Ad agency Willow Marketing adds jobs

Indianapolis ad agency Willow Marketing has hired eight more employees since mid-2013, bringing its head count to 21.

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

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

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

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 approach. It now has about 70 clients primarily in health care, associations/membership-based organizations and closely held entrepreneurial companies. Among them is local law firm Hall Render 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.

The 22-year-old Willow is now the city’s 14th-largest full-service ad agency, up from 18th in the latest IBJ Book of Lists.

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