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ABC Creative adds sales strategy, lead generation to its offerings

(Central New York Business Journal – 10/4/2013) ABC Creative Group, LLC, a Syracuse–based advertising and marketing agency, is adding a sales strategy component and a lead-generation service to its suite of client services.

“It’s a marketing strategy that’s developed [between] ABC and the client,” says Jennifer (Jenn) Cline, sales and marketing strategist at ABC Creative.

Cline, who formerly served as the director of marketing at CXtec and TERACAI in Salina, joined ABC in a newly created position on Sept. 23.

Cline previously was chief operating officer of BizEventz between 1993 and 2001, she says. BizEventz is a sister company within The Business Journal News Network.

The process begins with Cline working with a client to understand the company’s sales infrastructure, its sales capacity, and modifying the campaign, if necessary, to make sure that the client can support the campaign once it’s in motion, she says.

The effort will also involve understanding the client’s customer-relationship management system, she adds.

Cline will then work to “teach them, within their system, how they can track and report sales ROI [return on investment] based on the marketing campaign,” she says.

As someone who has worked in sales and marketing for a while, Cline realizes that account executives want credit for making a sale. But she also figures “probably eight times out of 10,” the sale resulted from a marketing or branding effort.

She believes it’s “very difficult” for companies to measure it and understand the ROI.

“We’re teaching companies how to measure it, how to do it within their infrastructure, so I’m not just trying to hand them something and hope that they can figure out how to adapt it into their system,” she says.

If their clients don’t believe they have sales personnel to make their marketing campaign effective, the lead-generation service provides a method for the client to outsource that work to ABC Creative and purchase separately, Cline says.

“That [team] will be assembled. It’s not in place now,” she adds.

In offering this new service, ABC is indicating confidence in its ability to create a marketing campaign, but also wants to help its clients track the success, says Travis Bort, the firm’s sole owner and creative director.

“We’re going to show how best to sell to what we’ve created and how to measure the success of what we created and show that that [a customer] came from that campaign,” Bort says.

The effort is intended to help its clients measure how effective ABC’s work has been in generating business.

“In this model, we continue to work with them through that sales process,” Bort says.

Bort and Cline were acquainted through networking events and their involvement in the board of directors for the Central New York Sales & Marketing Executives.

“We travel in the same circles and have worked together,” she says.

In her previous role at CXtec and TERACAI, Cline had hired ABC Creative Group as the firms’ advertising agency.

Cline left her previous job in May after having worked there for 10 years, she says.

About ABC Creative Group

The firm operates in 5,000 square feet of space spread over two floors at the building now named 430 Park Plaza (formerly known as the S&W Building), which is located at 430 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse.

ABC Creative leases the space from building owner Mark Swan, Bort says.

ABC currently employs nine full-time employees, including Bort and Cline, and one part-time employee.

Bort hopes to add between three and five new employees before the end of 2014, he says.

Bort declined to disclose the firm’s revenue total. However, he indicated that ABC Creative’s revenue would be unchanged in 2013, but said that he is hoping for at least 20 percent revenue growth in 2014.

By Eric Reinhardt, Central New York Business Journal