Since its inception in 2007, JPA Health has preached the integration gospel. In 2019, the agency tapped into an in-house platform to supercharge that capability in service of clients’ marketing and communications needs.

The company’s proprietary analytics tool, Gretel, has proven a key selling point as JPA Health attempts to better understand how audiences engage with each other and what influences them.

“Over the course of 2019, we were able to adapt Gretel so that we could help our clients with landscape analysis and also some HTP targeting that we had not used the tool for in the past,” explains JPA Health principal Carrie Jones. “That’s really been a game-changer for us.”

However, Jones cautions that true integration demands more than the clever deployment of software. To that end, she touts the breadth of ability among JPA Health staffers, which encompasses everything from policy chops to social media expertise. The company ended 2019 with 53 full-timers under its two roofs (in Washington, DC, and Boston), up from 47 at the end of 2018.

Jones believes the agency’s larger sense of mission toward improving people’s lives as well as the individual motivation from its staff members have been a powerful recruitment tool over the years. Recent hires included SVPs Karen Goldstein (who arrived from Zero To Three) and Kate Paxton (Ketchum) as well as COO Michael Sloan (from a consulting firm).

JPA Health saw revenue rise nearly 15% during 2019, to $11.6 million from 2018’s take of $10.1 million. The growth was fueled by a host of new business, including corporate assignments from Eli Lilly, Merck Animal Health, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, The Vitality Group, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Genomes2People and Fairfax Radiological Consultants.

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It also added work on CSL Behring’s immuno-deficiency treatment Hizentra and medical education around AstraZeneca’s lung portfolio. The firm ended its work on corporate assignments for NeuroDerm, the Together For Safer Roads Coalition and the Center for Eating Disorders.

Jones isn’t keen on singling out individual pieces of work, but she is clearly proud of JPA Health’s efforts on behalf of recently added client Epizyme, a Boston-based biotech. The agency helped engineer the launch of Tazverik, a treatment for advanced epithelioid sarcoma.

As for what comes next, Jones says JPA Health will embark on a corporate rebranding effort of its own during the second half of 2020. As part of it, the agency is likely to revamp its website and update its logo to better reflect its overall mission.

Like many of its agency-world peers, JPA Health will also focus on steering its clients — and itself — through the COVID-19 crisis. “We’ll really have to look at how we can do things better, faster and smarter,” she says.

The best marketing we saw in 2019…

Novartis’ branded campaign for Kisqali. The delicate flowers covering the porcelain body conveys fragility and strength. It’s a powerful juxtaposition of the terrifying moment a woman is diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and the promise of a strong treatment option. — Carrie Jones