IRENE HINDMAN KEEPS CLIENTS A STEP AHEAD

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Irene Hindman scoffs at any notion that she's reinvented the wheel, but many of her clients think she has done just that with their media plans. She just wants to be known for solid strategic media thinking for clients such as Boise Cascade Office Products and Dow Agro Sciences.

Now with Bader Rutter 18 months, Ms. Hindman oversees about 20 media assignments. She works most closely with the Boise Cascade account, overseeing that company's transition from advertising primarily in trade magazines to buying ads in major business and national publications such as Business Week and The Wall Street Journal.

"We did a lot of research about how the decision to purchase office products was made," Ms. Hindman says. "We found that the decisionmaking process was astonishing, with everyone from the receptionist to the CEO involved. It's not the person who actually makes the purchase. Everyone has a voice in it."

But the common factor, it turned out, was that these decisionmakers read. A lot. "We found they were readers of The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The New York Times, all the major consumer business publications," she says. "We decided that we couldn't remain narrowly focused. We had to go after all these decisionmakers in the business publications they regularly saw."

Working with about a $3 million budget, Ms. Hindman targeted city business publications in key cities, as well as national editions of top business publications.

"It was so cool, because there were definite possibilities that someone would see our ad at least three times in a week," she says. "There's that much crossover."

Ms. Hindman says that the up-front placements in publications such as The Wall Street Journal were negotiated as part of the full ad package.

Before joining Bader Rutter, Ms. Hindman, who majored in anthropology at Southern Illinois University, spent most of her career with D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, where she worked on accounts such as Anheuser-Busch, Kraft and Procter & Gamble Co. But there was something special about business-to-business media, she says, adding, "It's a greater challenge.

"You can't allow [clients] to do what they did last year, because there's a real danger that business is changing too fast," she says. "We have to keep them on track. . . . They can't fall into the automatic 'we've always done it this way' attitude."

Still, she admits, there are situations where after all the analysis is said and done, and all the charts, graphs and reports presented, that "we still do what we did last year," she says. "But I'd like to think that it's done only after

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