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Merger aims to make an Impact

By Phil Sim in Marcoms News on
As marketing leaders who have had a knack for picking emerging trends, Mark and Heather Jones have gone all-in on purpose-driven branding.
 
Filtered Media, the marketing agency founded by former AFR journalist Mark Jones and his wife and experienced PR practitioner Heather, has merged with Social Impact Institute, a social sector advisory firm.
 
The new 25-person organisation will come together under a new name, The ImpactInstitute and will aim to combine Filtered Media's strengths in storytelling, content marketing and public relations with Social Impact Institute's specialist capabilities in measuring and optimising social impact. 
 
Jones will lead the combined organisation as CEO, while Social Impact Institute CEO David Jack will become Executive Chair and Head of Advisory.
 
The ImpactInstitute describes its remit as "helping commercial and social sector organisations across Australia create measurable impact with stories that matter".
 
Jones sees the merger as something more than just an expansion of capability or client rosters. Rather, he sees the new organisation as having a clear point of differentiation in a business environment where organisations are increasingly wanting their purpose to be intrinsic to their brand narrative.
 
Boards and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that social responsibilities be a “fundamental core” of organisational purpose, Jones claimed.
 
"Then they are saying, ok, now that we have defined our purpose, what do we do with it and how is it being felt by our customers and by our staff," he said.
 
"Purpose should deliver something that is measurable, sustainable, and has a lasting impact."
 
That's where the social impact measurement frameworks developed by the Social Impact Institute provide a clear point of differentiation, Jones argued. Head of Research Michelle Jack holds a PhD in this space and when combined with Filtered Media's chops in storytelling, the merged organisation can carry a strategic branding project from concept to execution, through to measurement and thereafter into iterative development.
 
"It's just a really exciting, big, emerging space. Filtered Media has a history of being on the edge of where things are going, we were doing podcasts before they became mainstream, we were talking about brand storytelling before content marketing became part of the vernacular, and we see this Impact wave as being something we really have the opportunity to influence," he said.
 
As well as representing an expansion of the type of services that can be offered to Filtered Media's corporate customer base, the new entity is also better positioned to deliver more diverse marketing services to Social Impact Institute's clientele in the social sector.
 
"It really was one of those rare scenarios where you have two organisations of roughly the same size and values, seeing an opportunity to work with each other and create an entirely new organisation," Jones said.

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