Location: Portland, Ore.
Key executive: Denise Barnes, president
2012 revenue: $9.8 million
2012 b-to-b revenue: $9.8 million
Key clients: AmEx, Autodesk, Google, Xerox, ZixCorp
Major 2012 campaigns: Imation, “Scalable Storage,” online; Nuance Communications, “Tap,” online, direct mail; Xerox, “Get Optimistic,” online, direct mail, events
Comments: Grew revenue by 45%; won new clients including AmEx, Autodesk, Google, LifeLock and Xerox; 100% of business is b-to-b
Babcock & Jenkins technically may be a small agency, but it enjoyed outsize results and recognition in 2012. The 40-person, one-office agency gained a lengthy list of clients last year—including big names such as American Express Co., Demandbase, Google Inc., Jive Software, William Blair & Co., Xerox Corp. and ZixCorp—and saw revenue jump 45%.
One reason for the growth is that clients have been looking for longer-term, agency-of-record-type relationships rather than short-term, campaign-based projects, said Denise Barnes, the agency's president. “The senior-level marketing folks are no longer looking at demand and awareness separately,” she said. “They're looking at what's driving revenue for every marketing activity and the ROI on that.”
The fact that senior-level marketing executives are involved in the agency relationship marks a change from even a few years ago, when it was typically a director-level employee from the client side who would be involved in demand-generation activities, Barnes said. “There's been a shift to higher-level strategies,” she said. “That has shifted the way we organize our agency and support our clients.”
The agency has added staff to expand its strategic planning and analytics capabilities, including hiring an analytics expert at the VP level charged with connecting client data across various touch points. It also has brought on employees with more traditional brand experience, part of the agency's “brand to demand” philosophy of creating compelling stories for clients to drive demand.
While many agencies have had to start from scratch with analytics and marketing automation offerings, Babcock & Jenkins, which has been in business 21 years, has had a longtime focus on those areas, Barnes said. “Where a lot of agencies are transitioning and trying to build out those practice areas, that's always been our core strength,” she said.
Content is central to everything the agency does—providing the most relevant information at the right time in the buying cycle. “It's the foundation of the conversation,” Barnes said. “What makes it exciting is watching people go through that buyer's journey and matching the content to their personas.”
Content played a key role in the success of various client work in 2012, such as an effort for Imation's Scalable Storage solutions, an integrated campaign for Xerox's Managed Print Services division and a targeted campaign for Nuance Communications. —M.E.M.