One silver lining from pandemic-spurred lockdowns was that they afforded some time for introspection in an otherwise tumultuous year. That opportunity was not wasted on Triple Threat Communications.
The agency conducted a wide-ranging internal review in 2021 to assess its strengths and weaknesses as well as better define its essential qualities. The review was comprehensive, starting at the individual level and working its way up through the organization.
Ultimately, it found that Triple Threat’s No. 1 strength was humility, a particularly rewarding conclusion for owner and managing partner Tim Frank.
“It’s the essence of the agency, and it’s how I built it to act and work,” he says. “You know, you have this idea and vision for what you’ve built — and then, to get something back like this, that’s just cool.”
The first months of the pandemic served as an equalizer of sorts, in that it forced firms big and small into virtual existence; for a solid few weeks in 2020, you were only as good as your Wi-Fi connection. Triple Threat, on the other hand, has employed a mostly remote model since its inception in 2005.
“We’ve had a lot of years to perfect it,” Frank says.
In that respect, much of the rest of the marketing world was playing from behind. Frank says, almost sheepishly, that the beginning of the pandemic represented “an easy transition” for Triple Threat, to the extent that clients called on the firm to help them adapt to their new virtual environments.
“We were sending out notes to clients about how to work from home. We were sharing different tools and tips, and how to best help kids with school while working remote,” he continues.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges, with getting appropriate brand messaging to the right patients or providers a knottier challenge today than ever before.
“We believe marketing is a contact sport,” Frank says. “What used to be face-to-face is now remote. The challenge now becomes enhancing those rarer in-person interactions with virtual or digital follow-ups.”
Triple Threat’s turn toward omnichannel communications helped it snare three new clients in 2021: PTC Therapeutics (for its neuromuscular business), Sebela Pharmaceuticals (in women’s health) and the National Sleep Foundation. The additions contributed to a 5% bump in revenue to $21 million from $20 million in 2020. The agency ended the year with 87 full-timers on hand, two more than it had a year prior.
Going forward, Frank is interested to see how big networks firms nurture — or fail to nurture — their existing client business.
“I believe strongly that, as the networks grow, they lose focus on clients and drive more focus on themselves,” he explains. “A couple years ago, the Accentures of the world were trying to buy up agencies, but that doesn’t seem to be happening as much. It’s grow or die, and the best way for them to grow is to buy.”
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Work from outside pharma you admire…
The Reverse Selfie social campaign is the latest in a long line of Dove spots that very effectively empowers women of all ages, shapes and skin tones to take pride in who they are, naturally. This one specifically addresses the dangers of social media for teenage women and the vulnerabilities they can feel trying to live up to the false images they see on a daily basis. — Frank