The New York Times has the story of 82-year-old marketing legend Stan Rapp’s project to build a digital marketing agency powerhouse through a series of small acquisitions in conjunction with private equity firm Halyard Capital. The first two agencies joining Halyard’s roster are Direct Impact in Austin and Ten United in Columbus, Ohio. The combined firm will be called Engauge, a vaguely surgical looking word that’s spelled that way to evoke accountability.
The decision to court data-driven marketing businesses is compelling, but it’s a little late to embark on an aggressive rollup of independent digital ad firms. Many of the best agencies have already been bought, and the valuations for those that remain are sky high.