As Silverlight Digital CEO Lori Goldberg remembers it, the client call came in at 5 o’clock in the afternoon on March 30. The request was an uncommon one for an uncommon time as the coronavirus began shutting down parts of the country: The client wanted its digital campaign live on April 1.
Goldberg is proud that Silverlight was able to accommodate it, with time to spare. “We have confidence in our background of historical knowledge and the capabilities of our trading desk,” she says. “We were able to take a normal planning process and truncate four months into four hours.”
Goldberg emphasizes this isn’t the usual way that Silverlight prefers to operate and that the back-and-forth of a longer planning process often proves invaluable. But given the sudden challenges presented by COVID-19 that many of its clients were facing, she feels the request was far from unreasonable. “It’s a good alternative for clients to be live and not miss a beat while reaching their audience,” she says.
This quick pivot underlines what SVP, managing director Michael Ackerman characterizes as one of Silverlight’s greatest strengths: an ability to remain “nimble, responsive and client-centric” under challenging circumstances.
The firm increased its revenue by 9% in 2019 to $10.7 million from 2018’s take of $9.8 million. It did so on the back of eight new assignments, including work from Biomarin (on Morquio A syndrome drug Vimizim), Mallinckrodt (on Therakos Photopheresis, which treats the skin symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma) and Lupin Pharmaceuticals (on bacterial vaginosis drug Solosec). It also added work on Sunovion’s COPD treatment Lonhala Magnair, for a campaign designed to increase exposure for the brand’s video assets.
While total head count declined by one, leaving Silverlight with 26 full-timers at the end of 2019, the company added a trio of agency veterans to its upper executive ranks: director, search and social Ruth Nightengale, media director Ryan Davidson and head of programmatic and analytics Damien DeFrances. “They all have large agency experience, but they wanted to be at a boutique agency where they could get their hands dirty on client campaigns instead of having a lot of layers under them,” Goldberg says.
Asked about the elements that differentiate Silverlight from its agency peers, Goldberg points to the firm’s status as a Google Premier Partner. “This is really advantageous for our clients and it gives us access to beta programs that aren’t open to the public yet,” she says. Other perks include direct access to Google’s legal department and an option to hold events in partnership with the company.
Foremost among the programming created in collaboration with Google is Silverlight’s annual Pulse program. “This year, we had a panel of doctors in different disciplines explaining how they consume media. It was a lively panel — it wasn’t just one KOL talking about a particular vertical, but an OB-GYN and a hematologist and others,” Goldberg says. “It was really engaging.”
Ackerman agrees, adding, “It’s a nice position to be in, to be viewed as a thought leader.”
The best marketing we saw in 2019…
The Nad and Tad campaign for the Testicular Cancer Foundation, created by Patients & Purpose. Our team found it to be light-hearted and fun, talking through a very sensitive topic. — Lori Goldberg