Top 100 Agencies: RevHealth
Revenue at Morristown, NJ-based RevHealth took a healthy jump last year, going from about $12 million to more than $16 million, just shy of managing partner Bruce Epstein's forecast.
Existing client wins included two new Novartis brands and one new Merck brand, assigned as a result of the agency's membership in the Independent Network (formed in 2011 and led by JUICE Pharma).
New relationships began with Ranbaxy (AOR for two dermatology brands), LifeCell Corporation (project work on hernia repair products), and United Allergy Services (professional project work).
An AOR assignment on a Pacira Pharmaceuticals' pain product came in earlier this year.
Digital work, including iPad visual aids, patient social media programs, wireframes, and some website coding, represents about 30% of revenue.
Epstein says many clients, including Watson, Novartis and Merck, now recognize the value of one agency working on a project from beginning to end.
“In the past clients would have their professional agency hand some work off to a digital agency, and it was less efficient,” he explains. “Larger companies are recognizing their professional agency may be capable of managing the entire project.”
The partners continued to bolster their digital bench with eight digital hires in the last 12 months, including SVPs Peter DeLorenzo, who leads digital strategy, and Jeff Kurek, who leads digital design. Sheri Thornberg also joined in 2012 as SVP, client services.
Staff went from 53 at the end of 2011 to 70 last year. It's now at 80. The agency moved into a 20,000 square-foot office space in March 2013. Epstein says a lot of good senior level people are looking for new growth opportunities given consolidation at large agencies.
“We're moving away from print and very quickly into electronic,” Epstein says. “Digital projects have many more development steps, so they tend to be longer timeline and larger budget projects than traditional print. Our clients are adjusting to this reality.”
Challenges last year included risk aversion within the industry and agency consolidations driven primarily by procurement departments. Epstein also notes the increasing power of managed care and decreases in the number of products being promoted and in the promotional sensitivity of prescribers.
“We've had no issue in finding qualified digital people from pharma and consumer agencies,” he says. “We've also found a lot of strong copywriters, which has always been difficult.”
Revenue is expected to hit $20 million this year. Continuing to help clients become more efficient will be key to growth.“Efficiency is not about hourly rate,” Epstein notes. “It's about having a senior staff of people do good work in less hours than the inefficient big agencies. We continue to win because our competition still hasn't recognized how to hire people with the greatest growth potential.”