When Crosby president and CEO Raymond Crosby describes how he approached the logistical minefield that was 2022, he makes the task of running a $30 million agency sound less like an insanely complicated endeavor than an exercise in people and expectations management.
“We tried to make sure that we had happy clients and happy staff — and when that happens, I’m happy,” he says. “We stayed focused on maintaining our current staff, making sure that our teams were productive and that our culture remained really positive.”
Crosby’s steady growth likely helped keep spirits high. Revenue ticked up 3%, from $29.4 million in 2021 to $30.4 million in 2022. Head count grew at a comparable pace, from 107 full-timers to 112 by the end of the year.
The agency has long occupied a unique niche in the healthcare marketing space, with federal agencies, healthcare systems and nonprofits comprising the bulk of its client list. In 2022, the National Institute of Aging joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente and the Social Security Administration on Crosby’s roster.
The National Institute of Aging assignment represents the company’s first work within the National Institutes of Health,” the CEO points out. The agency was charged with helping the organization provide equitable access to health and aging research.
“Any researcher in the country should have access to that wealth of data, whether they are funded by an NIH research grant or not,” he says. “It’s about opening the doors to health researchers to get information about healthcare trends and how to better serve America’s aging population.”
Another point of pride is the agency’s effort on behalf of Disabled American Veterans, with Crosby reporting that his company was able to secure $120 million in donated media for the organization last year. “The goal was getting veterans the health and disability benefits that they’ve earned and deserve,” he adds.
Crosby also saw its share of personnel changes. When Joel Machak retired as executive creative director, Rob Schnapp arrived from Coyne PR to fill the void. “He brought a creative energy and collaborative spirit that has already, even in a short time, helped elevate our work and our team,” the CEO enthuses.
Other staff additions included Debbie Boyd as VP talent management/HR and Sven Reigle, who spent the last 10 years at Google and Twitter, as VP of data science and performance marketing. Reigle has been tasked with accelerating Crosby’s use of AI, analytics and attribution modeling.
The company has experienced some frustration as it attempts to further diversify its staff, however. The process is “one step forward, one step back,” notes Crosby, adding that the agency sees heated competition for the most desirable candidates.
“Everyone’s having the same struggles,” he reports. “Finding great talent is hard enough — and that’s before you layer on finding diverse talent. But we’re going to keep fighting the good fight and stay at it no matter what.”
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Our marketing role model…
Our founder and chairman Ralph Crosby. He’s an entrepreneur, marketer extraordinaire, journalist, author and philanthropist all rolled into one. At 89, he just finished his third book and is going as strong as ever. — Crosby