Marina Maher Communications

CEO Marina Maher says MMC had "one of our best years ever" and surpassed growth projections by double digits

Principal: Marina Maher, CEO
Ownership: Omnicom (part of Diversified Agency Services)
Subsidiary: Rx Mosaic
Office: New York
Revenue: $50 million to $65 million

Marina Maher Communications continued its track of investing in creative and digital staff as the work the agency does evolves. The firm does not disclose specific revenue numbers, but CEO Marina Maher says MMC had "one of our best years ever" and surpassed growth projections by double digits.

Healthcare and corporate were "neck and neck" in terms of growth, Maher adds. Digital and social media work across practices accounted for 47% of revenue growth compared to 38% last year.

"Growth came from new business wins, as well as more business from existing clients," she explains. "Growth also came from a lot of new hires we made during the year. In particular, the hire of people in areas we consider to be very important to the way our business is evolving."

The creative, digital, and data team grew by 16, including the hire of Ted Sabarese, executive creative director, from Porter Novelli in 2016, and Bryan Pedersen, previously MD of social marketing agency Three Degrees, as director of digital influence. MMC also doubled down on its digital and influencer staff, creating the content, engagement, and influence hive team last year solely to work in digital, social, content, and influencer marketing for clients across the agency.

Two C-suite executives exited the firm in 2016, Diana Vienne, chief talent officer, and Jane Brody Koenke, chief creative and inspiration officer. Staff turnover was 25%.

Evolution of the work
The agency rebranded in early 2017, debuting a revised logo and a new tagline, Artfully Persuasive, in February. "As MMC evolves, we felt our previous positioning and branding were good, but didn’t meet the needs of the way the business was going."

MMC also established a corporate practice in 2016, after winning corporate reputation work with Merck and Glenmark. Lisa Becker Powell, formerly SVP at the agency, took over leadership of the new practice in April last year.

Wins in healthcare included Pfizer’s Prevnar vaccine campaign and Claritin and Dr. Scholl’s with Bayer. It also won consumer work with Coty on Covergirl and Clairol and with baby food company Happy Family Brands. The agency grew existing business with P&G, adding Tide and Head & Shoulders, and Johnson & Johnson, with blood glucose testing meter OneTouch.

The agency lost two longtime clients in 2016: Novo Nordisk, in a competitive RFP, and Kimberly-Clark, due to the company consolidating its agency roster. MMC sister agency Ketchum took on the latter account through its Chicago office.

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