| Follow Us:


Damon Ragusa of ThinkVine

What if your company could identify the right mix of marketing opportunities using a software platform that tests strategies on a virtual population? Think of the video game SimCity, yet instead of building cities, you’re building audiences to test your marketing mix.
These kinds of simulations are exactly what ThinkVine, a Cincinatti-based marketing optimization company founded in 2000, creates for its customers. ThinkVine’s software platform creates a representative sample population of mathematically derived consumers and simulates how they would react to different marketing plans.
The firm’s ThinkAhead Technology platform enables organizations to store, plan, and test marketing and media plans across traditional and emerging media platforms, including search, social and mobile. It also offers technical support services.
ThinkVine’s impressive roster of clients has included Hershey’s, DelMonte and Pepsico. The company won a $500,000 award from CincyTech several years ago to facilitate its continued expansion, and has continued to grow its business by hiring new talent.
What is ThinkVine?
Think Vine is a marketing optimization software company. We help companies make better, faster, smarter marketing investments across consumers, channels and tactics. Our breakthrough ThinkAhead Technology simulates how consumers respond to different marketing plans to provide richer historical insights and better forward-looking guidance than traditional marketing mix, as well as support for an agile, objective ongoing planning process.
Why did you start your business?
Before ThinkVine was founded, I was running a custom solutions consultancy and saw the opportunity to transition into a software-as-a-service enterprise as a more objective, agile, and effective way to handle marketing mix optimization.
How did you come up with the idea?
While consulting with clients, they continually asked for help in solving the problem around marketing accountability.  They wanted a more holistic approach to understanding what marketing activities were influencing which consumer segments and directly impacting sales and ROI to inform future planning.

What resources or organizations in Ohio did you take advantage of, and how did they help?
CincyTech has been crucial in obtaining financing from investors to support the business and also in acting as an adviser during specific periods of growth.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
There is a huge movement in Cincinnati to foster entrepreneurship.  As the first company that CincyTech supported, it is very exciting to be at the forefront of this movement. The sheer volume of advice that we have received from the local community was a very welcoming and pleasant surprise as we’ve grown the business.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Cincinnati?
Other than what I noted before, Cincinnati is home to a lot of marketing and business analysts because of its strong infrastructure around market research.  This has been very positive to ThinkVine because these are the people we’re always looking to hire.

What companies or founders do you admire and why?
I really admire what people have done in companies to create excellent working environments where people want to go and work. People that come to mind are Jim Goodnight at the SAS Institute and Tony Hsieh at Zappos.
What’s next for you and your company?
As ThinkVine continues its rapid growth, we’re focused on developing and delivering collaborative, enterprise software that helps our customers to answer their key marketing questions as well as maintaining our leadership position and innovative spirit.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson

Share this page