Reinventing the Game:
New Business Model Gives Clients More Options

| September 1, 2012


Game Changers™.  Imagine Nation™. The Alternative Agency.

These are just three of the marketing and advertising concepts from agency veteran, Kathy Leonard, co-founder and president of Freeman+Leonard.

With a responsive business model and ready access to the best talent, Freeman+Leonard is reshaping the marketing and advertising world – giving clients new agency resources based on measurable value and performance.

Leonard and her business partner, Valerie Freeman, are redefining what it means to serve clients with a full range of services and talent – when, as and how they need it  … and, just as importantly, not when they don’t.

Cracking the Code

“Clients have always wanted three things from their agency,” says Leonard. “Great work, really fast and at a low cost. We would tell clients we could deliver any two.  But, all three? That’s just not possible.”

She adds: “Today, Freeman+Leonard has cracked the code on giving clients high-quality work, delivered quickly and efficiently, with an extremely competitive cost.”

What’s the secret?

It’s an innovative business model born, Leonard says, from an evolution in the marketplace driven by three trends:

  • The dramatic impact of new, more fluid media.
  • Demand for marketing that more directly links to sales performance.
  • A changing mentality of independence in the workforce.

This perfect storm has set the stage for Freeman+Leonard‘s client-focused approach to marketing and advertising.

Agencies Struggle to Monetize Digital

“The ability to get to the consumer has changed dramatically, and that has shifted everything for marketers and for their agencies,” says Leonard.

What has created such an impact? In a word … digital.

Digital is forever changing the way companies market and consumers shop and buy.  It enables companies to have data about consumers and buying behavior that was never available before.

Digital is faster and cheaper to execute, and is much more consumer direct than traditional advertising, Leonard points out.  And, it requires a lot less labor and fewer moving parts.

Consequently, digital marketing and social media have created a dilemma for agencies trying to monetize this new shift in clients’ approach to marketing decisions and budgets.

Economics of scale also are shifting. The dynamics are creating new businesses, while putting others out of business.

CMOs Need Smart Help Now

If that wasn’t enough, today’s tough economy and shareholder demands now pressure companies to perform quarter after quarter. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) who fail to connect with customers are let go – sometimes after only months, not years, in the job, Leonard observes.
Game Changers
CMOs are looking for solutions and strategic leadership, and they are very open-minded about where that counsel may be found.

In addition to the impact of digital and performance pressures, Leonard says the economy has forced agencies and corporations to cut costs, especially people. With layoffs, a number of senior professionals are now in the marketplace.

This influx of talent has taken to freelance and consulting work. And with this change, they are experiencing more independence and control of their careers than in the corporate workplace.

Great Recession Creating New Workforce

Economists estimate that 50 percent of the new jobs created out of the Great Recession will be contract and freelance, Leonard notes. And in the future, 25 percent of the total workforce will be contract.

Given these realities, she believes clients need an agile agency model to help them.  One that’s built around their needs – delivered when and as they need them.

At this intersection of pain and gain, Valerie Freeman and Kathy Leonard come together – bringing with them a savvy advertising/marketing mindset and proven creative staffing services, with the talent to match.

Delivering Customized, Flexible Solutions

In short, theirs is a business model in touch with the times. It takes advantage of a coming-of-age workforce, offering clients solutions customized to meet their specific marketing needs.
imagine nation logo
Or, as Leonard puts it: “The talent you need, when, as and how you need … and not when you don’t.”

And, it’s a model that delivers what clients always have wanted:

  • Smart people capable of delivering great work.
  • Experienced, responsive talent who get it right the first time.
  • Low overhead that dramatically reduces cost.

Fact is … this ever-evolving economy requires new ways of thinking and working.

As the game continues to change, Leonard knows full well: “We have a place to play today.”