In 2021, Evolution Health Group has evolved to focus on its AI capabilities and other custom and proprietary applications the company brings to market. During the first months of 2022, Evolution started telling the world about it.
“We hope to have more outside material that will better position and communicate these developments,” notes managing partner Carolyn Vogelesang Harts. “It started pre-COVID and continues, because innovative offerings are our raison d’être.”
The new tools helped fuel Evolution’s growth in 2021. Revenue increased 11%, from $30.2 million in 2020 to $33.6 million.
“It was slower growth than we wanted,” says managing partner Mark Edfort. He notes that the pace of new business has accelerated over the year and that “in a Zoom and Teams world, a decision that once took a week can now take a month.”
Harts agrees, adding, “In particular, in the first half of 2021, there were many opportunities that we ended up taking. It just took a while to integrate them. When you just look at the top numbers, you can’t see some of the things underneath.
In addition to Evolution’s expanded range of offerings, the agency’s strategic and scientific focus continues to prove attractive, Harts notes.
“We personalize our understanding. We educate ourselves on the client’s environment, externally and internally. We share information about their business beyond just a treatment option, and also address the big picture of how they run their business,” she explains. “A lot of customers connect with that.”
The agency is proud of the breadth of its list of 60 clients, spread over 40 AOR engagements and 20 projects. The list includes giants such as Janssen (Evolution runs its entire oncology franchise), AstraZeneca and Takeda, as well as reputable smaller companies such as Rhythm Pharmaceuticals and Averitas Pharma.
Edfort believes Evolution’s science-based approach sets the company apart from many other agencies that prioritize creative or digital above all else. “It really gives us a leg up on the competition,” he says. “If five companies present, four of them are going to be very similar. We are not going to present or talk about the same things.
While the workforce was essentially stable in 2021 (it grew from 130 to 131 employees), the company managed to strengthen its senior management ranks. Evolution has added Jon Alfisi as VP of Technology Solutions and promoted Leo Francis to the new role of COO.
“It’s an investment in innovation and ideation around the direction of the business,” Harts says.
When it comes to the much-discussed topic of the future of work, Evolution doesn’t follow the industry trend towards work where you want.
“We have a hybrid-like environment and schedule and we have some people and some functions that are entirely remote,” Harts notes. “But as an organization, we never want to go entirely virtual. It’s not consistent with who we are, the things we want to accomplish, and the way we relate.
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Work from outside the pharmaceutical industry you admire…
Reddit’s five-second Super Bowl campaign seemed like a hassle at first, but ended up becoming the most viral campaign in the game. It demonstrated that unconventional thinking can really resonate with audiences, which matches how we think as an agency. — harts
Excerpt from the June 01, 2022 issue of MM+M – Medical Marketing and Media