In 2018, Lanmark360 prepared for a shift toward earlier-stage strategic planning and increased its sales capabilities. The result: a restructuring year of sorts in which the agency won new business but saw little growth.
Revenue and head count were flat year-over-year at the New Jersey-based agency, at $10.5 million and 37 people, respectively. Lanmark360 president Howard Klein attributes the results in large part to a significant decline in print media business. At the same time, he notes the firm’s client list grew and that many of those print dollars have been shifted to digital ads, “where we can deliver more for less.”
Lanmark360 has long specialized in working with dental health clients, a sector in which Klein expects some contraction during the remaining months of the year. Nonetheless, he reports that the company outpaced 2018 during the first few months of 2019 by about 5%.
New business during the last year included work from the Dental Lifeline Network, Prisyna’s dry mouth formulas, 3-D printer brand EvoDent, the Crosstex portfolio of dental infection prevention products, Worth Finance, bone regeneration brand Ossio and collaborative healthcare management service HealthHelp, which was acquired by Mumbai-based WNS in 2017.
Growth came from places expected and unexpected, Klein says, pointing to increasing demand for multi-touchpoint campaigns. The agency’s offerings allow it to handle such approaches with relative ease, combining targeted digital ads with emerging technology (such as virtual demos), then melding those tactics with traditional techniques (such as telesales).
On the personnel front, Lanmark360 hired Michael Ward as director of strategic planning to help manage these multifaceted campaigns. Ward has 30 years of experience in HCP- and consumer-targeted healthcare marketing. The agency also onboarded more sales-focused employees in the past year, for roles designed to increase conversion numbers. “The ultimate goal is conversion,” Klein stresses.
In the months ahead, Klein anticipates that Lanmark360 will pick up more clients that work in earlier stages of drug development. Potential assignments could include bringing orphan drugs to market or using predictive analytics to find potential undiagnosed patients.
The shift toward establishing a presence earlier in the developmental and marketing processes means the firm will need to up its data game. Indeed, Klein says that “everything has to tie back to the data now,” both for Lanmark and in the healthcare industry as a whole.
Additionally, he points out that traditional healthcare advocacy programs are expanding to include influencer marketing and that podcasts have emerged as a viable option through which audiences can be reached with both earned and paid content.
“We are applying the same principles we have always used for KOL identification and mapping to find digital influencers,” he explains. “What’s interesting is that most of the digital influencers we are building relationships with do not lecture or publish frequently, but have a huge presence on social media.”