Top 100 Agencies 2015: Maricich Healthcare Communication

Guileless enthusiasm speaks volumes

Racecar driver Danica Patrick headlined Maricich's awareness push for Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare
Racecar driver Danica Patrick headlined Maricich's awareness push for Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

Not to shirk our reportorial duties, but let's depart from usual practice and allow Mark Maricich, CEO of Top 100 newcomer Maricich Healthcare Communication, to formally introduce you to himself and his 13-year-old company. 

“The year 2014 was one of the biggest breakthrough years in the history of our agency. We did some of the greatest campaigns in not just our history but in the history of healthcare. They evolved to become more than campaigns. They're true movements … There's this internal mantra we use—I have it written in a few different places. It's ‘world domination' … We're busy. We're doing great, great work. This is a way of life for us.”

After listening to any number of agency ­execs say the same thing in a more understated manner, Maricich's enthusiasm and confidence come across as guileless and, frankly, refreshing. It doesn't hurt that he has good reason to crow: His company boosted its full-time head count to 25 (supported by what Maricich calls “a bank of 20 contract players”) and jumped revenue to “close to” $20 million.

And while we'll leave it to historians to size up the ultimate impact of MHC's 2014 campaigns, there's no denying that the agency cranked out a great deal of clever, insightful work in recent months. Take the company's efforts on behalf of Aramark Uniform Service, a maker and marketer of hospital scrubs. Rather than attempt to differentiate the product, MHC instead emphasized the role Aramark hopes to play in contributing to more effective infection control in surgical environments.

“In our minds, that's the real foundation of what they do,” Maricich says. Other new or expanded cli­ent relationships include L.A. Care Health Plan, UC Irvine Health and Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare.

As for challenges, Maricich says he “[doesn't] think that way.” He acknowledges that the difficulty bar for some of MHC's work was elevated by marketplace dynamics: “If you're doing campaigns for healthcare systems, your messaging changes dramatically when two or three of your client's competitors suddenly merge.”

Still, MHC's people pride themselves on their ability to adjust on the fly, Maricich says. “[VP, client engagement] Tracy McCarty has worked on the client side, at Akron Children's Hospitals and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, CA. She's also a registered nurse … It seems like everybody here has a partner or a spouse who's an anesthesiologist or a clinical social worker. I don't know how it ended up that way, but it works.”

Maricich promises further expansion in the remaining months of 2015 and beyond. “We're doubling our physical agency size. We just made a deal with the building to get the space next door and we're going to knock a big hole in the wall,” he says, noting that the additional real estate will clear room for another “10 or so” full-timers. Maricich starts to reveal another facet of his plan for world domination, but stops mid-sentence: “I can't go there. I don't want to show my cards to my competitors who may be reading this.”

Maricich laughs heartily, then continues. “I'm pretty straightforward, as you can probably tell. But I mean it: I want to be the top independent healthcare agency in the country. We've been a little under the radar, but our time is now.”


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