The Top 60: Cadient Group

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Digital powerhouse Cadient Group has averaged 34% growth over the last three years, and 2007 revenue increased to $23.59 million from $17.69 million in 2006. President and CEO Steve Wray is happy to report that the agency “realized objectives for further positioning of digital as a core strategic driver” and expanded and diversified its portfolio. 

“There have been great challenges and great opportunities,” Wray says. “The challenges have been things we've turned into opportunities. It's fairly straightforward for most marketers to see that there's a shift to digital media—in both professional and consumer. The challenge is to help clients understand that it's not just changing channels; it's about changing process.”

The agency pulled in 16 wins and only lost two. Wray declines to name clients, but says new work came in from the following therapeutic areas: gastroenterology, pain management, oncology, dermatology, orthopedic devices, respiratory, CNS and diabetes. The majority of 2007 wins were for both professional and consumer, which Wray calls “really positive” because it signals an integrated approach to product launch. 

With digital media becoming core for clients, Cadient is acting as an integrator for other marketing agencies. “That's the full circle we've realized in the course of the last two years,” Wray says. “It's logical when you think about what data has reflected for consumer and professional preference for information. If the customer has spoken that digital is their core source, then the reflection will lead you to say that digital needs to be at the core. We've launched eight different brands with a significantly higher percentage of the launch being driven by digital media—it's much more of the overall launch engine for new product coming to market.” 

Wray recruits “24/7” and more than 25% of new hires have come from referrals. New executive team hires were Barb Dowling, SVP, customer engagements and Pete Dannenfelser, VP, strategic innovation.

“[Cadient is attractive] to those who share our belief that healthcare communications will be improved through digital media,” Wray adds. “A lot of folks are passionate about it and about coming to work for an independent that can in many ways control our destiny.”

Wray sees increased product launches in specialized medicine as a macro trend, and digital is a perfect medium to promote specialized medicine. “Specialty medicine is clearly reflecting what's happening in pipelines and approvals,” Wray says. “It's really becoming a much greater percentage of our focus because that's what's happening with client portfolios and pipelines. Digital media has a decided advantage in forming communities or addressing specialized needs.”

This year, two business units were also introduced: Cadient Interactive, which specializes in custom digital services, and GEL Interactive Technologies, which specializes in proprietary portal and experiential marketing technologies. 

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