The Archer Group acquired by top-tier digital firm
WILMINGTON – The Archer Group, Delaware’s largest advertising agency, has been acquired by Bounteous, one of the largest independent digital agencies in North America, in a deal that is expected to result in stability and growth for the local agency.
The Archer Group, which employs 94 people in Wilmington, joins a company that now employs more than 500 strategists, designers, analysts, and technologists working in Bounteous’ Chicago headquarters, Denver, Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Francisco, and Berlin.
Archer Group CEO and Managing Director Michael Derins has been named executive vice president for business development of Bounteous and joined the company’s board of directors.
The deal has been in the works for the past seven months, after Archer decided it was going to be increasingly difficult to compete in the digital marketplace without some additional capabilities. Derins said The Archer Group brings a reputation for experience design while Bounteous offers strengths in digital personalization and relationships with Adobe, Google, and Acquia that Archer didn’t have.
“When you think about a digital customer experience, there are a lot of touchpoints and you need to think about what are the most contextually relevant to the person to achieve an end or series of ends,” Derins said. “It’s very different depending on the brand you’re interacting with. We take a scientific approach to figuring out those touchpoints, using advanced technologies to analyze and optimize on the fly.
“The Archer Group will be able to architect that whole front-end experience and Bounteous will bring that experience to life [with its digital-personalization capabilities]. That will have a really powerful impact on clients and our people,” he added.
Perhaps more important to Derins is that the acquisition will provide career opportunities for an Archer team that has received a great deal of industry recognition.
“We were operating from a position of strength,” he said. We had a record year last year, and we’ve always had year-over-year growth. I wanted the people who work at The Archer Group to be as safe as possible. This is very additive for both organizations; we meshed so beautifully.”
Derins said this is Bounteous’ fourth acquisition and the agency has always needed more people to handle the growth of the organization.
“Bounteous has not had an East Coast footprint,” he said. “We have position requisitions in to feed the [anticipated] demand.”
Derins joined The Archer Group in 2006, a few years after it was formed in August 2003 by Lee Mikles and Patrick Callahan, who now owns the Wilmington-based CompassRed data analytics firm.
“I am super excited for Mike Derins and The Archer team and proud that we played a part in the formation,” Callahan said. “We all built a culture that was grounded in Delaware. Mike and his team were able to grow that and thrive. Delaware should be proud of their journey. I am excited for their future.”
“When you take a step back and look, it’s not just about the success of the Archer Group. It’s is about the growth of the community, including the multiple businesses that spun out of it [such as CompassRed, Grain, and The Engine Room]. Bounteous – you’re fortunate. You have embraced some of our best and brightest.”
By Peter Osborne