When Dave Bianconi, president of Progressive Medical Inc., began plans for a new building, he chose Gioffre Construction Inc. For his new phones, he selected Bell-Haun Systems Inc.
Turns out the three businesses have more in common than the building project. In fact, it was no coincidence that all three use the same marketing firm.
“We make a very deliberate attempt to try and bring our clients together,” says Brenda Stier, president of Worthington-based Marketing Works Inc. “Our clients are all business-to-business, and so many of them can benefit from each others’ services. We’ve found there are some really nice ties, and it’s been really successful.”
The concept, which Stier dubs “PRtnerships,” began with the firm’s social parties, held about three times a year.
“I was a little leery about always throwing happy hours,” Stier says. “I didn’t want that to become what we were all about.”
So she decided to make her social hours work to the benefit of her clients. There, she matches up clients who could fulfill each others’ needs. She also invites news media in hopes of generating interest in the clients. Vendors attend to meet the clients for whom they do projects.
“Clients always want a good product from us, but if you can also put some business on their plate, there’s no better value-added than that,” Stier says.
Bianconi says Marketing Works provided the reference he needed to take a look at Gioffre and Bell-Haun.
“You look for networking when you’re trying to find a business partner of one source or another, and Marketing Works seems to be the ideal company to provide a testimony about a company if it happened to be one that fell within our needs,” says Bianconi, who was introduced to Bell-Haun executives by Stier, personally, and who met Anthony Gioffre, president of Gioffre Construction, at a Marketing Works networking event.
Tom Bell, co-founder of Bell-Haun, says he fully expects his company also will use the services of other Marketing Works clients when the need arises.
“I think it enhances the relationship between Marketing Works and us because if they’re willing to go out on a limb and partner us with their other clients, that to me is an endorsement of us, and that’s important if they’re going to be our marketing firm,” Bell says.
“I don’t think that a marketing company can be effective for their client unless they really believe that their client is quality and is a good company. It’s like selling something. If you don’t believe in the product or service, it’s not coming from the heart. You can’t have a passion for something you wouldn’t use yourself,” he says, adding that Marketing Works, in fact, has selected Bell-Haun to provide its phone systems.
“Networking is the best form of getting from point A to point B,” Bell says. “Advertising is great, but I consider networking a form of marketing, and it’s nice when our marketing firm can be a part of that process.”
Joan Slattery Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.