Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Griffith.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Minneapolis in the 80’s had Prince and some of the world’s best advertising talent huddled down creating incredible ideas in sub-freezing temperatures. When the cold was too much to bear, I moved to Chicago and worked for some of the world’s largest agencies. I turned down a very lucrative offer to be the creative on a major cigarette brand and my first inkling of making healthy choices for my career was established.
As a VP & creative director, I soon won and then tripled the business for some amazing clients, only to have my parent company say thank you and take them away.
For ten years, agencies assigned me as a solo creative director and it taught me how to learn and understand how important everyone’s role is in the process. And seeded some of the business skills beyond the creative part for when I was to start my own business.
During those years, I was fit and on fire but having been adopted, I never knew my parents’ DNA or what was lurking literally inside my veins. It took a quadruple bypass as age 37 to spark the actual move to start my own business and I never looked back.
Has it been a smooth road?
Early on, capital flow was the biggest issue. When we were working project to project, there was no way to budget long term and that was incredibly stressful. The roller coaster emotions of praying the phone will ring again as your current project is ending is the obvious stress, but there were business opportunities lost as well. Getting late fees here and there for bills when you’re not paid for 90 days or more months add up. Not having extra capital to purchase software or tools to make you more efficient or even improve your product holds you back. It felt like a deep hole with smooth, titanium walls we just couldn’t climb out of.
The other struggle was time being spread so thin. My first naive thought as my own boss was that I’d have all the time in the world to go golf whenever I wanted. I soon found out spending even an hour away from the office made me feel guilty and stressed. I was the boss sure, but I was also the accountant, the creative director, account executive, HR, media planning and janitor. On top of that, I had to go search out and win new business.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mentum story. Tell us more about the business.
Mentum is a full-service agency for clients who are looking for the passion and empathy to reach patients who need to understand very quickly what’s going on with their health, then just as quickly provide them with reliable answers. Over the last ten years, our clients have included both large and private hospitals, major physician groups, multiple dental practices, radiology groups and sleep centers. But one part of our portfolio we are most proud of is a website called two-views.com.
Two Views was set up with the idea that most websites only present one side of an issue or are set up to only give one, very pointed path of help. Two views literally presents two different views side by side for comparison. We started with the subject of radiology as there was so little out there explaining it well. A few years later, we have now toppled over three million users who have found help with inquiries like controlling their claustrophobia while inside an MRI tube, understanding why a CT scan might be better than an PET scan and the reasons why a guy would get an ultrasound. We are expanding every month and have started branching out to other health topics.
The passion to help people get quality healthcare answers is more than a business model for Mentum, it is part of our DNA from personal experience. We believe this empathy translates powerfully into our creative and sets us apart.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
If you are talking about the world of marketing and advertising, the biggest shift I see will be the continued focus of finding the right talent for the right task. We are a full-service agency but we realize we will never know or keep up on everything about every aspect of our client’s needs. So, we don’t. We work with our clients to determine what their goals are and then go find the best people that can help us make those goals happen. This keeps things in a flux, but we’ve managed to keep a healthy partnership with dozens of programmers, media groups, writers, art directors, editors and so forth.
If you are discussing healthcare, the biggest shift we see are the consolidation of physician groups and hospitals into larger organizations. Decades ago the business world boiled down into either Coke or Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch or Miller Brewing Co. If the trend continues, we might only see two physician or hospital holding groups in the U.S. or maybe the world. We specialize in helping many doctors and surgeons who, in part, got into their field for the entrepreneurial and independent aspect of it, now struggle to find ways of fitting into a corporate culture.