What’s Possible Group acquires the Connections marketplace from Exact Media

What’s Possible Group (previously The Specialist Works Group) announces its acquisition of Exact Media’s North American-based ecommerce inserts and sampling marketplace, Connections. 

10th January 2020
Read time: 3 minutes
  • Connections is the first major acquisition by What’s Possible Group since the management team buyout in August 2018.
  • It forms part of the long-term business growth strategy to expand into the North American market.
  • The acquisition positions the media agency as a global leader in transactional media marketing. 

The Connections marketplace enables advertisers looking to acquire high volumes of new customers to connect with retailers looking to monetise their ecommerce packages. The marketplace benefits DTC and CPG brands who want to find retailers to offer customers special discounts or product samples. What’s Possible Group will build on the marketplace’s capabilities to augment its existing US offering. This includes TV, print and digital media planning and buying alongside print management.  

The acquisition empowers group clients to capitalise on the ecommerce market which sees 13bn packages sent annually in America alone. This is a huge opportunity for brands that want to deliver meaningful, targeted conversations with consumers and build scalable campaigns.  

Over 170 retailers currently use the marketplace, including HelloFresh, booking.com, Harry’s, P&G, PepsiCo and SC Johnson.  

Connections investors Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos), Joshua Schachter (Founder of del.icio.us) and Rho Capital remain shareholders. Co-Founders Ray Cao and Daniel Rodic are departing the business but will remain as external advisors to the executive team. 

Parry Jones, Chief Operating Officer, The Specialist Works, said: “We are constantly looking for new ways to help D2C and consumer packaged goods brands grow their businesses. Described in Forbes as ‘the Airbnb of marketing’, advertising revenue comes with little or no additional operational cost and creates significant net profit for the retailer which can reach ten percent of total net profit. The brands using the marketplace are exciting and we can’t wait to help them accelerate their growth.” 

Ray Cao, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Exact Media, said: “We have long admired The Specialist Works for what they’ve been able to do as pioneers and global leaders in the inserts market. With The Specialist Works’ infrastructure and management team, we feel confident that Connections is now positioned for rapid expansion. We look forward to seeing where The Specialist Works takes Connections next and we will remain close to the management team.”