Top 100 Agencies: GCG Healthcare
Going forward from the recession, many agencies are facing a new normal: smaller budgets—and the cliché which accompanies them, “doing less with more.” Neil Foster, president of GCG Healthcare, says this paradigm shift plays to the agency's strengths: “It's nice because it diversifies our business. We're getting more business for more brands, but working with smaller budgets—that's the difference.”
And that difference, according to Foster, has translated into 20% growth over the past year—and no disclosed losses. “I think we've done a good job of accomplishing some steady growth, which allows us to take smart steps in making sure we've got the right resources to accommodate the business.”
The right resources for the Fort Worth-based agency have been digital expertise, says Foster. “The biggest change for us has been adding more digital services. Our digital business has grown tremendously and it's about half of our business now.” That half consists mostly of website development, banner advertising, and marketing strategy for eCommerce sites.
In the past year, the agency has picked up six wins: Amedra Pharmaceuticals for an Rx brand, Beier Drawtex Healthcare, Dermatapathology Laboratories of Central States, Provista Diagnostics for dtectDx Breast, PhysAssist Scribes and Taro for an undisclosed Rx and OTC product.
When asked about the strong growth year, Foster replies, “There's nothing magic about it. It just really comes down to rolling up your sleeves and trying to work harder than most agencies.”
He acknowledges the balancing act hard agency work requires: “We're very much a creative driven shop that works very hard to not cut corners, and at the same time we try to do that without being a sweatshop.”
Negotiating that fine line requires the right people, a challenge Foster knows all too well: “Our product is our people. The biggest thing on our end we can do is to try and provide the best culture you possibly can in this business. We really try to encourage a comfortable and creative environment. It's very team oriented here, as well. We review people on how well they interact with their peers. This whole thing is about teamwork.”“Though it's a hard working environment and a difficult industry,” he continues, “I think that this place is kind of a safe haven where creative people can coexist and work well together as a team and not feel threatened by individuals that might have personal agendas. That's not easy. It's taking creative people—who are naturally competitive—and having them work side by side and push each other—but in a friendly manner—that's a fine art in and of itself.”