Top 100 Agencies 2015: Eveo

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Eveo's disease awareness shows in digital ad work for the ShoutMD intelligence platform
Eveo's disease awareness shows in digital ad work for the ShoutMD intelligence platform

While 2014 was a year when many healthcare agencies focused on making—and completing—the leap to full digital capabilities, Eveo went in the opposite direction, transitioning from digital shop to full-service agency. 

“This was a transformational year for us, restructuring to became a full-service agency,” says founder and CEO Olivier Zitoun. “It's easy for an agency to say it is a strategic partner, but this has been about us putting ourselves in our clients' shoes to take a full 360-degree view of what they are doing and to be able to articulate strategies that will help them.” Too often, “full-service agencies talk about providing an out-of-the-box solution but then, at the end of the process, wind up with an ordinary, predictable approach, including e-mail and brochures.”

He says that San Francisco–based Eveo's digital background puts it in a better position to uncover novel ways to change customer behaviors. “And now we have the ability to start from strategy and go all the way to tactics. We can finally be a true partner to our clients.”

As a result of the reorganization, head count is down from 150 in 2013 to 124 last year. “We made some changes and found there were some resources we didn't need.” And revenues for 2014 were about $16 million, roughly flat from the prior year's.

It won nine new accounts, including work from AbbVie, Allergan Botox, rEVO Biologics and Genentech's Activase, for the management of acute ischemic stroke in adults.

The initiatives Zitoun is especially proud of include its ongoing work on ShoutMD, the social platform for doctors developed by Alphaeon Corp. and launched in 2013. He says it is the first closed social community in healthcare “and it continues to take off. There are 4,000 doctors using it, with about 40 engagements per day. And we expect 10,000 doctors by year's end.” 

And for Genentech, it launched 4Her, which he says is the first app for breast-cancer patients to connect with one another. Designed for women with HER2 breast cancer, it's meant to be used at the point of infusion. But rather than simply providing information about the drug the patient is getting, “it offers something more meaningful and a way to connect with others going through the same thing,” says Zitoun, including games and stress-reducing meditation exercises. “Customer experience is completely undervalued and underworked in pharma,” he says, “so these are opportunities to give patients a superior experience.”

And he's equally excited about a project set to launch this summer, a pro bono effort developed in partnership with Family Reach, a group that helps families of cancer patients. “Most people don't know that about 40% of personal bankruptcies in the US are due to medical bills. We're developing an app that is like Kickstarter for these families, where people can sign in and literally pay bills for people who are struggling.”

As far as industry trends that seem most significant, he concedes that agency consolidation is still a challenge for independent shops. “It's not new, but it's still there, and a lot of our bigger clients are going through the whole process.” But it's a trend that's also worked in Eveo's favor, “pushing us to find a new type of client. We're not abandoning big pharma, of course, and those are very important clients to us. But it's also pushed us to work with interesting smaller and medium-size companies, beyond the traditional drug and diagnostic space. It's worked out well.”

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