Awards case study: Find out how Retina won the award for ‘B2B marketing communications agency of the year’

Learn how Retina won the award for communications agency of the year with its year of resilience and record growth.

About the agency

Retina is a global marketing communications and technology services company, connecting expert services in strategy, creative, content, and go to market with deep digital and software engineering capabilities to drive marketing efficiency and business impact for brands globally. Our team of marketers, creatives and software engineers is structured to fulfil Retina’s 4DTM digital communications services: Demand and Brand Marketing, Digital Experience, Digital Transformation and Data Science solutions. Retina operates from 11 locations globally, including San Francisco, Toronto, Madrid, Vienna, Glasgow, Bucharest, and Brasov.

Contribution to clients’ businesses

In 2020, Retina delivered innovation and impact with clients in myriad ways, while maintaining a near-100% retention rate:

  • For Thermo Fisher Scientific, Retina rebranded the company’s cornerstone Gibco brand and launched new branded content initiatives across digital, social and digital event channels – increasing leads by 30% and fueling multi-billion-dollar revenue growth
  • For AI-driven identify verification leader Jumio, Retina increased brand awareness 203% and purchase consideration 300%,over delivered on lead generation targets by 70%, and powered consecutive record sales quarters (100% growth year-over-year)
  • For Bank of Montreal (BMO), Retina developed a new personalization/recommendation engine that resulted in double-digit revenue growth year-over-year.
  • For eXp Realty, the world’s fastest growing brokerage, Retina rebranded the company, and launched its commercial and international businesses in India, Mexico and Portugal – supporting record revenue and profit growth (more than 100% year-over-year)
  • For Virbela, a leading provider of virtual engagement/VR platform for remote work, Retina developed a new brand positioning, design and website, powering a 78% increase in new users, dozens of new marquee clients, and 6.5x headcount growth

Creative thinking

Ingenuity and creativity are core to all Retina does. This year, they've brought novel approaches to clients including:

  • Built a mobile app for HR pros to help workers manage their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual activities
  • Connected omni channel campaigns for financial services that personalize engagements on desktop, mobile and ATMs
  • Used Watson AI to power next-best-offer engines
  • Developed an assessment for businesses and schools to see if they’re safe to re-open amid COVID
  • Deployed bots to automate and accelerate ABM and demand generation campaigns
  • Conducted all of our brand workshops with global participants in a virtual reality environment

Financial performance and stability

Against the daunting challenges of 2020 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Retina had the most successful, profitable and expansive year in the company’s history.

  • Increased billings 67% year-over-year, increased profit 4x (250% increased profit margin)
  • Increased headcount 59% (22% the year prior) – including senior hires:
    • Chief Creative Officer, Michael Ruby: 20-year B2B veteran and a member of the DMN 40under40, charged with leading global brand strategy, creative and content
    • Managing Partner, Lynn Kozak: 20-year marketing/technology veteran, charged with leading Retina Canada. Most recently VP, Audience Development at one of the largest media groups in Canada, ZoomerMedia
    • Head of Content, Jessica Everson: Cannes Lions, D&AD and One Show award-winning creative
  • Won over a dozen blue-chip clients globally, including: Facebook, Jumio, Kloudspot, eXp World Holdings (NASDAQ: EXPI), Virbela, WorkStep, Sartorius, Druid AI, Bidspotter, Mazars, Alliance Healthcare, Cleanshelf, Ironhack, Blue Air
  • Dramatically expanded engagements with Thermo Fisher Scientific, Jumio, ING Bank, Stanford University, Cora, and The Energy Project

Staff and community engagement

Retina further innovated our distributed workstyle this past year amid the pandemic through our cloud-enabled business model. Retina also added a virtual reality platform that enables our teams to work together in real time.

Facing overwhelming uncertainty due to COVID-19, Retina promised and held to not reducing staff or salaries. In fact, we invested in hiring.

Retina have an active internship program that provides not only college-aged students opportunities for work; they also offer internships for high school students who excel in technology in Romania.

Retina are diligent in investing resources to social responsibility. For example, employees can make charitable donations to local organizations on behalf of a client that aligns with that group's mission.

Key initiatives and achievements

Retina and the work they've done on behalf of our clients has been recognized globally with several honors over the past 12 months, including:

  • Association of National Advertising (ANA) 2020 B2B Agency of the Year
  • The Drum B2B Martech Agency of the Year
  • Top 15 international B2B marketing agencies by B2B Marketing
  • Chief Marketer 200
  • Interbrand 2020 Breakthrough Brands (client Flexport)
  • ANA B2 Awards for global media plan and lead generation campaign
  • B2B Marketing Elevation award for best use of digital techniques
  • Global ACE Award for best digital experience

Retina partnered in 2020 with IBM Watson AI to develop webinars, white papers, infographics and other materials on how to accelerate adoption of AI/Machine Learning to power data-driven marketing.

Importantly, Retina is continually committed to attracting Millennial and Gen Z professionals to B2B. Both CEO Ted Kohnen and Managing Partner Silvian Centiu teach courses at and are involved with the graduate programs at Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Malaga (Spain), University Manchester (UK), and The Economics University of Romania.

“I was extremely impressed with the direction that Retina took our campaign. If you’re looking for an agency that really thinks outside the box, is super creative, and at the same time has the knowledge and capability to work within legal and brand requirements, Retina is a great choice.”

Deborah Moore, Associate Director of Global Market Development, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Elevation Awards 2021

This entry won Gold for ‘B2B marketing communications agency of the year’. Check out our full shortlist and full list of winners now to see who won big! 

Check out the winners here!

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