The Search Works
As broadband penetration and changing viewing behaviour pushed advertising online through the early 'noughties, the emergence of Google as the dominant global force in search advertising both accelerated and changed the shape of the market.
Search, which had comprised around 10% of total online ad spending in 2002, had grown to over 50% by 2006, and had become the fastest growing advertising medium in history. In 2006, the UK market alone was worth £1.2 billion.
With increasing levels of spend came the need for improved levels of sophistication around the planning, buying and management of search media campaigns. A rapidly growing industry of specialist digital marketing services agencies and technology providers emerged. Ingenious quickly recognised what was driving consolidation within the sector and, as a result, what strategic opportunities were available.
In 2007, Ingenious Corporate Finance was appointed to advise the shareholders of Interactive Marketing Works, which comprised two businesses: Search Works, the leading specialist search agency in Europe; and The Technology Works, a leading technology provider for search engine marketing in both Europe and Asia.
Leveraging our own global network of relationships in specialist marketing, private equity and the broader media universe, we ran a broad competitive process to find the right buyer for the business, leading negotiations with potential partners from the US, Europe, Asia and the UK.
We started the sale process in February 2007 and successfully completed in July 2007, with the sale of the company to TradeDoubler, the Swedish-listed performance-based marketing company.
The deal underlined our expertise in digital marketing, one of the most exciting and fast growing sectors in media.