WASHINGTON, D.C. – Flag Media Analytics, an affiliate company of Hamilton Place Strategies, has acquired the media monitoring technology assets of Detroit, MI-based Unison, representatives from both companies have confirmed. The deal closed on February 8th, 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition marks an inflection point for Flag, as the firm advances its efforts in bringing custom solutions and insights to clients navigating a saturated media environment and a proliferation of complex tools. The Unison acquisition will enhance Flag’s ability to partner with clients in managing their public profile.
“Flag’s mission has always been to provide our clients with real-time monitoring of the news cycle and actionable insights for reporting and decision-making. Given Unison’s pioneering work in media monitoring, cutting-edge technology, and expertise in advising the C-suite, we see Unison as a natural fit as we work to provide real solutions in a complex environment. This will enhance Flag’s ability to solve the analytical problem of media and allow our clients to focus on action and impact,” said HPS partner, Matt McDonald.
Sharing remarks on the transaction, HPS partner Tony Fratto said, “Flag and HPS are a great home for Unison because Unison’s team applies the same approach of analytical rigor, topical expertise, and creative thinking to connect media monitoring with client actions.”
As part of this acquisition, Unison’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammad Hamid, will join Flag and HPS in a dual capacity as managing director. While his primary focus will be leading the growth of Flag, Hamid will also support HPS clients in a consultative capacity on projects involving big data, primary research, and media planning. A data-scientist by trade, Hamid has been involved in the creation of several high-tech companies. Most recently, Hamid was the CEO of Conadus, a global leader in cybersecurity, until it was acquired in 2012.
Flag Media Analytics’ Vision & The Future
Flag has been around since the early days of media monitoring. Over the years, the company has invested in building out its own technology platform, which gets critical information to clients even faster than before and sifts through vast amounts of data offered by other monitoring platforms to cut through the noise and deliver the news that matters directly to clients.
As the company’s momentum continues in 2019, there are three key themes it will focus on: simplifying the client experience, providing solutions that are specialized by industry sectors, and bringing predictive capabilities to the Flag platform.
In a recent Forrester study, nearly 50 percent of respondents said their biggest challenge was uncovering actionable insights from media monitoring data. This challenge defines Flag’s approach: taking messy burden of data collection, synthesis, and analysis off of clients and simply delivering actionable insights.
“While there has been a proliferation of media monitoring technologies over the past decade, the vast majority of them require clients to navigate technical nuances, and not enough of them focus on simplifying strategic insights for clients. At Flag, our team handles the intricacies of media monitoring for our clients and deliver the key insights to enhance decision-making,” said Hamid.
Moving forward, Flag will offer three core services: (1) Flag alerts (2) Flag insights and (3) Flag impact. The Flag alerts solution will be a continuation of the firm’s renowned news cycle monitoring which keeps clients up-to-speed with breaking stories. The Unison Insights Platform will now be known as Flag insights and will focus on providing clients with a deep dive analysis of the key audiences and trends around their brand or topics of interest. Finally, the Flag impact offering will comprise several strategic services to help move the needle for clients, such as mix-modeling focused on optimizing investments in paid, owned, and earned media.
 Kaneshige, T. (2015, January 27). Why Social Listening Platforms Are Failing. Retrieved February 5, 2019, from https://www.cio.com/article/2876295/social-media/why-social-listening-platforms-are-failing.html Reference: Forrester Wave ’15