GDC Marketing & Ideation invested in two new companies to offer its clients, among other services, marketing, advertising and public relations under its service umbrella.
In the Business Journal’s list of San Antonio area public relations firms, GDC ranked second. It reported its local public relations fee income for 2021 was $4 million, 27% of its business was PR-related work and it listed two local accounts and nine regional accounts. The company ranked third in the Business Journal’s list of advertising agencies.
Under the leadership of CEO and Partner Beth Ochoa, formerly Beth Wammack, the company launched GDC Studios and Recon Digital Media.
GDC invested in its experiential division, purchasing multiple digital trucks that can provide remote branding and video services.
With those trucks, GDC created a traveling virtual gaming experience in cooperation with TxDOT that allows users to experience how reflexes become delayed under the effects of alcohol. In its virtual dodgeball game, the on-screen character consumes alcohol and becomes less responsive and more prone to being hit by the ball. GDC reports the campaign achieved over $18 million in earned media and more than 4 million impressions.
“I like to build things,” Ochoa told the Business Journal last year. “I want to create something that has a lot of different opportunities for people and a lot of value for our clients.”
GDC Studios does content creation and includes a team of creative directors, designers, copywriters, video directors and a production team. Recon Digital Media operates as an independent digital marketing firm. Some of its recent clients include Don’t Mess with Texas, Texas CASA and CPS Energy.
GDC reports Recon’s revenue in 2021 was more than $600,000. Its revenue for 2022 was projected to reach $1 million.
Meanwhile, GDC reports its 2021 gross billing figure as $15.5 million and it stated its 2022 gross billing figure saw an 89% increase — that’s approximately $29.3 million. “The growth is attributed to adding new clients to the agency roster and the deep relationships and trust we have cultivated with current clients to help build their brands and create measurable success,” according to the company.
The company introduced a new benefit last year. A paid, one-month sabbatical program for employees who have been with the company for five years. It claims to be one of only 5% of companies in the nation to offer this program.
Its 48-person staff spans across southern Texas and even into Mexico. GDC said it embraced the hybrid work model to expand its reach for talent and creative expertise.
It is also planning for its own future and leadership succession. The two agency partners, Ochoa and Carey Quakenbush, created the GDC Leadership Cohort with outside support from Henry Sauer of Headwaters Consulting. The cohort meets monthly and undergoes 360° reviews, goal setting and shadowing opportunities.
“We work hard for our clients and are very intentional about creating a workplace and culture where people can [grow] and thrive,” GDC stated to the Business Journal. “This award is validating and we hope we can inspire other companies who are in the grind but want to strategically grow their business and take care of their people.”