Brick City Greenhouse: 2019
Brick City Greenhouse LLC
One Gateway Center
Newark, NJ 07102
Account wins 4
Active business clients 10
Brands by 2018 sales
Brand-product accounts held 16
Professional advertising 75%
Corporate communications 15%
Medicines Development for Global Health
AGENCY ON THE RISE
“When we founded Brick City Greenhouse in 2015, we were motivated by the idea that the agency-client relationship should be more than transactional,” agency leaders say. “Many of us came from large holding company agencies and saw firsthand how bottom lines were a bigger driver of agency behavior than doing what’s right for brands. We wanted to change this and create an agency model that was truly focused, not just in words, on bringing out the best in brands and in the people that serve them.”
Since the agency’s founding, Brick City Greenhouse executives claim they have “strived to reinvent the agency model for both marketers and agency staff alike.”
“We’ve made a number of fundamental departures from the standard operating procedures and norms of traditional agencies, freeing staff to create better work and give marketers a greater sense of partnership and accountability,” agency leaders say. “When you unencumber the process, you create a better situation for everyone.”
Clients have taken notice. According to Brendan Delaney, Chief Commercial Officer at Immunomedics, “The Brick City team has been invaluable from day one. They’re great, and a true partner.”
As more people gain awareness of Brick City Greenhouse’s model and the benefits it brings clients, the agency is gaining significant traction in the industry, management says. “In 2018 we tripled the size of our staff and saw triple-digit revenue growth. We managed two concurrent launches and added four new accounts to our roster. And at the time of this writing in February 2019, we’ve already added three new clients and four new brands to our portfolio.”
Digital was a special area of growth for the agency in 2018 with the hiring of David Cherry as Digital Lead. Prior to Brick City, Cherry was Chief Digital Officer at Sudler & Hennessey and brings more than 20 years of digital marketing experience to clients’ business.
In 2018 the agency also continued to add to its strategic and creative capacity with several senior hires. “This follows our philosophy of ensuring clients get senior-level, day-to-day attention on their brands,” management says. “These additions have had a direct and significant impact on our clients’ business.”
“It’s refreshing to have such senior people working hand-in-hand with my team on a daily basis. It never feels like there are any walls,” says Tom Hadley, VP of Marketing and Sales at EyePoint Pharmaceuticals. “It’s all one team.”
STRUCTURE AND SERVICES
According to Brick City Greenhouse leadership, marketers are often frustrated with their agency relationships. “Traditional agency models do not meet their needs and are not designed to focus efforts on the needs of their brands. This is because traditional agencies create unnecessary process and bloat and are not designed to deliver the quality and speed that marketers desire. Our goal is to strip away the unnecessary barriers to a productive relationship so clients can get exactly what they desire from their agency without all the baggage that comes with traditional AOR models.”
To do this, Brick City Greenhouse started by eliminating the billable hour model and using a flat project rate.
“Even for large AOR assignments, we carve up the scope of work and charge a project cost for each line item,” management says. “This gives marketers a greater level of predictability in their budgets. If there’s a change in strategy or some other factor that changes the scope of the assignment, we work upfront with the clients to re-estimate and change the scope in a way that everyone is comfortable with. The cost is fixed and there are no surprises.”
This “fundamental” change in the way the agency does business leads to a whole cascade of advantages clients, including more day-to-day, senior-level involvement in client business; constant budget optimization; no wasted time; and encourages the agency to be as nimble and agile as possible. “Brick City has been incredibly flexible in adapting and scaling to our changing needs as a startup. They never fall behind,” says Jim Niebanck, VP of Marketing and Sales at Notal Vision.
For agency staff, Brick City Greenhouse has created a flexible work structure that seeks to empower employees not only to do their best work but lead their best lives. “There are no timesheets, better flexibility in work arrangements, a truly remote working structure with employees spread across four states, and unlimited paid time off. And as an added perk, we pay for all employee healthcare.”
According to agency leaders, these changes in how Brick City Greenhouse operates “allow us to deliver marketing and communication services that are faster, better, and more cost-effective. And once marketers get a taste of the Brick City Greenhouse way, they never want to go back.”
According to Patrick Aldworth, Director, PC Marketing at Horizon Pharma, “The entire experience is different than any other agency I’ve worked with.”
Brick City Greenhouse offers a full range of professional and DTP healthcare communication services. Competencies span from prelaunch activities such as disease awareness and launch readiness, to franchise and corporate communications, through to LOE efforts.
“We are mostly digital, with 75 percent of our revenue from digital projects across all channels,” according to agency executives.
For 2019, the agency plans to continue to hone and refine its ever-evolving model. “We want to make sure we’re always inspiring our clients and employees, so change here is a given – as is growth,” management says. “Some of our biggest accounts started with a single small project. We find that once clients experience what it’s like to work with us, things grow quickly. We’re ready and well-positioned to take on these challenges.”
Brick City leadership says the “mission-built organization has always had a desire to give back to the healthcare community. So as part of this mission, every year we’ve donated 5 percent of our post-tax profits to health and wellness-related charities and plan on continuing this trend,” management says.
Brick City is also a majority female-owned company and plans on beginning the process of WBENC certification this year.
“This philosophy extends to working with companies that bring unique value to the global medical community,” team management says. In 2018 the agency started working with Medicines Development for Global Health, a not-for-profit biopharma company focused on neglected diseases, based in Melbourne, Australia.
“Brick City is in complete alignment with our mission and values. They get us. This understanding has really helped us propel our corporate story forward,” says Mark Sullivan, Founder and Director of Medicines Development for Global Health, a 2019 Fast Company Most Innovative Company.
“The Brick City team is a pleasure to work with,” says Danielle Smith, Associate Director, Medicines Development for Global Health. “Their enthusiasm and pool of ideas seems inexhaustible, and they are so responsive to what we want to convey about Medicines Development for Global Health.”