Helping Build the Region with End-to-End Marketing Leadership
Hilltop Companies (Hilltop) is a leader in providing quality aggregates and ready mixed concrete. The 80-year-old, third-generation family-owned company has a rich history that is ‘one of the best stories never told.’ As the only vertically-integrated producer in the area, Hilltop is the preferred choice among architects, contractors and utilities in the Greater Cincinnati and the Ohio River Valley region. Their materials are the foundation for many of the most iconic structures in the region, and they are often called to help on highly complex, innovative construction projects.
Despite outstanding operations and an excellent reputation, Hilltop identified the need for marketing and reputation management to enable them to attract new employees like drivers & engineers along with ensuring their clients and community understand the value they bring.
Hilltop didn’t have dedicated marketing resources to take on this challenge internally. In addition, they found themselves saddled with a website redesign project that had been in the works for over two years and was making no progress. Hilltop knew the languishing website re-design was a symptom of a larger problem. The lack of marketing leadership and resources was at best a nuisance and at worst an indicator of a function that needed attention. Brad Slabaugh, General Manager and Vice President of Sales and Marketing said, “I just don’t have time to handle marketing.” They wanted to solve the marketing resource challenge, and they wanted to do so quickly, easily and without adding permanent, full-time resources.
Hilltop was looking for a consulting partner that would be hands-on and could provide end-to-end marketing support. They wanted someone who could quickly come in, take charge, fix the immediate issues, and then look forward to future opportunities. They wanted the benefits of marketing expertise without putting a full-time team in place. Hilltop President & COO, Kevin Sheehan was introduced to Amy Connor of CMO-OnLoan by a mutual acquaintance. After discussing options, Hilltop hired CMO-OnLoan on a retainer basis to be their end-to-end marketing solution.
CMO-OnLoan acted as a satellite team, both leading and implementing marketing activities; keeping the Hilltop team informed and aligned through working meetings. Between meetings, CMO-OnLoan developed plans and materials to be reviewed and approved at the next meeting. Slabaugh says, “CMO-OnLoan makes sure that we always have a clear agenda and has prepared everything for us to review. They update us on work from the last meeting and then we discuss the new topics. It is very efficient.”
In short order, CMO-OnLoan updated and optimized the website. They reviewed and quickly eliminated wasteful legacy media programs. They began reputation management with case studies, social posts, press releases, updated LinkedIn pages, and a client-centered e-mail campaign. They took ownership of the quarterly employee newsletter and created a series of corporate capability and recruiting videos.
Hilltop’s website has grown to see five times more traffic than the previous version, has increased its reach by 200%+ within the community and among potential employees, and is better communicating their technical expertise. The three primary drivers to success in this engagement are CMO-OnLoan’s expertise and network of resources, the decision to fully empower CMO-OnLoan, and the bi-weekly meetings that kept all leaders aligned on the priorities and progress.