2e unofficially added another skill to its set in early 2019 when, amid a clash between a client’s sales and marketing teams at a planning event, it stepped in and served as the unofficial silo whisperer.
The agency’s handling of the situation was emblematic of its ability to navigate any number of twists and turns in relationships — both between client and agency and between client function A and client function B.
“One of the things we recognize but refuse to accept is the tension in many organizations between marketing and sales,” explains 2e president Steve Roseman.
He understands why conflicts between the two groups exist. Not only do they compete for increasingly scarce resources, but they frequently operate on different timelines. Whereas sales team members are focused on short-term goals that dictate their commissions, marketers “tend to take a longer-term view,” Roseman says.
Indeed, 2e prides itself on its ability to bridge this divide. For many of its client relationships, 2e comes into the organization and trains the sales teams, while simultaneously attempting to align all internal stakeholders on the same page. The goal, according to 2e chief growth officer Jessica Boden, is to streamline internal operations so that “everything moves more quickly.”
Over the past few years, the agency has placed a renewed emphasis on serving long-term clients, a list that includes Novartis, AbbVie, Sanofi Genzyme, Genentech and CooperSurgical.
“We want to decode the tradition that clients leave agencies after three to four years,” Roseman explains. “You hear, ‘It’s hard to find an agency!’ and ‘It’s hard to find a client!’ Why do we abandon each other?”
In 2018 and 2019, the agency threw itself into reinvigorating existing relationships, making them “even more mutually beneficial than they were in the honeymoon period,” Roseman adds.
That attentiveness contributed to another year of double-digit revenue growth. In 2019, 2e saw revenue jump 32%, from $15.2 million in 2018 to $20.1 million in 2019. Head count similarly spiked, from 124 full-timers at the end of 2018 to 145 a year later.
On the launch front, one of 2e’s most successful efforts during 2019 came on behalf of Alcon’s intraocular lens PanOptix. “We were able to help them achieve their six-month objective of market leadership six weeks post-launch,” Boden reports.
In addition to sales training and support, 2e differentiates itself from other agencies through its medical expertise. “Our first step when we engage with a client is to study the science,” Roseman notes, pointing to activities such as generating internal white papers about the clinical environment and disease state for the product in question. The agency counts four full-time medical writers and researchers among its full-time staff and taps into a network of outside experts, most of whom are physicians, as needed.
“We insist we understand the medicine behind it, not just the marketing,” Roseman adds.
The best marketing we saw in 2019…
We were moved by the Mutilated Words campaign for 28 Too Many to raise awareness around female genital mutilation. It takes an extremely taboo subject and uses beautiful calligraphy and a simple thread to communicate the inhumanity of FGM. It’s extremely provocative in its simplicity and powerful in its unexpected, tactile approach. — Steve Roseman