Quad/Graphics invests in Tim Armstrong’s startup

Former AOL CEO partners with Sussex company on marketing platform

Quad/Graphics' Sussex headquarters.

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. has invested an undisclosed amount in a direct-to-consumer marketing startup called the dtx company.

Founded in February by Tim Armstrong, former chief executive officer of AOL, dtx has created a platform called UNBOX that helps direct-to-consumer brands that have traditionally relied on social media to branch out and scale their sales with multichannel marketing that includes both online and offline marketing materials. It’s set to launch in September.

Quad has established a long-term partnership to provide multichannel marketing support for UNBOX, through which it plans to help brands acquire and retain customers with personalized data-driven experiences, integration of online and offline media, and the rapid creation of marketing content.

The legacy commercial printing company in recent years has been increasing its focus on multichannel marketing and digital products as it adjusts to the changing media market. For example, Quad invested a total of $20.7 million for a majority interest in Chicago-based digital marketing firm Rise Interactive in over the past few years, acquired Minnesota creative agency Periscope for $132.5 million in November, and acquired Chinese marketing and advertising firm Ivie & Associates Inc. for $92.5 million last year.

“We’re tremendously excited to announce this strategic investment and long-term partnership with dtx and UNBOX. We share a common vision for supporting the next generation of great brands and the direct-to-consumer economy,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad. “We are the ideal marketing partner for these brands as we can help them create personalized, multichannel programs that accelerate their business, efficiencies and outcomes.”

“Today’s consumers want instant and direct access to brands, and direct-to-consumer brands want instant and transparent access to consumers in an environment that allows them to manage their brand, customer acquisition costs, and data. With Quad’s help, we can provide an ecosystem that is a matchmaker, not a middleman,” said Armstrong, who was also formerly the CEO of Oath and held leadership roles at Google.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.