Parker: Calgary marketing agency clearmotive purchases digital growth consultancy firm

The expansion has meant clearmotive can offer more options to attract new staff

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Calgary-based, leading Canadian full-service marketing agency clearmotive has announced the acquisition of the North American divisions of Fountain Partnership, a U.K.-based digital growth consultancy that specializes in search engine optimization, paid media, conversion rate optimization and measurement analytics.

Tyler Chisholm, CEO of clearmotive, who with managing partner Chad Kroeker launched the firm in 2008, says the acquisition showcases its forward-thinking approach to continuing to leverage its agile and fully remote team to drive efficiency and delivery for its clients with a new range of expanded services, and help broaden its footprint across North America.

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Fountain Partnership has been led here by Jake Surrey, who moved from London in 2018 to lead the Calgary expansion, and had been a vendor of clearmotive for the past four years. Educated at Winchester College and armed with a B.Sc. in economics and philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Surreys joins clearmotive as director of digital marketing, also bringing on board six of the Fountain Partnership staff and a dozen of its clients.

The expansion has also meant clearmotive can offer more options to attract new staff. It has teams in Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, St. John’s and Toronto, where last month it welcomed Michael Vecchiarelli as director of customer experience. Vecchiarelli has more than 15 years of experience, specializing in designing, implementing and managing seamless customer experiences that drive engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.

Chisholm says his whole team is excited about the new relationship, providing client partners with a complete in-house range of offerings to meet all of their marketing objectives.

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He launched clearmotive with Kroeker, who had been graphic designer and moved up to be director of marketing at Blackfoot Group of Companies. Kroeker’s relationship at Blackfoot Motosports helped win Honda as a client. That was 12 years ago and Honda is the firm’s largest client.

It is also the agency of record for Honda’s Motorcycle, Marine, ATV and Power Equipment divisions across Canada, including the support of the corresponding social media accounts. Clearmotive also supports Honda’s National Digital Integration team, enhancing customer experience through UX/UI, market research and digital strategy for all Honda brands, including Honda Auto and Acura.

A long-standing Calgary account is Hopewell Residential, for which clearmotive has supplied creative for single-family and multi-family housing and communities for the past six years. A newer local client is Remuda Building. Based in Rocky View County, it has become known across the prairies for the quality of its construction of post-frame homes and buildings.

Many companies suffered setbacks during the COVID pandemic, but Chisholm says it gave his company an opportunity for change. As staff got used to working efficiently from home, he decided to shift to a full remote model, closed offices in Calgary and Toronto, and has happier employees — particularly those in Toronto who were pleased not to travel up to an hour and a half each way to work.

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He admits nothing is perfect and communication still has to improve but, with staff across the country, they are working out the longer time cycles and enjoying setting up their flexible work hours without punching a time clock.

COVID changed clients, too, he says, no longer wanting to travel into and spend time in agency offices but content to talk over the phone or Zoom. Most of clearmotive’s clients are long-term and realize that day-to-day meetings are not required, but staff are happy to “jump on a plane” if necessary.

Notes:

Calgary has a new professional sports franchise with the announcement that Calgary Wild women’s soccer team will join the Northern Super League. And plans are for all of the televised games of the Canadian women’s league to be aired at the Elephant & Castle, the new destination for soccer fans. Promising to deliver the rich tradition of a British pub experience, Elephant & Castle — named after the South London pub that began as a coaching inn in 1765 — opens later this summer in the former location of the Rose & Crown at 1503 4th Street S.W. It will broadcast a variety of international sporting events, including the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and the Canadian Premier League.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622.

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