Some years back, a large-scale insurance company hired a similarly large-scale marketing agency to promote a new auto insurance product. It was to be released just before the holidays, when auto accidents are at their highest. But by July of the following year, when the trees were in full bloom and snow and ice were nowhere in sight, the public was not yet aware of the product, much less able to purchase it.

Why? Because those responsible for the marketing campaign were mired in large company red tape and way too many cooks in the kitchen.

In a surprising twist in paradigm, the company decided to hire a small, independent agency, free from the constraints of big-business bureaucracy. Within a few months, the product was re-conceived, re-marketed, and released for public consumption…well before the first frost.

“Big brands with big vision are looking for agencies that can match their perspective, not their size,” said Ruth Bernstein, co-founder and chief strategic officer at YARD, a New York-based creative agency. Bernstein isn’t alone in her thinking; clients and marketing executives everywhere are extoling the virtues of smaller agencies.

Perhaps one, Nail Communications Creative Partner Alec Beckett, says it best: “…A tight-knit group of employees with small egos and huge hearts…means collaborative relationships with clients where their successes and failures ring and sting as our own.” Small egos and huge hearts? Are we talking about profit-based business here?


In addition to magnanimity, there are other benefits to working with a small marketing agency:

Speed – Because small agencies involve fewer levels of hierarchy and a flatter organizational structure, work can be produced and delivered nimbly and quickly. Large agencies swamped in several levels of internal approval and pressure from external shareholders and stock analysts experience longer turnover times and inhibited productivity. Associates in a small agency can all collaborate together, eliminating the time suck of people working in silos and stalled in multiple layers of personnel.
Innovation – Ever wonder why the five-person startup companies seem to be the most innovativethus capturing the lion’s share of audience attention? People who choose to work for smaller, independent companies are typically uninhibited, free-thinking types who are not afraid to take risks. They seek out work cultures and environments that encourage creativity and truly “out of the box” thinking. They are unaffected by holding company rules, outside agendas, and the need to receive permission from multiple players in the process. The result is fresh, original work that can keep up with changing trends and stands out in the eyes of clients and consumers.
Client-agency relationships – Just as smaller agency associates can collaborate equally with team members, so can their clients. According to Abby Lee, vice president of marketing at RE/MAX: “Smaller agencies tend to become part of your marketing team – they get ingrained in your company’s DNA. They are more interested in your business and helping it evolve and grow than…in using it as a vessel for awards and accolades.” Indeed, the boutique culture of smaller agencies is closer, friendlier, more readily available to chew over ideas with each other and with clients. No one is more important than another, and there really is no “I” in their “TEAM.” Over the years, a small agency can become like family, invested personally and emotionally in clients’ success.
More bang for the buck – Because small agencies typically hire all senior level people, bypassing the junior level staff that large agencies often employ, clients get the most for their money in terms of talent and experience. “Big agencies reel in new accounts with a list of prestigious names that will be working on the project, but once you’re on board it’s usually lower-level staff that will actually be doing the work,” notes growth marketer AJ Agrawal. What’s more, pricing can be more competitive because it takes a smaller, less layered agency less time to produce quality work. Less time often equates to less cost.
Flexibility – Small agencies are bound by little but the limits of their imagination. Decisions can be made spontaneously, and boundless permutations of an idea can blossom over the course of a day – heck, an hour! Think it, write it, design it, present it. Client has other ideas? No problem; back to the drawing board, and boom! Another collective brainchild is conceived. No project is too small, few deadlines are too tight, and big projects are met with excitement, unhindered by a tangle of corporate red tape and a snail’s inertia.
SpecializationSmaller agencies are often specialists in a certain service, audience or vertical. This is particularly appealing to marketers who don’t wish to spend time educating partners on their industry, especially for smaller projects, or gaining physical proximity to manage progress. Specialized professionals have years of insight into certain industries, and businesses of any size value their expertise and ability to go deep.

Let our boutique marketing experts show you the big advantages of a smaller agency.


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It’s addicting!  The fast-paced, ever changing world of public relations and marketing captures your interest and keeps you charged up to learn more everyday.  I love to find the best ways to tell our client’s stories and man, they have awesome stories!

It’s my job to discover our client’s goals and then match the best processes to achieve them, within their budgets, of course.  I get to explore traditional, digital and every manner of communication to determine which tactics, whether it is direct mail or TV advertising, a new website or PPC (to name just a few) will efficiently and effectively capture the attention of prospects. 

I also get to work with great people at IVY – they’re creative, fun, caring and super smart.  We’ve all been around the industry a while so there is not a novice among us.  Our clients are very cool too and totally passionate about the services they offer.  We’ve been working with most of them for years so we know they truly care about being innovative and responsible to the markets they service.  I have great admiration for all of them and look forward to every day. 

It’s true what “they” say, if you love what you do, you won’t work a day of your life!


IVY was established in 1990 with a basic premise to offer professional, ethical and highly creative marketing, advertising and public relations services. We have successfully maintained our core values and have been part of many amazing projects, client growth and changes in the world of marketing that continue to happen at lightening speed. Most of our clients serve older adults in some capacity so we keep abreast of the opportunities and challenges they face.   Each day, we keep it real and fun and consistently deliver positive results to our clients and their markets.


Passion for design keeps me on the lookout for new and exciting avenues for innovative digital and print visual communications. At IVY Marketing Group the diverse range of projects keeps my job challenging and rewarding. Each campaign is an exciting opportunity to effectively communicate our clients’ message. It’s what I love.


I began working with IVY Marketing Group in June of 2013. I was hired as a writer, telling the stories of residents and staff members at the various senior living communities we serve.  It was inspiring to hear how fulfilling – and freeing – life had become for these seniors since moving from the limitations of their own homes to the quality independent and/or assisted living communities of today.

In 2016, I had an opportunity to see another side of the IVY organization when I was asked to fill in for a co-worker on maternity leave. During that time, I handled media distribution and social media, a process I found interesting and horizon-expanding. I was also given the opportunity to serve as an account manager, bringing me face-to-face with client needs and expectations.

As a frequent blogger for Ivy as well as some of our clients, I am excited to stay ahead of emerging trends and strategies so that we can offer our clients the most successful content marketing solutions for their communities.

Most fulfilling for me is working with my fellow Ivy team members. It is both inspiring and refreshing to witness their enthusiasm for their craft and unfaltering commitment to our clients and company goals.


It all starts with one idea. Working with the Ivy creative team for over two decades has always meant taking one great idea and bringing it to life to help our clients meet their goals. We enjoy the challenges offered with every creative opportunity and try to make the design process itself enjoyable for our clients.


Making certain that the projects IVY produces are word- and picture-perfect is my specialty. But I also love implementing marketing campaigns and programs that bring our clients success. Details are my thing, so it is a pleasure to have worked with IVY twice now, first after college four years ago and, recently, for the past two years.

The IVY Group is a terrific team of creative, positive and talented professionals that I love working with and, judging from the length of stay of our clients, I think they love our team, too!


Rock-climbing, training for an 80-floor stair climb event, running a 5K…This is just a tiny peek into what people 20 and even 30 years older than I am, are doing on a fairly regular basis at some of the retirement communities that IVY represents.

I’m of the generation that still has reoccurring nightmares about what the next step looked like when my grandmother could no longer live by herself. The very best option at that time was living at a “facility” and  included eating rubbery chicken and playing an occasional game of BINGO. Period. That’s why my parent’s generation begged us not to ever put them into “one of those places.”

I am so proud that IVY’s clients are at the very forefront of an industry that creates opportunities, challenges, and most of all freedom for seniors, allowing them to explore hobbies, interests, passions…the next chapter of their very full lives.

I feel reassured for my own future. Even more, I feel honored to be able to share the impactful stories about this paradigm shift in the world of senior housing. What we hear and see at our clients’ communities is fascinating and inspiring!


I am eager to bring fresh concepts and communication strategies to our retirement community clients.  Keeping up to date on new public relations strategies, online engagement, and advertising tools is my passion.

Our clients have such exciting and unique events and programs; it really makes it motivating for me to make the most of their content.  I am proud of our national press placements, secured television spots and local media relations. 

Results like increasing website visits, social media connections, and national press placements make everyday rewarding and interesting.


I oversee, plan and implement projects and processes at IVY.  Often,  I am the conduit between our writers and designers, with printers, and other vendors to fulfill the marketing needs for our clients. I also manage media buys and coordinate production of advertisements.

Working for a flexible and fluid company that is constantly growing, changing and evolving is fun and rewarding. There is always something new to learn.