Key executives: Jeff Bergau and Murad Sabzali, managing partner
2009 revenue: $5.0 million
2009 b2b revenue: $5.0 million
Key clients: Bio-Rad Laboratories, Dow Microbial, Illumina, McCrone Group, TechniKrom Major 2009 campaigns: Bio-Rad, “Research. Together,” print, online, events; Illumina, “Genetic Energy,” print, online, events; Dow Microbial Control, “Ask More of Us,” print, online
Comments: Increased revenue by 56%; added new clients, including BellBrook Laboratories, International Food Protection Training Institute, Organovo and TechniKrom; won BMA Pro-Comm Award for Illumina campaign and BMA Tower Award for Bio-Rad campaign; 100% b2b
Chempetitive kept its competitive edge during a difficult year by focusing exclusively on life sciences, its core area of expertise, and expanding such capabilities as brand strategy and business strategy.
The agency grew its revenue by 56% last year and added seven new clients to its roster, including BellBrook Laboratories, International Food Protection Training Institute, Organovo and TechniKrom.
“Even during the recession, we saw significant growth,” said Jeff Bergau, managing partner at Chempetitive, Chicago. “One factor is our focus, which is solely life sciences. We are not a health care marketing agency—we have no interest in pharmaceutical companies that are marketing drugs to consumers and doctors.”
Instead, the agency focuses on clients that sell scientific equipment and technologies, such as Dow Microbial Control and Bio-Rad Laboratories. “It's a niche we carved out for ourselves when we launched seven years ago, and we have been diligent about maintaining that focus,” Bergau said.
One of its most successful efforts last year was a campaign for Dow Microbial Control, a division of The Dow Chemical Company that recently acquired Rohm and Haas, a scientific materials company serving industries such as construction and electronics. The campaign, “Ask More of Us,” was designed to show the advantages of the merged company. “We needed to put a human face on the company, so we focused on individual Dow people,” Bergau said.
The campaign included a redesigned Web site, print ads, social media, online videos and a mobile BlackBerry application for the sales force.
For client Bio-Rad, which develops research and diagnostic equipment for life sciences companies, Chempetitive was charged with developing an overall brand campaign.
“Bio-Rad is among [the], if not the, oldest life sciences company out there, but they had been defining themselves by their individual products,” Bergau said. “They wanted to focus on a higher-level brand campaign.”
Bio-Rad sells products that include imaging instruments, liquid-handling equipment and protein analysis systems to scientists and researchers. After conducting research focusing on the company's history and what the brand means to its constituents, Chempetitive developed a campaign called “Research. Together,” with the key theme of collaboration.
“Collaboration is a big word in life sciences,” Bergau said. “The campaign is not only an umbrella corporate campaign, but it lends itself to each of the product groups.”
The campaign included print ads, banner ads, microsites and trade show support. Within the first 10 months of the campaign's debut, informed awareness of Bio-Rad among its target audience increased 5%. The effort won a Business Marketing Association Tower Award (for total communications program between $200,000 and $500,000).
Bergau said Chempetitive is now focusing on providing more strategic consulting services to its clients. “We have seen the most growth in the areas of business strategy and brand strategy. In the world of life sciences, many of the marketing folks are reformed scientists, so they need additional insight and consulting,” he said.
The agency is also expanding its reach globally.
“Our goal is to have an international presence by the end of the year” Bergau said. —K.M.
WINNER: BBDO New York
RUNNER-UP: Ogilvy & Mather
MENTION: Euro RSCG
|HONORABLE MENTION: PJA Advertising+Marketing|
|WINNER: Chempetitive Group|
|RUNNER-UP: Schermer Kuehl|
|WINNER: MRM Worlwide|
HONORABLE MENTION: BusinessOnLine