News came out today of a national marketing campaign that aims to position Cincinnati as “the Silicon Valley of consumer marketing.” As the Cincinnati Enquirer states, “the work grew out of the Agenda 360 community-wide plan sponsored by the Cincinnati USA Regional chamber, which set as one of its goals the creation of 50,000 jobs by 2020.” In support of that goal, this work will specifically “support entrepreneurial companies in consumer marketing in Cincinnati.”
In this regard, the effort seeks to build on a substantial core of marketing talent already here, drawn by major advertisers such as P&G, Macy’s and Kroger, and organize it, expand it and tell the world about it. One example of this that is already underway is the Digital Hub Initiative that happened last month here in Cincinnati.
Personally I think there is huge potential in this work and I couldn’t be more supportive. When you think of the world of Consumer Marketing, it is about more than just the CPG manufacturers. The ecosystem of Consumer Marketing also includes retailers, design firms, advertising agencies, and market researchers. Cincinnati has all of these elements of Consumer Marketing including:
- Consumer Packaged Goods: Cincy is the home of not only Procter & Gamble but also Kao Brands / Jergens, Perfetti Van Melle (maker of Mentos), and US Playing Cards. There is a reason that Cincinnati was the birthplace of Brand Management.
- Retailers: The area is the home of the United States largest grocery chain (Kroger with ~2,500 stores) and largest department store (Macy’s with over 1,000 stores)
- Design Firms: Cincinnati is filled with amazing firms including Landor, LPK, Deskey and Interbrand. We also have one of the top Design Schools in the country with the University of Cincinnati College of DAAP
- Advertising Agencies: Cincinnati has a rich advertising history and today is home to agencies like Bridge Worldwide, Barefoot Proximity, Northlich, and many others.
- Market Researchers: The Nielsen Company and dunnhumby both have a major presence in Cincinnati.
And on top of this, Cincinnati has a thriving entrepreneurial community with several leading Venture Capitalists, banner start-ups such as Share This, and 3 of the Top 20 Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Colleges in the US. And this will just get stronger with Northern Kentucky University’s new $50 million dollar School of Informatics that opens in May 2011.
So what does all of this mean? In my eyes, it means that if you are company in the Consumer Marketing / Advertising space, you should be seriously thinking about having a presence in Cincinnati. And I dont mean just agencies, but any companies (big and small) who need top Consumer Marketing talent. Furthermore , if you are an entrepreneur / start-up that is looking to play in the Consumer Marketing space, I would challenge that you couldn’t find a better area than Greater Cincinnati to get started.
Cincinnati is a town with a deep and rich history in Consumer Marketing. But more importantly, it is a town with a bright future when it comes to defining Consumer Marketing in the 21st Century. I am looking forward to being part of it.