Zeno Group: Agency Business Report 2011

Headcount increased 29% to 76 employees, and turnover, much of which took place at the junior levels, was 25%, says CEO Barby Siegel.

Principal: Barby Siegel, CEO
Ownership: Daniel J. Edelman
Offices : New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles

Staff
Headcount increased 29% to 76 employees, and turnover, much of which took place at the junior levels, was 25%, says CEO Barby Siegel.
 
Zeno hired 13 senior staffers, including Ame Wadler as MD of health, Mark Shadle as MD of corporate, Mark O'Connor as EVP of media, and a number of senior-level executives in the consumer practice.
 
Practice area
The agency divides its business into four main practices: consumer marketing, healthcare, corporate, and technology.
 
Accounts
In what Siegel describes as "a transformational moment for the agency," Zeno won Starbucks' Seattle's Best Coffee account. Additional new account wins include Sobieski Vodka, Office Depot, T-Mobile, and Sears' Kenmore and Craftsman brands. About 50% of its total accounts are on retainer.
 
Financial performance
Revenue grew 24% more than 2009 to $12.5 million, with a profit margin of 11%. Organic growth with clients such as Pizza Hut contributed to financial performance. However, in 2010, Zeno achieved most of its growth through new business wins.
 
Analysis
Zeno was able to leverage top-line growth in its consumer marketing practice, which increased 88% over 2009, to invest in healthcare and corporate talent and business.
 
"When I arrived 18 months ago, consumer was the lion's share of the business and always had been," recalls Siegel. "However, we are now committed to building and growing other areas. Last year, we put a stake in the ground with health and corporate."
 
She adds that the firm is also on track to grow technology through new business and potential acquisition.

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