Susan Flinn Cobian
President & CEO of SFC Group
“Dedicated to Bringing Change”
Susan Flinn Cobian is a true force of nature who is initiating change in a historically change-averse industry with SFC Group. After more than 30 years of “working for the man,” she established SFC Group to do things differently and make a true difference for both her clients and the people who work for her. With a unique ability to instantly put people at ease, she makes meetings fun. With a sense of confidence that engenders trust, she easily forges lasting partnerships. And with a steel-trap mind that misses nothing, nothing falls through the cracks. Having worked at a number of agencies throughout her 30-plus year career, including building three agencies from scratch and breathing new life into three others, Susan has learned a lot about what to do and what not to do.
Fittingly founded on Susan’s birthday on September 13, 2018, SFC Group is unlike any other agency in the industry. Dedicated to delivering thoughtful solutions to challenges that span branding, strategy, and creative execution in every channel, SFC Group is an independent, full-service agency that caters to a range of healthcare clients from pharma and diagnostics to health systems and medical device manufacturers. What makes SFC Group truly unique, however, is that it is dedicated to going above and beyond in everything they do.
Susan has always encouraged everyone she works with, but most especially women, to step out of their comfort zone and follow their passions. Susan approaches mentoring with the same drive she approaches everything in her life. She’s a shrewd reader of people who becomes an expert on one’s strengths, weaknesses, and personality type. She gathers all the information she can to come up with a strategy for success and leverages her creativity, honesty, and intuition to make it happen. Most importantly, Susan has a true belief in the abilities of others. She encourages them to push boundaries and think independently. She instills a sense of ownership and accountability that makes them want to go above and beyond. People are exceedingly loyal to Susan and she develops genuine, lifelong friendships due to her “tell it like it is” style. She’s always on call, always in demand, and always available.
When it comes to marketing Susan believes that when media is planned as a whole, you apply a true channel strategy. One that is focused on the customer, ensuring the correct spend level against the right targets for maximum impact and efficiency, all wrapped up with killer creative. The old adage “the medium is the message” is true even in the digital space. How customers ultimately perceive our message is a combination of two symbiotic forces: the message itself (the creative) and how it’s delivered (the channel). Integration of these efforts provides the best opportunity for companies/brands to influence customer attitudes and behaviors.
A good example of influencing attitudes is how SFC Group made the gross not-so-gross. A regional hospital and out-patient system in Indiana wanted to educate people about their risk for developing colorectal cancer and de-stigmatize the conversation about cancer in an embarrassing location. SFC Group developed the “Share a Stool: Start a Movement” campaign, which encouraged people to take a health risk assessment to see if they qualified for a free Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) screening test. Media included high-profile out of home advertising, quirky radio ads featuring poop trivia, a dedicated website and an experiential “Stool Bus” that engaged with members of the community at local events. They even strategically installed brightly painted bar stools in restaurants, cafes, and bars across the city and included bathroom advertising. The campaign was the most successful in the health system’s history.
For 2021 SFC Group is focused on expanding its client roster as well as the team by delivering out-of-the-box solutions to healthcare’s ever-changing challenges. Susan’s approach is simple: make SFC Group the agency everyone wants to work with — employees and clients alike. At the end of the day, SFC Group thrives on challenging conventional thinking and disrupting the status quo. Susan isn’t afraid to think differently about her business or that of her clients. In fact, she prefers to work with people who are dedicated to making a difference by thinking differently. And every last member of the SFC team is committed to having major skin in the game. IE
Susan Flinn Cobian
President & CEO
SFC Group is a fast-growing, woman-owned healthcare marketing agency led by a talented group of executives, whose synergy and passion deliver results that outperform expectations. Our paths have crossed at other agencies, with overlapping passions that keep bringing us back to one another. We challenge each other, respect each other, and know how to get it done. Collectively, we have unsurpassed hospital, diagnostic, and pharma experience, and the kind of understanding and loyalty that only comes with years of successful professional interaction.