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The journey of ASU alumni founders in the marketing industry

When ASU alumni Ken Bonham and Scott Kaufmann first met, it was through mutual friends. They were not in the same major, graduating class or job field. 

But years later, they would eventually find themselves as roommates, friends and then business partners. 

In their shared apartment, Kaufmann pitched the idea for a new marketing firm, telling Bonham, “If you can sell it, I can run it.” 

Their firstborn marketing company Lucid Agency was born, focusing on digital media using Google, social media and email marketing. 

But, they needed to expand. In 2019, they partnered with Joe Pizzimenti, another ASU alumnus who was already in the marketing industry. They formed a new agency called High Noon. Pizzimenti’s company at the time focused more on traditional public relations branding. 

They were recruited to join a national marketing agency called Agital, which now has over 500 employees across 11 offices nationwide and plans to double in size in the next 18 to 24 months.  Bonham, a senior partner of Agital, said Agital stands for “agile, agitate, and digital.” Together, the three men represent the entire Phoenix office. 

#ICYMI, we announced Monday that Highnoon has rebranded to Agital! Division president Scott Kaufmann will continue to lead the forward-thinking, Phoenix-based team. Check out our blog post to learn more:

— agital_official (@agital_official) February 7, 2024

Kaufmann, the division president, graduated from The Barrett, The Honors College, and studied both  marketing and finance for his bachelor’s degree. He remembered one of his marketing classes that inspired him early on.

“It was cool kind of looking at what they were doing in the industry and just kind of being exposed,” Kaufmann said. “I think back to the first time and the way that marketing and advertising worked in the real world and heard firsthand testimony.” 

He even returned to ASU from 2019 to 2021 and taught entrepreneurship. 

“It was kind of cool to come full circle and come back and work with the students,” he said. 

Bonham, who graduated from ASU in 2005, studied secondary education and social studies while also paying for his own education. He said that this helped form him into a “well-rounded person and salesman.” 

“I learned a lot managing my time and money and studies,” Bonham said. “I am thankful I have my degree in social studies because it meant that I had history, geography, political science, and ‘econ’ bundled into one degree.”

The company is a full-service marketing and advertising agency formed to create “the largest privately held advertising and marketing agency in the United States,” according to Bonham. 

The High Noon founders had been approached numerous times over the years and asked if they wanted to partner with a private equity firm, but they turned it down every time because it didn’t seem like the right fit. 

When the three men were operating High Noon, another private equity firm approached them and expressed interest in creating a wider brand, now Agital, with six other companies. 

“This group came to us and said that they wanted to form a new agency called Agital, that they had a mission, and they wanted to do it differently and bring together really sophisticated partners,” Bonham said. “We were really excited because no one from Phoenix or the state of Arizona has ever been able to really grow an ad agency outside of this market.”

All three founders said the key to success is the relationship with a client. 

“First and foremost, it is important to do the work that you were hired to do, second is to do it well,” Bonham said. “Then third, is just to maintain that line of communication and be there for them.” 

Pizzimenti said he enjoys collaborating directly with clients on creative campaigns and seeing their reactions when the work is launched. He said he feels this level of involvement and partnership is key to exceeding client expectations and maintaining their loyalty over other agencies. 

“I’m a relationship guy and I very much am involved with our clients,” he said. “I am involved in taking the general interest in their business, and the success of our advertising services, and exceeding their needs.” 

As Agital continues to grow, so do the firm’s goals and aspirations. 

Bonham said that he wants Agital to become a recognizable name and force in the marketing industry nationally, with a presence in other markets as well. 

“We would like Agital to be the first agency in Arizona that has been able to have some sort of presence nationally,” said Bonham. 

Edited by Katrina Michalak, Shane Brennan and Caera Learmonth.

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Originally Appeared Here

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