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We want to create a house of brands

Why is digital agency TamTam working on a deliberate buy&build strategy? ‘We don’t necessarily aim to be the biggest but do want to be the best in our sector.’

The online component is becoming ever more significant within operational management. When it comes to their online strategy, companies are therefore increasingly seeking one partner that can take on all of their issues, from A to Z. This is the number one reason why digital agency TamTam is always on the lookout for active collaboration with other online specialists, according to founder Paul Manuel.

How is your growth strategy structured?

‘We have a buy&build strategy; we want to expand the breadth and international scope of our company. Just like a chain of beads, we would like to create a huge ‘house of brands’ whereby all parties retain their own cultures and specialisms. In this way, everyone can carry on doing what they’re good at. We know exactly how to build a successful online platform, while new sister-company Expand Online knows better than anyone how to attract visitors to a website.’

Why were you approached by an investor?

‘When we came up with this strategy, we heard from private equity investor Waterland. They had conducted a market scan and had recognised our ambitions. We were not actively seeking investors; it is a coincidence that this all worked out so well.’

How is this investor helping with your strategy?

‘Waterland provides expertise, experience, speed and the network. They gauge interest in other companies and provide financial and legal assistance with respect to new deals. We take care of actual ambition and running the company itself. The collaboration works beautifully and there is daily contact to develop our strategy together.’

What does their arrival mean for your (potential) clients?

‘Our clients can hand over all of their online responsibilities to us but also just buy one speciality from us if they wish, that hasn’t changed. The fact that we are working in a multidisciplinary and integrated manner means we expect quality and results to improve. This was clear after a couple of months in the collaboration with Expand Online; we are already providing data that forms the basis of many of the projects we have started.’

What are your ambitions now?

‘We are not aiming to be the biggest but in 5 years, we would like to be the best digital agency in Western Europe. In the short term, we would like to get better at what we do, in order to stay in the top-3. We are also talking to a few parties in Germany and the UK. We are not in any particular rush, but we fully expect to have set up a base abroad by the end of 2016.’

December 23, 2015
Paul Manuel, Partner

This interview has been published in Dutch on MT