Strictly in terms of percentage growth, few agencies in MM&M’s Top 100 enjoyed a more successful year than Silverlight Digital. Granted, it was off a relatively small base — $4.7 million, which grew to $9.8 million in 2018 — but there aren’t too many companies, big or small, that wouldn’t be ecstatic about more than doubling their revenue over the course of 12 months.
It’s no surprise, then, that Silverlight CEO Lori Goldberg singles out that triple-digit growth as the year’s highlight. “We had a phenomenal year,” she says, citing the growth as evidence that Silverlight has emerged as one of the most recognized digital media agencies in healthcare marketing.
Last year proved a busy one on the new business front. The firm added EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ post-cataract-surgery drug Dexycu and a consulting assignment for Proteus Digital Health. It also claimed an AOR assignment for Leo Pharma, which is set to expand its dermatology business in the U.S. Other additions included Mallinckrodt (for RA and psoriatic arthritis drug Acthar) and Sunovion (for the Lonhala Magnair inhaler).
That said, SVP, managing director Michael Ackerman reports that the majority of Silverlight’s growth came from existing clients. “We ramped up business by adding different channels and opportunities,” he says.
Silverlight’s surge might also be attributed in part to a sea change in the greater pharma marketing landscape. Goldberg says clients are now hiring digital agencies at the start of disease awareness campaigns, rather than as an afterthought.
Partnerships also played a large role. For example, Silverlight built on its relationships with Omnicom shop Patients & Purpose (on the Mallinckrodt work) and Concentric Health Experience (on Stendra, an erectile dysfunction drug).
The Stendra assignment went away, however, in the wake of an acquisition. Other departures included work for Alnylam and Mylan.
As she tallies up the gains and losses, Goldberg says Silverlight “is definitely expanding.” She notes that the firm is moving swiftly (and ambitiously) into rare disease and biotech, and that it is eager to land more consulting projects akin to its collaboration with Proteus on EHR integration.
Amid the 2018 growth, Silverlight added another notch in its belt when it was certified as women owned by The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. “I think that’s important for us because it shows our diversity,” she says.
Silverlight grew staff size in 2018 by two people, to 27. Most of Silverlight’s personnel changes came from within, with Ackerman promoted into his current post and MM&M Woman to Watch honoree Meredith Hughes promoted to director of social and search.
To hear Goldberg tell it, Silverlight’s continued success hinges on its core business model as a digital-first media agency. “At the risk of sounding basic, media is no longer an afterthought,” she explains.