We announced this morning that Fit Marketing has merged with Stryde! All Fit clients are now Stryde clients and the Fit team has joined forces with the Stryde team. The combined team is larger and better able to tackle bigger client projects and do even better work than the Fit or Stryde team alone was able to handle. We wanted to take the chance to let each of the key players in each organization tell their story of how this happened and why it made sense.

Dave’s Take

I have known the leadership team at Stryde for many years. We’ve been friendly competitors for the past few years, and before that we worked together in the trenches at SEO.com. Because of that history, I trust them and I respect their marketing expertise. They are some of the smartest digital marketers I know. I know they’ll take great care of the Fit clients and employees. How did this deal come together? Fit had grown significantly from our humble start in Owen’s kitchen to being recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the state the past few years. We were on an upward trajectory and felt like we might be able to scale up quicker by merging with other like-minded marketers, if we could find the right fit. We reached out to Greg Shuey at Stryde more than a year ago. At the time. we decided the timing wasn’t right, so we went about our business for another year and then a couple of months ago, we restarted the dialog with Stryde around a potential merger. Around the same time we restarted the discussion with Stryde, I was approached by some good friends who had started a company called PageLaunch. They were looking for someone to come in to lead the fast-growing company. Somehow the stars aligned and it worked out that I got the offer to step into the role of CEO at PageLaunch, and we were able to work out a deal to merge Fit in with Stryde. I will continue to advise and assist the Stryde team to make the transition as smooth as possible for the team and clients. As sad as I am to have to step away, I know that I’m leaving the company in good hands. I am confident that the new, combined company will accomplish even greater things than either company did on its own in the past — and both companies have achieved incredible results for their clients — so my expectations are sky high. Owen put a lot of trust in me when he took me on as a partner almost three years ago. Like any business, Fit’s had its share of ups and downs through the years, but it was a fun ride and I was glad to have Owen with me each step of the way. He is a great partner and friend to have by my side. Now as we get ready to move into a new chapter of the life of Fit Marketing, we are entrusting a new generation of marketers to carry the torch. We feel good about where things are going, and we know that current and future clients will benefit from the combined expertise of the new and improved Stryde team. The future looks bright for digital, inbound, and content marketing in Utah with Stryde leading the way.

Owen’s Take

Dave’s painted the picture well of how things have come together. Like Dave, I’m excited for the future and to see what the combined teams of Fit and Stryde can do. As many people know, last year I stepped down as president of Fit and moved into a board member role. Professionally, I knew it was time to learn new lessons and tackle new challenges, and I found the right opportunity to do that at Qzzr. And what an exciting ride that’s been. Now that Fit has been acquired though, while Dave is looking forward, I can’t help but reminisce a bit about what we were able to build together with all the amazing people that have worked at Fit since 2009. These are some of the highlights that come to mind:
  • More than 40 people have worked at Fit since we started in 2009, and I learned something from each of them. I feel so much gratitude for their contributions and skills. They were and are, in a word, awesome.
  • We’ve sure had interesting people walk through our doors. I’m thinking of Garrett Gee, who designed the Fit logo before he got busy building and selling a company for 54 million dollars. Or there was that time that our first sales guy, Brooks Forester, starred on The Bachelorette. Lots of good times with great people — and that’s what I remember most.
  • As Fit grew, we had a few mergers and acquisitions that brought new energy and ideas to our team. I’m appreciative to Chris Kilburn and his team at TOFU Marketing for helping Fit to up its game when we acquired them in 2013. And of course, no merger had a bigger impact on me than when Big Start and Fit Marketing merged in 2012, and I got to have Dave as a partner through that process. He’s one of the finest people I’ve ever met, and one my all-time favorites to work with. I can’t wait to see what he builds at PageLaunch and hope we’ll have a chance to work together again.
  • As we grew, our offices sure changed. We started in my little apartment in Provo in 2009, and then felt like we hit the big time a year later when Fit had one other employee and we were working out of a condo in Orem. From there, we opened offices in downtown Salt Lake City, Provo and American Fork before consolidating all of them into our favorite space of all in downtown Lehi. At each step, gratefully, the spaces got a bit nicer. That being said, I’ll always remember those early days with really cheap furniture fondly.
  • I’m proud that Inbound Marketing SLC became what it did and that Stryde will continue to host that event going forward. I never would’ve guessed, when it started, that we’d be able to get hundreds of Utah’s top marketers together every couple of months to share what we’re learning. Thank you to everyone who has made that event worthwhile.
  • It’s gratifying to think that the little company I started as a clueless 25 year old grew to make a small dent in the marketing community in Utah. It blows me away when I look back and realize that since then people have paid Fit Marketing millions of dollars to help with their marketing. Even more importantly, Fit helped people turn those millions of dollars invested in marketing into many more.
  • There’s no way that Fit would have achieved what it did without all the awesome people that have contributed to it. And again, none more awesome than my partner and friend, Dave.
At its best, Fit has been a labor of love — love for our clients, the work that we’re doing, and for each other. I’m grateful and excited to see the Fit team combine with the bright people at Stryde to nourish that spirit more and write the next chapter in this story. I get the feeling that with these two teams working together, the best is yet to come.

Greg’s Take

Well, I get to go last, so most of the story has already been told… When compared to Fit Marketing, Stryde is still a toddler. We’re only two years old. When we started Stryde, we had several growth strategies in mind, one of which was through mergers and acquisitions. I don’t think we could have been any luckier that our first was with some of my great friends and mentors. It means a whole lot to me that Dave trusts us enough to take the torch and hopefully pour some gasoline on it 🙂 During the last couple of years, Stryde has also made some pivots in our approach to marketing and our service offering. We initially started out as a full service digital marketing agency. About a year ago, we decided to narrow our focus to content marketing and cut out all the other distractions that were taking our time and attention away from what we do best. Yes, we still do SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing, etc., but we do it differently than we did before. Everything we do and every decision we make revolves around our content strategy for each client. I’m happy to report that it is working extremely well! By merging the Fit team into the Stryde team, we also opened up some new capabilities that we didn’t have before, including video creation. We are now producing some of the best live and animated video that I’ve seen in a long time. Take that and package it with our content and distribution and promotion strategies and you’ve got something pretty awesome! I too am excited to see where our company goes during the next 12-24 months. We’re a lot stronger than we were 30 days ago, and I expect the strength of our organization to continue to grow as the team gets more familiar with one another and we start firing on all cylinders. Here’s to 2015 and massive growth for our clients and Stryde.]]>