Everyone loves an origin story. That’s why, to commemorate our 16th anniversary, we’re taking a look back at the history of Quattro and reliving the formative moments that shaped the agency. Recently, I sat down with Scott Cohen, our stalwart CEO and cofounder, to hear his retelling of our genesis. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
When did Quattro form, and how did it happen?
Quattro formed in 2004. I had just sold my share of Williams & Cohen Direct (my first agency), and I was putting out feelers looking to start a new business from the ground up. That’s when I got a call from Dan.
Dan Boerger, whom we all know and love?
Correct. We call Dan the mad professor. He’s truly the consultative country doctor who makes house calls, where I’m more like the high-tech surgeon — I figured we would make a great marketing partnership. We used to work at the same insurance company back in the day, and he had been running his own consulting firm at the time. He was curious about a partnership, but not quite sold yet.
Then I heard from an old colleague, Doug Guyer, who owned an agency called IDR. He offered me an office in his building along with Dan. So during most of that summer, I freelanced out of the office. And then — BOOM — Tom called.
Tom McNamara, AKA Tommy Waffles?
Yup. That’s the one. Tom was actually a client of mine back when he worked at Advanta before he took an overseas assignment in Scotland. Turns out, he had also just left an agency called CFM Direct and was looking for a partner to start something with. So, I thought to myself, “This is really interesting!”
I introduced Doug, Dan, and Tom, and we all went out for drinks. And then we met for drinks again. And again. And… We all got along really well, and we all liked the idea of starting a business together. However, we weren’t really a startup. Dan had current clients, Tom had current clients, and I had solid relationships. But it was more than enough to get things up and running!
So how did you land on the name Quattro?
I was brainstorming with the creative department and it just seemed like a really cool way to convey the fact that there were four partners. Voila — Quattro Direct!
Can you tell me a little bit about those early days?
Sure. For the first 18 months or so, we continued to work out of Doug’s building. We had about 5 or 6 employees. But business kept chugging along, and eventually we moved to our first home in Berwyn on Lancaster Avenue. That’s when business really started to heat up! Our client specialty evolved to financial services, telecom, and healthcare — a perfect mix.
Hard to top that!
Right? But 8 AMAZING years later — we did. All thanks to our great, fantastic, incredible team. Fast forward to 2014 — a HUGE year for the agency. We had our 10-year anniversary and were hitting record numbers. That’s when we moved into our current office in Berwyn Park. Poetically, the very same space where I cut my teeth at my first agency, Devon Direct, back in the 90s.
We also rebranded that year, dropped the “Direct,” and came up with a new logo and brand identity. Our digital focus was growing, and we didn’t want the stigma of sounding like an old-school direct marketing agency. Business was booming and there was no slowing down.
Fast forward to 2017 — we again retrenched and recalibrated with a laser-focus on digital marketing. And in 2018, we once again evolved our logo and branding, and to no surprise, we took off yet again.
So, where are we now?
It’s funny, sometimes it feels like we’re back in those early days again. We’re scrappy, fearless, and tireless. But we’re wiser for the wear, too. I’m really excited about where we are. We’re focused on the segments we know best, and we bring a lot of experience to the table.
Where are we headed? What are you most excited about?
I’m really excited for us to be recognized as THE leading mortgage marketing agency in the country. With the launch of Quattro Mortgage Plus™, we’ve got a ready-to-go, industry-proven data product for the first time in our history. There’s a noticeable shift in the advertising business, away from the creative brand boutiques and more toward a consulting-analyst-type model. Almost like an outsourced marketing department. More strategically oriented. More account oriented. And we fit the bill perfectly because of our ability to understand and “live” client metrics and create these amazing, long-lasting relationships.
You know, I’ve only worked here for 6 months, but that’s something I did notice. It’s clear you value relationships in a way that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.
Yes, it’s all about the connection here. It always has been. And of course, our staff. I would not trade them for anyone — anywhere!
Learn more about what we do here at Quattro and what we can do for your business.