Press release: TRGT joins the Sideshow Group

We’re delighted to announce that TRGT, one of the UK and Europe’s fastest growing and most successful performance marketing agencies is joining the Sideshow Group.

TRGT has enjoyed rapid YOY growth of over 40% in recent years, and works internationally for clients such as Nestle and Unilever brands, Pepe Jeans and Hackett.

Founders Ben and Patrick Nancarrow are based in Barcelona, and the agency has an innovative working model that includes a global remote workforce and advanced ad tech tools. It’s unique approach and investment in the best performance marketing people, has delivered market leading Paid Social and Paid Search campaigns that achieve outstanding results for their clients.

The business has a strong and positive culture with a people-first approach, and has grown to over 65 digital marketing experts in just seven years. They are established Facebook and Google Partners, and are one of the highest spending independent agencies in EMEA.

Tony Hill from Sideshow says: “This is a capability we’ve been wanting to add for some time now, and in TRGT we couldn’t have found a better partner. The success they achieve for clients is phenomenal and it will further support Sideshow’s evidence-led approach and commitment to delivering commercially impactful work. As soon as I met Ben and Patrick the fit between the two companies was clear, and we are extremely excited to be partnering with such an ambitious and respected company.”

This will be the sixth agency to join the Sideshow Group and the first since the group secured investment from Waterland. It brings total headcount for Sideshow Group to over 300 people.

Patrick says: “When we started out, I remember one of our clients referred to us as ‘two brothers working from their bedrooms’, a fact we could in no way refute. We are therefore immensely proud to have grown TRGT to a brilliant, friendly, international team of 65 and to have had the chance to do some industry leading work with so many exciting clients over the years. Sideshow shares our vision for TRGT, not just in terms of how we grow the business but also how we treat our clients and our people. This is a partnership that will enhance TRGT in every way and we have no doubt that the new journey we are starting on with Sideshow is something we will all be immensely proud of in the future.”

Ben says: “From our first conversation with Tony, it has always felt like an ideal partnership. We are not a typical agency and we thought it would be hard to find a company who would match our mentality, culture and growth ambitions so well. We are exceptionally excited to embark on our next stage of growth both as a company and a group, and we see this as the ideal route to delivering better service and above all better results for our clients”

Sideshow was advised in this transaction by Lewis Silkin for Legal DD, and Deloitte for Financial and Tax DD. TRGT was advised by Osborne Clarke.

Press Release: Conversion joins the Sideshow Group

Sideshow Group signals ambitious growth plans with acquisition of Conversion.com

Independent marketing services group Sideshow has today acquired conversion rate optimisation specialist, Conversion.com, founded by CEO Stephen Pavlovich. Sideshow is a digital communications group that has been quietly building scale in recent years through strong organic growth and by acquiring progressive and innovative marketing businesses without needing external investment. It entered the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in September 2019.

The purchase of Conversion increases headcount to 250 and turnover to around £30M, positioning Sideshow alongside high growth marketing services groups including S4, Stagwell and You & Mr Jones that have technology at the heart of their offer and are transforming the industry.

Sideshow’s considered and client-centric approach to M&A means they offer a range of truly joined up specialist services covering digital marketing and transformation, research, data, and customer experience for brands including BT, Experian, KFC, HSBC, Tesco and EDF Energy. Companies in the group include Bunnyfoot, Vertical Leap, Thinking Juice and Strawberry Soup.

Conversion has a client list that includes Canon, Domino’s and Facebook. It positions itself as an ‘experimentation’ agency that “improves customer experiences with data-driven experimentation” and provides a range of conversion rate optimisation services covering personalisation and product and pricing experimentation.

Tony Hill, founder of Sideshow comments: “Covid has accelerated the need for genuine client/agency partnerships that can support clients strategically and commercially. That’s always been our approach and Conversion is a best in class optimisation business with effectiveness at its core. We are building a group that will serve client needs now and into the future and Conversion sits in a real sweet spot as even more commercial transactions move online.

He adds: “The agency agenda has changed and a leading role has emerged that connects creativity with data, technology and conversion services that increasingly underpin the commercial decisions that clients make.”

Stephen Pavlovich, CEO at Conversion.com comments: “Culture has been one of the things that’s been really key to us as we’ve grown the business.  In Sideshow we’ve found a partner with very similar values. We are joining a vibrant group of entrepreneurial companies who are completely independent, with a strong growth agenda and that is a very exciting proposition.”

Waypoint Partners, a leading global growth and corporate finance advisory firm to the marketing services sector advised Conversion on their sale to Sideshow.

Matt Lacey, managing director at Waypoint explains: “The partnership of Conversion and Sideshow is a real meeting of minds, an example of two independents with shared values and a desire to be changemakers by bridging the worlds of transformation and marketing. The networks were already struggling and this difficult new world we find ourselves in is exposing their weaknesses even further. There is a significant opportunity for ambitious groups to make their mark and drive disruption; I believe the combination of Conversion and Sideshow is perfectly placed to do just that.”

Tony Hill concludes: “While we’ve been quietly validating our model and approach in recent years, we are now in a position to really focus on growth. We are ambitious and looking to make further acquisitions this year. Data and analytics, digital transformation, Amazon services and media are all in our sight, but ultimately it all comes down to the cultural fit. Only by having shared values and trust can you collaborate and share effectively.”

Introducing: Conversion.com’s Optimizely Chrome Extension

Today we are very excited to announce the public launch of our Optimizely Chrome Extension. We’ve been using the extension internally and been improving the functionality over the past year.

We began rolling it out to our clients over the last few months, and after some great feedback we decided to put it into private beta last month. Today, we are thrilled to share it with everyone!

Solving problems you never knew you had.

We feel like Conversion.com’s Optimizely Chrome Extension is one of those wonderful tools that you never knew you needed – until you start using it. And now that we’ve started, we couldn’t live without it.

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What does the extension do?

The feature list is impressive and always growing. At the time of launch, the core features we want to highlight are below. Here are 8 great reasons you should install the extension today.

  • Quickly see whether Optimizely is running on the page (if the circle turns blue, Optimizely has been detected on the page)

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  • See how many experiments are running on the page (that’s the white number within the blue circle)

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  • Toggle between QA mode to see your experiments and variations that are not yet live with the flick of a switch*

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*Be sure to set up the QA cookie first – only users with the QA cookie set-up will be able to see tests in QA mode.

  • Switch variations quickly within an experiment with the handy drop-down selector. This will reload the page and bucket you into whichever variation you have selected.

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  • Jump straight into the Results and Editor pages of any experiment. Just make sure you’re logged into your Optimizely account!

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  • Copy an experiment URL to the clipboard – this way you can be sure that you and your colleagues are looking at the same thing!

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  • Thought the QR code was dead? Wrong! We finally found a great use for the QR code. Snap a picture of the QR code to see the same experiment and variation quickly on your mobile device.

  • Finally, make sure you are tracking the right events with the events console. This will show you Optimizely tracking, segmentation info and manual activation info.

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Check out the FAQ for the full feature list and more detail!

Once you’ve installed it, be sure to take it out for a spin.

We’d suggest the following activities as a great way to get started and set you up for success:

  • Read the FAQ
  • Set up a QA cookie, to make the best use of QA mode and to check out your experiments before they go live!
  • Visit a page you’re running a test on, and check out all the experiments and variations with one handy interface

Before you start using the extension please be sure to review Optimizely’s best practices, and be sure to mask descriptive names of your tests.

Send us your feedback!

We hope you’ll find this new tool as useful as we have. If you want to send us feature requests, report bugs, or tell our Optimizely Certified Development team just how much you appreciate them, please use the handy little “Get in touch” button on the extension.

What are you waiting for?

Click here to get your hands on the extension and start saving time!

Introducing our fully Optimizely certified developer team

We are proud to announce that the entire Conversion.com development team are Optimizely certified developers!

Our savvy dev team have been working closely with Optimizely since October 2013 and the entire team are now Optimizely Developer Certified. We’ve really gotten to know Optimizely over the years and we’re co-creating more innovative solutions all the time (so watch this space!)

Be sure to check out our must-know 6 essential tips for working with Optimizely from our very own James Marchant (second-left in the picture).
Stay tuned for more updates!