Revenue remained flat at $8 million
“We are planning for growth and continued positive marketing and business outcomes for our clients”
“The industry leaders who are most threatened by potential changes in healthcare will step up and have their voices heard. And the clear message will be that access to healthcare is a human right and not a privilege”
CEO Mark Maricich of Maricich Health says it’s not uncommon on any given weekday to find his brother, firm president David Maricich, skateboarding around the agency’s office park in Irvine, California. He’s not just playing. He often develops client strategy while riding his boards, both skate and surf. “That’s the fun part of our strategic process,” Mark quips.
Being steeped in California’s culture undoubtedly contributes to the agency’s expertise in effectively communicating client stories to culturally diverse audiences. “All clients want us to help them tell a story that hasn’t yet been told,” Maricich explains. “We often take a polycultural approach. It’s important to embrace all the demographics and cultures within communities.”
He adds there are even interfamily differences in the way individuals receive healthcare information. “Younger members may primarily speak English, while the parents might speak their native language only,” Maricich continues. “Healthcare is for all. It’s especially important to reach as many people as we can on behalf of clients that are trying to make healthcare available.” Among other things, this polycultural expertise has helped Maricich Health drive huge enrollment for L.A. Care Health Plan.
While the agency has worked with pharma in the past, it’s now doing a lot of branding and marketing communications for healthcare providers and payer clients. Typical engagements include strategy and execution through broadcast, digital, and print channels. The firm also does PR, which Maricich says is viewed by clients as a value-add.
New client Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) engaged Maricich Health last year to promote its pioneering work in multiple areas, including using stem cells and exoskeleton robots in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The Go Public! campaign launched early this year.
Additional brand-strategy business came from Sovereign Health, Beverly Hospital, and medical transportation service Call the Car. No accounts were lost or resigned. Revenue and staff size were flat at $8 million and 25 full-timers, respectively.
Maricich has noticed increased conversation about how access to high-quality healthcare benefits affects not only communities, but the U.S. as a whole. “Community and business leaders are talking more and more about the social determinants of health, which span everything from access to shelter to services for behavioral health,” he says. “They’re all connected and impact individual health, as well as the health in general of our population.” He points to SCVMC and L.A. Care as two clients that actively embrace social determinants.
However, Maricich reports many clients were cautious about business until late last year. “There were more starts and stops than usual,” he explains. “I think a lot of it had to do with the election.”
Long a fan of creating a new mantra every year, Maricich has settled on “build it and make it happen” for 2017. So far, it has played out in the development of a proprietary marketing performance dashboard that will be a key component of all client work.