A Visionary Venture

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Vern Eswine has always been zealous to learn and take on new things. But back when he was in college, no one could’ve guessed that in 2017, he’d be leading New Albany-based The Marketing Co. into its 35th year of business.

Eswine was a music major.

“It wasn’t planned,” Eswine says of his career, a career that’s made him one of the most trusted marketing and general business consultants in the Louisville area.

With Eswine, his wife Donna and three other professionals making up the core staff, The Marketing Co. also draws from independent contractors to complete projects large and small. But rather than focusing on amassing individual projects for lots of different clients, the company’s niche is building relationships with a few close clients and earning their long-term trust.

Among them are Cattleman’s Roadhouse and Derby Dinner Playhouse. Eswine’s company designed Citizens Union Bank’s iconic bear and, more recently, ASI Plumbing’s Tommy the Toilet. The Marketing Co. also has an international client in Indianapolis-based Auto Research Center.

“It’s a partnership,” Eswine says, “because these people are doing what they do best and they’re really good at it, and then they’re allowing us to do what we do best.”

Every client is different, but a certain few principles are always at work. First, the Marketing Co.’s staff does their research to get to know the client’s industry. They study the competition and determine what makes their client unique. And then they find creative ways to keep that client standing out above the rest.

Eswine knows the marketing plan is succeeding when the client’s business starts to climb.

“That’s what drives me – seeing that success, helping them grow,” he says.

The end goal for both parties is the client’s bottom line.

“That’s when we have the most fun,” Eswine says, “when we’re being used in a way that we know that we’re in our sweet spot and they’re in their sweet spot, and together we’re making some amazing things happen.”

The staff who work for Eswine and his wife – Nicole Wright, Brady Enders and Jackie Labor – are in the early phases of their careers and bring to the firm an up-and-coming enthusiasm.

Eswine is just as forward-thinking as they are. He’ll sometimes be first to propose getting a client on a new social media platform. That’s because his years in marketing have taught him that you’ll only succeed as long as you’re looking for new solutions.

And that’s how The Marketing Co. has stayed relevant and profitable over the course of 35 years. Technology has revolutionized business in general and the marketing industry in particular, but Eswine and his company have ridden the wave.

Eswine’s enterprising work ethic came to light many years ago when someone discovered he could draw. That led to a job as an illustrator for the News and Tribune, which led to another newspaper job.

When the paper asked Eswine to start selling ads, he took the challenge and ran with it. Instead of designing and selling one ad at a time – the way his colleagues did it – he would create seven or eight ads and sell them all at once.

Impressed with Eswine’s newspaper ads, several companies started paying him to take on projects for them after hours.

After a few years, he went to work for an advertising agency. During Eswine’s tenure, the agency saw rapid growth. He eventually left that agency and started The Marketing Co. in his basement.

Over the years, Eswine has kept his musical aspirations alive, singing and playing the trumpet with a couple of respected bands. VT

The Marketing Co. is located at 1100 E. Spring St. in New Albany. For more information, visit marketingcompany.com or call 812.941.7728.