WPP acquires data-driven influencer marketing agency Goat

WPP today announces the acquisition of Goat, one of the world’s leading influencer marketing agencies.

Goat specialises in data-led end-to-end influencer marketing campaigns grounded in performance and measurement and was founded by Arron Shepherd, Nick Cooke, and Harry Hugo in 2015. Goat drives authentic brand engagement while integrating targeted paid media to reach the right audience and achieve industry-leading results. The company’s 150+ staff across three global offices have helped to grow some of the biggest brands in the world, including Dell, Beiersdorf, Meta, Tesco, Uber, EA, Natura and Augustinus Bader, delivering best-in-class social and influencer campaigns. Since its founding, Goat has tracked the performance of over 50,000 influencer channels and over 250,000 pieces of content.

In recent years, Adweek recognised Goat as Europe’s fastest-growing agency while The Drum awarded it Social Media Agency of the Year and LinkedIn named it one of its top companies.

Goat will join GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, and merge with its influencer marketing solution INCA to create the industry’s first truly global influencer marketing agency with more than 300 employees in over 30 markets around the world. The combined entity – which will go to market as Goat – will operate as part of GroupM Nexus, the world’s leading media performance organisation with more than 9,000 expert practitioners.

As part of GroupM Nexus, Goat will support GroupM’s strategy to help clients drive growth through performance with the scale and expertise to help global brands activate campaigns anywhere in the world. Enhanced by GroupM’s partnerships with the world’s largest social and commerce platforms, proprietary technology, and deep global expertise, Goat will provide GroupM and WPP clients with industry-leading global, cross-channel, and data-driven influencer marketing capabilities.

Christian Juhl, Global CEO, GroupM, said: “Influencer marketing is an exciting growth area for our business and one in which our clients are looking for globally scaled and outcomes-driven capabilities. The addition of Goat to GroupM as part of GroupM Nexus gives us the ability to deliver accountable, cross-channel, and data-driven influencer solutions for clients anywhere in the world. Combined with the exceptional talent at INCA, we expect Goat to play a critical role in helping us define the next era of media at GroupM.”

Arron Shepherd, Founder and CEO, Goat, said: “We couldn’t be happier to be joining WPP and GroupM to bring our leading global influencer marketing and digital solutions to some of the best brands in the world. We are delighted to combine forces with the amazing talent at INCA to deliver even better value for our clients all over the world.”

Mark Read, CEO, WPP, said: “Influencer marketing is a key growth priority for the industry and for WPP. Our clients are increasingly planning budgets at a global scale and require partners that have the global reach to help deliver, whilst driving engagement and impact at a local level. Goat’s proven track record in the influencer marketing space paired with GroupM’s record of excellence will continue to build on our unparalleled expertise in this area.”

Goat becomes the latest in a series of acquisitions that form part of WPP’s accelerated growth strategy and focused M&A approach. These include 3K Communications, Fēnom Digital, Diff, Passport, JeffreyGroup and Newcraft in the last six months alone, in addition to the acquisition of influencer marketing agency Village Marketing in February 2022.

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