Top 100 Agencies 2015: The Cadient Group

Digital partnerships and strategic insight

The Cadient Group's Web content for GlaxoSmithKline's Consumer Healthcare demonstrates Cadient's digital insight
The Cadient Group's Web content for GlaxoSmithKline's Consumer Healthcare demonstrates Cadient's digital insight

The Cadient Group had another great year in terms of revenue, which was up 26%, and a watershed year in its evolution. Cognizant Technology Solutions, the multinational US-based behemoth, acquired Cadient last October. The agency resides fully intact within Cognizant's Life Sciences Business Unit.

“There's a unique period of transformation occurring in life sciences,” says Cadient president and CEO Stephen Wray. “Traditionally, the CMO and CIO organizations have operated as distinct, parallel universes within life sciences companies. We believe the relationship between these groups is going to become much more collaborative. Bringing Cadient into one of the largest technology solutions consultancies in the world is a future-looking approach to addressing this new dynamic and one that no other digital agency can deliver to clients today.”

Sixteen new accounts (23 new brands) were won last year across a broad spectrum, including specialty oncology, rare and orphan diseases, metabolic and diabetes, anti-infectives and surgical and wound-care devices. Twelve were digital AOR assignments. 

Quite a few clients awarded work on print and educational work as well. One existing account was resigned due to strategic misalignment and another was lost after the brand portfolio was acquired. 

“We consistently seek to raise the bar on what's possible through technology,” Wray says. “In 2014 we further expanded the use of emerging tech in live events, such as augmented reality and connected devices, to improve audience engagement, and we received numerous accolades for this work. We are also combining our expertise around technology and user experience to help our clients' clinical research stakeholders change the way they interface with investigators and research sites.” 

Total head count across all offices was up from 131 in 2013 to 152. As of early May 2015 it hit 163. 

The agency built what Wray describes as state-of-the-art new headquarters in Malvern, PA. Its Asia office was also upgraded last year; staff there increased from 30 to 40. The Malvern office features increased collaboration and innovation-focused space, including a user experience lab that supports CXC, Cadient Experience Consultancy. CXC was established in mid-2014 and houses behavioral research, user experience, design prototyping and user-centric design capabilities. 

“We continued to expand our CXC head count and we have the luxury of extending our UX and UX-design expertise by collaborating with Cognizant SMEs in these disciplines,” Wray says. “This also allows us greater insight into best practices from adjacent verticals such as retail, financial services, entertainment, etc.” 

Wray is proud of the agency's performance during an acquisition year. He attributes the success to the focus and commitment of Cadient's employees and the shared vision of Cognizant's leadership team.  

The usual challenges of integration after acquisi­tion, he adds, were greatly offset by the excitement of offering a new and different proposition. “Perhaps our most important challenge is introducing a new model for digital partnership to commercial and IT customers,” Wray explains. “We believe digital partners should consistently provide strategic innovation, deliver technology integration and implement effectively across multiple channels. As a Cognizant company, Cadient can deliver all three. We're making progress in conveying this message—we're attempting to transform a business model and an industry mind-set.”

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