Women to Watch

Nancy Leibig

By Published on .

As director of business development for Draft's Chicago office, Nancy Leibig has helped the agency capitalize on the marketing services boom.

Over the past two years, Ms. Leibig has landed nine big marketers for the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency, including CVS, Kaiser Permanente, MilkPEP and State Farm Insurance. Ms. Leibig, 36, takes on new-business pitches with a high level of energy, an understanding of how different services interact and an ability to get inside a prospect's business.

"She's a very savvy business person," says Tom Nagle, VP-marketing for the International Dairy Foods Association, which runs MilkPEP. "You felt like you were having a conversation with someone who could understand" your business.

Now she's poised for greater things within Draft, thanks to deep marketer relationships and broad experience in everything from media to promotions to customer relationship marketing. Ms. Leibig is a member of the Draft Chicago Leadership Council and the IPG Growth Gang. She serves as Draft's representative to the Association of National Advertisers.

And Ms. Leibig has earned the trust and respect of her bosses.

"The sky's the limit in terms of potential," says Yvonne Furth, president of Draft's Chicago office. "She could have my job, she could do [agency CEO Howard Draft's] job ultimately ... She could easily run an agency."

Ms. Leibig, who's married and has two daughters, grew up in the Chicago area. With entrepreneurs on both sides of her family, she developed an early interest in business. "The art of [marketing] intrigued me," she says.

Ms. Leibig attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and received a BA in Spanish with a minor in business. She went on to get an MBA from the University of San Francisco.

Her marketing career began at Franklin Templeton mutual funds, where Ms. Leibig managed a $20 million multimedia branded acquisition program. Her next job was as an account manager at Tucker Knapp, Chicago. Ms. Leibig joined Draft in 1997 as a VP-media director on NordicTrack. In 1999, she rose to senior VP-director of media and marketing services and oversaw the launch of the Chicago office of ID Media, a direct media-buying operation, doubling the business twice over two years.

In 2003, she was elevated to exec VP-director of business development.

Ms. Leibig's rise has coincided with the growing importance of marketing services as marketers try to find new ways to reach consumers. And that's something that's going to continue-which means more opportunities for the Draft new-business maven.

"Nine to 10 years ago, [marketing services] was more tactical," she says. "Now it's playing a more strategic role."

That said, Ms. Leibig expects the area to get more challenging as additional players follow the money.

"In general, marketing services is getting more competitive," Ms. Leibig says. "We're competing with agencies that offer integrated services."

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