Columbus HOP - 2016

by Katie Harley 11/2/2016

As a 2nd year in the MBA program, I’ve had the opportunity this year to serve as VP of Programming on the leadership team for AMP, the Association of Marketing Professionals. I enjoyed coordinating the Columbus Marketing HOP, which started last year as a way to introduce Fisher students to different companies in Columbus and understand how they do marketing.

We like to do the trip in the early fall to expose the 1st year marketing students as early as possible to different types of marketing careers. The core curriculum marketing class is a quick intro in the fall and isn’t able to deep dive into all aspects of marketing. So for some students this might be their first introduction to what agencies do or understand how different industries do marketing very differently.

Piada Headquarters

Piada Headquarters

This year, we started the morning at Piada, which is a new restaurant start-up founded in Columbus. They have recently expanded from Ohio to Minnesota and Texas to test different markets with their Italian street food, fast-casual concept. We got to hear from Matt Eisenacher, their director of marketing, on Piada’s marketing challenges in being a small start-up dealing with explosive growth. He also compared his experiences in the restaurant industry to his background in brand management at traditional CPG companies like Nestle and Abbott.

Perio Headquarters

Perio Headquarters

From Piada, we traveled to Perio, which is the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk shaving brands. It was really interesting to hear from Amy Litzinger and the team at Perio about their different consumer segments and how that leads them to different marketing tactics. They spoke at length about sports and entertainment sponsorships, which opportunities they choose, and why they do them, which personally I found very interesting because I didn’t know very much about that side of marketing.

After loading us up with gift bags of shaving cream (thank you!), we stopped for lunch at, you guessed it, Piada! We got to try some of the seasonal specials that Matt talked to us about in the morning, and it was especially interesting to hear from half of our group who had never been to one of their restaurants before!

Baesman's Downtown Columbus Office

Baesman's Downtown Columbus Office

Our last stop of the day was Baesman, a non-traditional marketing agency located in downtown Columbus. I was very excited to showcase an agency to our group because it’s hard to understand the agency lifestyle until you get to see it for yourself. So much creativity and flexible thinking is needed in their roles and that often translates into offices that look very different from the stereotypical cubes of the large companies they typically work for.

Baesman’s focus is on data-mining and creating content based on insights that they glean from their clients’ data. It was fascinating to hear about how their business and focus has changed over the past 5 years when they realized what an opportunity data-led marketing would be.

I worked with Baesman in a couple different capacities before I came to Fisher, and even I learned a lot about their business model, and how quickly things are changing in their industry. We got to hear from their president, Jeff Sopko, about starting the business, and we also heard from Evan Maggliocca, who is in charge of their agency branding. I confess that I had never really thought about how important branding and marketing efforts are for an agency as they compete for new business. I had only viewed them from a client standpoint, and it was great to realize their challenges as a business, and how they’ve set themselves up for success under those conditions.

Even though I’ve lived in Columbus for over 5 years, I personally benefited from visiting these companies and hearing about their very different marketing challenges and tactics. The students who went on the trip learned a lot too, and were excited about the diversity of the companies we visited. I’m happy that AMP was able to share such variety in our own backyard and get our students thinking in different ways about their marketing career possibilities while exposing them to great companies. 

Chicago HOP - 2015

One of my favorite memories from the end of the first semester was attending the Chicago HOP, hosted by the marketing student organization AMP! We had about 50 students across all disciplines attend the trip immediately after finals were over. On Thursday 12/17, we first stopped in Dearborn, MI to visit Ford’s headquarters and then heard a presentation from their creative agency, Team Detroit.

The group at Team Detroit!

The group at Team Detroit!

Then, onward to the Windy City! At the alumni networking event,we met many Chicago-based Fisher College of Business alums and enjoyed hearing their stories of their experiences at OSU and in their careers. Dean Makhija teleconferenced in and shared the college’s vision for the future with the alumni. After experiencing a little of the city night life (but I’m sure everyone was home at a reasonable hour, of course), we prepared for a big day on Friday.

Denise, Holly, and Katie at the Fisher Alumni Event!

Denise, Holly, and Katie at the Fisher Alumni Event!

Friday dawned bright but cold. We first visited the Big Ten Network and had a great time trying out the commentator desks and pretending to talk to about sports. Elizabeth Conlisk, VP of Communications, spoke to us about the Big Ten Network starting in 2007 as a new entrant in a saturated market. People thought they were crazy to start this, but they’ve turned the brand into a success in just a few years.

Your newest BTN anchors!

Your newest BTN anchors!

From there, we went to Groupon’s offices, which run counter to everything you thought you knew about offices. Open floor plan? Check! Swings? Check! Fake fairytale woodland themed meeting area? Check! Luau with fake palm trees and a probably not fake bar? Check! Spaceship with a giant cat head? Double check! It was great to hear from a brand that’s built a completely different business model than what was previously out there and strives to stay innovative and fun.

Groupon has a spacecat.

Groupon has a spacecat.

After a quick lunch, it was time for Tyson/Hillshire Farms! We were able to tour their office and see their great facilities. Several of their assistant brand managers came in to talk to us about their jobs and represented a variety of different brands: Sarah Lee, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Tyson and more. It was interesting to hear about their day-to-day activities in charge of brands large and small.

Travis is hoping to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.

Travis is hoping to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.

From Tyson, we visited Ogilvy & Mather, a full-service agency that was founded in 1948 at the beginning of the rise of advertising. Many people believe that the founder, David Ogilvy, was the inspiration for Mad Men’s Don Draper. The Ogilvy team shared advertisements that they’ve worked on, discussed the relationship between the agency and their clients, and gave advice for people interested in working for agencies.

Just a bunch of wanna-be "Mad Men"

Just a bunch of wanna-be "Mad Men"

What a full and exciting day! One of the goals of the Marketing HOP is to showcase different sides to marketing and give real-life examples of the types of careers a marketer can have.  With an upstart cable TV network, a discounting website, a traditional CPG food company and a well-known agency on the agenda, it was hard to not see the breadth and excitement available in marketing careers.

On the social side of things, we had a great time at dinner and at various bars around Chicago. It was great to get to know my fellow students better outside of class and mix more with the 2nd years too.  While there, many of the international students experienced their first snowfall, so it was really fun to be a part of those memories, and connect with people on a personal level. The Chicago Marketing HOP was a whirlwind trip, but hugely valuable for the 50 of us who went, both in a professional sense and a personal sense. I’m already looking forward to next year’s trip!

The brains behind the whole operation!

The brains behind the whole operation!

Columbus HOP - 2015

In 2015 AMP added an additional event to complement the Chicago HOP. The event, the Columbus HOP, allowed AMP members to visit companies in the Columbus area. We had more than 20 students across all disciplines attend the trip over fall break. On Thursday 10/15, we departed campus and headed out for the day.

The first stop was an ad agency located in Easton, Fahlgren Mortine. They handle accounts ranging from McDonald's to the City of Columbus. It was awesome to hear about the process behind the #lifeincbus campaign, something we see all around town!

Our first stop was awesome!

Our first stop was awesome!

Our next stop was at RG Barry, a manufacturer of accessory lifestyle brands such as Dearfoams. At RG Barry we were able to hear from their CEO and a number of Brand Managers. The company has had a slew of recent successes and it was awesome to hear about them from senior leadership!

The boys loved the bags!

The boys loved the bags!

Next was lunch at Bob Evans before our tour of their corporate offices. At Bob's we were able to see the entire office, including a presentation and tasting :) in their innovation kitchen. It was great to be able to understand how their innovation process works. 

The group at Bob Evans!

The group at Bob Evans!

Overall, the first ever Columbus HOP was a smashing success. We're looking forward to watching it grow over the coming years!