From Wright State University’s The Guardian

Adam Ramsey, Features Writer

February 21, 2014

Wright State University alumni Richard Kaiser and Philip Roestamadji recently co-founded their own marketing firm, Lion and Panda, which seeks to merge the models of big marketing agencies and freelancers to better suit businesses and change the face of marketing in the Midwest.

Kaiser and Roestamadji met each other at a marketing event held through WSU and bonded over their mutual dissatisfaction with the industry. They eventually found that their individual experiences in marketing were complementary.

“We’ve spent five years hanging out at bars and coffee shops just talking about why the model didn’t work,” said Kaiser. “Philip had complaints about agencies from the corporate side and I had complaints about the corporations from the agency side. We were thinking about how to work these conflicts out.”

These discussions grew from mere complaining to actual planning.

“Looking at it, we kept saying that someone should do a model like [we planned], because it would be so great,” said Kaiser. “After about five years we decided that we could do it. Now we’re taking that jump.”

Once they officially started building their model, Roestamadji and Kaiser gathered opinions from businesses about what they truly wanted out of a marketing firm.

“They listed off all of the things that we represent today,” said Roestamadji, “being agile, custom building relationships instead of selling a couple of products, being someone they can count on and working as an arm of their business with them. Between what Richard and I were talking about and what we heard from others, it became apparent that this would be a viable model.”

In particular, the scope of what their model can offer businesses is wider than that of the average agency model, working in different types of media like video and photography.

Kaiser said Lion and Panda’s biggest advantage is that it can offer “everything.”

“One of the faults of most other agencies is that they have their wheelhouse that they’re comfortable working in,” said Kaiser. “They have a full-time staff, so they have to keep selling the same types of projects. We don’t have to. We’ve got resources that we can tap into. If budget is a concern then we can scale it at any degree.”

Kaiser and Roestamadji hope that their marketing techniques will help small businesses in the area grow, causing them to hire more and expanding the local economy.

In addition to that, they hope to change the way business is done and influence future generations to think radically.

“One of the things we encourage a lot of young people is that you don’t have to stick with the old nine-to-five,” said Roestamadji. “ You can be innovative and create a new path for yourself and kind of embrace the things that Dayton’s legacy represents: innovation and creativity.”

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