Top 100 Agencies 2015: Excitant Healthcare Advertising

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Excitant Healthcare Advertising's multicustomer advocacy ad for McKesson employs classic peer-to-peer bonhomie to promote Paragon EHR
Excitant Healthcare Advertising's multicustomer advocacy ad for McKesson employs classic peer-to-peer bonhomie to promote Paragon EHR

When Excitant Healthcare Advertising President and CEO Mark Perlotto describes his company as “a fairly small agency but one with a great track record,” he's not just batting the balmy Georgia breezes. The Woodstock, GA–based agency's expertise paid off in 2014 with a slew of accolades for its creative work along with expanded business from clients including McKesson and Zoetis. As it moved into its fifth year of operation, Excitant witnessed revenue growth of 11% in 2014, Perlotto notes.

It did so by placing the focus on a balanced marketing mix with due consideration for traditional bread-and-butter marketing forms rather than by overpreaching the digital gospel. “Our job as an agency is to understand audiences and where they are spending their time. Otherwise, you are losing a big portion of your audiences,” Perlotto explains. “Smart marketers right now are seeing that not everyone wants to get messages through a smartphone or tablet. In 95% of cases, it's not all digital.”

Witness the agency's expanded work for McKes­son's Paragon Hospital Information System, in which a mix of mailing tactics was deployed for an audience identified with diverse preferences for media consumption. Building on a customer-testimonial initiative launched to promote an IT asset in 2011, Excitant developed Paragon Perspectives, a direct outreach campaign aimed at key influencers at 320 hospitals using competitors' systems. Alternating e-blasts and postal direct mail were sent in eight waves to four constituent groups.

“We took established assets from the pure customer-testimonial campaign and cost-effectively repurposed them to a targeted campaign customized to each discipline,” Perlotto says.

As part of its recently added McKesson product assignments, Excitant is handling One Content, a portal for cloud-stored hospital documents and supply chain services. The agency also took on expanded work from animal-health firm Zoetis, snaring the Witness line of veterinary point-of-care tests. For Zoetis's reference diagnostics group, Excitant will help launch Serelisa ParaTB (for detecting cattle infections) and ViraCHEK FIV (for feline immuno­deficiency virus).

For SYNERA pain-reduction patches (which ­Excitant launched for Galen US in 2013), patient- education supplements for parents, journal advertising and trade show materials were bolstered last year via the development of a new website and the design of a “SYNERA bear” pediatric icon. Further work with Prevention Pharmaceuticals has involved strategy work and package design for EyeHealth and line extensions of the OMAX3 Ultra-Pure omega-3 supplement.

In looking ahead, Excitant's pairing of core capabilities of strategy, account service and creative thinking with outside contracting for specialized digital work seems cost-effective and flexible.

“There is a pendulum swing with companies from medium-size on down away from key AOR partnerships,” Perlotto notes. “People are looking for smarter ideas rather than a strong structured relationship. It's less about hiring body count and more about the quality of the work and finding the right people.”

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