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Agrimarketing : May 2009
29 Bader Rutter:32 Feature Story 5/13/09 11:23 AM Page 30 AGENCY UPDATE/continued frompage 29 LOCAL AND GLOBAL PRESENCE Beyond an expanded knowledge base, Bader Rutter also sawan opportunity to better serve its clients by opening offices in Lincoln,NE, and Chicago, IL. The additional office locations help Bader Rutter reinforce its commitment to existing clients,while opening the door for future business opportunities. On an international scale, Bader Rutter is the U.S.member of the Business BrandingNetwork (BBN)—aworldwide network of 23 top-ranking agencies. The agency has engaged this network to discuss trends, gain insight and expertise, and to offer clients the opportunity to create a unified global strategy. 360°MARKETING The idea of creating a synchronized message has driven Bader Rutter to expand its service offerings and industry expertise to communicatewith target audiences fromall directions. “Instead of creating supplemen- tal service offerings,we’ve developed full-scale offerings for public relations, relationshipmarketing, brand assetmanagement and digital solutions that have become successful and independent in their own right,” says Jeff Young, Executive Vice President. The Bader Rutter Public Rela- tions Group, for example, ismade up of a staff of 55 headed by five 20-year industry veterans, and is responsible for about one-third of the agency’s total revenue. The Public Relations Groupwas recently named one of the top 50 nationwide and listed among the top three independent public relations groups in theMidwest based on revenue inO’Dwyer’s annual rankings. Likemost agencies, Bader Rutter offered general digitalmedia services as clients increasingly saw value inWeb site enhancements and online advertising. The Digital Solutions Group became its own entitywhen the agency took a big step forward in 2006with the hire of JohnGilbert, an interactive services industry veteran. Today, the service offering provides technology consulting and implementation to clients interested in leveraging technology to create business value. 30 Agri Marketing s May 2009 Specific offer- ings include digital strategy and consulting, Web design, e-newsletters, search, social media andmore. “This expertise is part of our inhouse DNA,” Young says. This same knowledge transfer tactic was used on an international scalewith the BrandAsset Management Group at Bader Rutterwhen it workedwith its fellowagencymembers of BBNto take proven best practices andmeld theminto an effective model to build valuable brands. The model is a process that aligns brand strategywith an organization’s business strategy, and can be used for any company’s or organization’s products and services. “Managing brands is particularly important in agriculture,which is a product brand-driven industry,” Young explains. “Very focused brand positioning is vital due to the clutter at the farmer level.” HIRING FOR THE LONG-TERM Akey component to the agency’s mission to deliver breakthrough solutions is its continual search for newassociateswho bringwith them inspired creativity andmarketplace expertise. Bader Rutter’s associates come fromamix of backgrounds, from farmkids to big-city players. ShowcasingMilwaukee as a destination city, Bader Rutter has successfully recruited top talent fromWisconsin, theMidwest, and as farwest as Seattle and beyond. The agency’sMedia Director,NeshMalinovic, is a native of England.Although fromdifferent backgrounds, every newassociate has one thing in common—they were brought on board tomake the agency better. “We strive to have an optimum blend of experienced, tenured agrimarketing professionals and experts fromoutside of agriculture to gain a Bader Rutter CEO, Greg Nickerson (seated) and Executive Vice President, Jeff Young, head a second generation of leadership stressing a client-comes-first management philosophy. In 2008, the agency added six clients and achieved revenue growth of 15%. fresh perspective,” Young says. “This ensureswe never get tunnel vision, and provides uswith insight into other industrieswith similar opportunities and challenges.” The agency’s roots are in agricul- ture and that strong foundation has allowed Bader Rutter to broaden its client base over the past ten years. The agency’s roster nowincludes clients such asGEHealthcare, Ball Horticultural, Association of EquipmentManufacturers and Oshkosh Corporation.However, agriculture easily remains Bader Rutter’s largest industry segment, and thatmeans keeping a steady stream of talent coming in the doors. THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP The client-comes-first philosophy that Bader Rutterwas founded on 35 years ago has donemore than delivermeasurable results to clients. It has resulted in client/agency relationships that began before the currentmanagement teamwas in place and have since evolved into true partnerships,manymore than a decade in length. “Our longstanding success has not been possiblewithout a passionate focus on client service and the relationshipswe have formedwith our client partners,”Nickerson said. “Our clients are forward-thinking leaders in their industries. They value branding andmarketing, and have remained committed evenwhen sales are slow or budgets tight.” AM
May 2009 Supplement