Wendy Montella is a product marketing manager at MMIT. As part of the larger product team, Montella supports the commercialization of new products by creating go-to-market strategies and ensuring MMIT’s commercial teams are set up for success when selling new products. She also partners closely with MMIT’s marketing team to convey new product messaging, support impactful marketing campaigns and develop internal and external communications for product releases and enhancements.
How did you join MMIT?
Before joining MMIT, I spent the last 15 years working in pharma agency client services. About four years ago, I accepted a position at my first market access-specific agency and began to really enjoy learning about the evolving challenges in this space. In that time, I started to become familiar with MMIT because my clients were utilizing our products and data. After many years of working in a client-facing role, I was looking for something new and challenging, and that’s when the opportunity to work in product at MMIT came along.
What does your day-to-day usually look like?
It really depends on the day. Some days, most of my time is spent in meetings, discussing various aspects of product development with other stakeholders to make sure we’re aligned. I do a lot of writing as well, so a lot of my day can be spent crafting messaging for our products and supporting external communications to clients.
What are some of the larger projects you’re working on?
Most of my efforts lately have been put toward the recent launch of a new product called Coverage Finder. We launched the early adopter phase in March. During this time, we are slowly bringing some of our clients on board so we can work on validating its features and making sure we’re solving any challenges before we make it available to our entire client base.
This work also involves managing a partnership with a third party, which has been very interesting.
What are some of the common challenges of your role?
I primarily work with our pharma client segment, but it’s a very diverse group. I think when a lot of people think of pharma, they think of the bigger players, like Pfizer for example. But we service a wide variety of clients; some of them are small, and some of them are commercializing their first drug. Clients in each of these segments have different needs, and we must be able to meet those different needs from a product perspective. In addition to that, the market access landscape is always changing, and staying on top of what’s going on within the industry and how that will impact our work will always be a challenge.
What’s been your career highlight to date?
Coming to MMIT was a significant career highlight for me. It was a big career change, and while it was great to stay in the pharma industry, I came from a very different type of role, so I knew I would have a lot to learn about working in product development. Even though I was bringing 15 years of general pharma and market access knowledge to this role, a career change can still be intimidating. But fast-forward two years, and I can confidently say it was a great decision. I feel like I’ve been successful in my role and I’m really enjoying all aspects of the job.
What trends are you seeing across the industry right now that MMIT is in a unique position to help with?
Real-world data is probably the biggest trend we’re hearing about right now. Manufacturers need to be able to generate data, analyze it, generate insights and use that to optimize access to their therapies. In the past, clients were using traditional market access coverage data, but now they’re realizing it’s become more important to incorporate real-world data with more traditional datasets. That supports a more comprehensive market access story. I work closely with a product called FormTrak in Veeva where we are now starting to utilize claims data, which is a type of real-world data, to inform our data outputs.
Which company principle resonates most with you?
Humility, gratitude and learning. I don’t think we ever stop learning — once you learn something and you’re confident with it, something else will pop up and then you’ll have to start the whole process all over again. I’ve had to do that a lot in my time at MMIT. But MMIT has been a great place for that. Whether you consider yourself an expert or not, there’s always room to keep learning. I also have a lot of gratitude for the opportunities that I’ve had here, taking on this new role on a product team. My colleagues are so experienced in this industry and I’m grateful to have learned so much from them.
What would you tell someone just starting their career with MMIT?
Meet people and find out what you can learn from them. There are so many people with great experience at MMIT whether they came from pharma, or data analytics, or something else. You’re going to find really valuable people who you can go to as a resource.
Where do you see Norstella this time next year?
At Norstella, we talk a lot about helping our clients navigate the complexities of the drug development process. It is a truly complex process with so many different moving parts, and it requires a lot of support along the way. I think we’ll continue to be a one-stop-shop market leader for our clients going through this process. We have a great portfolio of brands right now.
What do you like most about working at MMIT?
What I like most is the people I work with every day and what I’ve been able to learn from everyone. I also feel like my work-life balance has really improved working at MMIT, which I am super grateful for.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have a 4-year-old son and an 8-year-old Black Lab! I love spending time with my husband and my family as much as possible. We are kind of like the Three Musketeers, plus the dog. We love to hike, spend time outside and travel together. My husband and I also love music and going to concerts — we have tickets to seven concerts already for this summer — so we can’t wait until our son is old enough to come along with us.