Content marketing agency Spafax is expanding its Canadian business with a new Toronto office and hires, a “creative hub” and a public relations division to offer a one-stop shop to clients.
As the content marketing business heats up, Spafax, which specializes in travel, automotive and financial service categories, is looking to ramp up its North American portfolio.
Headquartered in London and operating in Canada since 1992, prior to this its main creative team was in Montreal, while a Toronto office focused on sales, finance and admin.
Nino Di Cara, executive VP of content marketing with Spafax, said while it made sense for the firm to be aligned that way in the past, now was the perfect time to amp up its Toronto presence. “We will continue to have a substantial team in Montreal and a lot of our business is there [since] we specialize in bilingual publications, but I think Toronto is booming right now,” he said. “It’s a great North American hub, and while we are committed to our Montreal market, it’s important to us to have both.”
Proximity to big clients, including Tourism Toronto, Mercedes and Air Canada is important, as is getting new clients, he added.
Di Cara said the firm was also cognizant of what Toronto offers in terms of personnel. “There is an enormous amount of creative talent in Toronto right now, and we want access to that and feed into it,” he said. The agency has long carried out a full suite of services for its clients, from content marketing to media sales and public relations, so it was important that the Toronto office have that edge.
A new PR department, which will be headed up by Courtney MacNeil, director of brand alliances, marketing and PR, will reinforce the need for integrated public relations and marketing programs, Di Cara said.
“Big initiatives that we are dealing with across digital, experiential, print and event platforms often require PR support,” he said. “We see the development of our PR services as a natural extension of the business and it’s something we were doing organically anyway.”
This robust offering of services is important to Spafax’s strategy. “It serves clients a lot better if we can offer this,” he said. “There are a lot of content agencies out there, and a lot of PR agencies doing content, but none have the seamlessness we can offer.”
The firm also announced a raft of new appointments and promotions, including 15 new roles since January, all located at a new central location in downtown Toronto in a 5,000-square-foot office space. Custom-designed to facilitate collaboration between teams, it is situated in close proximity to the company’s clients and partners.
Lisa Guimond is heading up a “creative hub” at the company. Guimond was recently named special projects editor, as well as editor of Air Canada’s enRoute edition, a new magazine for passengers travelling between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Montreal. She’ll run the hub along with associate art director Jennifer Spinner, and both will also execute advertiser-driven content integration initiatives. Di Cara said Spafax’s current employee expansion is “exceptional” in the current media landscape.
Spafax now has a staff of more than 60 in both Montreal and Toronto. Clients include Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Bombardier Business Aircraft and Investors Group.