Every now and then, a Canadian agency that’s thriving here announces its intention to expand by opening an international office, usually in the U.S.
But on Tuesday, Klick Health—which already has offices in Toronto, New York and Philadelphia—announced that it is opening not one or even two new offices, but seven in three key hubs around the globe: Singapore, Tokyo (APAC), London, Basel, Munich (EMEA), Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires (LATAM).
The agency, which turns 25 this year, has grown to 1,600 employees servicing a wide range of U.S. and global life sciences brands, mostly in pharma and biotech. Medical marketing magazine MM+M ranks Klick as number one on its top 100 agency list, and says it was the first medical marketing agency to surpass $400 million in revenue. It also predicts that it will be the first to surpass $500 million this year.
By any standard, it’s a made-in-Canada marketing success story, with a leadership team that wants to share that story in more markets around the world.
Klick had been planning on expanding globally in 2020, but put things on hold when the pandemic hit, even though work with its clients has increased around the world, said co-founder and chairman Leerom Segal.
“We just heard an intensifying chorus of clients really pushing us and saying that this really is the optimal time [to open new offices globally],” said Segal. “We’re trying to scale this magic in a way that really preserves our culture and the soul of the organization.”
“This is organic growth,” added CEO Lori Grant. “This is not us going in and planting a flag. This is us answering our clients who want more.
“So we said, if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it Klick style and we’re going to open all seven at exactly the same time,” she added. “We will have this completed by the end of this year.”
While the expansion plan is ambitious, each office will be more than just an outpost with a mailing address. There will be a managing directors and creative talent on the ground for each location, said Grant. The agency is at 1,600 staff for now, but won’t be for long, said Grant. “If you wait a heartbeat, it’ll be 2,000.
“What our clients really want is for us to bring this special sauce and that Klick difference that we have in North America directly to them globally,” she said. “We’re going to be moving some people overseas… and then expanding out and hiring local talent in those communities as well.”