With the business-to-business ad revenue pie set to surpass $30 billion next year in the U.S. alone, B2B agencies are looking to secure a satisfying slice. And with the growing options of social and digital channels at their collective disposal, one B2B mini-holding company is on the acquisition trail, looking to add new practices such as account-based marketing and digital content creation to its roster.
Gravity Global, a London-based B2B agency group backed by private equity firm Elysian Capital, just acquired its third agency in the last few months: Mojo Media Labs. This latest purchase expands Gravity’s abilities from a small team of account-based marketing (ABM) skills to a full-blown practice, U.S. CEO Jose Lozano said.
“One of our core goals is to move from minoring in a bunch of things to majoring in them,” said Lozano. “We continue to look at all the practices crucial to B2B marketing and want to make sure we’re majoring in them all.”
The acquisition of Mojo, whose purchase price Lozano declined to reveal, follows purchases of the B2B media arm of marketing agency 9thWonder and content studio MorseKode in March, essentially adding spokes to Gravity’s wheel of skills it wants to become full-on practices.
ABM really represents the central underpinning of successful B2B marketing — like all things B2B, integration gets detailed and technical, and demands mastery of CRM platforms. Unlike with consumer targeting, the more identifiable the information an agency has on their client’s target, the more effective the campaign can be — and the faster down the purchase funnel a deal can be driven, Tom O’Regan, CEO of B2B automation platform Madison Logic, explained.
“That’s the future of B2B and ABM: speeding deals through the funnel, knowing the opportunity stage, and being able to target dynamically across multiple digital channels,” said O’Regan. “The increasing sophistication of marketing automation and CRM tools, and to be able to do so at scale has been a great boon for B2B organizations.”
“Companies need fewer hunters and more gatherers as they try to grow their business prospects and move them down the [sales] funnel,” added Lozano. “Mojo gives us the targeting and strategic abilities to grow from a team to a full-on practice.”
Lozano said Nikole Rose, co-CEO of Mojo, who founded the shop with husband Mike, will oversee the ABM discipline for Gravity.
“Our clients are getting larger and their needs are becoming more complex,” said Rose. “Instead of being able to serve their greater needs, we’ve had to lean on referring out to other specialist agencies. As part of Gravity Global we can answer their expanding needs … across all the marketing automation platforms beyond HubSpot. And we can deliver on a global basis.”
“If I bring in a team of 3-5 people, it’s still not a practice, it’s five people who know the pharma business, for example,” said Lozano. “If I buy a specialty shop, I’ve moved us from a capability to a practice.”
Gravity, meanwhile, has further expansion plans, Lozano said, including geographic acquisitions in Asia, as well as adding data, public relations and social practices, which it plans to accomplish by continuing to make acquisitions.
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