Firm Completes Key Acquisitions; Focus on Client Service, Integration and Developing Talent as it Looks Ahead
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–W2O Group, a network of complementary digital, marketing, and communications firms, reported a record year in 2016, with a $30 million increase in revenue to $122.7 million from $92.2 million* in 2015.
“2016 was an incredible year of growth, transformation and assimilation of new capabilities and talent, all directed at providing clients with the strongest counsel and support as they navigate the new digital communications reality,” said Jim Weiss, founder and CEO of W2O Group. “We expanded our portfolio and significantly strengthened our financial position through a number of strategic moves including our partnership with Mountaingate Capital and the acquisitions of Pure, Marketeching and Sentient. Each of these firms brought a highly complementary set of capabilities and expertise along with exceptionally talented people.”
He added, “All of these moves combined to help us successfully navigate well beyond the $100 million revenue threshold for the first time in our 15-year history, while exponentially improving our profitability.”
The leaders of the three newly acquired organizations are now integrated within W2O Group firms and practices: Andrea Johnston leads the new Pure (which represents the combination of Pure and Brew Life) as president; Kevin Johnson oversees healthcare analytics as president of Marketeching reporting to Seth Duncan, chief analytics officer; Adam Cossman, co-founder of Sentient, was named chief digital officer, and Jeff Rohwer, co-founder of Sentient, leads the digital strategy and media team.
W2O Group also strengthened its management team with the addition of the following senior leaders:
- Richard Neave, chief financial officer, formerly of Huntsworth Health
- Eric Bacolas, chief people officer, formerly of Conductor and 360i
- Angela Gillespie, head of the WCG healthcare practice, formerly of NeuWave Medical
- Emily Poe, global practice leader for healthcare across W2O Group companies, formerly of Cohn & Wolfe
- Marie DiFrancesco, managing director, corporate and strategy, formerly of Cohn & Wolfe
- Mike Huckman, global practice leader, executive communications, formerly of Publicis Groupe, who joined the firm with the Pure acquisition
“Organizations and brands continue to address the rising tide of complexity inherent in business today: fractionalization of media, increasing need for data intelligence, precision targeting for content and programming, and lack of clarity internally around strategy, among other factors,” said Bob Pearson, W2O vice chair and chief innovation officer. “W2O Group is creating the communications and marketing consultancy of the future with a focus on analytics, digital expertise, audience comprehension and brand connectivity that results in business-driving relevance for our clients. We don’t follow conventional thinking.” Additional notable accomplishments in 2016 include the following:
- Partnered with the LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) to launch the Future Leaders in Healthcare Fellowship program; Jim Weiss joined TLF’s board of trustees, reinforcing W2O Group’s ongoing commitment to a diverse workforce.
- Named Mid-Size Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report.
- Published Storytizing, a new book by Bob Pearson that describes the future of communications and advertising driven by evolving audience architecture methodologies.
- Hosted first ever W2O Group GeekATea during Social Media Week London.
- Grew W2O’s proprietary MDigitalLife (MDL) online health ecosystem influencer database to nearly 750,000 people and organizations worldwide. The MDL team now serves all of the 10 largest global pharmaceutical companies and 18 of the top 25.
- Issued MDL’s 4th Annual Social Oncology Project, a report that dissects digital conversations about oncology, and, as a result, placed in the top 25 most-linked domains at ASCO.
- Launched Inception, a software simulation and protocol tool to help clients anticipate, prepare for and manage issues/crises.
- Expanded its innovative partnership with Syracuse University and the Newhouse School through the W2O Center for Social Commerce; hosted the CCOs of Chevron and General Motors; introduced a new joint internship program with Medtronic and W2O Group; and named two student Ambassadors to work in the firm throughout the year. In 2017, Syracuse, W2O Group, and the Center for Social Commerce will launch the first of its kind Certificate in Social Commerce for mid-senior level executives looking to improve their skills and management acumen in the digital age.
About W2O Group
Founded and led by CEO Jim Weiss in 2001, W2O Group is an independent, fast-growing network of complementary digitally-oriented marketing and communications firms focused on integrated business solutions to drive change and growth through “pragmatic disruption” for the world’s leading brands and organizations. W2O Group firms employ proprietary analytics models, methodologies and approaches that uncover key insights leading to precise communications and marketing strategies and engagement to deliver business results. W2O Group’s network includes WCG, Twist Mktg, Pure, Marketeching and Sentient with a growing footprint of offices in the United States and Europe. For more information, please visit sentw2ogroup.wpengine.com.
*2015 revenue was adjusted to reflect W2O Group without Nextworks, which now operates as an independent company.
Rachel Hutman, 301-801-5540