Some agencies strive for growth by casting a wide net for new clients. In 2018, Partners + Napier took a different approach, doubling down on existing relationships to drive its business forward.
The Rochester, New York-based agency works across industries, from travel to finance. Within its healthcare vertical, P+N’s revenue jumped 23.7%, from $5.9 million at the end of 2017 to $7.3 million by the close of 2018.
“It was the strongest year in our history,” says agency president Courtney Cotrupe.
A full 100% of the growth within its healthcare arm was organic. “The new business environment is really tough,” Cotrupe explains. “But what is more important than new business is the deep relationships you can maintain with your existing clients.”
P+N hired nine new employees on the healthcare side of its business, bumping staff size from 28 to 37. “We deepened our team and talent and expanded the breadth of our services,” Cotrupe explains.
That included the addition of a media capability, which has already grown to comprise social, search and programmatic components. “Media is now our highest growth area,” Cotrupe continues. “It provides durability when you have access and connection to the data.”
As audiences become more digitally savvy, digital media is increasingly important to the P+N client base — especially core client BlueCross BlueShield. “We’ve worked in the healthcare space for a long time. In particular, we’ve worked in the senior health space with our BlueCross BlueShield clients,” Cotrupe explains. She adds that “the population aging into Medicare is one of the savviest, most digitally aware groups we’ve ever seen.”
P+N expanded its relationship with Highmark BlueCross BlueShield in 2018. Other roster mainstays include Bausch + Lomb (for a range of OTC ophthalmic brands, including Ocuvite and Lumify) and Hybridge.
While 2018 may have seen the agency stay the course in terms of client relationships, P+N experienced big change on a different front when it outgrew the space “we really grew up in,” Cotrupe says. In the wake of the growth, the agency moved into a brand-new space in a downtown Rochester high-rise called The Metropolitan.
Agency employees now work across two large floors connected by a grand staircase. And there’s room to grow within it: The agency plans to create an internal content production facility with video, broadcast and social functionality.
To better align its teams, P+N has physically organized its employees around what it calls “neighborhoods,” meaning that the company’s health specialists are seated within whispering distance of one another. This, Cotrupe says, has injected a needed dose of agility into the firm’s day-to-day thinking.
“The move was a really big moment for us as an agency,” notes Cotrupe. “It has set us up for the next chapter.”