MARCUS THOMAS ACQUIRES DIGIKNOW, INC., EXPANDS DIGITAL, MOBILE AND ANALYTICS CAPABILITIES
CLEVELAND, Ohio (October 27, 2011) – Marcus Thomas LLC, one of the region's leading integrated marketing communications firms, announced today that is has acquired the U.S. operations of DigiKnow, a pioneering digital marketing and technology company with offices in Cleveland and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The acquisition gives Marcus Thomas, which has 120 employees in offices in Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, additional strength in digital strategy and analytics, search marketing, Web and mobile marketing, and digital development. Key DigiKnow executives – King Hill, John Katila, Ian Verschuren and Scott Chapin – will assume new strategic roles with Marcus Thomas, adding depth and substantial experience to the agency’s already formidable leadership team.
“Digital is integral to 90 percent or more of what we do for our clients,” said Jim Nash, managing partner of Marcus Thomas. “While we have grown our digital expertise and capabilities exponentially over the past several years, this acquisition will give us added breadth and depth of talent to meet our clients’ growing needs and keep pace with the breakneck speed of technology.
“Bringing DigiKnow into the fold works on so many fronts,” Nash added. “In addition to the complementary mix of experience and capabilities, we share a common vision and set of values. We couldn’t ask for a better culture fit.”
According to DigiKnow president King Hill, “Brands today need agencies that can develop and deploy big ideas and holistic strategies comprising mass media, social media, Web, mobile, public relations, sales communications, special events, word of mouth and so on. Marcus Thomas gets this and DigiKnow gets this. Together, we can deliver these holistic solutions with deep thinking and a deep toolbox."
Seventeen staffers from DigiKnow’s Cleveland office will make the move this month to the Marcus Thomas headquarters building in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. DigiKnow’s digital production and development operation in Buenos Aires is not part of the transaction, and will continue to operate separately.
The deal brings together two agencies that share a common heritage. DigiKnow was formed in 1995 as the advanced projects division of Beachwood, Ohio-based Marcus Advertising. Over the next two years the upstart firm was renamed DigiKnow, and split off in 1997. Marcus Thomas resulted from the 2000 merger of Youngstown-based Ira Thomas Associates and Marcus Advertising. The two firms also share a number of current and past clients, including NESTLÉ, Ohio Lottery, Goodyear and Quanex.
DigiKnow burst onto the digital marketing scene in 1995 with the launch of Indians.com, the official website for the Cleveland Indians, and grew rapidly over the next few years with numerous blue chip clients joining the firm’s roster. In 2001, DigiKnow acquired the Cleveland and Dallas operations of FutureNext, a long-time competitor. In 2005, DigiKnow expanded internationally, opening its digital development and production arm in Buenos Aires. In 2006, the firm moved its U.S. headquarters to downtown Cleveland. In 2010, DigiKnow became one of the country’s first 50 Google Analytics Certified Partners and launched Circle44 Mobile to focus on mobile marketing strategy and technology development. Clients include Eaton, FirstEnergy, Goodyear, Lake Erie Shores & Islands, MMPI, Ohio Tourism Division, Quanex, Rockwell Automation, St. Jude Medical Center, STERIS, Visa, and others.
About Marcus Thomas
Marcus Thomas LLC is a $110 million integrated marketing communications agency focused on audience insight, idea generation and alternative delivery. With offices in Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, Marcus Thomas employs 120 people. Clients include Akron Children’s Hospital, Diebold, MTD Products Inc (Yard-Man, Troy-Bilt, Yard Machines, Wolf-Garten and White Outdoor brands), NESTLÉ, Ohio Lottery, Quanex, Shearer’s, SIRVA, Suncore, Swagelok and Tarkett, among others. The company will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year.