Local advertising agency boosts work force

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Indianapolis advertising agency Willow Marketing Management Inc. has hired eight more employees, bringing its headcount to 21 people, the firm said.

Even modest hiring in the public relations, marketing and advertising industry is notable these days given agency downsizings during the economic downturn, when many clients have slashed their ad budgets.

The recession even brought on the fall of such notable agencies as Hetrick Communications and Pearson Partners Inc..

The jobs at Willow range from graphic designers to video producers to project coordinators.

Willow’s president and CEO, Brad Gillum, said the firm’s revenue grew about 22 percent in 2013.  It had annualized billings of $10.7 million in 2012.

Rather than specialize, a move made by many firms to stay lean during the recession, Willow kept a full-service focus. It now has about 70 clients, primarily in health care, associations and membership-based organizations, and closely held entrepreneurial companies.

Among them is local law firm Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC, tarp-systems distributer Aero Industries Inc. and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos.  

Much of the firm’s growth has been in the association space, said Willow’s director of operations, Kim Spoonmore. 

A number of these organizations have struggled with generational changes that challenged them to stay relevant to younger people accustomed to communication via social media channels.

The 22-year-old Willow is now the area’s 14th largest full service ad agency, up from 18th the previous year, according to IBJ research .

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