While Silverlight Digital CEO Lori Goldberg likes to joke that the agency lost its ego a long time ago, there’s a kernel of truth to her jesting.

The agency is happy to adjust its modus operandi to accommodate clients, whether via partnerships with other agencies or any other arrangement that makes sense given the situation at hand. Meanwhile, given Silverlight’s corporate independence, Goldberg notes the firm rarely has to deal with “bureaucratic BS” or layers of
decision-makers to get stuff done.  

“We focus on thoughtful work, but there is never a hold-up on our end,” she says. “We are able to turn things around faster than many larger agencies. We are agile and flexible in how we work, whether it’s through a partner agency or one of our independent relationships.” 

While Silverlight keeps its eye on digital trends, Goldberg believes the company’s recent success was due in part to “staying in [its] own swim lanes” by focusing on strategy and media. Indeed, Silverlight works in pretty much every type of media — search, programmatic, display, integrated custom placements with endemic partners and more. When projects come up in the creative or web development realms, they turn to partner agencies for support. 

The agency generated $17.9 million in revenue during 2021, up 37% from $13.1 million in 2020. The growth was fueled by new assignments from Chiesi, Oxford BioTherapeutics, Calliditas Therapeutics and Albireo Pharma. They joined client mainstays Mallinckrodt and Allergan on the Silverlight roster.

Unlike many other agencies in MM+M’s Agency 100, Silverlight also works on a few non-healthcare-related pieces of business. “It helps us test some non-traditional media types so that we can grow and learn,” Goldberg says.

Silverlight’s flexibility carries over to its employee policies. In the wake of the pandemic, Silverlight borrows or rents office space on an as-needed basis, giving team members the option to work from wherever it suits them best.

The agency also strives to individualize career paths for its people. For those who want to learn about different areas within the business, Silverlight has created hybrid roles that straddle two — or more — disciplines. 

“I always tell employees that if there is something you want to do and we don’t have it, then let’s start it,” Goldberg says. “If there is a role at the organization that is open and you want it, then go for it.”

Staff size grew by two people during 2021, from 29 at the start of the year to 31 at the end of it. Goldberg is particularly proud that, amid the Great Resignation, Silverlight enjoyed its highest retention rate in the company’s eight-year history.

She attributes this to the agency’s insistence on transparency. Every week, Silverlight holds a meeting in which Goldberg and other members of the leadership team openly share the firm’s most recent financial information.

“Whether you’re an intern or an SVP, you can see how the clients that you work with contribute to the overall revenue of the company,” Goldberg explains.

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Work from outside pharma you admire…

I like Kia’s robodog TV spot featured during this year’s Super Bowl. It’s the one where a cute robotic dog chases the owner of Kia’s new electric vehicle around town. Leaping from a tall building, the dog misses its mark and crashes — but soon after it’s revived by an electric charger. I like that it adds an emotional human element to technology. — Goldberg