The challenge: It started like this. A call came into our office on a Tuesday afternoon. It was the former president of Dresser Industries’ Oilfield Product Group. He was now EVP for a small, regional drilling fluids company, Newpark Drilling Fluids. “Joe, we need your help with a new advertisement. But we don’t have any money”. I agreed to take on the project with a very modest budget. Then I gave creative direction to our graphics design team based upon my conversation with the client. A week later we have a dozen color comp layouts that were really good.
What we did: From there we got an approval for the design that they not only liked but was also to be the most impactful, portraying the company as innovators who could meet challenges. We placed the ad in the two top trade publications. And sales grew. They asked us to do more. And sales grew. At the end of the year, Newpark asked that we research and plan the entire next year’s strategy, budget and media. We became their FCMO and content creators.
Funny thing happened. Two years later with the company growing crazily, they hired a new Director of Marketing. He was an industry veteran with fluid systems sales background and also a writer. The president told him he needed to get rid of The Slade Group. Six months later the new DoM admitted that “I can’t do without you”. And the relationship prospered.
The measurable results: Fast forward seven years and what was once a small, $22M annual sales company now had burgeoned into a $560M category leader in 3rd place in industry sales, just behind M-I Swaco and Halliburton. Along the way, we mentored the entire executive staff and developed a strong relationship with the VP of Sales. The VP of Research also loved and respected us because we used their strengths in correctly positioning the company, its brand and offerings. Today they rely upon a New York agency for their marketing services. The new CEO had friends there and that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s still a sound business case.
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