Butler/Till Health Group | 2017

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Butler/Till Health Group

Performance

Revenue increased more than 14% to $16.9 million

Plans

“While we've experienced steady growth for several years, that can only last so long. We're exploring acquisition opportunities to expand our client base, talent, 
and services” 
— Keith Betz

Prediction

“Healthcare organizations will learn to operate more efficiently by breaking down data silos and adopting a more integrated approach to data” 
— Keith Betz

Though Rochester, New York-based Butler/Till boasts a long history in pharmaceutical and medical marketing, it only launched its health group division in 2015. However, the independent agency has quickly been making up for lost time.

“We've expanded our client roster to include some of the largest healthcare brands in the world,” says Keith Betz, VP of client services, pointing to the firm's “culture of ownership” as a key to employee satisfaction. “Team turnover is a key reason why clients leave agency partners. But it's not uncommon for us to be on a brand longer than the brand team — and to be the ones providing the historical knowledge needed to inform future efforts.”

Keith Betz

VP of client services: Keith Betz

Betz adds that Butler/Till Health Group prides itself on its transparency, which he believes is “imperative in this digital media world. There are no hidden fees and our compensation models are simple, clear, and often a source of relief for clients who have worked with more confusing models.” 

That model helped Butler/Till bring on Stacey Barlow from Universal McCann to be VP of media investment.
The health group added 14 new assignments this past year, including several from Bausch + Lomb and Hologic, boosting revenue from roughly $14.8 million in 2015 to $16.9 million last year. The company's client roster also includes Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Celgene, Aclaris Therapeutics, Valeant, and Salix.

Betz says the agency employs a philosophy he characterizes as “hands-on keyboard,” which tightly binds the planning and execution of all campaigns. For example, when Butler/Till took over a display campaign from another agency, it needed to examine its performance to set benchmarks. In doing so, the team noticed the previous plan hadn't been adjusted or optimized between launch and its arrival at Butler/Till.

“With the increasing complexity of digital-media campaigns, it's not hard to imagine the client simply didn't know what was or wasn't happening,” Betz says. The agency quickly shifted strategies and immediately saw costs decrease and engagement surge, he adds. “Our approach creates a vested interest in and sense of ownership of the campaign success at the execution level, which doesn't exist at most agencies.”

Betz says the health group is looking forward to more preaching of the transparency and measurement gospels.

“Healthcare marketers are under enormous pressure to prove the return on investment of their efforts,” he continues. “We've leveraged various data sources to create highly targeted, efficient, and effective digital-media campaigns that are ROI-positive. We're doing some really sophisticated work in a space that was stuck in traditional media for a very long time.”

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