On August 16th, business leaders from across the city of St. Louis gathered to honor the game-changers and change-makers from across the region, and this year, Drive was proud to be a part of the celebration.  Each year, St. Louis Small Business Monthly recognizes the achievements of local small businesses, and we were named alongside many other outstanding local companies as a Future50 award winner. We were recognized for the agency’s growth and innovation in our industry.

While Drive has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 2011, at the beginning, it wasn’t always easy.

“At one difficult point, it looked like I was going to have to move back in with my mom, or sell all of my possessions,” – said Operating Partner, Josh Sample.

Then came President, Andrew Foley. This was really the turning point for Drive. “Drew was interested in investing in my vision, investing in me,” Sample said.

Flash forward five years, and we are now in two cities, with a third slated to open in Q2 of 2018. With more than 170 clients on active retainer, and more than 60 employees company-wide, we could not be more proud of how far we have come in such a short time.

Sample attributes this success to a balance between a data-driven strategy that is proven to yield our partners a two to three times return on their investment, and an emphasis on employee and partner happiness. In fact, Sample believes in the relationships between our team and our partners so much, that in 2017, he introduced a new position, the Chief Happiness Officer (CHO).

“Our CHO will go meet with clients, listen to them, and make sure they are heard,” he said. “Meetings with Drive can be packed-to-the-brim with strategy and marketing, so it’s important that we are able to take a step back and meet with each of our partners and treat them to something that isn’t all about business.”

CHO meetings can range from coffee in the park, to paddleboarding, to viewing the city’s skyline from a helicopter.

This, combined with a proven strategy, has allowed Drive to increase our revenue 14-fold since 2011, but most importantly, help other small businesses between St. Louis and Nashville see an actual, tangible return on their advertising dollars.

If you’re interested in learning more or want to set up a free demo, let’s chat!