Philly Creative Guide

Creative Firm

Matt Learnard

CSG - 10 Years Down and Rolling Along
by Matt Learnard, 1 Sep 2009

Matt Learnard is VP of Client Services at Creative Strategy Group


Creative Strategy Group (CSG) is an integrated marketing communications company. That is, we are a full-service marketing agency specializing in the design, development and production of marketing communications (both print and interactive), website development/analytics and annual reports.

More than just design, CSG combines strategic research, creativity, production savvy and extensive industry experience with strong client relationship teams that work to deliver results-oriented, high-impact projects -- on time and within budget. In 1998 Evan Connolly founded CSG with the goal of providing seamless, integrated marketing communications services to clients.

Cephalon AR cover

We are a participatory firm and take pride in working closely with our clients to solve their communication needs. We keep in mind that each project we work on is but one piece of our clients overall corporate communications program. We strive to produce unique, creative designs that communicate your message effectively to the audience you have identified, with an emphasis on adherence to pertinent deadlines.

What makes us tick is not the clock, it's the passion in our work. We work until we have achieved our best and treat every project like it's a contest entry. We have a business model based on establishing and maintaining strong client relationships. We are willing to take on the small projects that other agencies wouldn't, and then prove that we are the right firm for the larger projects.

Matt Learnard; VP, Client Services | Creative Strategy Group

Headquartered in Yardley, PA, with additional offices in Redwood City, CA, CSG has 22 full-time team members as well as part-time and freelance support as needed in specialty areas. CSG services a wide array of industries including, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Consumer Brands, Financial Services, Non-Profits, Manufacturing & Healthcare.

Our services include:

Annual Reports Direct Mail SEM/SEO
Advertising Cause Marketing Video Production
Branding Corporate Identity Training
Corporate Collateral Web & Interactive Packaging

A strong and diverse senior management leads the CSG team of creative and customer-service focused employees:

  • Evan Connolly – CEO
  • Matt Learnard – VP, Client Services
  • Ken Poray – VP, Operations
  • Hunter Landers, VP
  • Mike Matson, Creative Director, Print
  • Ameet Sheth, Creative Director, Interactive

Evan Connolly – Owner / CEO

Evan Connolly – Owner / CEOAs CEO of Creative Strategy Group, Evan currently oversees all departments and is responsible for strategic planning and the overall growth, development and management of the firm -- including its client acquisition and relationship management efforts.

For over 15 years, Evan has provided marketing communications consulting to a wide range of companies, from start-ups to Fortune 500s. His experience includes developing and implementing strategic marketing communications plans, branding and advertising campaigns, messaging and identity programs, website and interactive projects, corporate collateral and annual reports for hundreds of public and private corporations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

Evan is active in a number of business associations, including the National Investor Relations Institute, the Greater Philadelphia Venture Association, the Entrepreneurial Forum of Greater Philadelphia and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Evan is on the board of NIRI Philadelphia and leads their technology efforts.

Ken Poray, VP, Operations

Ken Poray, VP, OperationsKen joined CSG in March VP, Operations with responsibilities for operations and sales management. Ken is also the head of our new Web Analytics service offering, which leverages his experience with Dell Computer, Deloitte Consulting and American Express. Ken's approach of incorporating web analytic findings with other channels to improve profitability will benefit our clients during challenging economic times.

Ken began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and was promoted to Vice President early in his career. After 8 exhilarating years of working with a Wall Street firm, he left to complete his MBA full time in Marketing and Information Technology at New York University, Stern School of Business. It was during graduate school in 1998 that Ken created an opportunity for himself working at MasterCard International to become proficient in the operational impact of web analytics. Ken combined his skills in web analytics and sales after being recruited by Dell Computer post graduate school and later with Deloitte Consulting and SAP America, Inc. He also served as an advisor to several successful start up businesses and provided expertise in analytics, reporting and measurement. Ken graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Trenton State College.

Matt Learnard - VP, Client Services

Matt Learnard - VP, Client ServicesMatt oversees the client service department as well as the strategic marketing direction for all CSG clients including supervision of day-to-day details of project execution.

Matt works within the executive team to continually enhance agency procedures in an effort to provide our clients with the best possible service. Matt has been with CSG for six years and has more than 15 years of marketing communications experience in a range of industries.

Much of that expertise was built as Director of Marketing for the City of Philadelphia's tourism initiatives under the leadership of Mayor Edward Rendell. While with the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, his direction of the "Philadelphia Loves Visa" marketing program became a model for similar programs nationwide. In addition, Matt served as sponsorship director for Philadelphia's annual music, entertainment and community festivals so he is well versed in multi-level, in-depth and thematic marketing campaigns.

Hunter Landers, - VP

Hunter Landers,  - VP</strongHunter established and manages the firm's West Coast division. In addition, he is responsible for new business development and client project coordination. Hunter brings more than 14 years of experience in the marketing communications fields, and has worked with clients ranging from IPO start-ups, to the Fortune 500 in a wide variety of sectors and industries. Prior to joining CSG, Hunter was Regional Vice President for a large national marketing communications agency specializing in annual report design and production. He was responsible for the establishment of the agency's West Coast business and built it into a multi-million dollar, multi-office division. Hunter began his career by founding, and managing a computer hardware reselling business in the greater Philadelphia area. Hunter has been a member of the National Investor Relations Institute for 12 years nationally, and is actively involved in both the San Francisco and Silicon Valley chapters. He has degrees in both Political Science and Logistics Management from Syracuse University.

Mike Matson - Creative Director, Print

Mike Matson - Creative Director, PrintAs an integral part of the Agency, Mike has hands-on involvement with all of our clients – overseeing and developing fresh, creative approaches that achieve results.

A two-decade veteran of the advertising and graphic design industry, Mike is responsible for managing the art department and overseeing a variety of design projects that include identity and branding, corporate brochures, packaging, annual reports, broadcast and print advertising. Mike ensures that we have the highest quality work and creative designs in the business.

Mike has produced award-wining designs for major clients including Bayer Environmental Science, BASF, AT&T, Hologic and Novartis. Mike holds a degree in communication design from Syracuse University.

Ameet Sheth - Creative Director, Web

Ameet Sheth - Creative Director, WebWith CSG from the early days of our inception, Ameet leads our interactive division – developing engaging and rich interactive communication platforms for our clients.

Ameet has designed and executed programs from email campaigns and web banners... to diverse, multi-functional websites and search engine optimization. Ameet's team stays on top of technology advances that allow us to incorporate multi-media into marketing campaigns in a way that stands out from the competition. As appropriate, the team utilizes techniques and applications such as webinars & tutorials, CD-Rom development, microsties, video & motion graphics, music & sound design, online advertising & banners, evites, interactive games, e-commerce systems, blogs, forums and more.

As we prepare for our 10th anniversary – we are in the process fo rehabbing an 1830's farmhouse in Newtown, PA to be our new headquarters. We have been working on a number of exciting projects recently and invite you to see some of the highlights by following the links below.

Print Article Brought to you by: Matt Learnard | VP, Client Services of Creative Strategy Group

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