Downtown firm acquired by KC agency

GlynnDevins president Sue McClure, center, with SB&A's Robert Adams and Sharon Brooks. (Courtesy GlynnDevins)

GlynnDevins president Sue McClure, center, with SB&A’s Robert Adams and Sharon Brooks. (Courtesy GlynnDevins)

As it marks its 35th year, a local marketing and consumer research firm is joining forces with a Kansas-based ad agency that likewise focuses on the senior living industry.

SB&A Integrated Marketing and its research arm, Brooks Adams Research, have been acquired by GlynnDevins, a 30-year-old senior living-specific agency based in Kansas City.

The deal closed Sept. 22. Terms were not disclosed.

By early spring of next year, SB&A will begin operating under the GlynnDevins flag as the national firm’s East Coast office and will maintain its current location at 207 W. Franklin St. Brooks Adams Research and its sales division, Brooks Adams Sales & Consulting, will continue operating under their names with the tagline: “A GlynnDevins company.”

Principles involved said the deal will combine SB&A’s research and sales resources with GlynnDevins’ digital and technology assets.

“We have strengths in that area, and Brooks Adams Research has a lot of strengths in the consumer research area and understanding our coming consumer,” said Sue McClure, GlynnDevins’ president and COO.

“This (deal) has been fueled by some of the changing consumer behaviors: digital and technology, and new marketing channels like social and email are quickly becoming adopted by our (consumer) target – 75-plus.”

McClure said GlynnDevins had been eyeing SB&A since taking on investment last year from Falfurrias Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Charlotte. The SB&A deal follows an initial acquisition of a fellow Kansas City firm, Zillner Marketing, which likewise focused on the senior living industry.

McClure said GlynnDevins would focus on establishing and growing its Richmond office before pursuing further deals. SB&A’s nearly 40-person staff will all transfer to GlynnDevins, bringing the combined company’s total workforce to just over 200. SB&A’s leadership team will remain in place under to-be-determined titles, including president-CEO Sharon Brooks and vice president Robert Adams.

Brooks said her firm has known and admired GlynnDevins for most of its three decades and was glad to join up when the company came calling.

“We have worked as colleagues and known them for a long time, and we recognize their quality and their dedication to their clients,” Brooks said.

“For me, it was the desire for SB&A Integrated Marketing and Brooks Adams Research to be able to continue to do great work, to continue to grow, long into the future. By joining forces, we have more people and more access to capital to develop technology-based solutions for our clients and bring things to market faster.”

McClure said the challenge of keeping up with new technologies while the company’s consumer base and clients – primarily senior living communities across the country – start using those technologies was a motivating factor in the deal.

“As our consumer target ages and begins to adopt some of those forms of communication, it’s very important that we stay ahead of that market and offer those services,” she said. “Those are some things that we’ll be able to bring to the current SB&A client base that will be complementary to many of the things they already provide.”

Added Brooks: “The first boomers turned 70 this year, so the population trend is huge. It’s a massive age-wave of people who are moving toward retirement, and retirement today means something very different to these people than it used to. It means staying healthier longer, staying active longer and living a great life.”

Correction: A previous version of this story reported GlynnDevins is based in Kansas City, Missouri. It is based in Kansas City, Kansas.

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