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Anne Zizzo and Steve Koeneke.[/caption]
Milwaukee-based marketing firm Zizzo Group Inc.
has acquired Milwaukee-based digital agency Thirsty Boy. The transaction price was not disclosed.
Steve Koeneke, founder of Thirsty Boy, will serve as vice president and digital/creative director at Zizzo Group. All seven of Thirsty Boy’s employees will join ZG. And ZG will bring on another $6 million in annual capitalized billings, bringing its total to $50 million.
ZG offers public relations, traditional and digital media planning and buying, and in-house production. The firm has made five other acquisitions since it was founded in 1996. The company has been talking to several agencies about potential acquisitions for about a year.
With the addition of Thirsty Boy, the firm will have more digital capabilities, including augmented reality, virtual reality and three-dimensional experience services. And Thirsty Boy’s clients will gain access to additional integrated marketing expertise from ZG.
Together, the companies will offer what they call “engagement marketing” by fostering two-way conversations and storytelling to engage customers with brands, products and services in “transparent, authentic ways.”
Their combined client list includes NBC New York, Peta Murgatroyd of “Dancing with the Stars” fame, Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup, the Milwaukee Brewers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Discovery World, Milwaukee-based Rexnord Corp., Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc., Network Health, WLS-TV/ABC Chicago and many more.
Thirsty Boy moved into ZG’s offices in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward today.
“Joining forces with ZG formed a powerful and innovative new kind of shop,” Koeneke said. “We are the only agency that can provide these turnkey, measurable engagement marketing solutions. We see this as a positive thing for us and, most importantly, our clients.”
Zizzo Group plans to keep growing both organically and through acquisition, said Anne Zizzo, founder and chief executive officer of Zizzo Group. It now has 33 employees, and plans to soon expand to 38 employees. Its offices can accommodate up to 55 people.
“(Koeneke) really sees the vision for the engagement agency vision,” Zizzo said. “Every client that we’re working for is looking for engagement.
“The Thirsty Boy acquisition is an important step in bringing together the best, most seasoned and proven talents in the region and a portfolio of unmatched services. I am continuing to have conversations with founders and CEOs of other related companies and agencies as well, and we’ll continue to consider joining forces with them, if they are the right fit.”