Imre will open an office in Philadelphia in February.

Jeff Smokler, president and partner of Imre Health, said the new office location helps the agency attract talent and better serve health clients in the area, like AstraZeneca, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline.

“As we were continuing to look for talent, we were consistently having trouble finding people in Baltimore or people willing to relocate to Baltimore,” Smokler said. “We’ve staffed up significantly in New York, but there are space limitations and the cost of recruiting and doing business in New York is greater. We talked about Philadelphia, given that it’s a hub for digital marketers with agencies already in Philadelphia that are focused on life sciences. It beceame clear we needed to start thinking about Philadelphia as a market.”

The agency has named Emmie Taylor as director of the Philadelphia office. Imre expects to have at least 13 employees based in Philadelphia once the office opens its doors, including eight new hires and five transfers from other offices.

Taylor has been with Imre for five years, based in its Baltimore office. She most recently was an account director at the agency where she led the AstraZeneca respiratory account.

To test the market, Imre held a recruiting happy hour in Philadelphia in November. Smokler said more than 80 marketers attended and some new hires came out of that event.

“We have carved out a niche at Imre, redefining the patient and HCP experience through digital channels, and Philadelphia is the most ripe with that kind of talent even compared to New York,” Smokler said.

The Philadelphia location also brings Imre closer to the Jefferson Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University, with which the agency has an ongoing partnership.

“The new office comes at a time we’re continuing to experience significant double-digit growth,” Smokler said. “We view this Philadelphia office as a major tool to help us manage that growth and ensure that we’re keeping pace with service needs and requirements. We see the Philadelphia office as dousing the industry with more gasoline.”