Ivey Performance Marketing is a brand and retail marketing services company. Where brands and consumers meet in real time, Ivey is there. From ideation to implementation and insights, Ivey works with some of the biggest names in retail including Nike, Microsoft and Starbucks.
Competition among retailers has never been tougher, and the favored tactic of price discounting puts additional pressure on profits. The historical solution to deep price discounting is brand building with an integrated marketing communication strategy. Over the past 50 years however, the marketing landscape has changed significantly. Where a retailer and agency once worked in tandem, today the story is much different, with five specific problems facing retailers in terms of brand building and marketing. Where agencies once handled the majority of the work, more and more agencies now focus on one specific type of marketing, creating a nightmare for retailers who now must manage all of their different agencies and creative departments. Despite the improvements in computing and software, prototypes are still an integral part of the retail industry, and this creates additional lag time in bringing products to market. When a new agency or creative department is added to a marketing campaign or retail strategy, it becomes even more difficult to maintain consistency across products, brand and company. Finally, the number of firms in the process distances the profit goal from the agencies, and there is no vested interest in clients’ interests.
Retailers need fewer agencies involved in the process but increased competency across the same mediums. At the same time, retailers need an alignment of interests to increase top line sales and profitability. Ivey Performance Marketing provides retailers with ideation, implementation and insight across the entire process.
The target of a private equity roll-up that eventually failed, Ivey was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2008. The firm needed guidance and a capital infusion to remain solvent. Dealt a blow by the financial collapse of 2008 and the ensuing recession, major clients were cutting marketing budgets. As a result, Ivey was losing clients and profitability. Through its expansive deal flow pipeline, Aequitas received information about Ivey’s troubles and saw the potential to turn the company from a production marketing firm to an all-encompassing marketing production agency. From there, the partnership began.
Looking out at the retail landscape in 2008 following the financial collapse, as well as the unique value behind re-creating Ivey’s existing business model, Aequitas decided to pursue this financing opportunity. The process required diligence and determination to fix a broken system. Aequitas purchased Ivey’s debt from Bank of America and worked with the two private-equity firms to systematically foreclose on Ivey and its assets, and then began the restructure. Aequitas brought in a new CEO and CFO, offered strategic insight, and provided financing to the new firm. This balance of capital and strategy remains central to Aequitas’ core structure.
Aequitas continues to utilize Ivey’s diverse abilities, leveraging the firm into a marketing platform from which Aequitas can enhance and support its various portfolio companies. This feature creates incredible economies of scale throughout the entire portfolio.