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If mastery demands all of a person, Leavingstone, a digital agency in Georgia, appears to have applied all the creativity of its entire team to establish itself as a market leader. Started up by four best friends back in 2010, Leavingstone’s memorable multimedia guerrilla marketing campaigns and its striking prints, repeatedly inspire and capture the attention of the target audience.

With the support of EU4Business and the EBRD, the creative team further optimised a solid organisational structure and is now thriving worldwide.

The drive to stand out

The internet-savvy landscape in this industry means it’s not easy to hold people’s attention. But Leavingstone’s creative marketing tactics and strategies have successfully cut through the noise of competitors.

Imagine a traditional, idyllic Georgian countryside where zombies work alongside local farmers, helping them with everyday tasks. It may sound out-of-the-ordinary, but this was a campaign dedicated to the launch of a new season for the famous TV series, The Walking Dead.

Taking advantage of current trends and its team’s skills, Leavingstone even adapted the 100th anniversary of Georgia’s Declaration of Independence for social media. Through virtual profiles of public figures, posts, check-ins and photos, the agency reconstructed a timeline to showcase key facts and dates in the country’s history.

Together with its creative approach, the agency’s awards also stand out. Leavingstone was the first Georgian agency to receive a Cannes Lion, the Oscar of the creative world.

Towards worldwide recognition

A master of local marketing context, Leavingstone has always aimed at expanding globally. Still, access to a new level of competitors and customers meant the team needed better understanding of the nuances of an international market.

“As the largest agency in Georgia, we needed to establish formal operational procedures without losing the essence of what makes Leavingstone such an inspiring company,” says CEO Erekle Zurmukhtashvili. “With an eye on international markets, our aim was to understand what makes them tick and how to attract world-class brands as partners.”

It’s no surprise that here EU4Business, which is actively supporting SMEs in the six Eastern Partnership countries, came up with the necessary help. EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme with funding from the EU connected the team of entrepreneurs with  an international advisor to develop a new mission statement and a handbook detailing company policies and procedures. Reorganisation within the company led to the kind of more structured service that meets world-class requirements.

Leavingstone aims to open up an office in Berlin and has successfully taken the advantage of the support from the EU4Business and the EBRD to launch new international projects. After a trip to the German capital, the creative agency has started cooperating with such giants as Siemens, Zeiss, Deutsche Telekom, Netflix, and the Fox Broadcasting Company. This sudden increase in international clients has boosted the company’s bottom line as well.

 “The changes involving new management tools, a clear vision and the dedication to focus on local and global markets has helped us move to a new level even in this very challenging year,” says Erekle.

Just the beginning

Creative approaches and openness to the challenges of international collaboration have allowed Leavingstone to build an environment where innovation is encouraged. A diverse talent pool, open minds, flexibility, and a structured roadmap spark new ideas, build trust and spur the team’s imaginations to run wild.

 “This is the beginning of a new, exciting and challenging journey and there’s room for continuous growth in staying relevant and adapting to the changing environment forced upon us by the coronavirus pandemic,” Erekle notes. “We’re proud of the road that Leavingstone has chosen and we’re excited for what is yet to come.”

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