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Scaling Your Business Through Strategic Partnerships with Simon Penson

In 2009 Simon Penson founded Zazzle Media, one of the first content marketing agencies in the U.K. Although the company was successful, Penson had difficulties winning large customer contracts due to the size of his agency.

To enhance his credibility, in 2015 he decided to merge Zazzle Media with Stickyeyes, which, at the time, formed the largest content marketing agency in the U.K.

Penson’s decision proved to be savvy. A year later, IPG Mediabrands acquired Stickyeyes in a deal valued at over £20 million.

In this episode, you will learn how to:

  • Fast-track your company’s growth through partnerships.

  • Win larger customers using an unconventional tactic.

  • Utilize a unique pricing structure to sell to big brands.

  • Avoid losing millions in an earn-out.

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More About Simon Penson

Simon Penson is the founder of one of the world’s first truly digital content marketing agencies – a business he scaled to more than £20m in revenue and 260 people. Prior to that, he had built and sold several small affiliate businesses in the mid-2000s.

Post exit Simon has focused his attention on the world of start-ups as a founding Partner of Haatch Ventures, a U.K.-based venture fund, and is also an active angel investor.

He now spends the majority of his time as a General Partner and founder of – a consultancy specializing in helping agency businesses grow and scale.

The team has big plans to grow the business further in 2023 with a long product roadmap ready to roll out to help more founders and executive teams grow their digital businesses faster.


Earn-out: Earnout or earn-out refers to a pricing structure in mergers and acquisitions where the sellers must “earn” part of the purchase price based on the performance of the business following the acquisition. Source.

Due-Diligence: Due diligence is an investigation, audit, or review performed to confirm facts or details of a matter under consideration. In the financial world, due diligence requires an examination of financial records before entering into a proposed transaction with another party. Source.

Letter of Intent (LOI): A letter of intent (LOI) is a document declaring the preliminary commitment of one party to do business with another. The letter outlines the chief terms of a prospective deal. Commonly used in major business transactions, LOIs are similar in content to term sheets. One major difference between the two, though, is that LOIs are presented in letter formats, while term sheets are listicle in nature. Source.

Procurement: Procurement is the act of obtaining or purchasing goods or services, typically for business purposes. Procurement is most commonly associated with businesses because companies need to solicit services or purchase goods, usually on a relatively large scale. It can also include the overall procurement process, which is critically important for companies leading up to their final purchasing decision. Companies can be on both sides of the procurement process as buyers or sellers though here we mainly focus on the side of the soliciting company. Source.

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