The Stagwell Group PR and Private Equity firm is taking digital marketing to the next level by combining multiple companies under one umbrella. Profile Defenders is now on par with Reputation Defender for brand and reputation management.
What Sets Stagwell Apart
Traditionally, private equity firms invest in whatever business they feel can make them money, but the Stagwell Group is selective about their acquisitions. They are only interested in marketing services companies that have already demonstrated the creativity, digital familiarity, and analytical ability to become leaders in their field. They also add only one or two of each type of company to their portfolio, creating the potential for a team effort far exceeding what any of the individual parts could achieve on their own.
Other private equity firms have attempted something similar in the past, but many companies in their lineups have become obsolete due to the rise of digital marketing. Stagwell does not consider any company with a lot of outdated “legacy assets,” instead focusing on digital marketing firms on the cutting edge of where the industry is headed. This ensures that every company they work with has the technological expertise and experience to help clients compete in the digital marketplace.
Currently, the Stagwell umbrella includes agencies in the following industries: digital media buying, market research, public relations, reputation management, and more. Harris Insights and Analytics, PMX Agency, Code And Theory, Wyecomm, and Stagwell Advertising are some of the recognizable names in the Stagwell family.
Once an investment is made, Stagwell takes pride in adopting an active role in the growth of their latest addition. Every company in the Stagwell portfolio receives strategic counsel, new business development, and additional acquisitions intended to help them reach the apex of their potential. Innovation is the biggest driver of success in the fast-paced marketing industry, so the Stagwell Group has fostered a corporate culture allowing it to truly thrive.
The Leadership of Stagwell
The active nature of the company’s dealings require an experienced set of hands at the helm, something that President and Managing Partner Mike Penn provides. Penn has been conducting polls since he was 13, assisting in a variety of successful political campaigns (including electing Ed Koch Mayor of New York City and Bill Clinton President of the United States) over the course of his career. This gives him practical experience in anticipating how the public is likely to react to any ad, a necessary skill in the marketing industry.
Penn also has experience in the private sector. He founded Penn & Schoen, a global market research firm, with his Harvard roommate Doug Schoen and led it to considerable success as CEO before selling it to WPP in 2001. He was named CEO of Burson Marsteller, a global PR firm, in 2006, leading the company to record profits and the prestigious Holmes Report North American Agency of the Year in 2011. This hands-on experience is invaluable when determining which companies would be strong additions to the Stagwell Group’s portfolio.
He has also served as a top advisor to several of the biggest brands on the market today, including Microsoft, McDonald’s, Ford Motor Company, AT&T, and Verizon. Finally, Penn’s 2007 book, Microtrends, established him as a thought leader in his field. The book argues how a mere one percent of the American public is large enough to support a booming business or new cultural movement capable of dramatically shifting political, social, and/or economic paradigms. Identifying and mobilizing these efforts on behalf of companies in the Stagwell portfolio allows Penn to change how the marketing game is played.
Penn is assisted by a talented team of executives with diverse backgrounds ranging from Wall Street to running Fortune 100 companies. Unlike other firms run by uncaring accountants, the leadership team at Stagwell combines abstract analytics with practical experience to ensure success.
The Acquisition Of Reputation Defender
The Stagwell Group recently acquired Reputation Defender, formerly a subsidiary of Reputation.com Inc. specializing in helping clients control their own digital reputations, for their portfolio. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, performance is partially dictated by online reviews. If false or outdated reviews are circulating around the internet, a given business will have a hard time making the most of any digital marketing campaign.
Reputation Defender helps clients remove the offending material while replacing it with truthful, positive content to provide an immediate boost to SEO performance. The company was the first of its kind on the market and has successfully helped hundreds of thousands since it was founded in 2006.
The Stagwell plan for Reputation Defender involves combining the innovative solutions the company always offered with the advanced services of the other PR firms and marketing agencies in the Stagwell portfolio, allowing ReputatinDefender to “reaffirm its commitment to online accuracy,” according to Penn.
The CEO of ReutationDefender before the acquisition, Rich Matta, will continue to lead the company on behalf of Stagwell. All sides are looking forward to the type of mutually beneficial relationship that Stagwell is becoming known for.