Top 100 Agencies: DevicePharm

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DevicePharm work for Envoy Medical's Esteem
DevicePharm work for Envoy Medical's Esteem

DevicePharm is, if anything, true to its name. The southern California agency has launched over 400 healthcare brands, the majority of which are in devices and diagnostics. And those brands come from some of the largest players in the space—companies such as Abbott, Baxter and Covidien.

But that's not to say that they're only concerned with household names. The agency also helps to launch between five to six device manufacturers a year. “We have a strong commitment to our medical technology community in Southern California,” says Clay Wilemon, DevicePharma's CEO and chief strategy officer. “We put a lot of time and energy in trying to help incubate new companies and help new entrepreneurs get off the ground.”

The agency works to elevate others in their community through the non-profit organization OCTANe. “OCTANe is a community development organization that connects the medical technology and computer technology organizations in Orange County, and is a growth accelerator,” says Wilemon. “We've been very active in that organization over the last five or six years, and it's a big part of our efforts to help our community at large.”

In addition to DevicePharm serving as a sponsor of OCTANe, Wilemon also serves on the organization's board. The group, according to their website, has helped 110 companies receive more than $346 million in investment since it was formed in 2002, and it now has over 1,500 members.

That investment has paid off: revenue for the agency was up about 35% from 2012 versus 2011. DevicePharm also picked up eight new undisclosed clients in the past year.

Jon Hermie, president of DevicePharm, attributes the agency's continued success to a business model that is firmly rooted in strategy. “I would say our value proposition is that we develop marketing plans that are strategically sound and which speak very well, and consistently, to our target audiences,” he says. “When we do brand development work it all ties back to the business and marketing objectives of the company.”

While marketing plans are becoming increasingly  about digital, says Hermie, making the move to digital isn't the area in which his clients need a helping hand. “Clearly things continue to move more to digital,” he points out. “Our tablet development, predominantly led by the iPad, is growing by leaps and bounds. Taking a leading position here is showing clients how to use these applications and technology.”

Wilemon, on the other hand, asserts that digital is growing—but he stresses that it still remains just one piece that must be incorporated into a multi-faceted campaign. “Most of what we are doing with our clients is multichannel. So while digital continues to play a significant role, a key feature of DevicePharm is that we are focused on our roots in integrated marketing communications.”

The Irvine-based shop remains optimistic for 2013 and hopes to push its client base to new areas. “Frankly, we've been very successful at expanding our client base in the last year nationally,” says Wilemon when asked about the agency's growth.

“We're adding more clients in places like Atlanta, Minnesota, in the Northeast, and a lot of it is just on referral and people who've seen our business.”

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