One of Cincy's Largest Ad Firms Gets New Downtown Digs

The Cincinnati Business Courier wrote about our recent move from Sawyer Point to Garfield Place and interviewed our CEO, Kathy Selker. Here's what the Courier had to say. 

Northlich ViewPhoto credit: Northlich

Northlich, the region’s 12th-largest advertising, marketing and branding firm, has moved from its former offices on Pete Rose Way to the center of downtown at the Cincinnati Club Building.

The nearly 70-year-old company has taken the eighth floor of the building at 30 Garfield Place with 14,000 square feet of space, which is enough to allow for expansion and to serve its new Stratos division, a data-driven part of Northlich’s business focused on healthcare marketing. The move was completed on Sept. 14.

“We loved where we were before,” said CEO Kathy Selker. “We missed being in the middle of the city.”

In its move, Northlich has bucked the trend of putting employees together at desks in the same space, known as benching, and, instead, given every employee a private office. Most of them have windows. While consultants often promote the collaborative nature of office environments where everyone is in one room, Selker said she often observed employees listening to headphones and said an office doesn’t stop employees from going to talk to each other. 

“We have a lot of writers,” Selker said. “Having the ability to close your door and think or have a quiet conversation with one other person, that’s nice. When you’re in a benching environment, a lot of people leave the office to actually get their work done.”

Northlich never considered leaving downtown Cincinnati because of its clients and other amenities, but Selker did look at a site in Rookwood. 

“I did not have a broad base of support,” Selker said. 

Stratos uses health and behavioral data to drive clients’ healthcare strategy, and Liz Phillips, Northlich’s former vice president and managing partner, will be an instrumental part of it as chief client and strategy officer, a new position at the firm. 

Northlich has a long history of serving healthcare clients, Phillips said, and has added employees with expertise in the field. Stratos will use thousands of records to tightly target healthcare consumers and provide unique insights that allow for intimate communications.

“We saw an opportunity to continue that legacy but also really aggressively grow our business in healthcare,” Phillips said. “I can look at a subset of people in Nashville who have accelerated risk for certain types of disease and then could look at a population in the same city and understand what the differences are.”

Stratos’ use isn’t limited to healthcare, though. Northlich used it recently to help its Small-Batch Chili campaign for Gold Star Chili.

“We did a lot of data around understanding what is going to motivate families who love chili,” Phillips said.