Founder & Global CEO
APR Consulting Company
Location: Denver, CO
Industry: Marketing Services: Content Production
She dreamt of singing jingles yet found her voice in Marketing Services.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jillian Gibbs, Founder & Global CEO of APR Consulting Company, took a job as a telephone operator at Unilever to pay the bills after college so she could audition for musicals in NYC.
“An opportunity presented itself, so I applied to be the assistant to the Head of Advertising, who oversaw production of all TV, print and radio commercials produced at Lever Brothers,” she said. “I found a mentor in Al Tennyson, and learned the ins and outs of commercial production, eventually taking his job upon his retirement.” It was through her tenure at Unilever that she realized a need in the industry.
“There was a need for brands and their agencies to better understand the impact and efficiency in production, not just cost controlling,” Gibbs said. In the 90’s, she coined the term “production consulting” - and never looked back.
Today, APR empowers marketers to make better, more informed decisions when choosing their approaches to producing their creative content for video, print, digital, social, gaming and experiential. The production expertise guides marketers to transform, modernize and optimize their content creation ecosystems of production partners and processes and all things related to production operations.
Gibbs said that the success of APR is based off three simple things: Do clients want to keep us around year after year? Do employees and contractors want to stay because they are learning and thriving? Are we recognized in the advertising industry as experts who continue to challenge the status quo and drive change?
It is apparent that the answer is a continual, yes.
Gibbs said that in five years, APR will double its revenue and improve its EBITDA through shared service, partnerships/acquisitions and add other income-generating products that do not rely on human capital.
“My goal is to monetize and better leverage APR’s data and harness the power of its subject matter expertise through new products and bundling services,” she said.
Widely recognized as the leader in the production optimization consulting category by global advertising trade organizations, clients, and industry thought leaders, Gibbs continues to set high standards, and outpaces her competitors.
“APR is at least three times the size of any competitor,” she said.
As a woman entrepreneur in a traditionally male-dominated industry, Gibbs said that 60% of APR’s employees are female. She proudly said that she established APR as a certified Women Owned business and has been a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) for the last 15 years. She has been featured in articles including: Little Black Book, Digiday, Money Inc., AdWeek, AdTech Daily, and MediaPost. She has spoken at engagements including: an interview with S4 Capital’s Sir Martin Sorrell and global events such as Cannes Lions, Procurecon London, and the ANA’s Advertising Financial Management. She has been a guest presenter to numerous Women Presidents Organizations (WPO) chapters and has served as the official faculty member for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) since 2009. She is a regular guest instructor and strategic partner to the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA). Additionally, Gibbs is recognized as a thought leader and guest speaker in numerous publications, podcasts at conferences and events worldwide on the subjects of advertising production, content creation transformation, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment.
Gibbs is also noted for her ability to lead through change.
“Leading through change has been a theme for me as I turn the corner on over 20 years in business. It’s how a business thrives over time,” she said. “Leading through change requires a positive attitude and thoughtful approach to how change is communicated and managed throughout every aspect of the organization.”
With her leadership skills, an on-going list of accolades, and twenty-one years in business, with revenue growth year-after-year, Gibbs confided what she is the proudest of.
“I am building a culture of collaboration across a team of 200+ in 55 cities and 35 countries with a work family that supports each other, is generous, and wicked smart,” she said.
To be a successful leader, Gibbs said, “People like to work with people they like and who can help them excel. Think about that as a mantra.” She added, “Also, pay attention to the signs, whether from clients, your employees or the pulse on the industry and adapt as needed to stay relevant and valued by your clients.”
And according to Gibbs, that is the golden ticket to successful, long-lasting businesses.
Jillian is a trained opera singer!