Just off the Country Club Plaza there's a company that's quietly becoming a global leader in digital marketing.
The company is called Adknowledge and its workplace is unlike many others.
Ben Legg is a former officer in the British Army.
"I wanted to join the Army from the age of 3," he said. "(Because of the) adventure, traveling round the world, being in war zones, getting medals, and generally having fun."
Legg is at the helm of Adknowledge, a firm born and based in Kansas City.
"So, we are a technology company that aims to help advertisers get the best possible return on their investment from their digital media spending," he said.
As important as what they do is how they do it. Every day is casual day, employee artwork decorates the wall, vending machines - including a beer fridge - are free and workers stay on the ball by taking breaks that include shooting pool, playing foosball or taking in a game of ping pong.
The laid back atmosphere is in stark contrast to the rapid fire pace of their services, for which some companies pay millions of dollars a year to use.
"When they say 'How do I get the best value for the money?' That's where we come in, and we help them serve the right ad, to the right consumer, at the right time, on the right device, at the right time of day," Legg said.
Odds are if you see an advertisement on your Facebook page, Adknowledge may have put it there. They place ads all over social media for clients who trust them to know what target audience to reach and when and where to reach them.
"We're just never satisfied. We optimize everything every day. More data, better data, more algorithms, better algorithms, more creatives, different creatives, better account managers, more skills, it just goes on and on," Legg said.
In Legg the employees have a man who's combined many walks into one life. An Army officer and engineer by trade, he's worked in senior management for Coca Cola and Google and written countless articles for business publications.
They also have a man with a heart whose compassion for others took shape back in the military. He was 25 and leaving for Bosnia when a chance encounter changed his life.
"Probably the biggest realization for me was actually not to think about my own life, but to think of other people's. We were getting on a bus in Germany, because we lived in Germany at the time, to go to Bosnia. And one of my soldier's wife came up with a 1-year-old baby, and said, 'Please bring my husband back alive,'" Legg said.
He and his wife have one car between them because Legg said he loves to walk. He said he walks to work every day, regardless of the weather.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:00:37 GMT
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