TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Small firm finds big success selling its clients creatively

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Dan Droz, head of the award-winning marketing/PR firm, Droz and Associates holds a basket of awards that clients have won for his PR and Marketing agency's work, Thursday, December 27, 2012.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

About Droz and Associates

Business: Marketing and advertising consulting

Headquarters: Bloomfield

Founded: 2000

Revenue: $600,000 (2011)

Employees: Six

Top officers: Dan Droz, president; Rob Handley, creative director

Related .pdfs
Can't view the attachment? Then download the latest version of the free, Adobe Acrobat reader here:

Get Adobe Reader

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Thomas Olson
Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 10:26 p.m.
 

Many local companies face formidable competitors. Some are trying to crack new markets. Nearly all want to meet such goals on a budget these days.

That's where marketing and advertising firm Droz and Associates comes in. Its marketing success stories in 2012 resulted in the Bloomfield boutique firm snaring seven of 10 Marketer of the Year awards from the American Marketing Association, Pittsburgh chapter, on Dec. 7 — an unheard-of feat.

“I've never seen those kinds of award results in the six years we've done this competition,” said Bruce Downing, a director of the local marketing trade group. No firm had won more than two awards in past years.

“You have to take your hat off to Dan Droz and their work. They've done a wonderful job,” said Downing, general manager of Odato Marketing Group Inc., Imperial. He noted the marketing contest drew more competing entries than ever in 2012.

“Marketing is about solving problems, as opposed to just designing a logo,” said Droz, founder and president of the ad firm, during an interview in its modest headquarters in Bloomfield.

The problem confronting Droz client CleanCare Systems in Lawrenceville was how a Pittsburgh company could penetrate the Cleveland market with its industrial laundry services. The challenge arose after the company acquired accounts from another company in 2010.

Droz's response was to leverage CleanCare's most visible face: its fleet of 27 trucks. As CleanCare's business is to wash, dry, press and deliver linen to restaurants and medical facilities, Droz applied new designs to its trucks. One side showed a chef using fresh linen, and the other side showed a doctor and a nurse with linen.

“That created a sales dialogue and helped us get a relationship with the Cleveland market, even with the sports rivalry with Pittsburgh,” said Robert Friedman, director of sales for CleanCare Systems.

“I'd also have to say it was very inexpensive, compared to other campaigns,” said Friedman. “It was less than $15,000.”

Dan Droz's background is not that of your typical Madison Avenue man.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Droz became a union card-carrying magician at 14, graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1972 with a double major, and that year joined his Pittsburgh family business of designing and making wooden railings for homes, including for NVR-Ryan Homes.

“Most people who get into the ad world enter from the creative end, as ad copy writers,” Droz said. “Then they hit the business world and realize they need to be responsive to businesses.”

Droz's firm also won the marketing association's 2012 “Grand Marketer of the Year” award. The lion's share of the judging criteria — 40 percent — is on tangible results the marketing campaign produced.

For Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, a nonprofit group that sponsors a book writers' lecture series in Oakland, the issue since 2008 had been flagging subscriptions and revenue, said Jayne Adair, executive director.

With a mind toward its client's budget constraints, Droz created a series of eye-catching posters. The firm posted them on plywood construction barriers where a bagel shop was going up at Forbes Avenue and Craig Street, a high-visibility intersection just blocks from the lecture hall.

“There were wildly clever designs that attracted your attention, not only to (each author) but to the series as well,” said Adair, adding that the bill came to just $1,000.

Client ProGrass LLC's challenge was to raise its visibility in the synthetic turf business, a field that includes the formidable AstroTurf LLC — “which is like competing with Kleenex,” Droz said.

The ad firm created Rocky the rhino, a mascot for the brand based around ProGrass founder/owner Kent Rockwell. Launched in February, Rocky began showing up at football games and photo shoots with children.

“Droz and Associates brought Rocky to life and brought our brand to a new level in the industry,” said Bob Thomas, president of ProGrass, Downtown.

“Our number of bids on jobs went up to more than we'd seen in past years,” he said. “We even had people contacting us, whereas in the past, we had to dig to find leads.”

Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or tolson@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Post-Gazette offers voluntary buyouts in bid to avoid layoffs
  2. U.S. Steel CEO expects rebound
  3. United Airlines hack coincided with incursion into government employee data
  4. Voice-assisted technology raises privacy concerns
  5. Gold continues to fall further out of favor with investors
  6. Range Resources cuts workforce 11%
  7. Muni bond funds stressed
  8. Travelers find direct Web route to Priory’s spirited past in North Side
  9. PPG puts brand 1st in strategy to reach commercial paint market
  10. Plastics propel Bayer’s 2Q earnings
  11. EPA ordered to ease limits on cross-border air pollution that involves Pennsylvania