Butler/Till Health Group: 2019
Butler/Till Health Group
1565 Jefferson Road
Building 200, Suite 280
Rochester, NY 14623
Account wins 5
Active business clients 16
Brands by 2018 sales
Brand-product accounts held 43
According to the agency’s leaders, Butler/Till Health Group is one of the country’s leading independent, women-owned, employee-owned media and communications agencies. “Leveraging the deep healthcare expertise we’ve been developing since 1998, we are uniquely positioned to make media work smarter for our clients,” BTHG executives say.
The agency has a team of more than 150 media professionals headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., with satellite offices in New York City and San Francisco. The leadership team says the agency is building a new office in the Rochester metro region, using a $1.25 million grant awarded by New York State. The estimated move-in date is 2020.
“Today we are a 150+ person-strong media and communications powerhouse,” management says. “And we’re just getting started. We own our wins. We own our losses. We own the ability to direct our agency’s growth. That’s us. We are Butler/Till Health Group.”
In the last year, agency executives say Butler-Till Health Group experienced “monumental” growth with account wins such as Wright Medical, HydraFacial, L’Oréal, Rigel, and Welch/Allyn, as well as “significant” organic growth with existing clients such as Celgene, Ferring, Bausch Health Companies, and Hologic.
“In addition, our expanded analytics capability has led to new product offerings and we hired Gabrielle E. Bedewi, E.M.B.A., Ph.D., as chief analytics officer,” BTHG executives say. “Gabrielle has more than 20 years of experience and has developed a reputation for combining advanced analytics and best-practices with her insatiable curiosity to reveal core strategic insights that drive business results.”
According to agency leaders, there has been a significant investment in talent management throughout the last 12 months, with 35 new hires, including seven in the director role or above.
Company awards in the past year include Effie finalist honors through the agency’s work on the “SHOWING” campaign for Celgene; selection as a “Top Healthcare Agency” for the second year in a row on the Medical Marketing & Media Agency 100 List; finalist for the Medical Marketing & Media “Best Places to Work” list; team member Nicole Hamlin being named to the Medical Marketing & Media “Women to Watch” list; Women Presidents’ Organization “50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led National Companies” list; Best For The World’s list of “Top-Performing B Corps”; and consistent local recognition as a “Top Workplace” by multiple organizations, including the Rochester Business Journal, Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.
STRUCTURE AND SERVICES
Agency leaders say core service offerings include strategy (research services such as competitive intelligence, category analysis, and market deep dives, and strategic development such as strategy and planning for media, content marketing, and creative); media (digital and traditional print, television, radio, and direct mail), creative (digital and print), and analytics (reporting such as data hygiene, information aggregation and integration, and data mining and visualization, and on the advanced analytics side, third-party targeting list optimization, customized market and audience segmentation, predictive ROI forecasting and optimization, and predictive qualified lead generation).
“As a result of our progress, our focus on business optimization efforts has become a core part of our DNA,” BTHG management says. “We utilize the Lean Six Sigma approach to process, quality, and overall improvement throughout the agency. We function with 100 percent transparency on process, costs, and recommendations – always.”
According to BTHG leadership, a dedicated account management team works directly with client contacts to plan and manage all campaigns on behalf of the client. An account director provides total oversight across all media tactics to maximize media spend. Account leads also consult on adjacent topics to strengthen advertising performance, including testing strategies, messaging recommendations, market criteria, and best practices for integrated marketing communications. Account directors also work with media directors to help internal teams develop plans that align with core business objectives. Media directors employ a “pod structure” that includes specialists who provide support for all campaign functions, from planning to analytics, and set clear paths of execution.
Senior strategists serve as business leads across display, search, and social. “Like account directors, they understand business objectives and partner closely with vendors to identify emerging opportunities,” agency managers say. “Their counterparts, junior strategists and coordinators, manage day-to-day campaigns, including ongoing optimizations and reporting.”
Analytics and performance management team members provide an objective lens across account management and media, according to BTHG executives. “This team includes specialists who monitor and manage the quality of media and campaign data at its most granular level. Rooted in transparent stewardship of client dollars, this rigor in data hygiene and management also enables additional capabilities, such as advanced analytics, data visualization, and strategic collaboration with external measurement partners for media-mix modeling or multi-touch attribution.”
Each year, the agency chooses a guiding word,” management says. “2019’s is ‘Agile.’ With that in mind, we’ve introduced a new strategic planning approach, known as ‘Play to Win,’ which has helped us establish new short- and long-term goals to more closely align with our pace and overall vision.”
Among these goals are grow enterprise value while remaining a “Best Place to Work”; integrate and improve digital media and analytics to create a specific “Digital Performance Media” offering; drive business optimization through standardized process and tech enablement; design and build out new, inspirational office space; align talent strategy to business strategy through continued elevation of recruiting, onboarding, development, workforce engagement, and compensation; explore opportunistic acquisitions that provide growth and a strategic advantage; enable agile product development and continued adoption of an experimental culture; expand services and products; refresh BTHG brand and value proposition; and focus on sub-segmentation to fuel new business development.
According to managers, “a final element vital to the success of BTHG” is the agency’s values and culture.
“We believe that culture should never be taken for granted, and should be nurtured often,” agency executives say. “With numerous outlets for employees to feel connected both internally and throughout the community, the company participates in pro-bono work, has a dedicated committee for charity opportunities, and is B Corps-certified.”
BTHG has provided pro-bono support for Causewave Community Partners, formerly known as the Ad Council of Rochester, which addresses complex problems within nonprofit organizations in the local area. “On top of company sponsorship programs, we have also completed several projects for this group, the latest being all creative development, media planning, and buying for its Annual Celebration Breakfast,” agency executives say.
BTHG also offers three paid days off for all employees to dedicate to community involvement efforts, which provides the opportunity for all employees to engage in causes that inspire them. The agency also funds two humanitarian trips a year for a select group of employees at a location in need to perform a large-scale, mission-based project. “Recently, we’ve sent employees to New Orleans to build a Habitat for Humanity house and to Nicaragua to build a school through the Enlace Project,” according to BTHG leaders.
“We are one of only 1,600 certified B Corps in the world – for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency,” BTHG management explains. “B Corps are leading a global movement of People Using Business as a Force for Good, while working toward the triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit. As previously noted, we were awarded for three consecutive years to the Best For The World List of ‘Top-Performing B Corps.’”