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Marcus Thomas LLC

Marcus Thomas LLCPhone (216) 292-4700
4781 Richmond RoadFax (216) 378-0396
Cleveland, OH 44128-5636URL
Contact Mark Bachmann
Privately Held
Minority Owned
(A minority-owned business is a proprietorship, partnership, corporation or joint venture that is 51% owned, operated and controlled by United States citizens who are members of the following racial groups: African American, Asian American, Hispanic American and Native American.)
We seek impossible challenges.

You might think impossible is the keyword in this phrase. After all, impossible speaks to our tenacity, our grittiness, our Midwest work ethic. But in the case of Marcus Thomas, the word seek is the most important word in that phrase. Because we’re looking for impossible. We need impossible. We thrive on impossible.

Because impossible is usually where you’ll find the thing that really needs to be conquered. Everything else is just a task. Important? Certainly; but just table stakes. And who gets up for that?

Marcus Thomas is an agency that operates the way the holding companies wish they could -- integrated to deliver results to clients rather than shareholders. We deliver the fearless creative of a boutique shop, the rich experience of a category killer, and the deepest team of digital scientists of any agency in our weight class. We built our agency this way to help us root out and conquer the impossible.

We shape our approaches with deep research. We optimize them with precise analytics and strategic thinking. And we evaluate our work against what really matters: quantifiable, measurable business results. We’re focused this way because impossible hides in ambiguity. And we can’t tolerate that.


Asia (except China)
Central America
Eastern Europe
South America
South Pacific
Western Europe
Discretionary Comments:
Marcus Thomas is a member of the MAGNET network with independently owned agencies throughout the world.
Marcus Thomas LLC
4781 Richmond Road,
Cleveland, OH 44128
Phone: (216) 292-4700
Marcus Thomas LLC
4781 Richmond Road,
Cleveland, OH 44128
Phone: (216) 292-4700


Office Employees101-200
Total US101-200
Total Worldwide201-500
Discretionary Comments:
Marcus Thomas employs more than 160 full time associates, along with a number of freelance specialists in the Midwest. Marcus Thomas also employs over 50 full time associates in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
James Nash, Managing Partner
Since joining Marcus Thomas in 1989, Jim has worked with his partners to grow the agency through a merger and three acquisitions, as well as adding services and clients. He was honored for his contributions to the industry as the Advertising Federation of Greater Akron’s 2000 Silver Medal Award Winner, as well as Distinguished Alumni at Kent State University’s School of Journalism. He has a background in marketing, strategic counsel and brand management with Akron Children’s Hospital, Timken Company, Ohio Lottery, Swagelok, Diebold and MTD Products Inc, to name a few. He is a member of the American Advertising Federation (Cleveland) and the American Marketing Association. Jim also serves on the boards of Kent State University’s School of Journalism Advisory Committee, Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter, Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cuyahoga Valley National Park Trails Forever Legacy Leadership Team. He is past-president of the board for the MAGNET Marketing and Advertising Global Network, and a graduate of Leadership Mahoning Valley and the Leadership Cleveland programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism/advertising from Kent State University.
Mark Bachmann, Partner/Chief Client Officer
Mark grew up with 11 brothers and sisters in Akron. Happy to be one of the gang at home, he was determined to make his mark in advertising (who really called it communications back then?). And, after seven years with what is now a JWT agency, Mark and a couple of partners bought a small agency in Youngstown. That was 20+ years ago. Today, Marcus Thomas is a $180 million agency with 170 people, here and in Buenos Aires. Mark’s role as partner and chief client officer positions him to ensure that agency services assist each client in making a mark in its own category. He has provided marketing communications consulting for brands across the B2B and B2C spectrum, including IBM, Caterpillar, GE Lighting, Tarkett flooring and several Nestlé brands (including Hot Pockets and Nestlé Waters, among others). Mark has seen significant changes in the ways clients define and leverage channels, and sees real opportunity for a new balance of power – exciting times ahead. Mark lives in Medina with wife, Carol, and four growing kids – each encouraged to make their mark, in their own way.
Joanne Kim, Partner/Chief Idea Officer
Joanne has been with Marcus Thomas since 1990 and oversees the agency’s creative, production, digital production and project processing services. She has more than 25 years of experience in brand development and advertising, and holds numerous national, regional and local awards for creative excellence, including the prestigious American Association of Advertising Agencies’ O’Toole Award, Communication Arts, The One Show, Print, Telly and national ADDY Awards. Her account experience includes Akron Children’s Hospital, GE, Goodyear, IBM, Nestlé, Troy-Bilt and WKSU. She belongs to the American Advertising Federation – Cleveland and The One Club for Art & Copy in New York, and has taught advertising copywriting at Kent State University. She serves on the boards of Greater Public and the Center for Arts Inspired Learning. Her education includes Parson’s School of Design, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Kent State University. She can be found on LinkedIn, Twitter, and her infrequent blog
Jennifer Hirt-Marchand, Partner/Research Director
Joining Marcus Thomas in 1995, Jennifer is a marketing research professional with more than 20 years of experience in research and academic settings. Her area of expertise is “voice of the customer research,” with a special interest in motivational and observational research methods. She is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of research activities at Marcus Thomas and assists account teams by recommending appropriate research methodologies, uncovering market and/or target audience insights that generate more effective marketing strategies, and ensuring all communications are accountable to enable the highest return on investment. She assists clients with strategic positioning against competitors, the design and management of brand positioning strategies, improving service to customers, enhancing customer and employee satisfaction, analyzing media relations and advertising effectiveness, along with an array of other capabilities. Jennifer’s clients have included Akron Children’s Hospital, Troy-Bilt, Caterpillar Inc., the Cleveland Browns, Medical Mutual, Lubrizol Corporation, the Ohio Lottery, Swagelok, Nationwide, Step2 and TravelCenters of America. She’s authored both academic and practical industry articles over the past 20 years, including publications such as Quirk’s Marketing Research Review and Managed Healthcare Executive, and was recently cited for the agency’s use of motivational research methodologies in an international college textbook for advertising and promotion. She is an active member of the American Marketing Association, American Psychological Association, the Marketing Research Association and serves on the board of the Portage Animal Protective League. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Ohio State University.
Phil Johnston, Partner/Strategic Services Group
A partner at Marcus Thomas, Phil directs the agency’s planning and research groups. Since joining the advertising and public relations firm in 1995, he has led major planning initiatives with a wide range of organizations and brands, including Akron Children’s Hospital, Alcoa Wheels, Caterpillar, Lubrizol, Timken, Nestlé and Troy-Bilt, as well as a number of nonprofit organizations. Most recently he has led the planning initiatives for the global brand launches for Diebold and SIRVA, plus the global rebrand for Swagelok. Phil has earned a reputation for consistently delivering focused strategic thinking to his clients and is highly regarded for the creation of the agency’s proprietary planning model, The Equation. He is a frequent speaker on research, branding and strategic planning, and also teaches advertising at Kent State University. Previously, Phil was with the Toronto-based Wolf Group and a journalist for several daily newspapers and business publications in Indiana and New York.
Heidi Modarelli-Frank, Partner/Public Relations
A 25-year public relations veteran, Heidi leads the public relations and social media practice at Marcus Thomas. She has spent much of the last decade helping companies and brands such as Akron Children’s Hospital, Buitoni, BEHR Paint, KeyBank, LIBBY’S Pumpkin, Nestlé Family, Nestlé Prepared Foods, Sherwin-Williams Diversified Brands and U.S. Cotton navigate the world of social communications and public relations in the digital age, and develop strategies that drive business outcomes. She also has guided clients through crises and high stakes situations in the ever-changing 1,440/7 news cycle. She has been a presenter on social media crisis management at the MAGNET Global Social Media Summit, social analytics at WOMMA Summit, social marketing strategy at the Association of National Advertisers Digital & Social Media Conference, and influencer partnerships at the MAGNET Global Public Relations Summit. Her work has been honored by the Public Relations Society of America, Facebook Studio Awards, Word of Mouth Marketing Association, The Content Marketing Association, the Ex Awards and the International Association of Business Communicators. She has earned accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America and has served on the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Research and Membership Council, where she helped shape the Media Rating Council’s Social Media Measurement Guidelines. She has served as a volunteer public relations consultant for a number of nonprofit organizations and is a graduate of Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders program. Heidi holds bachelor’s degrees in English and mass communication from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Clients & Brands

Agency Clients And Brands
Client Name: MTD Products
Start Date: 1/1/2007
Client Name: The Ohio Lottery
Start Date: 1/1/2002
Client Name: Momentive Performance Materials
Start Date: 1/1/2015
Client Name: Akron Children''s Hospital
Start Date: 1/1/2003
Client Name: KeyBank
Start Date: 1/1/2014
Client Name: Swagelok Company
Start Date: 1/1/1998
Client Name: Dexcom
Start Date: 4/1/2016
Client Name: TourismOhio
Start Date: 1/1/2015
Client Name: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
Start Date: 1/1/2002
Client Name: Behr Process Corporation
Start Date: 4/1/2016

Billings & Revenue

Number of Clients
Billing less than $1 Million
and/or Agency Revenue less than $200 Thousand
Billing between $1.1 - $3 Million
and/or Agency Revenue between $201 - $600 Thousand
Billing between $3.1 - $5 Million
and/or Agency Revenue between $601 Thousand- $1 Million
Billing between $5.1 - $10 Million
and/or Agency Revenue between $1.1 Million- $2 Million
Billing between $10.1 - $25 Million
and/or Agency Revenue between $2.1 Million - $5 Million
Discreationary Comments
Available upon request
Total gross media placed by this office
$51 - 100 Million
Allocation percent of media placed by this office
National Broadcast20%
Local Broadcast13%
Out of Home7%
Digital (Internet, Mobile, SEM, Viral)53%
All Other4%

Specialized Services


Industry Experience

Automotive | aftermarket
Business Services & office products
Consumer Services
Cosmetics, perfumes & toiletries
Financial services | banking
Financial services | insurance
Financial services | investments
Food & Beverage | food
Food & Beverage | pet food
Food & Beverage | soft drinks
Gambling | lotteries
Government | economic development
Healthcare | hospitals, healthcare facilities, medical services
Healthcare | managed care
Healthcare | medical products
Healthcare | pharmaceutical
Home Products | home improvements (Hardware, paint, plumbing, gardening)
Home Products | housewares
Household Supplies
Industrial, Manufacturing & chemicals
Media | broadcasting
Media | other
Media | publishing
Non-profit, associations & public services
Professional services (Accountants, consultants, lawyers)
Public Relations
Real Estate | buildings & construction
Technology | .com business
Technology | communications
Travel | tourism