Makovsky + Company: Agency Business Report 2014

Makovsky had a solid year as revenue increased 9.6% in 2013 compared with the year prior.

Ken Makovsky
Ken Makovsky

Principal: Ken Makovsky, president and CEO
Offices: New York and Washington, DC 
Revenue: $14,250,000

Makovsky had a solid year as revenue increased 9.6% in 2013 compared with the year prior ­– the growth was 20% due to new business wins, and 80% from existing clients.*

"The growth is largely attributable to the firm’s health practice, which grew 32%, and is now 50% of billings, and its digital branding group, which jumped ahead 42%," the firm’s CEO Ken Makovsky says. "And our energy-focused DC office, which only opened in 2012, raked in $500,000 in revenue in its first year."

He added that the agency’s technology practice was flat. Account wins included Federated Investors, Sprint, Kowa, and Taboola.

Makovsky worked with Sprint to devise a social intelligence program to help the telecoms company understand the effectiveness of its communications strategy and roll out its 4G LTE network, the development of which is the largest-single capital expenditure it has ever undertaken, according to Makovsky. "This campaign approach covered analysis, assessment, predictions, and activation," he says.

The agency was also responsible for The Kowa Usage campaign, which promoted the pharmaceutical company’s message that side effects matter and that physicians need to speak with their patients.

"Our firm also aided Kowa [in April 2014] as it launched a new campaign with football legend Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda, called First and Goal, a national education initiative encouraging people with high cholesterol to prioritize heart health," says Makovsky. 

The firm lost accounts with Joule Assets, Mahindra, Navidea, Ameritox, Ketra, and SICA. "We resigned clients due to global complexities, and budget-related reasons," Makovsky says.

New hires at the firm included Kristen Sharkey, EVP for technology, who joined Makovsky from Weber Shandwick; Stacey Wachtfogel, HR director, who formerly held the same role at MSLGroup; and in April this year, Ross Sutherland was hired as EVP of digital branding, replacing Tim Kane who left the position in November to serve as YouGov’s global CMO. Steve Seeman, SVP, also departed the firm. Staff turnover was 12.2%.

This year, the firm will "dip its toe in consumer waters" for the first time to address the challenges companies face with marketing’s effect on all dimensions of operations.

"We will capitalize on the rise of mobile and technology’s role in marketing, focusing on C-Suite needs and particularly the CMO," says Makovsky. The agency will also focus on the continued development of its DC office for the remainder of the year.

*Editor's note: Makovsky incorrectly stated on its ABR submission revenue growth of 80% new business and 20% from existing clients. The agency also misstated 2012 revenue. In 2012 revenue was $13,000,000 rather than $13,500,000. Revenue growth for 2013 was amended from 5.5% to 9.6% to reflect this.

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