As a sales rep for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts during the recession of the early 1990s, Paul Marobella expanded his territory by 10% at a time when many of his colleagues were watching their business shrink. Today, during the current downturn, he’s again focusing on driving sales, but, this time it’s for ad clients such as Interpath Communications Inc.
Marobella’s firm, New York-based Greco Ethridge Group Inc., was tapped last January by Interpath to handle a branding campaign—something that usually takes about six weeks to create, he said. Meanwhile, Interpath, an ASP, was under fire from competitors and seeking return on investment on its marketing expenditures a lot faster than that. "We needed to fill the sales pipeline," said Marobella, who’s been VP-brand strategy at Greco Ethridge since 1999 and works out of its Boston office.
While simultaneously working on a branding campaign, Marobella—who’s also a candidate for an M.S. in marketing from Bentley College—worked with B2Bworks Inc., a Greco Ethridge partner, to create an online marketing campaign for Interpath. The result: Before Interpath’s brand ads broke a month later, the online marketing campaign had already generated 3,000 leads.
Marobella said he takes a similar, bottom-line approach for other b-to-b clients, including CMP Media L.L.C., Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. and InformationWeek. "As an integrated agency, we help clients concentrate on database marketing and help drive leads through their sales force," he said. "Filling the sales pipeline is more important to our b-to-b clients than a $10 million branding campaign."
Branding, though, should also be integrated into the media buying process, said Marobella, who last month had the Chinese symbol for love tattooed on his wrist (his ninth tattoo, hidden beneath his watch). "We look at the media process as part of the brand process," he said. "We want to make sure that nothing’s lost in the strategic messaging, and that way the message is delivered to the marketplace."