Managing editor-digital- Columbus Business First

TourismOhio picks new branding and media planning agencies

TourismOhio has selected a Columbus branding agency to develop its next marketing plan.ohio-travel-guide-copy-304xx683-1024-43-0

TourismOhio Director Mary Cusick said on the agency’s online newsletter that Columbus-based Cult Marketing LLC would take over branding and creative services work, while Cleveland’s Marcus Thomas LLC would handle media planning and ad placement.

The agency put the two-year contracts out for bid in December, looking for ways to “establish a distinctive brand for Ohio tourism” through at least three seasonal campaigns. Tourism is a $38 billion industry in Ohio, the agency said.

“I am encouraged by the level of interest we received during the selection process and am ready get down to work on identifying an emotional and head-turning brand that will take Ohio tourism to a new level,” Cusick wrote. “We have a fast-paced timeline to begin rolling out a new brand and now have the partners in place to make it happen!”

A TourismOhio spokeswoman said representatives from Cult Marketing would present initial plans for marketing the state Thursday afternoon at a meeting at Experience Columbus’ offices in the Arena District.

The marketing and branding piece is part of TourismOhio’s PlantoWin long-term strategic blueprint.

Read the full article here.

 

Healthcare Executive of the Year: Kara Trott, Founder & CEO, Quantum Health

By Kitty McConnell

From the March 2015 issue of Columbus CEO
When Quantum Health Founder and CEO Kara Trott began working with healthcare clients as an attorney with Bricker & Eckler, she was amazed to realize how little the industry centered on the needs of healthcare consumers.“When I was listening to all the challenges that providers were facing during their patients’ journeys, I was like ‘Wow, who’s fixing that for the patient?’ The answer was nobody,” says Trott. Prior to joining Bricker, Trott designed and executed consumer intercept strategies for companies including Citibank, Ford, Walmart and Coke as a strategic marketing consultant and for international consulting firm RPA.“Having come from mass merchandising and retailing, the challenges that people faced in the pathway to healthcare was exactly the kind of thing we had solved in other industries,” says Trott. “I thought it was very strange in healthcare that nobody really understood or even sought to understand how the consumer experiences things.”“It’s just all grown up as an administrative solution. It’s very operationally efficient for productivity and claim processing, but that is antithetical to the caring and love that people need when they’re going through this horrible journey,” she says. Trott recognized the opportunity to do the type of meaningful work she desired. In 1999, Trott founded Quantum Health, a healthcare coordination and consumer navigation company…Click the link to view the full article.

Healthcare Trailblazer: Quantum Health

By Kitty McConnell

From the March 2015 issue of Columbus CEO
Quantum Health doesn’t operate like a traditional healthcare company. Founder and CEO Kara Trott believes that’s why the care coordination and consumer navigation company is seeing such success as a disruptor in the industry.“We have been very, very focused as a company on doing the things that actually create value for the consumer experience and that are matched up to how consumers actually experience the healthcare journey. That’s very different than (the rest of) our industry, because most of the drivers in our industry are very transactional, it’s designed for convenience of administration, financial risk management,” says Trott, a former corporate attorney and strategic marketing consultant for brands like Citibank, Ford, Walmart and Coke.After two years of research following the “healthcare journeys” of 3,200 patients and over 290 physicians, Trott launched Quantum. The patient-focused concept that is the foundation of Quantum operations was based on Trott’s application of the techniques she’d used to solve consumer challenges in merchandising and retail sectors…

 

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CEO Doug Mcintyre: Company digs deep on customers

When Quantum Health approached Cult Marketing seeking help connecting with its clients in the health-care navigation industry, Quantum’s leadership team wondered if the idea of a guardian angel might be appropriate for a sales and marketing campaign.

Researchers at Cult went to work finding out how clients and consumers perceived the company, which provides health-care coordination services to self-funded public and private employers throughout the country.

What they uncovered surprised everyone. Health-care consumers who used the company’s services saw the Quantum employees as protectors fighting on their behalf.

Those insights shaped a marketing plan that has led to double-digit growth and created a brand story that permeates the entire business.

The success of the plan correlates to the quality of the information Cult Marketing gleaned during its research phase, said Quantum Health CEO Kara Trott…

 

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Innovation Spotlight: Cult Marketing relies on research to deliver results

 

Article By Melissa Kossler Dutton

From the November 2014 issue of Columbus CEO

 

When Quantum Health approached Cult Marketing seeking help connecting with clients in the healthcare-navigation industry, Quantum’s leadership team wondered if the concept of guardian angels might be appropriate for a sales and marketing campaign.Researchers at Cult went to work finding out how clients and consumers perceived Quantum, a company that provides healthcare coordination services to self-funded public and private sector employers throughout the country…
urban outfitters

One of Cult Marketing’s philosophies is to strategically disrupt markets. This is critical in getting attention with your target audience and is step one of any successful marketing effort – you must breakthrough the clutter. How do you decide where the boundaries are? When has a disruption strategy gone too far?

Most recently Urban Outfitters got into hot water with a vintage sweatshirt design featuring the Kent State logo and what appears to be spattered blood. Kent State officials publicly decried the tactic. “We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit,” Kent State wrote in a statement on its website on Monday. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”

Urban Outfitters have struck before with items including a “Ghettopoly” board game; a T-shirt that resembled the clothing that Nazis forced Jews to wear; and a hat that labeled vomiting as “Irish Yoga.”

Other retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch have been famous for disruptive tactics. A&F featured naked teenagers in their catalogs, a t-shirt that agitated the Asian community (“Wong Brothers Laundry Service — Two Wongs Can Make it White”), and had guest articles written by porn stars offering advice on oral sex and other sexual techniques. As expected, many conservatives and members of the religious right were outraged.

So where do you draw the line on disruption tactics?

The Cult view on disruption is based on one primary factor – a keen understanding of a company’s target audience and their attitudes, desires and motivations. One of the reasons that the A&F tactics worked so well is that it appealed to the teenager and college target audiences, not the religious right. In fact, the disapproval of the religious right gave the tactics validity with its target audience. And, while it was considered edgy and inappropriate, it was just about sex which is a hot topic among all consumers, especially the younger consumers experiencing those emotions for the first time.

In terms of the Kent State sweatshirt, our question would be to their millions of consumers that loyally shop the store: Were you outraged by the Kent State sweatshirt design? Will it stop you from shopping there in the future? Our guess is that while the sweatshirt itself may not sell very well, the publicity will create enough curiosity to actually increase traffic. After all, don’t most Americans love a good scandal?