The world is getting flatter by the day, and those companies wishing to serve multinational clients need to be able to do so in all markets where they do business. Noticing this shift, US-based digital marketing agency BlueGlass Interactive has expanded into the UK through the acquisition five-month-old London-based content marketing firm, Quaturo, in a transaction of undisclosed terms.
BlueGlass is one of the most successful independents in an industry dominated by the “big 5” conglomerate agency holding companies. For its clients, like Disney, HSN, Allstate, eBay, Macy’s, the NFL, Masco, Thomson Reuters, and Conde Nast, the firm fills a gap between resource-constrained, one-man boutique agencies and these often slow-moving and innovation-starved giants, says co-founder and CMO Chris Winfield.
The 75 person firm offers proprietary technology around all forms of online marketing, including SEO, paid and organic search, content marketing, and social. Quaturo, which employed a team of five prior to the acquisition, adds to the mix an expertise in content marketing. The firm also brings its own existing clients, including Vistaprint, UCAS, Audley Travel, and Wonga who will now gain access to BlueGlass’ broader global infrastructure and resources. All of Quaturo’s employees will stay aboard following the acquisition, including, most critically, its managing director Kevin Gibbons. The firm plans to hire aggressively in the coming months across all of its global locations.
Today’s is BlueGlass third such acquisition since its formation in 2010. The company, itself, was a product of the merger of four existing agencies, 10e20, Search and Social, Brent Csutoras, and Second Step Search. In October 2010, BlueGlass snatched up 3 Dog Media, and then in January 2012 it added Voltier Digital. Now, with Quaturo in house, the company has operations in Tampa, Los Angeles, New York City, Queensland, and now London. The agency has been bootstrapped and profitable since launch, and is currently seeing revenue grow at a rate of 65 percent year over year, according to Winfield.
A theme among the companies acquisitions has been adding content marketing expertise, and Quaturo is no exception. Winfield points to an October 2012 Econsultancy study which revealed that only 38 percent of UK companies have any form of a content marketing strategy in place, despite the fact that 90 percent of the survey participants believe that it will only become more important over the next 12 months. With this in mind, the CEO describes his company’s latest acquisition as “timely and strategic.”
Digital advertising is an incredibly competitive space driven by a “What have you done for me lately?” ethos. Companies like BlueGlass are compelled to continue innovating and extending the services and value proposition on offer to their clients. The acquisition of Quaturo and expansion into the UK is exactly this type of move. The new continental headquarters is within shouting distance of Europe’s most critical cities and, if Winfield’s predictions are any indication, should mark the beginning of a massive push by the company into this new market.
[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]