ABR 2011: Catalyst

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Michael Osborn
Michael Osborn

: Michael Osborn (pictured) and Jeff Cleary, managing directors

: Independent 

US revenue
: $9.2 million 


In March 2010, Catalyst dropped "Direct" from its name to reflect its growing digital strength, while doubling the size of its analytics and digital departments. The Rochester, N.Y., firm reports that digital campaigns represented 40% of its revenues last year, up from 28% in 2009. It also handles direct mail, email and telemarketing, along with search marketing and user-experience design.


The weak economy continues to make an impact. "We did have some clients reduce their spending," says Michael Osborn, co-managing director. "But we've also had some good organic growth from some of our largest accounts," which include Valvoline, Kodak and AAA. An uptick in early 2011 also reflects a number of new clients, like Heraeus Kulzer, an esthetic dental solutions provider, Pitney Bowes and Oreck.


With the improved economy, Osborn says recruitment is more time-consuming. Still, Catalyst is careful to keep its employee bench lean - it has 76 people across two offices.


Now in its 21st year, the firm took a few years to rebuild as its revenues inched lower dropping in 2010 to $9.2 million, from $9.5 million and $9.8 million in 2009 and 2008, respectively. Revenues in the first quarter of 2011, though, are up by 11% versus last year. n


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