D&D shop DevicePharm has had the good fortune of growing alongside its surroundings: Orange County’s medical device community. This year, however, the agency plans to expand beyond its west coast roots to a new locale: Minneapolis.
“When we looked at similar markets, you look at the Minnesota market, and you have 380 medical technology companies with a strong medical device emphasis. You’ve got over 25,000 people involved in the industry there,” explains Clay Wilemon, CEO of DevicePharm. “We found that that our skill set and our core competencies matched up well with that particular customer base.”
Those competencies served them well at home, too. Wilemon says the agency brought in eight new clients for 2013—although they won’t disclose whom—to add to their core roster of Abbott, Baxter and Covidien. The agency reported a 15% bump in gross profit for 2013.
With a new office on the horizon, Wilemon affirms the move will not obscure the agency’s ties to Orange County. “We do a lot of work in supporting OCTANe [a networking organization for the Orange County’s information technology and biotech companies], and supporting the medical technology ecosystem.”
Actually, Wilemon say that they plan to deepen those ties this year. “Katherine Wiseman, our vice president, has also become very involved in supporting a group called OWL, the Ophthalmic Women’s Leadership conference. The ophthalmology industry is very important in Orange County, so as a company we want to support OWL and that group.”
“It’s really a part of our culture,” he offers. “We talk about ‘love your neighbor.’ We want to be a part of supporting the communities we’re a part of.”
To aid in this year’s growth, DevicePharm prioritized its digital capabilities, agency president, Jon Hermie says. “Digital is at the core of a lot of our clients communications plans. We are now doing cross platform tablet applications due to the prevalence of Android. We’re finding the need to address all platforms, as well as make sure all of our interactive work is made with responsive web design.”
And while adding bells and whistles may attract clients, Hermie cautions that the new capabilities shouldn’t overshadow the agency’s core value. “Our overall value is still recognizing and defining how to best take advantage of market opportunities.
“That’s what we aim to accomplish here. We have an experienced team and an integrated marketing approach that helps clients reach their goals and objectives. So, while you see the agency market changing quite a bit, our real value is helping clients become successful.”
“At the end of the day it does all come back to that,” Wilemon adds. “We characterize ourselves as a marketing strategy and an integrated marketing communications firm. Digital may take on a larger role today, but our value proposition remains the same.”