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Ad agency doubles staff in first year of merger

Media Place Partners also doubles clientele since union with Adtegrity in 2017.

January 4, 2019
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Grand Rapids-based Media Place Partners has reached new heights since its June 2017 merger with Adtegrity.

“We’ve invested in a level of people and tools that is unparalleled in this area," said Tracy Unger, media director and co-founder of MPP, which is located at 408 Broadway Ave. NW, above New Holland Brewing-The Knickerbocker. “Our people, our know-how, our tools and our access will continue to propel MPP’s client base and deliver further value to our partnerships. I'm very excited for the growth and development of the company."

Although the two companies have merged, MPP still is operating under its own brand, which has seen growth in the first fiscal year of its merger based on its expanding client and staff size. Before the merger, it had seven staff members, including co-founders Dave Kettler and Unger. Now, MPP has ballooned to 15 full-time associates.

Prior to the merger, Kettler said the company had to rely on outside partners for its digital needs. Now, he said MPP is able to work on digital ads in-house. As a result, the change in its traditional and digital services has fueled the growth in its client base. MPP now offers advertising services on different mediums, including websites, television, mobile devices, radio, social media, billboards, newspaper and magazines.

Kettler said the number of companies and the size of companies MPP provides services to have increased. Before the merger, he said MPP was working with between 25-30 clients; now it is working with more than 50 clients. As the firm’s client base continues to grow, Kettler said MPP is able to control its ad dollars.

“By having robust digital offerings with the media services that we already had, those two together have really helped both (Adtegrity and us) grow despite combining the service and the capabilities that we collectively have,” Kettler said.

The growth has allowed MPP to cater to multiple industries, including higher education, insurance, consumer products, tourism and entertainment. One of its clients is Consumers Credit Union, which is headquartered in Kalamazoo.

Lynne Jarman-Johnson, chief marketing officer at CCU, said the credit union has its own internal design team, but MPP is its research and media buying partner and it started working with MPP in summer 2017, around the same time as the merger.

“The world has changed, and people want to have a service or product very fast,” she said. “They want to be able to search the internet to see where’s the best place they can get great CD rates or mortgage services. So, for us, it is really important that we are out in those target audiences that are looking for the products that we have and Media Place helps us do that.”

While MPP’s new in-house services have propelled growth in staff, number of clients and its clients’ size, Kettler said the company hopes to build on its success in the years to come.

“The region’s biggest businesses are turning to Media Place,” he said. “We’re so glad to be able to bring a higher level of media capabilities, utilizing both traditional and digital advertising. We represent an all-encompassing media focused agency that was previously missing within the area. Following a successful first year, our team is even more encouraged by the remarkable growth and opportunities we see on the horizon — both in the Grand Rapids market and beyond.”

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