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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

HCB Health 2014

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

701 Brazos Street #1100
Austin, TX 78701
Telephone: 512-320-8511
Facsimile: 512-320-8990



 Quick Facts

Account wins 3
Active business clients 15
Brands by 2013 sales  
Brand-product accounts held 35
$25 million or less 11
$25 million – $50 million 8
$50 million – $100 million 5
$100 million – $500 million 5
$500 million to $1 billion  
Services Mix  
Interactive 55%
Advertising    43%
Public relations 2%

Client Roster

Alcon Labs
Austin Gastroenterology
California Pacific Medical Center
Edgemont Pharmaceuticals
Harden Healthcare
Hollister Wound Care
Inova Labs
McKesson Specialty Health
Menninger Clinic
On-X Life Technologies
Optima Health
Pacific Edge
St. Rose
Scott & White Health Plan
Sound Surgical Technologies
Texas Oncology
The US Oncology Network
Thyroid, Head and Neck
Cancer Foundation

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HCB continues to break the mold when it comes to healthcare marketing firms, executives say. “Our creative and digitally centric roots brought fresh thinking to a number of new brands and expanded duties in 2013 making it another banner year of growth,” agency leaders remark.

The Year’s Accomplishments

According to executives, HCB broke through many barriers in 2013 including its own walls with expanded space to accommodate an additional 20 employees. Head count is now at 65 and still growing. The agency’s growth also led to expanding its account service department to include four additional account directors and supporting staff of account supervisors and account executives. With new space, new employees and new growth, HCB has reorganized staff around client-centric POD structures to create efficiencies while staying fast and flexible for its world-class clients. “The big reason for our growth? HCB’s specialty in medical devices has made it one of the top device agencies in the country and is now seeing brands from across the world reaching out to us to tap our expertise,” executives say.

Digital assignments continued to dominate HCB Health’s workload in 2013 and the agency is on course to double its interactive capacity in all areas, especially mobile, according to agency leaders. “iPad apps and iBooks became all the rage for many of our client’s sales force and HCB is adding even more proprietary apps for healthcare marketers,” executives say.

One specific accomplishment the agency is proud of was the launch of, which executives say is the most comprehensive Website for head and neck cancer in the world. This resource allows patients to create a guidebook for their journey through cancer treatment. The site also has age-appropriate information for teens and children to better educate them about what their parents are going through.

During 2013, HCB entered into a joint venture with Topin and Associates in Chicago.

“Together, our formalized arrangement allows the two agencies to pursue new business and already are seeing opportunities and traction,” executives say. “HCB Health offers deep device experience along with strong digital and media resources while Topin brings years of pharmaceutical advertising experience and strategic thinking. It’s one of those rare situations where there truly is synergy and added value to our clients and prospects.”

“Al Topin and I have been friends for years and we’ve always wanted to find a way to work together. The collaboration between our offices has resulted in stellar work,” says Kerry Hilton, CEO of HCB Health. “Our clients are excited about the added breadth.”

Also in 2013, HCB created a new analytics division to bring unique capabilities to its broadening base of customers who want highly targeted data. Managed by Kelly D.

Myers out of the Austin office, HCB Analytics will collaborate with the Chicago office of Topin and Associates with such products as Patient Centric Analytics.

“By having this resource inside the agency, HCB will be able to bring unique insights and strategies that meet specific target and messaging goals,” says Nancy Beesley, chief marketing officer and partner at HCB.

Structure And Services

The structure of HCB has evolved as the agency has grown. Agency management has created team environments around clients’ products that include brand and digital strategists, creative directors and project managers, and a studio that implements traditional and digital projects. Major services include brand messaging, creative development, digital solutions including Web and mobile, media planning and placement, and public relations.

Future Plans

“The forecast for HCB is hot and sunny here in the heart of Texas,” executives say. “With that said, our brand is expanding its presence into other markets to be ‘close to the customer.’ That’s why we’ve added strategic support in Kansas City and San Francisco to connect with healthcare marketers in those regions as well as a strategic alliance with Topin and Associates in Chicago.”


HCB Health believes in giving back, agency leaders say. “As part of the our culture, we look for opportunities to share their passion for good health with our community and our fellow man,” executives say. The agency’s annual donations to the Make-a-Wish Foundation have made a difference in the lives of several central Texas children. HCB uses its strong creative and digital expertise as a way to improve the lives of others, and in 2013 the agency created a pro bono app for Johns Hopkins that supports mothers with newborns. HCB Health regularly supports those staffers who wish to contribute to the global community through medical missions and humanitarian efforts including an upcoming trip to Belize led by Hilton.

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