Health E-Insights: What was your motivation to move from a corporate position to consulting?
Doyle: Opening my own consulting business has been a dream for many years, and last year I had the opportunity and means to start the journey down this new path. I have a loving husband who believes in me and provides daily support, and between him and my industry friends I was afforded the opportunity to take the leap. There were no major obstacles to speak of, moving from corporate to consulting was a surprisingly smooth transition, and I am thankful for this.
Health E-Insights: Share a little about your expertise.
Doyle: I have hands on experience in and leadership of a multitude of functions across innovation, science, regulatory, technical, business development and marketing with a proven track record of driving corporate growth and revenue from concept through commercialization. The companies for which I have worked are multinational giants to smaller entrepreneurial entities, and I have had the opportunity to work with businesses in all major geographies including North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Health E-Insights: What consulting services do you provide and what type of clients do you prefer to consult with?
Doyle: Utilizing expertise in innovation, strategy, marketing, insights, product development, leadership, commercial, science and regulatory, Avant Nutrition provides a comprehensive approach for nutraceutical ingredient, dietary supplement, functional food, and beverage companies. We focus on strategy development across several disciplines including corporate, business development, marketing communications, scientific or regulatory. In addition, we provide hands on support for these various fields, including claims and concept development, positioning, communications, and collaterals. With regards to the types of clients I prefer to consult with, it is really about the people. I am a deeply passionate individual, and I enjoy working with similarly passionate people. I also must believe in the products, brands, services for which I am consulting.
Health E-Insights: What is your competitive advantage?
Doyle: Passion, knowledge and expertise, drive, and contacts. My unique skillset of crossing science, regulatory, technical, sales and marketing for innovation and business development, provides a strong foundation to allow me to consult with multiple teams from a broader view across different subjects. I have a wealth of industry experience to translate science into marketing within different regional regulatory confines. During my more than 30 years in the nutrition space I have been able to witness the evolution of the nutrition industry, which helps me better understand the market and develop long-term vision. Over the years, I have been fortunate to foster strong relationships with industry and scientific leaders, and my expansive network enables me to reach out to experts in many fields.
Health E-Insights: Describe the challenges of consulting in 2020.
Doyle: It is crucial to find innovative ways to meet the needs of clients in a volatile market. During the last several months, there have been some industry disruptions due to COVID-19, for example in ongoing clinical trials, delayed shipments from various regions due to closed borders or shipping lanes, slowed government responses and product development. Many companies are also reducing budgets while navigating this new environment. Although there are uncertainties in the market and economy, a positive outlook goes a long way in achieving future goals.
Health E-Insights: Has COVID-19 changed how you do business?
Doyle: Like everyone else, we are learning to adapt to a new business model, environment, and communications strategy. Although I have worked remotely since starting Avant Nutrition, the face-to-face monthly meetings and the conferences and conventions have been replaced with video and phone calls. I do miss the direct contact but have found consistent communications and tools like Zoom do support ongoing projects, help build relationships and provide means to accomplish goals. Industry organizations have also risen to meet demands of communicating on a remote level with novel interactive digital sessions and shows.
Health E-Insights: As a consultant do you see any industry trends?
Doyle: Absolutely. Finding new ways to work and communicate, a huge uptick for immune ingredients and products, and continued innovation. On the first point, without face-to-face contact, companies are seeking new ways to present, meet and engage their clients, from short form webinars to internally working with Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other platforms, even learning how remote operations are successful on many levels. To help build the immune system as a defense against COVID-19, consumers are turning to herbals and immune supplements, leading to growth and new product development.
Health E-Insights: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Doyle: Helping my team members grow and succeed and driving successful growth through innovation for several of my former employers.
Health E-Insights: As president and CEO, what keeps you up at night?
Doyle: Knowing that I am doing right by my clients and exceeding their expectations.
Sheldon Baker is a senior member of Baker Dillon Group LLC and has created numerous nutraceutical brand marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known supplement and food industry companies. For Health E-Insights interview consideration or brand marketing consulting, contact him at SBaker@BakerDillon.com.