Imre: Agency Business Report 2014

Imre's revenue increased 13.2%, compared to a 6% increase in 2012.

Principals: Dave Imre, partner and CEO (pictured); Mark Eber, partner and president
Ownership: Independent
Offices: Baltimore; New York; Los Angeles; and Raleigh, NC
Revenue: $13.3 million
Headcount: 85

Imre returned to more familiar double-digit growth territory in 2013. The firm’s revenue increased 13.2%, compared to a 6% increase in 2012. In addition, Imre nearly doubled its profit margin from 5.5% to 10.4%.

"We not only grew the top line, but also the bottom line," says CEO Dave Imre.

The agency’s New York office opened in May with five people. It has since expanded to 12 and is looking to sign a new lease to accommodate the growth.

About a third of staff are part of the agency’s integrated account services group, which has enabled client work to increase in complexity and results, says Imre.

This account growth is slated to continue through 2014, with the firm now 60% integrated and 40% pure PR. The accounts Imre picked up in 2013 – including Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Nestlé, and some additional work for Wells Fargo – are all integrated.

The agency’s expertise includes home and building, financial services, healthcare, and sports. New clients have been brought in across specialties, including L’Oréal.

Imre says the most traction was in healthcare and home and building, each up in the low 20% range when organic growth and new clients are combined. The agency lost XLHealth as a client.

Notable hires last year included former CNBC executive Kevin Windorf as SVP of financial services and Rebecca Renner as creative director. Recruiting and retaining key talent has been an issue in the past for the firm, but having four offices geographically spread out allows the agency to pull from several talent pools.

"It’s a constant challenge to recruit and retain people," says Imre.

Staff turnover was 4.9%. A significant departure in 2013 was VP Paul Eagle, who moved to Catholic Relief Services.

Staff development
Development of employees’ skills has become key in keeping up with the constant evolution of digital marketing.

As a result, learning sessions at Imre help account staff fully understand the "latest and greatest" in online offerings, says Imre, who adds that increased collaboration has become necessary to best identify and solve clients’ needs.

Moving forward, the agency expects a greater emphasis on consumer accounts.

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