After one full year when just about everyone who could was working from home, healthcare advertising agencies have managed to adapt and thrive, using technology to serve their clients, onboard new employees, and create bonds.

Agencies and networks featured in Med Ad News’ 2021 Healthcare Communications Agencies Edition have kept client work going smoothly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and when it came to sustaining their own cultures, managed to rise to that challenge in unique ways. From Zoom coffees and cocktails, to ice cream deliveries, to art exhibits, to showing off the activities and things that kept them sane during lockdown, many healthcare ad agencies strove to extend their culture to everyone’s work-from-home situation.

A highly regarded thought leader and proactive problem solver, CEO Lori Grant has been instrumental in building Klick Health’s thriving client roster, client services teams, and in the company’s overall growth and success.

Novartis’ Maria Sanchez puts her whole heart into everything she does. So it’s no surprise her heart failure brand, Entresto, is continuing to have record high growth, even in year six of its life cycle.

It ain’t coming back. We won’t hangout in a conference room to drink Diet Coke and brainstorm SWOTs. We won’t be presenting (or enduring) dog-and-pony pitches anytime soon. I wouldn’t count on adding lunch-and-learns, donut drop-offs, and steakhouse dinner meetings to my promotional tactics. And we shouldn’t be surprised if four-day medical convention junkets go the way of Mad Men and the three-martini lunch. 

Med Ad News talked to Ashfield Health’s new Global President Amar Urhekar about what drew him to the network, what “make it matter” truly means, and future goals for the company.

To qualify for this annual report, agencies must have the capabilities to develop marketing strategies that target healthcare professionals (physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, etc.), and/or consumers, and/or patients, and/or stakeholders such as managed market payors.

In February 2020, 1798 celebrated the agency’s 10th anniversary with an event that commended the team’s accomplishments, celebrated clients, and kicked off a new era as a Fingerpaint company. Having attracted Fingerpaint’s attention as a managed markets agency with multiyear double-digit growth and a deep roster of top-tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, 1798 carried that success into 2020. The agency achieved revenue of $15.2 million – which management characterizes as “right on target for our first year post-acquisition.”

“When 2020 began we had a clear vision (pun intended) of our goals for growth and success. That vision did not include a catastrophic global pandemic and economic and political chaos with a side of self-isolation,” say leaders at Abelson Taylor. “Perhaps most applicable is the Yiddish proverb, ‘Mann traoch, Gott Lauch’ – ‘Man plans, God laughs.’ Yet, as AbelsonTaylor celebrates the 40th year of fierce independence, 2020 was one of our best years ever with 25 percent growth year over year.”  

“2020 created unique challenges for our industry, but 2021 is a time for new beginnings, opportunity and growth,” agency management says. “For GCG Marketing, that meant going through a rebrand after nearly 50 years in business. With a new building, an updated team structure and a refreshed perspective on the rapidly changing world of digital marketing, Agency Habitat was launched.”