Marketing agency Awaken to acquire Agnes Media

Marketing agency Awaken to acquire Agnes Media

Sydney-headquartered Awaken has made its first ever acquisition that will enhance its Australian team and secure a tighter foothold in the UK and US markets, giving the fast-growing independent marketing agency an opportunity to film off-season summer shoots for clients.

Awaken founder Chris Parker, who won the 2022 Australian Young Entrepreneur Award - Marketing and featured in Australia's Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs list, tells Business News Australia the company has acquired digital marketing agency Agnes Media for an undisclosed sum.

In a deal that is set to be finalised by the end of March, Agnes Media will transfer its client stable - including a range of fintech brands and Hill Smith Wines, formerly Yalumba - to Awaken, as well as three senior staff members and several contractors who have already moved into the Awaken team.

Agnes Media's founder Charlotte Ward will continue as Awaken's marketing director.

Compared to Awaken which was founded in 2014, Agnes Media is much younger having only been established in 2020, but it has a proven track record in driving growth and maximising return on investment for businesses with a strong focus on performance media.

Describing itself as a "measurement-first" agency, Agnes Media's expertise includes brand building underpinned by strong growth strategies, and measurement and attribution, with Klarna as its flagship client.

With a full-service offering that includes media strategy, social media management, digital buying, design, creative and film production, over the years Awaken has attracted high-profile clients such as Marriott Hotels, Armor All, Energizer, Kraken Rum, Jose Cuervo and Panasonic, with Chery Motors soon to join that list as it re-enters the Australian market. 

"This is a fantastic opportunity to enhance Awaken’s existing offering. Agnes has a reputation for extraordinary performance media work locally in Australia and across the US and UK," Parker says.

"This acquisition will allow us to upscale our performance team to take advantage of new client opportunities and adds on the capability to extend our campaigns into the US and UK markets for our clients.

"We're looking to expand that with this acquisition into the UK market to help them offer shooting here during our summer for their winter campaigns so that we can be doing six months rolling, and vice versa - it's part of our growing strategy to help globalize more of our content creation."

Agnes Media founder Charlotte Ward says the acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for both agencies.

"There is a strong synergy between both businesses, culturally and from a media strategy and application perspective. I’ve loved growing the Agnes brand and am excited to see what this acquisition will bring to the market," she says.

Ward will also launch web 3.0 consultancy Around The Block, a separate entity assisting brands with projects in the blockchain and will work on joint client projects with Awaken.

Parker says another big focus this year is launching a direct-to-consumer business so that clients can sell "almost directly" with Awaken acting as a direct retailer for their products. 

The founder says revenue is currently up 70 per cent year-on-year and he expects it to be up 75 per cent by the end of the calendar year, while profit is likely to almost double in FY23. 

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