In 1992, we were a small 30-person market research company named Lieberman Research West, working hard to regain our footing after a challenging economic recession that coincided with the first Persian Gulf War. Sensing that we needed a more clearly defined mission, I developed a growth vision for the company that positioned us more as a consulting firm with a unique ability to use consumer feedback to help companies solve complex marketing and business problems.
What only a handful of people knew at the time was that the vision actually extended beyond consultative work to a company that offered a full range of marketing services, differentiated by its access to and analysis of consumer feedback. In the nearly three decades since, our business has steadily marched toward realizing this vision, and our brand identity has evolved along with it. As we bolstered our clientele – across both industries and geographies – we became Lieberman Research Worldwide. As we expanded into consultative insights and innovation, we became LRW. When we added more outside companies to deliver new marketing capabilities to our growing family, we became LRW Group.
And now that we have all the pieces in place to realize the dream of a fully integrated marketing services company, it’s time to put a fitting name to what we have achieved – and will continue to achieve – together as an organization. That’s why today I am overjoyed to announce that the 10 companies that made up LRW Group are coming together as one company known as … Material.
What Is Material?
Material is a modern marketing services company powered by analytics, deep human understanding, and design thinking. We make a material impact through radical collaboration that ignites growth for the world’s top B2C and B2B brands.
It starts at the core of what we do. Data, analytics, and human understanding are the raw “materials” that comprise the foundation of our work, whether it’s through insights, consulting, or activation. But those materials, while strong and sustainable on their own, can deliver a much more powerful impact and paint a clearer picture when they’re woven together like a quilt.
Businesses have long craved this seamless integration of marketing services, but often come up short by engaging with firms plagued by disjointed processes, organizational silos, and competing cultures. Material takes a different approach. With our fully integrated organization and an emphasis on building deep human connections, we can more effectively engage brands on all of their marketing needs.
“Material” also works as an adjective that perfectly defines our company: material people, engaged in material work, that delivers material impact for our clients. Our work is essential to our clients’ success, and our team is dedicated to delivering real impact on our clients’ business.
How Does Material Come Together?
When we say that Material is a fully integrated marketing services firm, we really mean it. Our proficiencies extend across the full range of marketing needs. For simplicity’s sake, we sort our capabilities into three areas of expertise:
- Material Analytics – We combine sophisticated, cutting-edge analytic capabilities with creative analysis that extracts what is really going on in the consumer’s mind, either consciously or unconsciously. Our analytics bring scientific rigor – through marketing science, data science, behavioral science, and more – to solve the most challenging business problems.
- Material Intelligence – In our fast-paced marketing world, brands constantly need to be in tune and in touch with today’s consumers. We apply a full range of intelligence methods – such as market segmentation, brand tracking, product positioning, and ad testing – to gather the most reliable consumer feedback. We use these human and data-driven insights to design winning strategies for brands
- Material Experience – Deep human understanding is our jumping off point for delivering better campaigns, products, services, and experiences. Our activation experts help deliver exceptional customer and employee experiences, build innovative digital experiences, design modern loyalty programs, create unforgettable content, and develop ironclad brand and media strategies.
A Material Impact
While our company name is new to the marketplace, we have already delivered tremendous results as a fully integrated marketing services company. In fact, we have proven our vision through a series of exciting projects over the past year.
One great example of our model is a recent campaign that we launched with Vitalant, the oldest and largest national independent nonprofit transfusion medicine organization. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Vitalant was deeply concerned about a critical shortage of blood donations. So we sprung into a large coordinated effort to help them raise awareness, with a prompt to take action and save lives.
Our work started with a team in Chicago diving deep into what blood donors were already saying on social media channels and message boards through a practice we call online anthropology. Using that foundational research, our team in Los Angeles was able to build and field a survey to test different messages to see what resonated most with the public at large, as well as with particular segments of the potential donor population. Following an extensive analysis of the data, the LA team collaborated with our creative team in Austin to turn the insights into a powerful campaign platform for Vitalant, “Because of you, life doesn’t stop.” Meanwhile, our PR and communications team in Philadelphia amplified the campaign through extensive media outreach. And all of this work was seamlessly coordinated through a central Connections team, which is the fabric that binds together all of our different capabilities.
The campaign is still in flight, but the results so far are strong: the PSAs have aired in more than 20 markets and Vitalant saw a 109% increase in online mentions in the first week. And while we’re proud of the impact of this work, we’re also proud that we could complete it from start to finish in less than a month. And to brag a little, Vitalant’s CMO told us, “I’ve seen agencies trying to pull creative campaigns off like this for decades and nothing has come close to this level.”
Discover the Material Difference
Infinite capabilities, one fluid process. That’s the power of a fully integrated marketing services firm powered by sophisticated analytics, deep human understanding, and design thinking. That’s the power of Material.
About Dave Sackman, Chairman and CEO, Material
Dave joined LRW, a Material Company, more than 30 years ago and has since built a reputation as an expert strategist with a passion for innovation and nurturing talent. As Material’s chief executive, he oversees the company’s mission to provide modern marketing services that seamlessly combine insights, consulting, and activation into one integrated offering. Dave is an avid tennis player and lives in Los Angeles with his wife of nearly 40 years. You can follow him on LinkedIn (@DavidSackman).