Search Criteria
Need Help?

We are happy to assist with any questions.

Helen Miranda
4A's Agency Search Liason

Barkley Health & Finance

Office Employees0-50
Total US0-50
Total Worldwide0-50
Sam Meers, President/CEO
Curious. Dreamer. Persistent. Charismatic. Innovator. That’s the short list of words that have been used to describe Meers’ founder, Sam Meers. His extensive knowledge and experience in marketing and our categories provide his team and his clients the insight needed to deliver innovative solutions.

Sam brings more than 30 years of consumer and business-to-business success to everything he touches, including 17 years working specifically in the insurance category. He was named Urban Hero by the Downtown Council of Kansas City for the work he and his company have done to revitalize the city’s urban core. Sam serves on the Kansas City Board of Governors of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, is a Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program Fellow, and a long-time supporter of Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.

There’s an invisible thread that runs through each day at Meers. It can only be witnessed from the inside. It’s like an undercurrent combining a deep desire to do what is right for the client with questions that can only lead to amazing ideas. I get to see it every day, in every discipline. It’s fun to watch. People allowing insights and experience to guide their discussions, being respectful of all ideas, listening and responding in a manner that brings out the best in one another and the right solutions for our clients. It’s part of our culture, our DNA. I caught glimpses of it when I worked in other agencies, but I never found it to be as pervasive as it is at Meers. It’s just how we go about our day. It’s like breathing to us. It just comes naturally.

If you have a broken leg, odds are good you’re not going to visit your family physician to have it set. You’re going to seek out an orthopedic surgeon. A specialist. Someone with years of experience. Someone who knows the subtleties of what to do, what not to do and what can go wrong. The same is true in our business. Meers had developed a specialty in health insurance over the past 17 years, but we had not acknowledged it or been intentional about our focus. Understanding the highly regulated financial services and insurance categories gives us a tremendous competitive advantage, gives prospective clients a reason to seek us out and provides our existing clients with extraordinary value. There are very few agencies in the nation with our experience, expertise or skillset. Specializing in financial services and insurance allows us to develop deep expertise in narrow categories. When we walk into a room, our clients know we know what we’re talking about. We’re speaking their language.

Client/agency success comes down to candor and transparency. Things that start out poorly tend to end poorly, which is why the groundwork of establishing a candid, transparent relationship is imperative right from the start. Have the tough conversations early. Negotiate the contracts and financial agreements straight away so there’s no confusion later. Set expectations by outlining a Scope of Value long before you discuss a Scope of Work. Be sure both parties understand the value Meers is going to deliver and how we’re going to deliver it. Doing so will lay the foundation for a strong client/agency relationship. One that will weather the inevitable bumps along the journey.

- See more at:
Allisyn Wheeler, SVP, Client Strategy & Operations
Recently, Allisyn’s young daughter pointed to an illustration of Wonder Woman and said, “Look, Mommy! It’s you!”

Smart girl. Just like mom.

As Senior Vice President of Client Strategy & Operations, Allisyn leads efforts to ensure Meers is prepared to meet the growing needs of both clients and employees.

Allisyn knows insight drives big ideas, but data drives efficiency and marketing success. That’s why her roles in client strategy and operations mesh so well. Understanding how to arrive at a strategy, while at the same time understanding how to muster the agency’s resources to bring the strategy to life in the most efficient manner is what Allisyn does every day. It’s a mixture of art and science.

Allisyn began her career with Barkley Evergreen & Partners as an Account Coordinator on Sonic. She progressively gained experience across channel strategy, planning and buying, and learned to understand the consumer along the way. She has worked across brands like 3M, Sprint and Owens-Illinois, delivering the right message to the right person at the right time to achieve the best results. She is an O’Toole Media Awards finalist, and has served as an adjunct professor for marketing classes at NYU and Washburn.

As a client, you’re putting your brand in an agency’s hands, so trust and chemistry are key to making that relationship great. More importantly, I think a willingness to blur the lines of that relationship is absolutely crucial. Agencies must step forward, look at things from the client’s perspective, and be prepared to solve difficult problems.

Before defining value with clients, it’s imperative for our staff to understand the value they bring when they walk through our doors each day. This gives them a sense of purpose and security, allowing them to bring their best game to the table every time.

By defining value for our clients, we focus on the outcomes and outputs of a client initiative rather than the individual steps we might take to achieve those business goals. Defining our value sets expectations and signifies our unwavering commitment to our clients’ success.

- See more at:
Dave Altis, Executive Creative Director
Working with Dave is like working with a good friend. He brings out the best in everyone he meets. He is gifted in inspiring others, from colleagues to clients, to work together and come up with great ideas. Before taking the lead creative role at Meers, Dave was an Executive Creative Director at a global network digital agency. Prior to that, he walked in the shoes of many clients by owning his own business. In his 20+ years, Dave has created campaigns and digital engagements for brands in the financial and health categories, including: American Century Investments, Texas Children’s Hospital, Edward Jones, Capital One, Welch Allyn and SAP.

His extensive experience has prepared him to manage his creative team, fostering strategic and results-driven work.

Without doubt it CAN be boring, but so can digital, broadcast and print. The truth is that boring is in the eye of the beholder. We put a lot of energy engaging our audiences and each one of them responds to different motivators. Millennials respond to smart, quirky language and visuals because, in general, they are more receptive to entertainment. Meanwhile, seniors see through marketing gimmicks and respond better to straight talk without unnecessary fluffery. These nuances are what make direct response challenging and interesting. It’s also why research and planning are the MVPs to our creative discipline. Motivating insights are everything, and when we mine deep enough to find a unique “human truth,” I get really jazzed. That’s when you can redefine direct response and deliver communications in previously unexpected ways.

I remember pitching a financial company on an idea that had the potential to reinvent the company’s brand. We were responding to a request for a campaign idea, but what my team delivered was a new expression of the heart and soul of the company. I had become so intimate with the strategy that I was excited to take questions, and the clients became even more excited by my answers. I love it when collaboration culminates in thinking that’s rock solid no matter how many holes you try to poke in it.

When all of the pieces fall into place it can be a pretty big rush. We, as an agency, need to be brave. Our clients need to be brave, too. When we trust each other and take some calculated risks, the results can exceed expectations. That’s really the secret sauce behind our success. We generate leads and then help convert them to sales. It takes a lot of experience, industry knowledge and guts to push the envelope when it makes sense. But without that client trust and bravery it won’t be as good, and probably not that much fun for anyone.

When all of those pieces fall into place and the campaign works, then we all celebrate as a team that spans across stakeholders. That feels amazing. That’s what drives me.

- See more at: