Quad/Graphics invests $12 million in Chicago digital marketing firm

Printer will co-innovate with Rise Interactive

Quad/Graphics' Sussex headquarters.

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. has made a $12 million minority investment in Chicago-based digital marketing firm Rise Interactive.

Quad, a national commercial printer and marketing services provider with about 22,500 employees, made the investment through its BlueSoho integrated marketing division, which offers both traditional and digital marketing services. Quad said in a release the move will allow the companies to grow more quickly together, through “co-innovation.”

Quad/Graphics' Sussex headquarters.
Quad/Graphics’ Sussex headquarters.

Rise focuses on digital media, analytics and customer experience for Fortune 500 brands. Founded in 2004, the company has about 225 employees.

The goal of the partnership is to allow advertisers to focus on customers rather than on marketing channel choices, said Brad Messinger, senior vice president of marketing at Rise.

“We’re talking about, ‘How do we use online behavior and data to inform offline advertising and offers?’” Messinger said. “Similarly, how do we use the info based on offline behavior and activity to inform online. The lines are no longer black and white.”

As far as executing the partnership between the companies, they will not be combined physically, but they will cross-sell products and services to each others’ clients to create a seamless marketing offering, he said.

“Our primary focus for use of proceeds will be on personnel and innovation,” Messinger said. “We’re definitely going to take a crawl-walk-run approach. We both have developed our own technology and we both have service offerings. What we’re going to be doing is looking at how we can integrate the technology components so that we can be as efficient and effective with leveraging technology as possible and what services make the most sense to start offering together.”

Marketers seek partners that can assist in the measurement of initiatives in both digital and traditional channels, and this investment will expand BlueSoho’s capabilities, said Joel Quadracci, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Quad/Graphics.

“By combining Rise’s digital expertise with BlueSoho’s existing multichannel offerings, we will be able to offer campaigns that are more relevant and better integrate online, offline and in-store programs to increase consumer response and revenue,” Quadracci said in a statement.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.