MedThink Communications had a banner 2010, reporting over 20% growth and launching a standalone unit for client publications. But 2011 was a bit quieter for the Raleigh, NC-based full-service agency.
“It was fairly stable year,” said Scott Goudy, MedThink's co-founder and president. “Certain clients have had things delayed a bit that we thought would help us grow but that didn't come through. But we see that trend changing this year. In 2011 we were fairly flat to 2010, but I see 2012 being a growth year for us.”
Last year, MedThink reported $16.25 million in revenue for 2010. Goudy declined to disclose financials this year.
One big change is co-founder Walt Clarke's stepping back from his duties role at the company. “He's focused on an investment role,” Goudy said, adding that, “Walt will maintain his interest in MedThink; he is just not involved in the day-to-day operations of the agency. This move was made so we could focus the agency under a singular vision.”
Goudy said his agency won four new accounts in 2011, but, he added, non-disclosure agreement clauses in the contracts prevent him from identifying the clients. No accounts were lost last year, he added. MedThink clients include Glenveigh Medical, Rho, United Therapeutics, Teva Neuroscience and Wilmington Pharmaceuticals.
Salix, for whom MedThink is digital, media, and social media agency of record, is a crucial account. Programs included the mobile version of Salix's GI Digest, a free newsletter for professionals in the gastroenterology community, and the Colonoscopy for Dummies campaign promoting a free brochure designed to demystify the procedure for patients and help get better results for physicians. It covers topics from how long it will last to whether a patient can wear makeup to the procedure. In promoting the brochure, MedThink reached multiple channels through sales representatives, journal advertisements, banner advertising, search engine marketing, and social and digital media. In the first 11 months after release, the book had been downloaded over 32,000 times, and there have been more than 100,000 requests for the hard copy. The campaign was a finalist for an MM&M Award, Best Total Integration Campaign for a Small Company.
In 2010, MedThink SciCom was founded as a standalone agency dedicated to client publications, separating scientific communications from promotion. But much of 2011 was spent, according to Goudy, “expanding digital capabilities.” The agency employs about 60 people, but Goudy added, “Our headcount is going to evolve—but there have been no significant changes. We want to make sure we have the proper staff in place as more work goes digital.” Those capabilities range from analytics to user experience to in-house web development. “We're really developing an in-house agency, a full-service digital offering.”
At the same time, MedThink is taking steps to make sure that the digital offering isn't a bolt-on, distinct from the agency's offering. Goudy estimated that 50% to 60% of promotional revenue is digital.
“It's becoming intermingled with the rest of the agency. We're finding that a lot of clients are focusing much more of their dollars on digital delivery, and we've integrated it so we don't have to think of digital as separate from promotion. It's all part of the whole at this point.