May 03, 2021
OBP Highlights Keys to Success in 2020 and 2021 Opportunities
Women-owned agency reflects on 33 years in business and keys to success during pandemic.
OBP transitions into the second quarter of 2021 with reflections just over a year into the pandemic about what it takes to stay profitable for decades as a full-service marketing communications agency.
OBP remained focused and determined throughout the highs and lows the advertising industry experienced during 2020. Despite market uncertainties and pivots from in-person to virtual events, the independent, women-owned agency kept its sights on what’s possible, supporting client partners in industries affected by the pandemic, including agriculture and tourism.
“As we celebrate our 33rd year in business, we recognize 2020 was an incredibly difficult year for so many, and we are grateful for our clients and our dedicated agency team,” said Rhonda Ries, president of OBP. “We kept looking ahead and stayed focused on what’s possible. We found solutions for our team to work remotely, and continued to deliver for our clients.”
Keys to Success:
- OBP shifted and adapted to new ways of working. For team members, the agency provided a new flexible PTO policy, took a clear stance for the future of work and announced from here on out, staff can work from anywhere. The agency shared consistent operational updates and focused on team member successes and recognition, as well as celebrations of client work wins.
- The agency focused on its brand and what it can do for others. In spring of 2020, OBP moved forward with a brand refresh to invigorate and streamline the vision of the agency, with a focus on its purpose in partnering with clients and communities in the Noble Pursuit of Possibility — instilling hope and helping solve problems through our creativity. OBP supported communities and individuals, going above and beyond to help others during the pandemic. OBP families created hundreds of handmade cards and delivered them to residents in rural senior centers. In addition, the agency created a video to help promote the work of Lucy’s Love Blankets, the dream of an amazing little girl with a very big heart. Lucy, with the help of her family, has been making face masks and blankets to support front-line workers and give kids a little extra love.
- OBP stayed focused on delivering client satisfaction and driving brand success. While most clients’ original plans weren’t feasible due to COVID-19 restrictions, the OBP team brought new ideas to help solve unprecedented business challenges. For example, when the pandemic put a pause on a new integrated campaign for the Missouri Division of Tourism, the team developed an interim campaign to help people safely experience and explore Missouri destinations from their homes.
“We didn’t skip a beat, and our team demonstrated the resilience to find creative solutions for our clients through creative, digital, content, PR and media buys,” said Ries. “Our team pivoted and grew stronger, adapted quickly and expanded our capabilities. We collaborated more than ever while working remotely, and demonstrated our commitment to the Noble Pursuit of Possibility.”
Client Work Highlights:
- OBP quickly helped develop and deliver COVID-19 issues management plans in March 2020 for clients to use as guides to stakeholder communications, including core messaging and media monitoring, with regular discussion and updates throughout 2020.
- OBP quickly pivoted to focus on virtual events, successfully achieving strong client results. For the United Soybean Board, the team produced remotely filmed and produced video reports from senior leadership to include in the organization’s July 2020, December 2020 and February 2021 virtual board meetings. OBP developed and delivered virtual experiences for the Bayer Crop Science seed brands DEKALB® and Asgrow® for the virtual Farm Progress Show in September 2020. The agency continued to create virtual events throughout the fall for media and target customer audiences for clients across the ag, tourism and association industries. In Q4 2020, the team shared about the Future of Experiential in a National Agri-Marketing Association webinar and Agri Marketing magazine cover story.
- The agency filmed, produced and launched an 11-part docuseries, “Two-Track Mind,” for Nutrien Ag Solutions in partnership with NASCAR. The first episode debuted in April 2020, with filming and production continuing safely through the final episode in late 2020. The series earned four Nashville ADDY awards. Filming is underway for season two of the docuseries, and the first episode premiered in early April 2021.
- By February 2021, the team helped plan and execute virtual event experiences for attendees and media outlets on behalf of Bayer Crop Science, DEKALB brand corn, Asgrow brand soybeans and the United Soybean Board during the first-ever virtual 2021 Commodity Classic, effectively delivering on client objectives.
- OBP debuted “That’s My M-O,” a new, integrated marketing communications campaign in March 2021 for the Missouri Division of Tourism. OBP created the campaign and safely filmed it during the summer of 2020 in collaboration with local production partners. In market now, the campaign’s purpose is to help inspire safe tourism across the state based on travelers’ interests.
- OBP produced a two-hour live telethon on RFD-TV for Bayer Crop Science’s Agronomy Week in early April 2021. It was the first-ever collaboration of its kind, and raised $10,000 for FFA scholarship recipients.
In addition, Ries was named to St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owners 2021. The recognition provided an opportunity to reflect on the agency’s success despite obstacles, and the opportunity to leverage the momentum to stay focused on the future.
What’s Ahead in 2021:
- The first quarter of 2021 was strong. Q4 2020 planning resulted in successful integrated executions across the agriculture, association and tourism sectors. Client campaign results to date are positive, and projections are solid for a profitable year ahead.
- Pivoting remains critical, and resiliency is key. The agency’s culture encourages new ideas and perspectives, and the team continues to deliver. While 2021 already is a very different year from 2020, it’s also nothing like 2019 or earlier. The OBP team has embraced the concept of looking ahead, not going back, which inspires new creative approaches to client and brand success.
- Consistent communication will continue. With team members working across multiple states, time zones and regions nationwide, OBP is committed to staying connected virtually to ensure team members have technology tools to collaborate and do their best work.