Revenue increased 5% to $18.9 million
“We’ll continue to add account service staff in Minneapolis and probably add some digital capability as well. And we’re looking to add creative staff in our Orange County office”
“We’re in an industry that is rapidly determining how to communicate a 360-degree message to the customer about both clinical and economic value”
DevicePharm doesn’t overcomplicate matters. Given its strength in the device and diagnostics spaces, it hasn’t focused on technology epicenters like Boston or Silicon Valley. Rather, it is headquartered in Orange County, California, within easy range of the area’s burgeoning health-tech and VC communities. In 2014, it opened an office in device-world hotbed Minneapolis. And in May, it expanded into Austin.“
We see these clusters form,” CEO and chief strategy officer Clay Wilemon notes, while acknowledging that recent industry changes have rendered DevicePharm’s resources apportionment slightly more challenging than earlier.
“As concentrations of medical-technology companies become more decentralized outside traditional core areas, how do we continue to capture those clients and meet their needs?”
So far, DevicePharm has managed to navigate that particular challenge with aplomb. The agency saw 5% revenue growth to $18.9 million in 2016. A host of assignments from new clients, including Genentech, med-tech players ConMed, Smiths Medical, and Syncera, and glaucomatreatment company Glaukos drove the growth.
For Glaukos, DevicePharm worked on a campaign for the firm’s iStent microinvasive glaucoma procedure, highlighting its benefits for cataract patients with glaucoma by tying together the opening of the iStent with an artistic rendition of a cataract lens. For Syncera, it began a campaign to educate patients about the company’s Episode of Care solutions.
“Bundled-payment models like Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement are forcing hospitals and surgeons to find new ways to reduce total joint-replacement costs without sacrificing patient care,” Wilemon explains. “The Adapt campaign shows how Syncera can help deliver immediate and sustainable reductions in total joint-replacement costs.”
Like many other agencies, DevicePharm has honed its digital chops in the past few years, with digital-based programs and assignments now constituting around 50% of the agency’s overall workload. It is helping them in launches and strengthening the firm’s digital work, as well. That’s up about 10% from 2015 levels.
“We’re working with clients on self-enabled platforms that allow them to be integrated tightly with their CRM systems,” company president Jon Hermie says. “We’re helping them push a true digital implementation where they have not only a solution and value today, but a platform for growth.”
DevicePharm inched staff count upward in 2016, from 33 to 35, and rewarded a handful of its own with promotions. The agency elevated Joseph Bañuelos to VP and creative director and Amber Chao to VP and group account director. In addition, the agency hired Christine Horton as VP, a role in which she’ll serve on the Minneapolis office’s leadership team.
As for the new Austin outpost, Wilemon believes DevicePharm has arrived at just the right moment. “The Texas med-tech markets are underserved in marketing strategy and integrated marketing communications, plus a number of our California and Minnesota clients have facilities in Austin. It was a no-brainer,” he says.