Digital agency WebMarketers acquires web development company Atomic Motion

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Dan Cummins is the first to admit that the past two years have not been kind to his website and app development company.

“The pandemic has hit us very hard,” says famed Ottawa entrepreneur of the havoc the COVID-19 crisis has wreaked on Atomic Motion, the company he started more than two decades ago .

At its peak, Atomic Motion was a thriving company with two dozen employees and a customer list that included global giants like Toyota and Google.

But the pandemic has taken its toll. Cummins says a “major aviation contract” was cut in half as air travel came to a halt, while another customer canceled a deal worth more than $400,000.

There was, adds Cummins, “a lot of uncertainty” surrounding the future of the web development industry, which had already been turned upside down by the emergence of software such as Squarespace and Wix that allowed virtually anyone to create your own site.

But things seem to be looking up for Atomic Motion.

Enterprise level customers

Earlier this month, the company was acquired by WebMarketers, one of Ottawa’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies. The terms of the contract are not disclosed.

Cummins, which was Atomic Motion’s sole shareholder, will retain a stake in the combined organization. Atomic Motion, which had seven employees at the time of the transaction, will remain a stand-alone entity under the WebMarketers umbrella and will continue to serve corporate and public sector clients including Canadian Blood Services, Global Affairs Canada and NASA. .

“The timing just seemed perfect,” says Cummins, who will take on the role of chief strategy officer.

Founded in 2013 by Kyle Smendziuk and Dave Kachaniwsky, WebMarketers has grown its staff to nearly 30 employees while primarily serving small to medium-sized clients. It continued to expand during the pandemic, increasing its offerings by acquiring social media agency Media Launch and launching Phantom Productions, a division focused on photo, video and animation services.

The company has recently started courting larger customers in a bid to accelerate its growth trajectory. Smendziuk said bringing Atomic Motion into the fold will speed up this process by adding blue-chip enterprise-level customers to its roster.

“We are thrilled to partner with Atomic Motion,” he said in a statement. “They are one of the oldest online stores in the region and have some of the most notable brands in the world among their customer list.”

Cummins, who met Smendziuk a few years ago, says he was impressed with the Carleton University aerospace engineering graduate’s “energy and ambition” as well as his ability to deliver a demonstrable return on investment for his customers. .

“There are so many agencies out there that it’s just branding and social media for social media’s sake. But these guys are all about quantifying, ‘Okay , you spent a thousand dollars. Here’s how you made three thousand.'”

“There are so many agencies out there that it’s all about branding and social media for social media’s sake,” he says. “But these guys are all about quantifying, ‘Okay – you spent a thousand dollars. Here’s how you made three thousand.

“(Acquiring Atomic Motion) is an opportunity for them to absorb a lot of experience, know-how and knowledge about the area they really want to start researching.”

With 35 employees, WebMarketers is now one of the biggest players in the digital marketing space in Ottawa. Cummins says the company plans to continue hiring in anticipation of adding new enterprise-level customers and is expanding its office in World Exchange Plaza to accommodate more staff.

Additionally, WebMarketers is already considering other acquisition targets, including one south of the border, as it seeks to expand its footprint across the country and beyond.

While the threat of a looming recession could spook some companies into pausing such ambitious ventures, Cummins says he thinks the industry is ready for a new wave of growth.

“I feel like the economy is definitely going to collapse,” he said. “But at the same time, I feel like we’re going to see an increase in spending – certainly from small business customers. As business potentially becomes scarcer, all smart companies are spending more on advertising and marketing.

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