When discussing Deloitte Digital’s 2020, it’s impossible not to lead with the numbers. The firm saw revenue surge by $89 million, from 2019’s take of $178 million to $267 million. “We actually not only exceeded our original expectations pre-pandemic, but we did it by double-digit percentages,” reports principal Mark Singer.
However, he acknowledges some small degree of surprise at the final results. “I’m not afraid to tell you that we weren’t certain what it was going to be,” Singer continues. “If we would have done this interview a year ago today, I would have said I’m not 100% certain where we will end up.”
Deloitte Digital attributes the year’s successes in large part to the development of proprietary tools. Its Values Compass is designed to enable businesses to understand and align with the values of their customers, workforces and partners.
Nested within the agency’s Human Experience platform, it is part of a suite of programs aimed at helping Deloitte clients achieve ambitious marketing and digital goals. A few of the programs — especially MyPath to Work, designed to help companies manage COVID-related workplace health risks — were developed specifically in response to the pandemic.
“As a consulting firm, we have our fingers on the pulse of a lot of things going on in the market,” Singer says. “We had a pretty good indication that the pandemic was not going to pass quickly.”
The firm’s client base in the healthcare sector spans any number of pharma giants, as well as research initiatives (the NYU Langone Health Digital Design Lab, the Harvard Global Health Institute’s Drivers of Health) and managed-care organizations (Gateway Health). While all companies faced pandemic-related challenges, Singer says the ones facing managed-care orgs were especially profound.
“They knew eventually they had to figure out how to get people comfortable and coming back,” he explains. “That involved everything from marketing communications to the kind of testing and tracking they had.”
As for Deloitte Digital’s huge leap in head count, from 999 people at the beginning of 2020 to 1,299 at the end of it, Singer says it’s just a start. “We have a wide open hiring plan right now,” he notes.
Recent additions included chief creative officer Leslie Sims, previously with Ogilvy; managing director Brian Corvino, from Decision Resources Group; and head of strategy, Chicago Nathan Young, from Periscope. The agency also named Deloitte veteran Kavitha Prabhakar as the organization’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
Reflecting on the year’s events, Singer sees more progress that he might reasonably have expected back in March 2020.
“The pandemic certainly helped our clients push through barriers of new methods of care delivery such as telemedicine, and the regulatory environment enabled a lot of acceleration,” he explains. However, he questions whether solutions engineered during 2020 will outlive the pandemic. “I’m really interested to see what happens in the next year or two, to see how much of it sticks.”
But Singer has no such doubts when it comes to the path ahead for Deloitte Digital. “We’re going to continue to dominate.”
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The idea I wish I had…
Clubhouse arrived at a brilliant moment. It gave people a way to connect that felt real and personal, and served as a perfect antidote for people working at home who wanted to connect, collaborate and learn. — Mark Singer