhance client competitiveness. All of our key account personnel have worked in the pharmaceutical industry on either the client or agency side of the business, and have an excellent first-hand understanding of the issues associated with review and approval processes. As the business has grown we now have offices in the USA, UK and Australia. 

AM: Zinc Ahead saw an increase in export sales by 337% in the last three years. What factors can you attribute to this success?

JB: The growth over the past few years has exceeded even our own expectations. I believe our success can be directly attributed to our employees and customer base. Since we formed Zinc, 14 years ago, we have been focused on delivering and enabling productivity and compliance for the life sciences industry. The growth has been achieved though our employees hard work and dedication, but also the faith placed in us by our customers and community. We are truly grateful to be a trusted partner to so many of the world’s life science companies.

AM: What are some of the challenges facing pharmaceutical marketing?

JB: Digital content development requires more intensive planning, dynamic assembly, and responsive collaboration across a wider internal audience but has the potential to reach a broader public with much more targeted impact. Pharma marketers, therefore, require a mechanism that facilitates and accelerates the development of digital material, ensuring content remains compliant while speeding up approval times before publication. We have tried to meet these challenges face-on through the development of our solutions in the Zinc product suite.

AM: Your flagship product is Zinc MAPS. Can you describe how this product can help with content compliance and rich media management?

JB: Zinc MAPS is a web-based application designed to accommodate materials requiring multiple-stakeholder approvals. The application has been developed based upon first-hand experience of approval systems within the pharmaceutical industry with more than 50,000 marketing, medical and legal professionals using Zinc daily in 170 countries. 
In addition, Zinc Ahead provides approval solutions for 165 pharmaceutical companies and 900 agencies globally. Global installations of MAPS allow us to implement our solutions for clients in all of their operating markets. Some of our clients have up to one hundred and sixty countries that use the application. I think from a global point of view, we are really working with our clients to make sure Zinc is deployed everywhere for them - there are no markets in which we cannot operate.

AM: Zinc Ahead was recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for the second time. Have you got any advice for implementing a successful strategy for international growth?

JB: We are absolutely delighted with the award and would like to thank our customers and all of Zinc’s employees around the world for this outstanding achievement and recognition. It is truly beyond any of our expectations to win our second Queens award this year, it was an achievement in itself to have won for the first time in 2013! We view ourselves as a global company, although our roots are in the UK and I think that was very much recognised with the Queens Award.

In terms of a strategy for international growth, the company’s success has been largely due to remaining committed to its core focus from the outset; excellent client service. Zinc’s investment in its Client Services team, in particular, underpins our long-held belief that the closer we are to our user community, the better equipped we are to deliver precisely what our clients need to support their evolving businesses. This customer-centric approach is certainly at the core of the Zinc success story.
This philosophy carried through to the creation of the Zinc Global Service Center, a 24/7, 365 days of the year open resource for its clients. Zinc operates three Service Centers, one in Europe, one in the US and the third in Asia, all staffed by Zinc employees who have deep knowledge of every aspect of the Zinc product suite. It is through Zinc’s dedication to delivering quick and effective support that has enabled Zinc’s customer satisfaction to remain so high. 

For more information, please visit http://www.zinc-ahead.com/ 

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James Brown was speaking to Anna-Marie MacDonald, Editor for Technology Networks.