Nelson Schmidt Inc. is an independent agency with a unique model, focused on considered purchase marketing, global marketing management and performance-based accountability. John Boler, Chief Marketing Officer at Nelson Schmidt Inc., explains the importance of both regional and global market insight, a data-informed approach and how they fulfill their brand promise to deliver customers for clients.
Can you give us a brief overview of your structure and some of the clients with whom you work?
Since our founding in 1971, Nelson Schmidt Inc. has been proudly independently owned. We are solely accountable to the people we do business with. This gives us the unwavering freedom to make decisions that are in the very best interests of our clients and their businesses. This has also attracted an incredibly talented group of independent-minded individuals to our agency.
We focus our talents on intimately understanding and serving clients in 8 distinct business sectors, including healthcare, government, water technology, information technology, global manufacturing, building products, financial and professional services, and outdoor recreation. Our current client roster includes a diverse set of companies such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Panduit, Church Mutual Insurance Company, The Water Council, UW Systems, Kent Nutrition Group, LiuGong and Dressta.
Your elevator pitch please! How do you position your agency to a brand? Why should they work with you – what do you bring to the table?
Nelson Schmidt Inc. is the world’s leading considered purchase marketing agency. Our full-service offerings combine to produce measurable marketing outcomes that fulfill our brand promise to clients: We Deliver Customers.® The agency’s ability to do so is based on three foundational brand pillars:
CONSIDERED PURCHASE MARKETING
As the lines between B2B and B2C become increasingly blurred, particularly for highly considered purchases that have substantial emotional and/or financial risk and reward, Nelson Schmidt is pioneering a research-based marketing approach that builds long-term brand equity while simultaneously generating near-term revenues by delving deeper into customer buying behaviors and motivations, mindsets, and leveraging the triggers that cause prospects to search for solutions.
GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGEMENT
Nelson Schmidt’s unique model allows marketers to gain the advantage of regional market insight and localized activation while maintaining visibility and control over international marketing efforts. We have proven ability and years of experience delivering international scale and reach for US-based companies expanding into global markets, as well as helping international companies penetrate the huge North American market.
Marketing is an investment, and Nelson Schmidt is committed to ensuring that our products and services produce measurable returns and outcomes for clients. So much so that the agency is confident enough in its ability to help clients exceed their objectives that it is willing to put compensation on the line based on the performance of the work and outcomes delivered.
Can you talk us through a campaign and how you solved a problem for the client or made a difference to a brand?
The legendary Maytag residential brand doesn’t carry the same strength in the commercial laundry category and was struggling to differentiate its products in the saturated laundromat marketplace. To revitalize this venerable brand, we helped Maytag completely rethink their approach. We dug deep into the data of the category and uncovered an incredible insight. Nearly all manufacturers, including Maytag, were basing their sales strategies on the needs of the biggest laundromats in the nation. However, nearly 60% of laundromats were actually much smaller and had very different needs. This happened to align perfectly with Maytag’s product portfolio, which didn’t include the giant machines large laundromats require.
Through sponsored research of this normally ignored audience segment, we learned that the majority of these smaller laundromat owners kept aging washers and dryers much longer than what made financial sense. Data showed that if they replaced these machines sooner, the ROI far outweighed the purchase price. This idea of proactive replacement exposed a new category with a market opportunity worth $500 million. So, we relaunched Maytag’s products as the “replacement” equipment, then built personas and buyer journeys to inform a full-funnel demand generation campaign – from brand advertising to channel sales enablement – that brought the revitalized brand to market.
We built a custom metrics dashboard that provided real-time data to optimize the performance of the campaign, ensuring the repositioning of the Maytag brand was meeting the KPIs that defined the initiative’s success.
Within the first quarter of the campaign launch, the campaign-specific website conversion rate was already an astounding 280% above goal. 40% of prospects that entered the campaign funnel converted to marketing-qualified leads, more than double the campaign goal. Our lead qualification and nurture efforts resulted in 85% of marketing-qualified leads quickly converting to sales-qualified leads that were ready for distributor contact.
Without giving away your secret sauce of course, what does your roadmap for growth look like? Is it, for example, geographic expansion (if location is still a thing), or joining one of the growing indie agency networks? Developing more project work for other clients?
Nelson Schmidt is currently entering an exciting time of planned growth, incorporating a company-wide ethos that is beneficial and actionable for individuals and the agency as whole. Our adoption of a company-wide growth mindset strategy fortifies our commitment to growth and continual improvement in four key areas of our business; as individuals both personally and professionally, our agency’s culture, our fiscal performance, and our competencies and expertise we offer clients.
As members of MAGNET (Marketing & Advertising Global Network) and thenetworkone, Nelson Schmidt provides marketers with a more impactful and pragmatic approach to global marketing management. Our unique model enables marketers to gain the advantage of regional market insight and localized activation while maintaining visibility and control over international marketing efforts. MAGNET and thenetworkone are comprised of a combined 1,200+ independent agencies that freely collaborate across 115 countries, allowing Nelson Schmidt to custom assemble a collection of partners who fit you best and eliminate the administrative burden of managing separate region-specific agencies. It’s an agile, scalable and affordable model that allows marketers to effectively overcome the challenges of brand globalization.
Our deep expertise in international marketing enables us to serve the role as your global integrator, helping you choose the right regional agency partners and directing the entire effort on your behalf. You get the benefit of global reach with the ease of a single point of contact and control.
See how we efficiently executed a public relations plan in Jakarta, Indonesia from our headquarters in Milwaukee: https://www.nelsonschmidt.com/our-work/maytag-commerical-laundry/