Brado was birthed this year following a restructuring that brought together four firms — core offering DevicePharm, Brado Creative Insight, SMI/Alcott and Ghergich & Co. — under a single corporate umbrella.
The decision was motivated by one of the expected reasons: client interest in having a single agency partner, one that reduces the amount of administrative nuisance that comes with managing multiple relationships. But given
DevicePharm’s long-established strength in the device/diagnostics space, the Brado union may well have created a more multidimensional unit than other ones that similarly emerged from corporate reshufflings and/or acquisitions.
“What we have now is an offering for our clients that spans everything from insight to qualitative and quantitative market research, both of which have some unique capabilities,” explains Clay Wilemon, the former DevicePharm leader who’s now president and chief strategy officer, Brado, brand activation.
On a micro level, a sizable percentage of the newly unified agency’s attention this year has been spent integrating the discrete businesses that now operate as Brado. While they are complementary of one another, there is “virtually no overlap” in what they do, Wilemon says. Brado is currently organized around three practice groups: creative insight, business transformation and brand activation.
“There’s a lot of integration work to be done to deliver on that single relationship experience for the customer,” he adds. “The challenge is simply ensuring that we are delivering a seamless experience.”
While DevicePharm had 35 people under its roofs and $18 million in 2017 revenue, the combined Brado companies jumped those totals to 150 people and $35 million in 2018. DevicePharm itself enjoyed 20% growth, Wilemon reports.
Brado’s restructuring has thrown into sharp relief the challenge that can come with expanding in a strong economy. In such an environment, acquiring top talent becomes even more of a challenge, Wilemon says. “We have been blessed with a very stable team,” he notes. “But to add to that team, you have to search harder to find great talent at this point. And that great talent usually has multiple options.”
Of the 18 new assignments added in 2018, Wilemon is particularly excited about DIO, a Korean company with a novel technology for performing dental implants. “It will dramatically change the patient experience. It’s always fun when you get to revolutionize the market, especially one that big,” he says. Brado no longer works with ReShape Medical in the wake of its acquisition.
In terms of industry trends, Wilemon says that digital communications channels have moved to the foreground, for HCPs and consumers alike. Additionally, techniques grouped under the AI banner have changed the way data is mined.
“Our ability to target continues to improve, as does our ability to deliver a digital consumer experience that’s more relevant to that consume,” he continues. “Frankly, it’s amazing how much we can tailor the digital experience to customers and understand their needs and serve up information in a relevant way.”