Brodeur Partners: Agency Business Report 2013

In late May, cofounder and CEO Andy Coville and the team at Brodeur were fresh off partnering with client of five years, the American Cancer Society, for a weeklong roster of events including a show headlined by Quincy Jones at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

Principal: Andy Coville, cofounder and CEO
Ownership:
Brodeur Partners Management owns 85%; Omnicom owns 15%
Offices: Global: 33 affiliates and partners; US: 6
Revenue: Global: less than $50 million; US: $20 million to $35 million
Headcount: Global: 195; US: 132

In late May, cofounder and CEO Andy Coville and the team at Brodeur were fresh off partnering with client of five years, the American Cancer Society, for a weeklong roster of events including a show headlined by Quincy Jones at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

"It's been a really great week for them. It's amazing to feel the energy of the people that are so committed to a cure," says Coville.

The agency is coming off a solid 2012 with US revenue up 12% and global revenue up 11% and hot off a busy Q1 in 2013.

Brodeur has done six research studies on relevance this year ranging from luxury products to generational relevance that the agency is using for strategic planning with clients – particularly on the fundraising front with its many higher education clients such as William and Mary, Harvard, Dartmouth, Boston College, and Emerson.

Coville is writing her first book about why relevance is important to communications and how it supports behavioral change.

The healthcare sector was strong for Brodeur last year increasing 18%, particularly in the devices sector with clients such as Hologic.

"We've also seen a lot of growth in our b-to-b clients, such as Corning, that are moving more aggressively into social media. Corning did a cool video called A Day Made of Glass that got an unprecedented amount of downloads on YouTube. We're seeing a lot of our classic b-to-b clients become more adventurous and using what you previously would have thought as consumer social media tactics," says Coville.

She adds that b-to-b clients are less focused on promoting products and more about improving their reputations and being considered a valued partner in the communities they're looking to expand into, a trend she expects to continue in 2013.

The CEO says 45% of revenue growth was organic, particularly with higher education and nonprofit clients, and the remainder new business.

The agency expanded work with clients such as human resources company, Towers Watson. The new remit entailed devising communications strategies around employee wellness programs. Broduer also launched and created a new branding platform for Hughes Network System, a provider of broadband satellite network products.

Key account wins included Aegis Health Group, Dignity Health Group, Harvard Kennedy School, IDS Technology, and Names Foundation (AIDS Quilt). A big account loss earlier this year was Blackberry. Other loses included document automation software, Active Docs, and Amonix, a solar power system developer.

With 33 affiliate global partnerships, there are no foreseeable plans to expand the Brodeur footprint.

"We've figured out where we want to be. We've got our office in Seoul and our base in London and Brazil. Out of those three areas we have very strong affiliate networks that have supported us for more than a decade," says Coville. The agency has seen an increase in work coming out of the financial sector in the Brazil market.

US staff was up about 10% last year. The mid-level positions such as account executives and account supervisor are the most competitive for talent, notes the CEO.

"Everyone is pulling from that same talent pool - all the corporations wanting to do content, advertising, and PR. Everyone's started to grab each other's deck of cards and  you have to bite the bullet and pay a little more than you would have a couple years ago, especially on the West Coast," says Coville.

"2012 for sure was a much more intense year. We saw such an increase on the metrics and ROI. Everyone is under the gun to really deliver. You can't afford to waste time or money or market share. Clients and agencies that do good, quality work are going to grow and there's plenty of business for everybody," says Coville.

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