I Just read an article on MarketingVox called "Strong Internet Marketing M&A Forecast for 2006" which was based on a recent survey (pdf) , done by investment bank AdMedia Partners, called "Merger and Acquisition Prospects for Marketing Services and Internet Marketing Firms (pdf)".
The survey has all sorts of graphs, tables and number charts in it, but my favorite part is the comments from some of the respondents:
“Big agencies are under tremendous client pressure to get ‘smart’ about new and online media – they will buy the intelligence.”
"Consulting and SEO income opportunities are abounding.” A second advised, “Focus on the Internet. Hard dollars are showing up there. Product placement, branded content, creating co-owned ideas that generate revenues, vehicles that will continue to pay dividends.”
“I expect the long overdue acquisitions of online agencies by large traditional agencies will accelerate. Large traditional shops will need to bite the bullet on valuations, but probably won’t regret it.”
"I believe the industry as a whole is under-valued, especially small-medium sized companies with a proven track record and unharnessed potential given necessary access to market and working capital.”
A lot of this makes sense…especially that last quote. I could say more….but I won’t right now.