When digital marketing provider Advant Group was looking to grow its business, it found the perfect solution to expand its subscriber base and skillset via the acquisition of Clientcomm. Advant Group Director Clare Murphy explains why the two companies are such a good fit, and how the process transpired.
Advant Group, a digital products and services provider to the financial sector, has entered a new phase of growth with the acquisition of Clientcomm, with Peter Talty (Director of Clientcomm) joining the Advant team in a sales and business development capacity.
Both companies have been at the forefront of financial service client communications for around two decades, having a common starting point as white-label digital newsletter providers before evolving into multi-channel client communications and marketing platforms.
Advant Group Director Clare Murphy explained that the companies have taken different directions when looking to service their clients.
Up to this point, Advant has focused on the generation of content that its clients can use within newsletters and social media channels, whereas Clientcomms has focused on cost-effective and easy-to-set-up website templates, newsletters, and a managed social media solution for clients.
The acquisition will see the two brands integrated under the Advant umbrella, allowing a wider range of services to be delivered to their client base.
“It means together we’re able to provide a range of different services for practitioners that have different marketing needs,” said Murphy.
“A lot of small businesses don’t have the time or the resources to be able to do this themselves. Finance practitioners providing advice are trusted sources of information and have quite an intimate relationship with their clients, so that’s a relationship that needs to be fostered. The marketing and communication piece helps that.”
Murphy said that this is even more so after what was a tough 2020 for many.
“Financial service businesses have been through a challenging time, and client communication and engagement have never been more important. COVID-19 has made many review their individual financial situation, and advisers have a crucial role in supporting their clients through this, answering questions around how to rebuild their superannuation, or how to support their children.
“We see ourselves as the conduit between the advisers and their clients to help support people in that way,” she said.
It was this that led Murphy and her team to think about ways that Advant could expand its services via the acquisition of Clientcomm, which was facilitated by Media Titles Principal John Blondin.
“At the end of last year, we were thinking: how do we grow? Do we extend the service ourselves? Do we hire a new skill set? We’d actually utilised John when purchasing Advant initially, so we re-engaged him to see if we could grow through acquisitions.”
Murphy said that, as a subscription-based service, an acquisition meant that Advant were able to quickly grow its subscriber base, and introduce new services and new skillset to the company.
“John was fantastic in seeking out opportunities for us and having sensitive conversations. He formed a really great relationship with prospects very early on and managed a deal in what was a very busy time leading up to Christmas. He provided a lot of support and guidance thanks to his expertise in the publishing industry and mergers and acquisitions.”
“The synergies within both of our teams and products means that we were really well-aligned for a successful merger. Both Peter and myself have a similar approach to our businesses and how we provide support to our clients. We share similar goals and values. So it was a way to grow the business in a really immediate way, but also quite a rewarding way.”