MarketInk: San Diego-based Mindgruve merges with Denver-based Macarta

Chad Robley of Mindgruve
Chad Robley of Mindgruve

Mindgruve, a San Diego-based digital marketing agency, has announced that it has merged with Denver-based retail media agency Macarta. The combined entity will be called MindgruveMacarta and will have more than 300 employees and seven offices worldwide.

A statement said the merger brings together two fast-growing agencies to unite their award-winning expertise in performance marketing, retail media and analytics into a seamless, integrated offering. “MindgruveMacarta is now one of the top independent performance marketing and retail media agencies in the world,” said a statement.

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Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. A spokesperson told Times of San Diego that the merger did not include any exchange of funds. No layoffs are expected after the merger. Before the merger, Mindgruve’s workforce consisted of approximately 100 people, the spokesperson said.

A statement said Mindgruve CEO Chad Robley will become chairman and CEO of the combined agency. Mike Hodges, CEO of Macarta, will become president of MindgruveMacarta.

According to Robley, who founded Mindgruve in 2001, the two agencies have been working together as sister agencies on various client projects since Macarta was founded in 2016.

“We’ve been talking about a merger for a while,” Robley told Times of San Diego. “We both thought this was the right time based on customer and market needs. Our integration has been incredibly beneficial to clients and will become even more important as retail media and performance marketing converge.”

Mike Hodges
Mike Hodges

Before the merger, Mindgruve operated offices in San Diego and Denver, while Macarta operated offices in Denver, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, Madrid and London.

MindgruveMacarta’s current customer base includes a portfolio of brands including Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Dupont, Sony, Mattel, 3M and Wrangler. A statement said MindgruveMacarta will provide industry expertise in consumer goods, consumer packaged goods, business-to-business, healthcare, financial services and technology sectors, as well as platform experience in Google, Meta, Linkedin, Amazon, Walmart and Mercado Libre.

“This is a transformative moment for us,” Robley said. “As MindgruveMacarta, we are well positioned to attract ambitious global brands looking for a fully integrated, omni-channel approach to performance marketing, retail media and advanced analytics.”

A statement said the combined entity will be led by experienced industry veterans with a strong track record of delivering dynamic growth for their global brand partners.

“Bringing together the expertise of Mindgruve and Macarta into a single, integrated offering creates a powerful marketing and retail media giant,” said Hodges. “MindgruveMacarta will give customers access to the most advanced media mix modeling, cross-platform attribution and deep data science.”

Jamul Casino appoints Tom Malloy as VP Marketing

Tom Malloy, with more than 30 years of marketing experience, has been named vice president of marketing at Jamul Casino, operated by the Jamul Indian Village in California, a federally recognized tribe of Kumeyaay Indians.

Tom Malloy
Tom Malloy

A statement said Malloy will oversee all aspects of the East County casino’s marketing identity, including a focus on top-level strategic development that supports the tribe’s primary goals of community engagement and guest expansion. reflects.

“His vast experience and innovative approach will deliver dynamic new strategies for our marketing efforts around the casino, as well as the opening of our new luxury hotel tower in 2025,” said Mary Cheeks, president and general manager of Jamul Casino.

Malloy began his career as an executive at an advertising agency for technology and healthcare accounts before entering the gaming industry in 1998. He has held leadership positions at several casinos, both tribal and commercial, including MGM Resorts International, Table Mountain Casino and Potawatomi Casino Hotel. Before joining Jamul Casino, he was VP of marketing at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan.

“I am very pleased to join such an esteemed and highly regarded team of operators,” said Malloy. “I am grateful to both the tribal leadership and Mary Cheeks for giving me this opportunity.”

PR firm World’s Fair Communications opens in Los Angeles

World’s Fair Communications, a new public relations communications agency focused on the entertainment and technology industries, has been launched in Los Angeles by founders Craig Radow and Eric Schultz.

The World Expo will specialize in press coverage, media training, thought leadership, crisis communications, speaker development, brand identity and messaging, content strategy and reputation management, a statement said.

Radow is a former vice president of global publicity and brand marketing at 20th Century Fox Studios’ consumer products division. He has also led publicity efforts for 20th Century Fox Television’s U.S. distribution division, as well as various PR roles in Universal Studios’ home entertainment division.

Schultz is a former news producer at CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNN and Fox 5 New York. When he worked for a PR firm in Chicago, his clients included AI technology company Avanade, PepsiCo Food Service and Capital Group, a financial services company.

Prior to World’s Fair Communications, Radow and Schultz worked together at The Soul Publishing, which represents social media content creators, and at talent management company Underscore Talent, a division of The Soul Publishing. Radow served as VP of Global Communications and Schultz as Senior Director of Global Communications.

A statement said that The Soul Publishing and Underscore Talent will be the new agency’s first clients.

Prediction: 90% of ad purchases will be generated by AI by 2029

GroupM, the media investment arm of global ad buying agency WWP, reports that nearly 70% of ad buys will be AI-enabled this year and that this percentage will exceed 90% by 2029.

GroupM previously predicted that the percentage of AI-powered advertising would reach 90% by 2032.

The earlier timeline is due to new investments in generative AI technologies, including machine learning and algorithms, according to a report in Medical Marketing & Media, a trade publication. Gen-AI, or Gen-AI, refers to artificial intelligence capable of creating original content after learning patterns and structures in response to cues.

Kate Scott-Dawkins, Global President of Business Intelligence at GroupM, said she believes no other sector is using AI as widely as the advertising industry.

The AI ​​predictions were part of GroupM’s recent half-year advertising forecast, which now predicts global ad revenue growth of 7.8% to $989.8 billion by 2024, up from a previous December estimate 2023 of a growth of 5.3%.

The global advertising industry is expected to surpass $1 trillion in revenue by 2025, a year earlier than 2021 forecast.

According to GroupM, strong performance in China will account for most of the rebound in 2024, with advertising revenue in the world’s second-largest economy expected to grow 14% to $199.4 billion in 2024. or $51.2 million higher than previously forecast. Group M also said that growth in the advertising industry is expected in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia.

U.S. advertising revenue is also expected to exceed previous forecasts, with an expected increase of 5.8% to $365.9 billion in 2024, as reported by Radio Ink, a trade publication.

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based PR and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in the Times of San Diego.