When people think of Kansas City, attention may rightly gravitate toward the Chiefs and their upcoming date with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
However, in the world of medical marketing, others may think about Walz Tetrick Advertising, a Kansas City-based, full-service advertising and media agency that just snapped up InQuest Marketing, another advertising agency based in the BBQ Capital of the World.
The merger was finalized at the start of 2023 and brings Walz Tetrick to nearly 100 employees and $125 million in projected revenue.
Now, as the combined company looks for opportunities going forward, healthcare is an appealing space. The two agencies have a host of notable healthcare clients, including Advent Health, Cox Medical Group, CHI Health, CommonSpirit Health, PKD Foundation and Discover Vision Centers, among others.
By bringing together their sizable set of resources, Walz Tetrick aims to expand its data analytics team as well as its direct and email marketing capabilities, according to CEO Charlie Tetrick.
He said InQuest’s proprietary data analytics platform will allow Walz Tetrick to leverage these newfound capabilities and utilize them for a host of clients, especially in the healthcare industry.
Tetrick added that despite the broader macroeconomic headwinds and concerns of a potential recession, there was a desire to continue building out the agency’s offerings and beefing up its healthcare bona fides. He said that the agency’s other non-healthcare facing interests also allow its marketers to have a more well-rounded view of how consumers experience the real world.
“I think it helps a lot so that these marketers can sit in a meeting with any healthcare client and have a different perspective by having these other experiences so we’re not some purely niche healthcare agency,” he said.
Debbie Harris, who leads Walz Tetrick Advertising’s healthcare group, said the agency now has the ability to pursue a variety of digital-focused objectives, including video production and social media.
Harris added that healthcare continues to evolve, no longer applying solely to patients and care delivered in a hospital setting, but rather in senior living, home care or through telehealth options.
Building out the trust with consumers is still the most important part of medical marketing, Harris said, noting that while the industry has changed mightily over the years and through the pandemic, the mission for agencies and providers alike remains the same.
“Patients need to feel comfortable with their providers; it’s one of the most fragile and emotional relationships that happen,” she said. “They can be created over years and be very solid, but it relies on service every day from these providers. In a lot of ways it changes but it doesn’t because it’s all about the consumer, what they need and how we package the care delivery.”