Post Capital bets on data-driven digital marketing with Ironmark platform

Ironmark has excelled in navigating the complexity of enforcing seamless communication in a personalized manner, said its new investors.

Post Capital Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm focused on the lower-mid-market, last week completed a new platform investment in Ironmark, a print and communications services company in the Mid-Atlantic region. To learn more about the deal, PE Hub caught up with Post Capital co-founder and managing director Michael Pfeffer and executive partner Jeffrey Riback, who is joining Ironmark’s board of directors.

Ironmark, based in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, offers a suite of services in commercial print, digital marketing and web development, creative agency and promotional products management, among others. Because it’s a one-stop-shop, it means customers can work with fewer vendors in their marketing and communications strategies, explained Pfeffer.

“In this particular business, customers are entrusting a company with the sanctity of their brand and their reputation that is being communicated out to their constituencies,” Pfeffer said. “So to be able to offer all the services that a customer wants, you really need a platform to be able to scale up to meet those needs.”

Michael Pfeffer, Post Capital Partners

Post Capital operates under the deal sourcing and investment strategy dubbed “Executive First,” in which the firm partners with talented senior operating executives who have deep expertise in a particular sector and works with them to identify investments.

Post Capital chose Riback, based on his decades long career in commercial print and content technology. Previously, Riback served as president of Toppan Merrill, a provider of financial printing and communication services; and as principal and CEO of Data Communiqué International, where he was part of a team responsible for developing a value-added content management publishing automation technology prior to its sale to Havas Advertising.

“Our plan is to focus on scaling this business and adding data analytics to what we are doing and provide customers with the ability to judge the effectiveness of their communications,” Riback said. This can be physical documents or digital marketing platforms such as emails, text, or social media, from which Ironmark can help clients craft new strategies.

Ironmark has excelled in navigating the complexity of enforcing seamless communication in a personalized manner especially for companies operating from multiple locations, according to its new investors.

There are many growth paths for Ironmark, among them helping customers make the transition from a document-based environment to other data-driven communication platforms, according to Pfeffer. Ironmark can also capitalize on its longstanding history of organic growth and mergers and acquisitions to grow the business. Since 2002, Ironmark has successfully completed over 13 strategic acquisitions. Pfeffer said Ironmark has a culture of retaining customers over a long period, something that can help scale the business in new locations.

While the Post Capital co-founder is concerned about the current macroeconomic environment, he is confident that Ironmark will prevail, based on its previous performance during the “tougher” economic period between 2008 and 2010.

“We believe that the company has really close customer relationships and that it is well-positioned to withstand, and hopefully grow, during a tougher economic environment.”