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Growth January 5, 2017

Allen Marketing Group


Automating and scaling the business through technology and marketing.

Open Project
A style guide featuring colors and logo for allen marketing group

(Re) Defining a Business

We first engaged with Allen Marketing Group in the summer of 2016 to help with some small development and design requests related to graphic design, brand cleanup, and email templates. What unfolded over the following 5 years was a complete redefinition of a business, partnership, and friendship that would change our individual firms forever. 

Allen Marketing Group (AMG) is one of many subsidiaries of The Leavitt Group, a large privately held insurance agency. For years, Leavitt had leaned on and outsourced marketing and creative services to vendors and decided to acquire one of their preferred marketing agency partners. When Unicorn connected with AMG, they were just a few years into their journey servicing Leavitt in marketing, and were looking to expand the AMG to a broader market.

AMG Brand Book

Building a Brand

We learned quickly that the brand needed a facelift. For years, it had operated exclusively in marketing of insurance brokers and firms, and the brand strongly reflected this niche service offering. However, it was limited in it’s expansion as serving competitor businesses would have been a disservice to Leavitt, the parent company. The brand also faced challenges of being exclusively dependent on the subsidiaries of Leavitt as customers and needed to be able to land and expand in new markets.

So we got to work creating playbooks, finding market fit, and adapting the brand to fit the customer profiles that Unicorn vetted. This led to a discovery and opportunity for a spin-off SaaS offering in the vacation rental space, which AMG wanted to tap into. Thus in following years, AMG’s future-proof new brand became a wrapper for a series of products and customers in entirely new markets.


5x with Technology

After a little over a year of working closely together, Allen Marketing Group provided us with a compelling proposition: to softly “merge” our organizations and efforts into one roof. Our relationship had grown after working together and seeing the myriad of opportunities and blended expertise that this made perfect sense for both organizations. We quickly designed ourselves some nifty RFID badges and came into the Leavitt family in Q1 of 2017. Bringing our tech capabilities in-house to Leavitt and AMG allowed Unicorn to double-down on tech automation and starting our journey with understanding the insurance industry and Leavitt’s unique advantages.

We grew AMG from $1M ARR in previous years to over 5M ARR in the span of our first year working under our soft merger in 2017. We did this through technology automation leveraging the existing Zoho CRM as a foundation and building proprietary tools and technology around the platform automating everything from communications to transactions. 

Custom Solutions

The intake process before Unicorn was involved was very tedious and required a call center and support staff of over 50 employees. We started implementing custom desktop and web tools that streamlined the core operations of the business and mapped onto Zoho for marketing tech, customer relationships, and AI integrations. By “building the glue” integrating systems together, we were able to scale both inbound and outbound communications more than 20x within weeks. These tools allowed AMG to cut back staffing needs by 75% and not only service more customers, but also improve the end-user experience dramatically.

Personalized Content

With newly created tech solutions in place, AMG was able to focus on improving and expanding its core service offerings and messaging in new and better ways. One of which was through personalized content that was achievable through progressive profile and persona segmentation. 

By leveraging personalized content in marketing materials we were able to significantly enhance effectiveness and conversion rates from a modest 5% to over 50% as well as increasing the lifetime value of customers through retention and retargeting. AMG had an ability to build deeper connections with customers that made other marketing efforts feel weak by comparison. This was brought about primarily by making customers feel understood and valued. 

In a digital world saturated with generic advertisements and emails, personalized marketing stood out by delivering content that was relevant and appealing to the individual. From a strategic perspective, it also allowed for more efficient use of marketing resources. By leveraging data analytics and customer insights, we were able to spend the time and energy thinking about messaging and strategy. This allowed us to retarget, not only increases the effectiveness of marketing campaigns but also results in a higher return on investment. 

All of this contributed directly to gaining a competitive edge. AMG was able to demonstrate its commitment to meeting the unique needs of its customers, thereby enhancing brand reputation and appeal. This lead to more compelling and engaging content, which enhanced brand visibility and reach. In essence, personalization is not just a marketing tactic but a comprehensive strategy that can significantly impact a company’s market position and success.

Automating Processes

As AMG expanded it’s service offerings to new industries, the company found roots in travel and experiences. We began to layer in and automate more of the core operations of the business, especially around financial transactions, booking confirmations, hotel reservations, and other e-commerce experiences. 

By building a proprietary solution tailored to the operations of Allen Marketing, we were able to help the company launch a myriad of websites, the flagship of which became VacationOffer.com and went on to book over $2M in business in the first year of launch. The foundation of automation allowed AMG to expand and create multiple derivative products and websites that could hone in on very specific services and industries, with very little additional investment or changes to the backend.

Blending Old and New Tech

Unicorn’s innovative solutions revolutionized the marketing strategies at Allen Marketing Group, marking a significant leap beyond the digital frontier into enhancing classic marketing collateral and processes. The partnership embarked on a groundbreaking project to automate not just digital outputs but also print and other traditional marketing materials. A standout feature of this collaboration was the integration with custom printing and paper folding solutions. This system enabled AMG to offer a unique service for mailers, confirmation letters, and other paper copy solutions. Upon a booking for example, the system automatically printed the receipt and booking information, folded it, placed it into an envelope, and prepared it for postage—all without manual intervention. This blend of digital and physical automation represented a significant stride in personalized customer engagement.

This automation brought about a host of benefits and underscored the uniqueness of AMG’s end-to-end delivery system through technology. The tangible touchpoint created by sending a physical piece of mail in an age dominated by digital communication provided a memorable experience for customers. It reinforced the brand’s commitment to personal touches and attention to detail, factors that significantly enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction. Furthermore, the novelty of receiving a physical booking confirmation in the mail set AMG apart from competitors, showcasing the company’s innovative approach to integrating technology with traditional marketing practices.

The cost savings from implementing Unicorn’s automated system were substantial. The precision and efficiency of the system minimized waste and errors, further driving down costs. In addition to financial benefits, the automated system fostered an environment of innovation and efficiency within AMG. It demonstrated the potential of blending traditional marketing channels with cutting-edge technology to create a seamless, integrated customer experience. This initiative not only positioned AMG as a leader in marketing innovation but also set a new standard for personalized customer engagement across industries. The success of the project highlighted the importance of embracing technology to enhance traditional marketing practices, paving the way for future innovations in the field.