ValleyBiggs provides merger and acquisition advisory services in the marketing, media, advertising and related technology space. We have provided transactional services and strategic and financial advice to some of the world’s leading advertising and media companies. The firm’s industry knowledge, large deal network and strong proficiency in transactional work provide the best value propositions for both buyers and sellers. A strategic alliance with ValleyBiggs for the sale of a middle market media or advertising firm is a smart move for operators in this space because not only are we a world-renowned M&A firm, but our founders are also Internet Entrepreneurs. The blend of Internet experience, transactional prowess and the network of deal makers throughout the World help us to be the best in this business. Since we only focus on Technology, Media and Internet deals, you’re in good hands when it’s time to exit.
Media, Marketing and Advertising companies come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s a list of some of the agencies we’ve helped through the years:
The oldest and most common type of agency is an advertising or ad agency. They were the only game in town until the 90’s when the first web browser was launched. With the advent of change, the largest ad agencies and their advertising holding companies diversified to offer all types of marketing; the most frequent division was and still is media planning and buying services, but now includes every other functional discipline, from branding, to internet marketing. The core service from ad agencies remains advertising. Large ad agencies dominate TV advertising—both creative and media, along with all types of print (magazines, newspapers), radio, outdoor, and Internet. Medium-size ad agencies may provide similar services, but without multinational offices, or multiple, functional divisions. Small ad agencies typically focus on print, but could do radio and internet. Ad agencies tend to focus on retail and package goods clients (Business to Consumer), but will also work with Business to Business clients that require advertising, and/or have significant marketing budgets.
Media agencies specialize in all aspects of strategy, research, planning, buying and placement of all types of media, including TV, newspaper, magazines, radio, outdoor, and online. Like other agency types, media agencies often engage in other types of marketing, most notably, advertising development and market research. Large media agencies are critically important to large advertisers, due to negotiation leverage and multi-national networks.
Promotion Agencies generally work with retail and package-goods clients for promotional campaigns that include advertising, coupons, sweepstakes, contests, loyalty programs, merchandising displays, packaging and related work. Today, many promotion agencies are hybrids that will do all other types of marketing.
Public Relations (PR) Agency
A variety of services encompass publicity or public relations, including media relations, investor relations and crisis communications. Traditional PR activities include news announcements, article writing and placement, and press conferences or events. PR firms often engage in event marketing, new product launches, website development, social media and educational initiatives. Many advertising Agencies also provide some level of PR work.
As advertising has declined in importance for all but the largest brands, many advertising agencies have evolved into marketing or marketing services agencies, typically providing a variety of services that could be offered by other specialist agencies. Often, marketing agencies refer to themselves as full-service agencies and provide advertising, PR, strategy and planning, direct, Internet, branding, photography and video, and other types of marketing. Many small and mid-size agencies refer to themselves as marketing agencies, and not ad agencies.
Digital Agency (Internet Focus)
For a number of reasons, including how search algorithms work, and how consumer shopping behavior has changed over the years, there is a great need for Digital Agencies. These firms tend to focus on Internet marketing, social media optimization (SMO), e-commerce, content marketing and related, one of the fastest-growing agency types describe themselves as one or more variations of Internet/Interactive or Digital agencies. Such agencies will design websites, manage social media accounts, manage blogs, and more. In addition, further specialization is common with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agencies or consultants, Paid Search or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, or application development and updates (Apps).
Direct Marketing Agency
Direct marketing agencies started as experts in direct mail, a tactic in decline, but have reinvented themselves as experts in email, Internet marketing, customer databases, analytics and more. Like other agency types, direct marketing hybrid agencies are common. And some reports continue to show that direct marketing continues to be a solid performer in a company’s overall marketing/advertising budget.
Branding or brand identity agencies are often boutique agencies, or divisions of ad agency networks. Branding agencies provide a range of services from logo development or updates, to brand name development, to packaging, graphic identities, signage, and environmental design (typically retail store design). Often branding agencies will provide marketing research in support of brand strategy, and may engage in website design, advertising, annual reports and more.
Design agencies or studios perform a variety of services, including brand identity, website design, advertising, packaging, brochures and all types of marketing collateral, and more. Some studios will specialize in certain types of design, for example, annual reports.
Social Media Agency
One of the fastest growing agency specialties is social media, or social media marketing. Social media agencies specialize in creating and managing a brands social media networks. Today, the top social media networks command most of the effort including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. Beyond profile design and implementation, social media agencies often manage blogs, content research and development, video, and increasingly web design, and search engine optimization.
While the above agencies encompass the largest selection of advertising and marketing firms in the US, there are still other firms that prefer to focus on a functional marketing discipline or niche market segment. Examples of functional specialists include search optimization or paid search, packaging and merchandising, video, or brand name development. Market or category specialists include different ethnic marketing agencies, cause marketing, healthcare marketing, and software marketing.
No matter the type of agency and no matter the focus, ValleyBiggs can highlight the company’s strengths and bring value to the shareholders through a merger or acquisition. Media and Advertising M&A continues to be a strong and active market segment for middle market deals, so now is the time to begin thinking about an exit strategy to maximize the agency’s positioning for a market sale.