Arkansas Think Tank

Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods in Little Rock, Ark., has formalized a strategic marketing unit at the agency, nearly two years after appointing one of its executives to develop the discipline.
By establishing a full-service consultancy un-der strategic marketing director Ren Klein, CJRW officials said their menu of advertising, public relations and marketing services have become “rounded out.”
Cranford president and chief executive officer Frank Cox said in a statement the new service can take on business outside the agency’s roster, as well as handle current clients in Little Rock and possibly its six-month-old Raleigh, N.C., affiliate.
Klein, who joined the agency in 1994 as an account supervisor, said the object is not to sell clients on CJRW’s other services, but to fill a niche research and account planning need the shop feels is not being met in the Arkansas advertising market.
“Too many agencies here really just produce [ad] materials, and don’t lend themselves to strategic thinking,” Klein said.
Klein has been stra-tegic marketing director since April 1997, working with the agency’s account teams. He said the shop’s need for a strategic planning service was identified through the five-month consultancy review in 1997 with Agency Management Group of Pittsburgh.
Klein’s post is not a new one, but formalizing his department is the second major executive suite change in the past few months.
In October, the shop recruited Don Lenehan from Royal Crown Co. for a newly created senior vice president and management director slot, overseeing account services.