Our story begins like many successful business stories – with a solution to a problem. Founded in St. Louis, MO, the idea to start a digital agency came about as more and more businesses needed to strengthen, or simply create, their online presence during the early boom of digital marketing.
“Around 2009-2010, I was a digital advertising manager with STLtoday.com (the online version of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a newspaper owned by Lee Enterprises). I would partner with account managers who had really amazing relationships with local businesses in the area. After hearing frequently from business owners that they were eager to get their business promoted online to the local audience, but they didn’t have a well-established online presence, a few team members and I started thinking of ways we could help them, as this was starting to present itself as a true need in the market. We put our heads together and formed what was called The DMS (Digital Marketing Solutions) Group, led by a Technical Sales Engineer, a Sales Manager and Designer, and a Web Developer.” – Amanda McGinnis, Sr. Director, Agency Business Development
Our fun, quirky, people-centric culture was inherent from the get-go.
“I will never forget my initial interview for The DMS Group made a lasting impression on me. I was interviewed by the now – Sr. Director, Agency Business Development, Amanda McGinnis and Post-Dispatch President & Publisher, Ian Caso. The interview was the most relaxed and comfortable interview I had ever experienced. Right away both Amanda and Ian made me feel so welcome and kept the entire process light-hearted, conversational and personal. They got to know not only my strengths, weaknesses, and qualifications, but also allowed me to get to know them personally. It was by far the funniest interview I have ever had – those two are hilarious!” – Melissa Neal, Manager, Vendor Relationships
From the beginning, the agency has been all about growing, learning, and evolving to better fit the needs of our clients. These qualities have proven vital over the years in the ever-changing digital landscape. While we were excited to see our early efforts earning real results for our clients, it soon became clear we needed to do more for them.
“The DMS Group quickly grew our client base. We began looking for additional ways to assist local businesses with other areas of their online presence, such as social media, SEO, paid search, audience targeted display advertising, etc. Some of our clients were experiencing rapid growth right along with us. It was so rewarding to be a part of their success! If we wanted to continue to be a valued partner to them we needed to diversify our offerings.” – Amanda McGinnis, Sr. Director Agency Business Development
As the agency developed we realized we wanted our passion for getting results for our clients to be reflected in our name.
“Ian, Amanda and I collaborated on the name. We had a handful of name ideas initially, all aiming to bring the feeling of Booming, Growing, building bigger, etc. Amplified stood out time and time again as it fully encompassed what we try to do for our clients.” – Brandi Unger, Director of Sales, St. Louis Region
Now Amplified Digital, we set out on our mission to seamlessly connect business owners with their ideal audiences and inspire them to act.
“My favorite thing about the early days was the feeling of camaraderie. We were a small but scrappy, tight-knit group supporting a large book of business. Everyone did a little bit of everything. By the time a big project was complete, we had all had a hand in it at some point. Our people made all the difference. And they still do today. Right now if you searched online you could find thousands of digital marketing agencies that do the same things as Amplified. But they don’t have the incredibly talented, invested individuals we do.” – Amanda McGinnis
We trust the people who make up Amplified Digital and empower them to make decisions based on their expertise. Although we are 8 years old now, we continue to have a start-up culture where opinions are heard and acted upon. We know there will never be an end to our growth and learning.
“I’ve spent a few years in other organizations pushing hard for things, but I failed to find meaningful results, and didn’t understand why I was coming up short. That was tough. I felt disconnected from the strategies driving those businesses. Things are very different with Amplified. There is a sense of entrepreneurship. At Amplified, goals and progress to those goals are very clear and transparent.” – Adam Farris, Market Development and SMB Strategies
Amplified continued to experience tremendous growth over the next few years. Our teams expanded and became more specialized. There were growing pains as we raced to fill positions and access new technologies in the constantly changing digital marketing industry. Thanks to remote technologies, we are not limited to talent in any specific geography. We now have brilliant team members nationwide focused on making our clients’ goals into real results.
“The number of talented experts our organization has is so incredible! We once were a group of individuals who wore many hats. Now we are an organization who has the capability of hiring incredibly talented people who bring such a robust, specialized background which continues to contribute to the success of our organization.” – Melissa Neal
“Everything has changed! We have had an incredible amount of growth. When we first started off, although we had decent solutions, what we can offer now compared to then is a night and day difference!” – Brandi Unger
Originally envisioned as an agency serving the local St. Louis area, in 2018 we expanded into other Lee Enterprise markets across the country. Today we work with our local partners to help clients across the entire United States. We are a national digital agency who understands local audiences.
“Our story is just getting started. Amplified Digital is in a truly unique position to add great value to customers in the communities we serve.” – Adam Farris