80/20 Ad Agency owner Kelly King. Photo by Rodney Margison


The Pareto principle, or the 80/20 Rule, states that, for many events, roughly 80 percent of results obtained come from 20 percent of invested input. Some business people translate this to mean that 80 percent of business comes from just 20 percent of clients.

The 80/20 Agency, local marketing and branding professional Kelly King’s latest endeavor, is built upon the Pareto principle. Founded in June 2016, the agency is staffed by millennials—high school seniors and college students—that King selects, recruiting students in the top 20 percent of their class. She refers to her student staff as “Club 20.”

“I love working with kids, and I love the launch phase of a person’s life,” says King. “When you can work with kids between their senior year in high school and college, you get an opportunity to watch them develop their own personal brands.”

Led by King, with contributions from experts like Associate Vice President of Indiana University Branding and Marketing Valerie Peña and Craig Wood of The Media School, the 80/20 Agency blends real-world experience with the fresh perspective of its Club 20 members. It offers marketing services like brand development and consulting, advertising, focus groups, video production, and its most popular service, social media marketing.

Clients have included Owen County State Bank, Bailey & Weiler Design/Build, Bloomington Brewing Co., and Monroe County Community School Corporation.

“It’s a win-win-win,” King says. “Students win with real-world experience. Clients win with a fresh perspective. The agency wins with a great team and happy clients.”

In college, the Ontario, Canada, native had an opportunity to work for Gatorade, which she credits with helping her secure a post-college job at Kraft. Since the mid-90s, King has been involved with several local companies, including Digital Marketing Group, Kelly King Creative, and ETC for the Home. King’s close working relationship with The Media School recently developed into something more when she was asked to serve as a temporary adjunct instructor for the Agency 7 class.

Though the 80/20 Agency client list has been local thus far, King eventually hopes to acquire accounts across the country.

To learn more, visit 80-20agency.com.

Club 20 student employees brainstorming on a project. Courtesy photo