Ever since it accepted an equity investment from Denver-based PE company Mountaingate Capital toward the end of 2020, Relevate Health has been on the hunt for acquisition targets. Over the last 18 months, the agency added two prized targets: maker of HCP engagement products Axon Communications at the very end of 2021 and HCP recruitment network ConneXion360 in April 2022. In the year-plus since then, Relevate has integrated the two organizations — and grown in turn.
“It changed us in a pretty dramatic way,” notes Relevate CEO Tim Pantello, who joined the agency from Syneos Health in October. “We had two acquisitions within three months, and then were moving all of that into one Relevate. The transformation was critical for us last year.”
Integration, of course, is never an easy proposition, and it presented Relevate with the year’s biggest challenge.
“You want to preserve the heritage and culture that made those organizations great individually, but also blend them together with the other skills, competencies, people, processes and technologies that were already there,” Pantello explains. “It was productive and fruitful, but also disorienting. Change is hard.”
Relevate’s revenue shot up amid the dealmaking. The firm saw revenue surge 71% in 2022, to $69.4 million from $40.6 million in 2021. Growth was spurred by new engagements with Incyte, Amarin, Alkermes, Fresenius Kabi and Akebia Therapeutics. They joined Novo Nordisk, Janssen and Amgen on Relevate’s roster. The firm is particularly proud of its DTC and HCP work on Prasco epilepsy drug Spritam, which included a TV spot designed to raise awareness among caregivers.
Head count increased from 170 full-timers at the start of 2022 to 199 at its end. In addition to Pantello, Relevate brought in CFO Louis-Philippe Cavallo, who previously held the same role at Imre.
Pantello reports that Relevate’s acquisitions were the key drivers of its 2022 growth. Among the company’s offerings, he touts the functionalities of MyDoc (which helps reps and HCPs codevelop patient education materials) and its Treatment Perspectives suite (which seeks to better align omnichannel strategy, engagement, activation and measurement).
“We can deliver all the targeting and insight development end-to-end,” Pantello explains. “We develop the content and deploy the programs — whether it’s nonpersonal promotion, peer-to-peer or field enablement — and then measure it all. We bring a whole different set of capabilities to the client that’s more relevant and needed than ever before.”
Pantello is excited about the new offerings and upcoming ones that will be similarly “powered by our data spine.” But Relevate’s grander goal for the remaining months of 2023 is helping advance the industry’s omnichannel evolution, according to SVP, product and marketing Sharon Bittner.
“We’ve done a ton of market research, and everybody has a different definition of what omnichannel means,” she explains. “There’s such a fear out there, so we’re helping companies define it and execute on it. Our intent is to prove out its value and give our clients confidence that they can do it.”
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George Gallate. There are three principles to which Gallate ascribes: 1. Let data drive your insights and decisions. 2. Begin your marketing plan by knowing how and what you will measure. 3. Provide your clients with the gift of your knowledge. Gallate’s expertise in marketing transcends the competition. — Pantello