Staff Reporters
Nov 18, 2020

40 under 40 2020: Karen Coleman, Archetype

Karen Coleman is a modern-day picture of a good leader: solutions-focused, unwavering, adaptable, and empathetic. And the results don’t lie.

40 under 40 2020: Karen Coleman, Archetype
Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 

Karen Coleman

Managing director

Karen Coleman built her managerial chops while overseeing a merger at age 31. As managing director of Bite Communications at the time, she managed its partnership with Text100 (now Archetype) and was thrust a new set of challenges such as team attrition and culture loss.

But of course, she took it in her stride by making a number of key hires that shaped the agency to be more marketing-focused, developed new value-based pricing structures, and designed new career path frameworks and new ways of working. By the time the rebrand of Text 100 to Archetype came around, Coleman was a seasoned pro.

One of the most commendable turnarounds Coleman managed during her tenure at Archetype was bringing the Australia business back on track after the global loss of Lenovo and IBM in 2018. Last year, she finished the year with a 18% revenue jump, the highest of any APAC business by a mile.

When the pandemic hit this year, she pivoted the agency’s services early by investing heavily in strategy, content and digital offerings as well as giving clients flexibility with contracts to scale statements-of-work up and down based on need. This has resulted in a 96% client retention rate, with 80% of them trusting the agency to deliver beyond the remit to create strategically led creative, as well as an overall client satisfaction rate of 88%.

Perhaps one of most exciting things Coleman brought to the table is an in-house Space to Create ‘sprint’ program to encourage teams to clear their day to deliver a solution to a client problem for the chance to win AU$1,000. The most recent 'sprint' addressed Acer’s dwindling laptop sales, and the winning response landed a two-week digital campaign that saw over 1,888 product sales with a CPA of AU$70. Notably, the campaign success led to the program being rolled out across the network globally.

Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 


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