February 5, 2013
Wicks Group of Companies
-based private equity fund specializing in information, education and media, acquired two leading content marketing agencies -
TMG Custom Media
created the largest independent content marketing agency in the industry.
supported Wicks as strategic advisors on the deal.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is original content created and distributed by a brand (either in-house or through a third party). Unlike brand advertising, it is not overtly promotional and is designed to engage, rather than disrupt, the audience. Content marketing is disseminated through both print and digital media. Examples include an association monthly member magazine, an IT services company publishing a whitepaper on cloud computing or a beverage company launching a microsite on fitness and nutrition.
Content marketing agencies have evolved from custom publishers who traditionally published in print for healthcare, association and corporate clients. As the on-line revolution progressed, these providers have added digital capabilities and know-how. Content marketing is supported by software that helps marketers manage, optimize, target, track and measure the ROI of their programs. Examples include marketing automation tools (e.g., Marketo), content management systems (e.g., Clickability), and social analytics (e.g., Radian6).
Why is this industry attractive
Content marketing is a large and growing market
. Though the majority of the
industry spend is internal, the external market remains substantial. Growing at c. 6%, it should outperform overall marketing services. Margins are attractive.
Content marketing capitalizes on trends in marketing budgets.
Budgets are migrating to "below-the-line" programs, including content marketing. Marketers must produce an ever-increasing volume of content to engage audiences that are fragmented across channels, formats and devices. As the complexity and need for resource and expertise rises, marketers increasingly turn to external providers and solutions.
There are exit opportunities for investors.
Global marketing and PR agencies view content marketing as attractive and look to capture these new budgets, until now organically. Enterprise software platforms are in an arms race to build the ultimate end-to-end marketer solution (e.g., Salesforce acquired Radian6 and Buddy Media, and Oracle acquired Eloqua).
AMR did a fantastic job. They combined strong industry knowledge with a rigorous approach which yielded some very important insights to our investment process. We would recommend them whole-heartedly." Thomas Kearney, Principal, Wicks Group
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