CDM New York
220 E. 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
E-mail: [email protected]
Account wins 14
Active business clients 17
Brands by 2015 Sales
Brand product accounts held 49
Professional Advertising 30%
Strategic Consulting 10%
In 2015, CDM New York redoubled its commitment to a long-standing philosophy: if you put your focus on employee growth and development, great things happen. So over the course of a dynamic year, the agency put significant efforts behind the growth and development of each employee, leading to a demonstrable expansion of its business.
“We are obsessed with supporting our people–and encouraging them to step up in new ways,” says Kyle Barich, CEO of CDM. “Through our people-focus this year, we saw growth in every way that matters. Our people grew, our client roster grew, our creative quality grew, our clients’ brands grew, and so our business grew. That creates a vibrant culture that fuels us to continue to evolve on behalf of our clients.”
The year’s accomplishments
The notable ways CDM New York grew this past year started with its promise to help each employee develop, according to executives.
“This past year was a banner year for SSCG University, our in-house development program,” says Lori Klein, president. “By committing to our people, we saw the number of course hours increase exponentially from previous years, and we set a new record for the number of employees who taught courses. We’re teaching each other how to get better at every aspect of our business.”
This emphasis on development resulted in the agency pushing into new and different channels for clients’ brands. According to Chris Palmer, managing partner, executive creative director, “Our creative palette has expanded in beautiful ways. We did powerful, arresting work in oncology for Takeda and AbbVie, we did buzzworthy DTC work for Xifaxan – including a Super Bowl spot that caused a full-on Twitter explosion. We did deep and beautiful multichannel work for clients like Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, and Baxalta, and brought our multiscreen gaming capabilities into the heart of Times Square for the AHA. Everywhere we looked, we were pushing.”
The agency’s creative output fueled a major accomplishment – winning Agency Network of the Year at the Lions Health festival in Cannes.
Putting people first also resulted in an increase in satisfied clients. “One metric we fanatically track is client satisfaction,” Klein says. “This year, the number of clients who said they’d give us an unconditional recommendation reached an all-time high. That’s growth that really matters.”
In part, client satisfaction was driven by reimagining client service, executives say. Mid-year, the agency united account service and project management to create the Client Service Team, helping to facilitate more efficient solutions across the agency’s workstreams and removing obstacles in order to get to work that inspires clients.
According to agency leaders, high client satisfaction led to another year in which wins without pitches and organic growth outpaced wins through pitches. Nonetheless, 2015 was another big year for CDM New York business development, landing new clients such as Anacor and Radius Health, and centerpiece brands for Pfizer, including Lyrica.
“This year, the pitches seemed bigger and more complex – sometimes going up against eight other agencies with multiple rounds,” Barich says. “How do we turn less than a 20 percent chance of winning into a positive outcome? We put an extraordinary emphasis on human chemistry. Yes, the ideas and strategies have to stand out, but more than ever, it’s about creating environments for our folks to shine.”
Structure and services
In 2015, CDM New York saw its business grow substantially. This, in part, led to significant movement within agency leadership early. Formerly president of the New York shop, Barich has stepped into the role of CEO of CDM, placing CDM New York, CDM Princeton, CDM Los Angeles, CDM Montreal, CDM London, CDM Paris, CDM Milan, CDM Barcelona, and CDM Sao Paulo under his leadership. Klein is now president of CDM New York, allowing room for Associate Partner Jennifer O’Dwyer, to step into the role of director of client services. In addition, Associate Partner Celine Vita has taken on a newly created role: director of business growth for the agency, helping clients find ways to expand their business. The rest of the management team comprises Palmer and the associate partners, who are Debra Polkes, creative director; Chris Fiocco, director of account planning; Elizabeth Yi, director of medical and scientific affairs; and Carolyn O’Neill, creative director.
The agency is structured in core groups centered on whole client businesses led by a client service director/creative director team. These teams are complemented by the Strategy Group, which comprises Medical and Scientific Affairs, Account Planning, Digital Strategy, and Analytics. This group collaborates to uncover the scientific, human, and behavioral truths that can drive change for brands. “Our client’s problems don’t fall into neat silos,” Klein says. “So our Strategy Group seamlessly takes the brains of people who used be separate and integrates our thinking to create solutions such as customer personas and journeys, ensuring our client’s brands are right there at the appropriate moment for influence.”
According to executives, a continuing focus of the agency is uncovering ways to collaborate with Omnicom partners to create uniquely powerful solutions for clients. Agency leaders believe that collaboration will be enhanced by the recent launch of the Omnicom Health Group, which creates the largest dedicated healthcare communications group in the world. This group reflects clients’ demands for comprehensive and coordinated marketing and communications solutions. “We’re fanatical about making the product we deliver to our clients stronger, sharper, more comprehensive,” Barich says. “So that leads us to partner with strong and distinctive agencies like CDMiConnect, Maslansky + Partners, Entrée Health, and BBDO, to name a few. With the launch of the Omnicom Health Group, our ability to partner and collaborate just got even stronger.”
Executives point to HealthWork, a joint venture between CDM and BBDO, as a particularly strong partnership for the agency, boasting wins for Abbott Diagnostics, Salix, Anacor, and Pfizer Corporate over the year. “Even more important is the quality of the work we’re doing together,” Palmer says. “It’s so great to be part of a partnership that is driven by the creative inspiration that BBDO provides.”
2015 was another notable year in terms of commitment to charitable causes, agency executives say. A landmark event for the agency is Pharmapalooza, the annual fundraising event for The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Total funds raised by the agency through the Pharmapalooza events have now reached nearly $800,000. These funds pay for a full-time art therapist as well as music and art therapy supplies for a full year.
This year also saw a milestone event for the American Heart Association. As Palmer explains, “We helped the AHA address a profound issue facing New York City: the alarmingly low number of people who are trained in hands-only CPR. So we helped to create an event in Times Square, with the goal of training as many people as possible. At the event, we used a multiscreen game on the billboards to generate awareness, and held training sessions to teach the hands-only CPR to hundreds of people over the course of a day. In fact, the AHA set a new Guinness World Record for the number of people continuously trained in a single day. The best application of creativity? Putting lifesaving power into someone’s hands.”