The Top 60: Dudnyk
President Lorna Weir says the vision of delivering “bold brand solutions,” particularly in specialty markets, has really taken hold and continues to drive strong growth for Dudnyk.
Revenue rose 25% last year, and it's up 15% already this year. Headcount increased by five to a total of 45.
“We've put a model in place that has been very successful for us; it focuses our efforts on what we do best—therapeutic expertise and experience,” says Christopher Tobias, PhD, SVP, scientific and strategic services.
It was a big year for new business. While organic wins have been a core component of growth, the Horsham, PA, shop enjoyed a 70% success rate in new business conversions last year. Ten accounts were won, including Ferumoxytol, a new iron product from AMAG Pharmaceuticals; a new oncology product for Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals; and two products from Sirion Therapeutics (difluprednate and ganciclovir); and a new oncology product from Fujirebio Diagnostic. The agency's Merck roster expanded to include Cozaar and Propecia. CSL Behring's Rhophylac was the only loss.
Dudnyk is known for exceptional creative and for providing senior talent to every client. Agency leaders are committed to keeping senior talent up against clients, and managing growth was really the only challenge last year. “It's directly tied to bringing people on board who have great experience,” Weir notes. “Location is the greatest hurdle. We have a good reputation, and people are interested in being here.”
EVP creative director Barry Schmader says winning enough new business to create a need to hire more senior talent is a good challenge to have. “We're not looking to double our size,” he adds. “We're not answering to big investors or capital investors so we can control that growth a bit more and manage issues a bit more.”
The agency rolled out new four new self-promotion ads, which have helped stimulate new business and attract talent. “Self-promotion continues to be a driver for the business,” says Frank Powers, EVP, management supervisor. He adds that 75% of calls from the ad are regarding new business.
Schmader explains that Dudnyk is in a sweet spot to deliver in today's environment of declining launches and slow timeframes. “Providing brand solutions is needed more than ever,” he says. “The need to get more out of brands and extend product life is good for us because we have strong experience and background in doing that. The challenge is that we see a lot of bigger network agencies in pitches for assignments that they might not have been in before. They're coming in to mixed results. We get calls from companies that are a year in with a big agency, but they're not happy.
They want more creative, depth of science, attention. The structure of big agencies is behind the curve. Our clients are comfortable with the senior attention that they get from us.”
Tobias expects specialty to keep growing. He notes the trend of people leaving big pharma to start biotech companies that intend to commercialize. “We see more noise generated around these companies forming and bringing novel products to market,” Tobias says. “As they're building how review processes can work, we can advise and give recommendations.”