How and when was your agency founded?
There are two answers to this question. Arthur Lockard originally founded Arthur Lockard and Company in 1967. Then, Dick Wechsler – our current owner and CEO - joined on March 17, 1991, creating Lockard & Wechsler.
The two met while windsurfing on Fire Island. They became friends, and Arthur asked if Dick would be interested in joining him and taking over his small direct marketing agency. With no experience in advertising or direct marketing, Dick said yes. Arthur retired in five years, and the rest is history. Next year marks the agency’s 30th anniversary.
What is your agency’s superpower?
Our superpower is our uncompromised commitment to measurable performance and service. We are the growth catalysts and revenue engines for our clients. We literally help small companies grow large and large companies grow larger through a deep understanding of performance marketing tenets, from creative to media planning to proprietary analytics that allows for campaign optimizations on the fly.
In addition, we’re privately owned. This gives us an unrivaled ability to invest in staff and resources to support client needs and achieve their goals. As one client stated, “LWD a high-touch agency. Every account is served by teams that include their most senior staff. And the account teams are deep and experienced. It’s hard to find that anywhere else.”
Why would a client choose your agency over a large network?
We recently signed an exciting new client after a lengthy review process that included over 20 other agencies, including major holding company shops. When we won the business, the client commented on our responsiveness, resourcefulness, ability to navigate volatile media markets and measure and evaluate results. This is what we do best and what many clients come to us for. Another advantage is staff tenure. Our average employee, from planning to buying, account service, accounting, and IT is 10+ years. The stability and dedication – and lack of staff churn – is also another huge reason to work with us.
What is your view of the current climate in terms of new business opportunities?
Despite the current climate and industry shifts resulting from COVID, we’ve actually had a strong year in terms of new business. As we’ve all adapted to the virtual world, it hasn’t been easy to establish trust without in-person meetings. But we’re finding that responsiveness, transparency, and high-quality work are being rewarded.
Tell us about the latest work you've released.
Since we’re primary a media agency, our work isn’t all that noticeable! However, we can say that we’ve successfully grown a national apparel brand by over 500% this past year. And we launched an extremely successful national campaign for an online university that had only marketed themselves regionally prior.
How have you been able to nurture your culture during the pandemic?
The biggest challenge we’ve had has been around onboarding new staff. We’re a well-oiled veteran team, so training new employees in a virtual word has been tough. In addition to training new staff on the specifics of their responsibilities, there’s the larger challenge of incorporating them into our culture. We had a series of small-group video meet-and-greets. They were successful, and we’re certainly going to continue these. We also launched a company intranet using a software platform called igloo. It’s finally taking on a life of its own that’s reflective of who LWD is. The problem is that all these well-intentioned initiatives lose priority in the day to day client demands. Fortunately, we’ve been extremely busy throughout the pandemic. And I think that the growth in new and existing accounts has had the most nurturing impact on our culture. Hopefully, that continues well beyond COVID.