A strategic problem solver and marketing innovator, Joe Grace has helped develop a “Who’s Who” of consumer health and wellness brands. His portfolio, which spans 20 years, includes the introduction, positioning and growth of such name-brand companies as WebMD, Medscape, Perricone MD Cosmaceuticals, and Suzanne Somers’ ThighMaster.
As an early proponent of direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing in the healthcare industry, Grace worked with many of the top tier brands in the industry to create highly efficient DTC marketing programs. His creativity and depth of marketing experience cover a broad range of consumer health products including prescription drugs, medical devices, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, skincare, and patient education. Grace also has a deep understanding of the regulatory environment, including the FDA/FTC regulations that must be taken into consideration when creating successful DTC marketing programs.
In 1990, following a successful run as the founding president of feature film production entity Regency Films, Grace co-founded Ovation Communications, a television direct marketing (DRTV) company. His production background and relationships with talent agencies helped Ovation make its mark quickly as one of the top performers in the DRTV industry. Successes included Suzanne Somers’ ThighMaster, with sales in excess of $100 million. ThighMaster set an industry standard for the efficient use of DRTV, not only for driving drive direct-to-consumer sales but also for building brands and opening up retail distribution channels.
After selling his interest in Ovation, Grace pioneered the use of multi-channel, direct marketing to promote innovative consumer health and wellness products directly to consumers. He has contributed to the success of numerous "e-health" businesses. As head of online marketing at WebMD, Grace was responsible for growing this struggling new business into the premiere destination for online health information. He was also responsible to introducing and growing WebMD’s premium services, including the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, WebMD University, and the WebMD Fertility Clinic.
Grace has worked directly with top pharmaceutical and medical device brands to create multi-channel, closed-loop marketing programs with impressive ROIs. His general business advice is also highly valued. As the founder of Health Marketing Partners, Grace has consulted with private equity firms on a broad range of transactions, including the spin-off of four orphan consumer health brands by GlaxoSmithKlein and the sale of Physician’s Desk Reference, UpToDate and WebMD’s Little Blue Book.
Grace earned an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School and a BSEE from Cornell’s Engineering School. He is currently one of 12 alumni invited to work with the faculty and students as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Cornell’s Johnson School of Business.