The Marketing Practice has secured investment from Horizon Capital to build on its strengths in ABM and demand generation and deepen its expertise in technology and data. In this week’s episode, Editor for B2B Marketing David Rowlands spoke with Matt Harper, CEO at TMP about what this means for TMP as well as why B2B is attracting so much investment as of late.
DR: Can you please tell us a bit more about how this investment came about and just what sort of figures we’re talking?
MH: Serendipity! We’d been starting to feel restless about the size of the opportunity in our market, and the limitations of organic growth in moving quickly to develop capability. We started to explore potential funding opportunities that would mean we could accelerate the growth of capabilities our clients want and need, and were introduced to Horizon Capital at the same time. Horizon happened to have already mapped the B2B marketing landscape and identified it as a high-growth area that suffers from a lot of fragmentation in providers. In The Marketing Practice they saw the opportunity to invest in a ‘platform’, and our visions began to align. I can’t share specifically what figures we’ll be investing, partly because it’s not a fixed investment. We’re already finding there’s very strong appetite for joining forces, and the funding won’t be the limiting factor.
DR: How do you intend to use this investment?
MH: In short it’s all about client value. Our founding principles were all about B2B marketing that sells – i.e. delivers genuine, demonstrable growth for clients. We’ve stuck close to that principle, and so our heritage has been in Account-based Marketing and highly targeted demand gen. We feel there’s a big opportunity to apply those principles to greater effect. For example we’ll be enhancing our digital, media and martech offerings, and looking to invest in global scale to build on our presence in the US, Europe and APAC. What our clients want is to be contributing sales growth to their businesses, and to do that on an international scale. That will be our north star.
DR: This isn’t the only major investment in B2B we’re seeing lately. Why do you think B2B is attracting so much investment at present?
MH: B2B tech is growing fast, accelerated by the pandemic. And tech is really the primary source of investment in B2B marketing. As those B2B tech businesses have looked to mature their marketing, it’s brought a plethora of service providers (agencies, consultants, tech and more) who have seen the low bar and the high potential in the market. The result is we’re in a growth market (because people are buying more B2B tech and services), but one that’s highly fragmented. It’s this fragmentation that attracts investors, I think. As well as the state of maturity – though our industry has matured a lot (quality, supply, tech) it’s still got a way to go, and that represents opportunity for investors who can create value from that process.