Maricich Health president and COO David Maricich is completely honest when asked to identify a 2018 highlight. He says it was the national recognition, in the form of awards from Modern Healthcare, Advertising Age and, yes, MM&M that made the agency feel as if it had truly arrived.
“A few years ago, we were the best-kept secret in healthcare advertising,” he says. “We laid out a three-year plan to get ourselves out there a bit more, to tell our story and better define what we’re doing. Now we’re seeing the results of that effort.”
Throughout it all, Maricich Health’s mission has largely remained the same: to reach multicultural consumers while continuing to appeal to general-market ones. “We believe we’re one of the few agencies in the country that has a healthcare specialty and also a multicultural specialty,” Maricich says.
In 2017, Maricich Health officially branded this concept as Total Market Infusion. The general idea is to identify what the agency characterizes as “a core human truth,” then build out a campaign that takes into consideration social determinants and cultural variances.
Maricich Health distinguishes itself from other left-coast companies in that it works with a diverse client base — everything from health systems and payers to medical device makers and dental providers. This, Maricich says, gives the company a unique, 360-degree perspective on the broader health ecosystem. He points to the agency’s recent rebranding work on behalf of Western Dental, which resulted in the launch of the well-received Chew On campaign, as a prime example of the benefits of this approach.
Recent additions to the Maricich Health roster included Praxis Medical Group, Beckman Coulter and Experian Health. Maricich reports the agency didn’t lose any accounts in 2018 but either completed or pulled back on projects for Tenet Health, Bausch + Lomb and Alignment Healthcare.
The additions helped spur a 17.9% jump in revenue, from $9.5 million in 2017 to $11.2 million in 2018. Staff size held steady at 25, with CFO Michael Shudak joining the agency from Santa Ana, California-based firm Amusement Park.
Given its small-ish size, Maricich Health tends to err on the side of over-communicating and over-coordinating with clients. But Maricich says that even if the agency were to experience a huge growth spurt, that philosophy wouldn’t change — especially in an environment where clients routinely work with multiple agency partners.
“On paper, the arrangement looks good,” he explains. “But unless it’s well coordinated, often it’s easy for there to be a disconnect with so many people in the mix. Ultimately, the better outcome is having a lead agency.”
Maricich Health very much wants to be that lead agency. “We’re aggressively engaging with companies that are on the forefront of new technologies and new methods of delivering care,” Maricich adds. “That makes every day a new adventure.” —