Leading content marketing agency Edge today announced a management buyout of its board by Commercial Director Fergus Stoddart and Strategy Director Richard Parker.
Stoddard and Parker will move into joint Managing Partner roles.
The agency also announced a major investment by retail industry icon Steve Kulmar, Chief Executive of Retail Oasis, and Creative Oasis Managing Director David Stretch, who have both been appointed to the Edge board of directors.
Mr Stoddart said Edge had received numerous offers from larger agencies.
“Although we were flattered and of course interested, we decided right now it’s important for Edge to retain its independence as this allows us to be more nimble and responsive to the fast moving environment of digital and content marketing. This is why we made the decision to bring in Steve and David rather than become part of a bigger group.”
“We’re proud of our team, and the unique set of skills they represent. Our sixty-strong crew of editors, copywriters, film-makers, illustrators and technologists makes us a credible and, in fact, inevitable alternative to traditional agencies, and gives us the expertise we need in a world where content is at the core of all great creative ideas. The breadth of retail knowledge that Steve and David bring to the mix makes this proposition even more powerful,” added Mr Stoddart.
Mr Parker from Edge said, “Edge has been on an amazing journey over the past five years and we’ve cemented ourselves as Australia’s leading content agency. Bringing Steve and David onto the board helps position us for continued growth and opens up a host of opportunities to weave great content into the retail offering.”
“Australia is only just starting to experience the content revolution and is still playing catch up to the rest of the world. Over the next 18 months brands’ focus on content will intensify as more and more brands seek to become publishers, own their own media and deliver content contextually – in real-time – to bring them closer to their customers. Our vision is to lead Australian brands to think about content marketing and branded content in new ways, and use it to reach audiences like never before,” added Mr Parker.
Mr Kulmar and Mr Stretch bring a great deal of strategic nouse to the Edge board, with years of expertise improving the customer retail experience, building deeper customer engagement, and using data and analytics to understand consumer behaviour.
Mr Kulmar of Retail Oasis said, “We’ve have been watching Edge for some time and have been impressed by their forward-thinking approach and innovative culture. We see brand-owned and earned content playing an increasingly important role in the marketing mix as media continues to fragment – and in particular in the retail space, where content is relatively underused. We invested in Edge because it has what it takes to move this category forward, with fresh thinking and an ability to quickly understand and utilise new technologies to increase customer engagement through content.”
Edge CEO Eddie Thomas said, “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to confirm this development. Edge is an amazing business and I’m incredibly proud of what the team has achieved over the past few years. Fergus and Richard have done the right thing in bringing additional firepower to the Edge board in the form of Steve Kulmar and David Stretch, and I know that as new owners they will take the business from strength to strength.
Eddie will continue as CEO through the transition period, beyond which he has been retained by the new owners in consulting capacity.