U.K. Shop Steak Lands in N.Y.

NEW YORK London-based search shop Steak is expanding to New York, the latest independent British agency to arrive in the U.S. market.
 
Three-year-old Steak has its roots as a search marketing agency, founded by executives from ESpotting, a paid search provider in Europe. It has branched into other digital media and reputation management. Search remains about 70 percent of Steak’s overall business, according to CEO Oliver Bishop.
 
The agency has about 60 people in the U.K., and is starting its New York office with seven people. (It also has another three in Melbourne, Australia.) Steak’s initial clients here are French Connection, lingerie maker Myla and mobile community FunkySexyCool.
 
Steak hopes to follow in the footsteps of other recent British agency arrivals. Digital shop Poke last year set up a New York outpost, alongside earlier arrivals like Naked Communications and Mother.
 
It hopes to differentiate itself from other search agencies by focusing on how search can inform overall advertising and business strategy rather than only conversions, said Bishop.
 
For British tourism group Enjoy England, Steak mined search data to inform its ad strategy. It found that many searchers were looking for fishing information, so it worked with Enjoy England to develop content related to fishing trips around England, then linked it to a search marketing effort.
 
“We’re marketers not technology-led folks,” Bishop said. “Search was a tech-led discipline that led to marketing.”
 
Steak and other search agencies see an opportunity to add on other services for clients, including media planning and buying, creative and social media. ICrossing and 360i are both adding these services to complement their search expertise.
 
“The exciting digital agencies might have a search department,” said Matt Clark, CFO of Mother, who is on Steak’s board of directors. “In five years, the market will be dominated much more by search.”