The Specialist Works acquires the Connections Marketplace from Exact Media
Atlanta, US – January 10, 2020: Independent media agency, The Specialist Works, announces its acquisition of Exact Media’s North American-based ecommerce inserts and sampling marketplace, Connections.
This is the first major acquisition by The Specialist Works since the management team buyout of the agency in August 2018 and forms part of the long-term business growth strategy to expand into the North American market. The acquisition positions the media agency as a global leader in transactional media marketing.
The Connections marketplace enables advertisers looking to acquire high volumes of new customers, to connect with retailers looking to monetize their ecommerce packages. The marketplace benefits direct-to-consumer and consumer-packaged-goods brands, who want to find retailers that will offer their customers special discounts or product samples.
The Specialist Works will build on the marketplace’s capabilities to augment its existing US offering that includes TV, print and digital media planning and buying alongside print management.
The acquisition empowers The Specialist Works’ clients to capitalize on the growing ecommerce market which sees 13 billion packages sent annually in the US alone.1 This is a huge opportunity for brands that want to deliver meaningful, targeted conversations with consumers and build scalable campaigns.
Over 170 retailers currently use the marketplace, including HelloFresh, booking.com, Harry’s, P&G, PepsiCo and SC Johnson.
Connections investors Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos), Joshua Schachter (Founder of del.icio.us) and Rho Capital remain shareholders. Co-Founders Ray Cao and Daniel Rodic are departing the business but will remain as external advisors to the executive team.
Parry Jones, Chief Operating Officer, The Specialist Works, said: "We are constantly looking for new ways to help D2C and consumer packaged goods brands grow their businesses. Described in Forbes as ‘the Airbnb of marketing’, advertising revenue comes with little or no additional operational cost and creates significant net profit for the retailer which can reach ten percent of total net profit. The brands using the marketplace are exciting and we can’t wait to help them accelerate their growth.”
Ray Cao, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Exact Media, said: “We have long admired The Specialist Works for what they’ve been able to do as pioneers and global leaders in the inserts market. With The Specialist Works’ infrastructure and management team, we feel confident that Connections is now positioned for rapid expansion. We look forward to seeing where The Specialist Works takes Connections next and we will remain close to the management team.”
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