JCF Marketing Inc., a creative advertising agency based in Mentor, recently celebrated 25 years of helping businesses grow.
Through their work producing a wide variety of successful marketing campaigns the company has earned numerous awards including Weatherhead 100 six-time Top Growth Company and Lodging Magazine Innovator of the Year.
At the helm of JCF is founder and president Peter Frantz who recently expressed his thoughts as to why the company has done so well.
“My philosophy has always been to go to the next level,” he said. “We track the results from each campaign then identify creative and marketing strategies to improve performance for the next one. It’s a matter of not settling for average because that doesn’t generate ROI (return on investment) for our clients.”
Frantz started JCF in 1995 after working at advertising agencies in New York City and then Cleveland while finishing his masters of business administration degree.
Noting that an entrepreneurial spirit was part of his DNA because his father and siblings were business owners, his vision was to one day to start his own.
Frantz moved the enterprise from Chagrin Falls to Mentor in 2019 where it is based at the headquarters of Frantz Medical, a business owned by his brother.
“We handle marketing for his company, so it made sense from a business standpoint, but also on a personal level. Lake County is a great area with ample business services and restaurants,” Frantz said.
Over the years the company has grown while working with local, regional and national companies, including two new home developments in Kirtland, a sales training company in Twinsburg, a university, B2B software companies, national hotel chains and vendors in the hospitality industry.
An example of the company’s ability to achieve notable results took place when teamed up with the Vantage Hospitality Group. Staffers helped to create Americas Best Value Inn hotel brand and developed the marketing campaigns as the brand expanded from one to more than 1,100 locations over a period of a dozen years.
Frantz maintained that the positive results were based on Vantage creating a different franchise model, ongoing sales by its development division, strategic public relations and unique marketing campaigns by JCF.
He added that the combined elements resulted in making ABVI the fastest-growing hotel brand during that period.
Another example of achievement was the development of promotions for hotel chains which received national creative awards and drove engagement with the brands.
One promotion centered on “Too Close for Comfort,” involving people sharing their stories about the positive and negative experiences that take place when friends and relatives stay with them. Consumers voted on the best stories and the promotion offered free stays, positioning the hotels as their spare guestrooms, according to Frantz.
Realizing the number of outstanding marketing firms in the Cleveland area, JCF also focuses on understanding small business owners and their needs.
“Many conveyed similar challenges that they never seem to have enough time, budget or expertise to do all of the marketing they need to,” Frantz said. “So, we go the extra mile to identify opportunities to generate additional marketing exposure via added value media, alliances with complementary companies, public relations and other strategies to multiply their marketing dollars and impressions, leading to better performance.”
In its 25 years the JCF team has seen changes throughout the marketing field. Nowadays the realm is more focused on building relationships with consumers on an individual basis and addressing their desired experiences.
Frantz explains by stating that “we’re in an evolving marketing world that is a combination of digital media for personal engagement, along with traditional media to reach target audiences on a broader scale.”
However, some aspects of the field have remained the same.
Disciplined marketing approaches, strategic planning, attention to detail and the ability to address challenges and opportunities are still necessary.
Plans for the company’s future include staying on its successful course by continuing to look for opportunities to expand while providing professional services for existing customers, Frantz said.