Inmar Acquires Collective Bias, Leader in Shopper-Focused Influencer Marketing

Inmar Intelligence | November 17, 2016

Inmar Acquires Collective Bias, Leader in Shopper-Focused Influencer Marketing

Inmar, Inc. through its directly owned subsidiary Carolina Promotions Services, Inc., and Collective Bias, Inc. announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement for Inmar to acquire Collective Bias, the leader in shopper-focused influencer marketing. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Collective Bias Logo

Collective Bias uses proprietary technology to harness the power of consumer recommendation and endorsement across thousands of websites and millions of social media connections to support the goals of brands and retailers alike. Their innovative Shopper Social Media™ platform connects authentic, real-life influencer content with key audiences, using advanced analytics and behavior tracking.

With Collective Bias's ability to scale and harness the voice of the shopper, and Inmar's connection to hundreds of millions of point-of-purchase transactions, marketers will be able to see data-driven connections between the power of consumer recommendation and in-store sales.

In 2015 alone, Collective Bias generated 2 billion impressions — for some of the biggest national brands and retailers. Using its Social Fabric® community of 8,000 hand-selected influencers, Collective Bias rewards socially vocal consumers to engage, discuss and review products and services. From crafting ideas to recipes to new product endorsements and more, the Social Fabric community can focus and scale shopper conversations to a combined monthly blog reach of 80+ million and a social reach exceeding 200 million total followers across the community.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Bentonville, AR, Collective Bias has 145 employees based in offices in Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Inmar is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with more than 4,000 employees across North America.

"As shopper buying behavior continues to evolve, particularly among the coveted Millennial market, smart brands must look beyond more traditional marketing efforts and meet shoppers where they are — which is increasingly on social platforms," said Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. "We have shown that great content along with optimized promotions rooted in shopper behavior data is a winning formula for shoppers, brands and retailers. We are impressed with Collective Bias' strong leadership and the business they have built. With this acquisition, we gain an impressive technology platform, social measurement data, and an elite community of influencers."

Over the past three years, Collective Bias has been the leader in influencer campaign measurement moving the industry away from self-reported numbers to a verified delivery dashboard that reinforces the company's commitment to measurable engagement. Through its latest measurement feature for brands, which is the metric of time shoppers spent on content, Collective Bias found that shoppers view their influencer content almost seven times longer than digital display ads.

"Inmar's vast experience in technology-enabled marketing services and data sciences will enable our next phase of growth and innovation," said Bill Sussman, President & CEO of Collective Bias. "Combining our social engagement data with Inmar's retail promotion and POS data will create combined shopper marketing solutions that are even more compelling for our customers and give us the ability to provide a holistic solution for corporate brand and media buying agencies."

Collective Bias will retain its name and operate as its own entity; Sussman will remain as President of Collective Bias, take on additional responsibilities as an SVP at Inmar, and report directly to Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts.

"When we founded Collective Bias in 2009, influencer marketing was in its infancy and we were pioneers in connecting brands to shoppers via our Social Fabric® community and social channels," said Amy Callahan, Co-Founder and CCO of Collective Bias. "We see a great culture fit with Inmar. Joining the value of our companies allows us to expand our influencer network and give our current influencers even more opportunity as we connect the right shoppers and brands."

GCA Advisors, LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Collective Bias in connection with this transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as the legal advisor to Inmar in connection with this transaction.