The Top 50: Cadient

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In its third full year in business, Cadient Group’s revenue grew 48% to $17.8 million. The interactive agency hired more than 100 people in less than a year and was awarded 16 new brand assignments, without losing a single piece of business.
“The most exciting aspect of growth has been infusion of talent,” says president and CEO Steve Wray. “That has brought me the most enjoyment.”
Cadient expanded office space twice in the last year  to accommodate staff swell and opened a Manhattan office. Digital agency services accounts for the lion’s share of work (60%). Professional events represent about 15%; other platform technologies come in at 10%; and marketing strategy consulting and internet ads each comprise 5% of business.
“[Our] key strength is to drive innovation while increasing relevance of interactive communications,” says Wray.
The agency launched six new brands online to consumers and professionals. Clients include AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novartis, Shire/Johnson & Johnson, and CSL Bering. Consumer franchise work includes first aid, skin care, feminine hygiene and oral care.
“We established and launched innovative online professional relationship marketing programs, which is somewhat of a new discipline,” says Wray. “It’s somewhat in reaction to changes in the role of sales forces. There is still a strong desire to have sustainable and enduring relationships with healthcare professionals, [but they] have migrated online. With interactive media, you can identify what a customer needs quickly and deliver more fluidly.”
Wray was particularly pleased with the quality of growth. “We’re involved in a broader scope of strategic initiatives and are having impact on communications with physicians and consumers. [A big achievement was the] ability to showcase strategic depth. We believe there needs to be a dual domain expertise—to be able to bring strategic e-marketing and depth of understanding in what it takes to be successful in healthcare marketing. We’ve purposely built an organization with dual domain expertise, and we’ve rapidly moved from being somewhat on the periphery of strategic planning to being a core partner.”

Though dual domain expertise “quickly limits and targets talent,” Wray has been “extremely pleased” with the quality of new hires. He attributes high retention rates to the quality of talent, finding good fits and investment in continued development.

Cadient picked up more than 12 awards, including MM&M’s silver award for best use of digital marketing. Other milestones were the launch of the first integrated global online program; the 350th implementation of its professional events platform; and Forrester’s ranking of proprietary technology suite Cadient Collaborative Solutions as a market leader platform for opinion leader management.

Challenges include growth management and addressing clients’ expanding expectations about the value of interactive marketing. “They’ve been challenged to effectively integrate online and e-marketing into strategic planning,” Wray notes. “It allows us to act as true agents of change in client relationships.”

Throughout this year, Cadient will be “in launch mode,” rolling out client initiatives and new offerings. “Our growth trajectory has increased over 2006 in first four months of 2007,” Wray notes. “The plan is to continue to make customers more successful at integrating interactive media solutions across their enterprise. Pharma and bio pharma are in early stages of that transformation. It’s change of philosophy, and a change of behavior. It’s fun. I am blessed to work with more than 150 fantastic colleagues who are committed to trying to do this better. Needs are changing and cycles of change are going to be much quicker.”
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