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Two Midwest-headquartered GOP firms announced a “strategic partnership” this week as the industry trend of amalgamation continues into 2018.
Axiom Strategies, based in Kansas City, Mo., and The Prosper Group, based in Indianapolis, Ind., explained the expanded “collaboration” in a release: “In an age of complex campaign environments and a rapidly-evolving digital landscape, the collaboration of Axiom Strategies and The Prosper Group will serve the most ambitious and demanding of clients.”
It’s the latest move in a trend toward conglomeration on the right. In November, Axiom announced the launch of an in-house digital and traditional media buying operation called AxMedia. That followed the purchase of Cannon Research Group, a research firm, and the California-based campaign management shop Revolvis.
Now, the partnership with Prosper, which allows “both firms to operate independently and work with their own clients and associates,” expands Axiom’s email and digital offerings. It also welds together practitioners who have sometimes been rivals.
“I have watched The Prosper Group grow and succeed for more than a decade, and our relationship has strengthened in part because of their culture and their midwestern values outside of the beltway,” Roe said in a release.
He went on to praise the firm’s “customer service, attention to detail and reputation,” and saluted co-founders Kristen and Kurt Luidhardt’s “willingness to commit to data driven campaign decisions.”
Roe also told Roll Call the partnership will make general consultants’ lives easier.
“The GC spends a lot of time bringing the vendors up to speed on the strategy they’re trying to implement,” Roe said. “You have conference calls that are so big now, that you can’t even get everyone on the call anymore. … To have that person in the same room, and same company relationship — that’s an enormous advantage.”
Meanwhile, Kurt Luidhardt, Prosper’s co-founder and vice president, said “Axiom’s company culture is an outstanding fit with ours."
But as much as the firms are a good fit “culturally,” the partnership has a lot to do with staying competitive with Majority Strategies, it’s rival umbrella firm on the right. As part of its growth strategy, Majority Strategies recently merged with Chris Faulkner’s Gridiron Communications and has hired a host of state-based practitioners to court regional business beyond its Florida base.
In fact, Roe has predicted the slow demise of the single-service shop. In a recent interview with C&E, he said: “If you have a single mission firm and you do one small piece of politics, you have to charge so much that it’s hard to survive in the off year. It’s like a college bar that makes all their money on homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day. What if it rains on St. Patrick’s Day?”