As much as it’s possible for a 31-year-old, $50 million-plus business to be a victim of its own reputation, Lippe Taylor is a victim of its own reputation.
The agency made its name in PR, working wonders on behalf of Allergan and many others. Over the years, however, the firm has diversifed its business to the point where more than half of its revenue comes from the marketing side of client organizations.
“The perception is lagging the reality,” says CEO Paul Dyer. “We’re not trying to not be a PR firm, but we’ve expanded our definition of it.”
Ergo, Lippe Taylor’s canny self-branding as an “earned marketing agency.” The company prides itself on helping clients figure out what they should do, especially in tough-to-crack areas such as social media and influencer marketing, and then announcing it to the world. In this model, Dyer notes, “the ad agency makes the ad about what we come up with.”
The lines can sometimes blur a bit too much for Lippe Taylor’s taste. Dyer reports that the agency did the bulk of the work — 88%, he estimates — on Urovant Sciences’ well-received Time to Go campaign, which sought to raise awareness of overactive bladder. “But a couple of places credited Area 23 with that, because they designed some stuff,” he shrugs.
Lippe Taylor didn’t lack for recognition during 2022, a year in which the firm saw revenue spike to $50.7 million. Fueled by new assignments from Bayer (on consumer mainstays Claritin, Miralax and One A Day), J&J Vision, Akili Interactive and Revelle Aesthetics, the growth represented a 48% gain over 2021’s take of $34.3 million.
Head count similarly increased, from 210 full-timers at the start of 2022 to 230 at its conclusion. Additions included chief creative officer Craig Elimeliah; managing director, head of creator marketing Corey Martin; managing director, head of strategy and planning Matt Noe; and managing director, head of pharma center of excellence Aleisia Gibson-Wright.
The rapid growth had a bit of a whiplash effect. “It took a lot of time to digest,” Dyer admits. “You could feel the place bursting at the seams.”
Lippe Taylor eased the strain by committing to its first full-on restructuring in years, which had the effect of liberating members of the executive team.
“Most of them don’t have direct reports anymore,” Dyer explains. “Their job is to roam around the company and ask, ‘Can I help you with that?’”
Such collaboration fueled Lippe Taylor’s biggest successes during 2022, notably Pfizer’s vaccine-mythbusting on TikTok. “It felt native to the platform, rather than like something that could have been on their corporate website,” Dyer enthuses. He’s similarly proud of the firm’s work on Allergan’s DREAM Initiative (Driving Racial Equity in Aesthetic Medicine), which sought to increase diverse representation in aesthetics and dermatology.
Lippe Taylor doesn’t expect the back half of 2023 to proceed like 2022 did, however. Dyer points to the need to manage the agency’s growth spurt as a potential limiting factor.
“We couldn’t take another year of 40% growth right now,” he says. “I’ll be happy if we make choices that are a little less good for the bottom line, but make Lippe Taylor a better place to work.”
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The Los Angeles Lakers brilliantly embody an earned-first creative ethos and adeptly fuse technology into their craft. While the team’s dynastic heritage is kept fresh through continuous storymaking, the organization expertly weaves in authentic narratives that rivet audiences. The Lakers organization is also a leader in tech innovation, deploying social media and data science to heighten fan experiences. Finally, it demonstrates how inclusive community engagement can build bridges using shared interests and passions. — Dyer