Marc Lefton has over 22 years of experience as a New York City based advertising and marketing professional and entrepreneur spanning multiple roles. He’s won multiple awards for creativity and business in advertising, as well as raised millions of dollars for startups.
After getting terrible grades in high school, his first venture into graphic design was to try to make his own report card. Unfortunately his parents thought his grades were too good to be true and called the school to verify. Part of his punishment was to go to the ad agency his mom worked for and help out during school vacations.
Quickly bored of her media planning role, he discovered the art department, who after a brief induction ceremony involving standing in the center of a flaming circle of rubber cement thinner, he was quickly hooked on learning how to produce ads.
When the company bought their first Macintosh computers, Marc quickly learned how to use one so he could make an underground newspaper for his high school which was immediately banned. With Mac users in high demand in the early 90s, he was working nights in agencies before high school graduation and decided to postpone college because he was making so much money. He ultimately never went, but wound up co-teaching a portfolio class at The School of Visual Arts, the only school he applied to and had been accepted at.
After a few years toiling in graphic design sweatshops on Long Island, he ventured into Manhattan, where his fast production skills landed him a role at BBDO’s hectic production department. There he worked with over 50 art directors producing print campaigns for major clients such as Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Visa, HBO and dozens of others.
With some awards under his belt as an art director at major NYC ad agencies, Marc switched to being a writer – also earning accolades for his work. In the early 2000s, he worked on some of the first digital campaigns for Fortune 1000 brands, and was one of the first employees at Y&R’s new Brand Buzz division which specialized in fully integrated campaigns at scale. It was there his cross-training to other areas of the business began, touching on such areas as PR, event marketing, stunts and how to tie it all together.
In 2004, he founded Adholes, one of the first business social networks. At the beginning of the social media era, before there was LinkedIn or Facebook, Adholes was perhaps the first social network that advertising professionals ever encountered. Filled with top industry talent, it was quickly featured in the Wall Street Journal, won a Webby Award and grew to 20 chapters and 10,000 members worldwide.
For the next five years, he led creative at a boutique experiential marketing agency, leading major initiatives for Coke, Samsung, Haier, Royal Caribbean and more. His focus was to be one of the first agencies to incorporate social media before, during and after events. For these efforts, he won Best of Show for Best use of research at the 2010 WOMMY Awards for Coke Zero’s massive sampling campaign.
From 2009-2013 he ran his own boutique agency, Half Fiction where he provided social media, digital and experiential consultation and execution for brands like COTY, Clarins Fragrance Group, L’Oreal and some smaller clients. It was there he began to focus on the difficulties agencies and clients faced in a time where these relationships were becoming more dysfunctional.
In 2013, he joined DiMassimo Goldstein, a seminal independent NYC creative agency which specialized in branding campaigns for direct marketing clients, working on branding the agency for new business and consulting on digital campaigns for existing clients including Reader’s Digest, Fresh Direct, TradeStation, Everbank, and National Jewish Health.
Needing a break from the crazy life of New York, he decided to move to Florida to be closer to family, and had the entrepreneurial itch to do his own thing again. Tired of working at bigger agencies who turn down small companies with great ideas, he sought to create a new company that could create marketing at the speed of a startup and remove the layers of bureaucracy agencies naturally form.
Simultaneously, his new love for travel had him discover the new digital nomad craze – likeminded people who were sick of office politics and traveling the world freelancing. He decided that small, up and coming clients didn’t care where anyone was located as long as the work was great, and the talent would prefer to work in a company that recognized and understood the need of digital nomads. He formed MGC Solutions with this idea in mind.