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Revenue increased by about 18.8% to $77.2 million


“We are looking to take a leapfrog approach to the way we apply insight and analytics from data to actionable and measurable business decisions for clients” 
— Stan Woodland


“Sales forces will continue to be challenged and access will continue to be restricted, so the biggest trend for clients will be gaining an audience, understanding the audience, and engaging and maintaining a relationship with that audience” 
— Stan Woodland

CMI/Compas has experienced its share of foundational change during the past 18 months.
Just more than a year ago, WPP completed its acquisition of the media and analytics powerhouse. Earlier this year, CMI was announced as one of the four founding members of a new healthcare marketing collective, WPP Health & Wellness, alongside siblings Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, ghg, and Sudler & Hennessey.

And yet neither of those are the headline. CMI/Compas’ U.S. revenue jumped by about 18.8% to $77.2 million in 2016, while a hiring spree bolstered the number of full-time employees from 317 to 352. The firm gained six new clients — Ariad, Boston Scientific, Ferring, Fresenius, Gilead, and Intercept — bringing the roster to 47, of which 45 are AOR accounts. It also added offices in Parsippany, New Jersey, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with another, its seventh, open in Chicago.

The biggest benefit is understanding the actual audiences we are reaching and impacting in ways we’ve never had a chance to view before. – Stan Woodland, CEO

However, 95% of CMI/Compas’ growth came from existing relationships. “The role of non-personal promotion, multichannel marketing, and hyper-targeting has become much more important. Those are our sweet spots,” says CEO Stan Woodland.

More specifically, CMI/Compas continued to bring innovation and value to its clients. For example, it expanded the methodology behind its Own the Audience revenue-share partnership to create a high-level media planning engagement program called Audience Driven Agile Planning and Targeting. “That was a major driver of our growth because it focuses so much on really understanding client audiences and developing a strategy to achieve measurable business results,” Woodland explains. Significant growth also came from the company’s SEO and social media group, which developed an HCP-centric search engine marketing tool.

Meanwhile, the agency further evolved its programmatic advertising capabilities. Woodland reports the level of acceptance among clients has increased dramatically. “The biggest benefit is understanding the actual audiences we are reaching and impacting in ways we’ve never had a chance to view before,” he notes.

These are the types of groundbreaking plays that earned Woodland recognition as one of MM&M’s Innovation Catalysts for 2017. And they’re also helping to build his firm’s indispensability in the eyes of clients. This is no accident. Five years ago, Woodland hatched a plan to lose the tag of being “just a media planning and buying agency” and become known as a trusted strategic partner. Indispensability became the mission of the organization. The five-year target was to have 75% of clients view the company as indispensable, but Woodland says its most recent survey had 87% of clients describe CMI/Compas in those terms. “That is what is driving the growth,” he explains.

While such growth is not without its challenges, Woodland says the highlight of the year for him would have to be “watching all of these teams come together to drive the success for clients.” And there’s more growth to come. Woodland reports business in 2017 is “significantly up,” which should spur another 100 hires by the end of the year.