Brodeur Partners: Agency Business Report 2011

The news about Brodeur Partners buying back a majority stake from Omnicom without the help of private equity broke this March, but the groundwork for that game-changing move was laid in 2010.

Principal : Andy Coville, CEO
Ownership: Brodeur Partners bought back a majority stake from Omnicom in early 2011
Offices: Six wholly owned in US, 80 globally including partners and affiliates
Revenue: Global: $100 million to $200 million; US: up to $50 million

The news about Brodeur Partners buying back a majority stake from Omnicom without the help of private equity broke this March, but the groundwork for that game-changing move was laid in 2010.
 
"That was a real entrepreneurial shot in the arm," says Brodeur CEO Andy Coville. The agency also realigned business into four groups – Brodeur Communications, the branding, marketing, and PR arm; Brodeur ShiftPositive, which targets social change programs; Brodeur Digital, the social media practice; and Brodeur Strategies, which supports research, customer segmentation, and internal alignment initiatives.
 
Changing behavior
Going forward, resources will be put into the concept of behavioral change.
 
"What is so key to us and clients is the notion of how communications not only changes minds, but also behavior," explains Coville. "We will make a lot of investments in the science of behavioral change and creating a diagnostic for relevance."
 
The impact of that will reach all areas of the firm. Brodeur's business breaks down as consumer tech (20%), b-to-b (25%), healthcare (15%), cleantech (5%), social/digital media (15%), public affairs (5%), corporate strategy (5%), and nonprofit (10%).
 
Social media and digital experienced the most growth, while healthcare continued to grow last year in part because of more work coming from smaller bio pharma companies. Cleantech started out 2010 slowly, but picked up speed in the later part of the year.
 
Strength on retainer
About 75% of growth was organic and 25% came from new account acquisition, with 75% of clients on retainer.
 
In 2010, Coville saw a lot of project work evolve into business on a retainer basis.
 
"We did a lot of work around messaging and branding strategies where clients asked us to do bench research in advance and facilitate a messaging and branding workshop for senior execs," she adds. "We also did a lot of media training."

Significant 2010 campaigns included "More Birthdays" for the American Cancer Society, for which Brodeur handled all earned and social media and engagement strategies. The firm just celebrated 10 years of working with RIM, maker of the BlackBerry, and worked with biotech company Antigenics in its rebranding to Agenus.

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