You & Mr Jones elevates influencer offering with acquisition of Collectively

The Collectively's all-women executive team. Art credit: Kelsee Thomas (@kelssweetie)

Growing ‘brandtech’ company will combine its newly purchased influencer agency with theAmplify to create a global player. More acquisitions on the horizon, per chief exec David Jones.

There is no small appetite for influencer campaigns. That’s why You & Mr Jones targeted Collectively as its most recent acquisition. At a mere seven years old, Collectively is one of the oldest US influencer marketing companies. Its all-women executive team is led by chief exec Ryan Stern. Clients include Adobe, HP, Old Navy and Intuit.

Collectively will be combined with tech and data-driven influencer platform theAmplify. You & Mr. Jones acquired theAmplify in 2016. Together, they are “the world’s leading global influencer business,” per chief exec David Jones. Financial details were not disclosed.

Jones has been on a hot streak since founding the company in 2015. The former Havas global chief exec has seen his group’s organic revenue grow 27% for the first half of 2020. TheAmplify, for example, grew more than 50% organically working with global clients including, Unilever, Danone, De Beers, and Diageo. This is the anti-thesis of most in the ad industry (e.g. IPG’s recent 12.8% net revenue decrease.)

His formula has been to target “tech and tech-enabled businesses that help brands do their marketing better, faster and cheaper using the latest technology.” The company raised another $200m in December to bring its valuation to $1.3bn. With the acquisition of Collectively, Jones made good on his promise to use the fresh funds for global acquisitions that strengthen its offerings. More are on the horizon, he says.

Acquiring an influencer agency was a priority because the category is “immature” and “growing dynamically,” says Jones. “There are very few scaled global players. [Competitors] lack rigor, advanced capabilities and mature, senior leadership. Slowly you’ll see five to 10 players [arise versus hundreds.]” He says the combined offering of Collectively and theAmplify solve three big issues marketers face with influencer programs: the ability scale globally, show ROI and provide fraud-free, transparent metrics.

The demand is clearly there. Spending on influencer campaigns is estimated to hit nearly $10bn this year and as much as $15bn by 2022. Jones says, “I don’t think there’s a single client that doesn’t think it’s a priority.”

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