FLM+ is a marketing and communications firm with a very unique niche – agribusinesses and rural communities. Central Ohio is in the market for such a specialty, putting the Worthington-based office on the Inc.5000’s list of fastest-growing companies in the U.S.
Describing the company, President and CEO Rob McClelland says, “We are a professional service organization focused on marketing and communications.” FLM+ targets agricultural commodities, trade associations and government clients.
“We offer 18 practice areas bucketed into advertising, brand and market strategy development, social media, learning and training services, and digital and application development,” McClelland says.
No matter the service, FLM+ approaches every project with three goals in mind. First, they aim to help clients build their brand and name. The second goal is to help clients frame opinions. With 20 percent of their business coming from Washington DC, FLM+ deals heavily in issues management and public affairs. The third goal is to provide tools for a client’s sales organization.
FLM+ serves agricultural associations like the Ohio Soybean Board, their founding client, and the Ohio Agribusiness Association. They also work with similar groups in different states across the Midwest. In addition to direct work with associations or companies, the team takes a special focus on marketing policy issues surrounding agricultural needs. McClelland also describes some projects as being akin to the Got Milk? campaign. They help bring awareness to agricultural initiatives.
McClelland identified key areas that contributed to FLM+’s rapid growth. The entire operation is centered around client needs. Internal brand strategy is paramount with efforts based on inside out branding. Selecting a niche market of agribusiness and rural communities helped the company to grow too. The founders focused on an industry for which they already had a true passion. McClelland also contributes the company’s success to one word: execution.
“We show up and be there for our clients,” he says.
In addition to these factors, FLM+ experiences advantages by way of its Columbus location. Most other competitors are located in the West, and long-term McClelland and FLM+ have identified several major market opportunities in the area.
McClelland has over 20 years of professional advertising experience with a background in agriculture economics. Before creating FLM+, he successfully started and sold another startup. He partnered with FLM+ Founder Phillip Farmer, and John Lumpe to form the current structure in March of 2010. They bootstrapped from the start, building the company without any investors and have used their passion and know-how to greatly expand their business in just a few years.
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