Today I am excited to announce that 3Q Digital is once again a private, independent agency. I want to explain to you how this came about and what it means for our clients, partners, and team members.

In 2015, we were acquired by Harte Hanks. Over the last three years, we’ve thrived as part of Harte Hanks, more than doubling our staff and revenue, opening new offices (including our first international locations), and introducing new services (like our incredible conversion rate optimization and native advertising teams). In short, we’ve solidified our position as the world’s greatest digital growth agency!

And yet, despite all of this success, in early 2017 3Q and Harte Hanks mutually realized that it was time to part ways. To borrow a line from Top Secret: “Things change, people change, hairstyles change, interest rates fluctuate.”

So, after talking to numerous potential acquirers – none of whom were 100% the right fit – the 3Q management team made an offer to Harte Harks to buy the company back and take it independent.

A quick note to Harte Hanks: thank you for the last three years. We wish you great success going forward and are excited to continue to find partnership opportunities in the future!

Day-to-Day Will Be Same-Old, Same-Old

If you work with (or at) 3Q, your first question is probably: how does this affect me? On a day-to-day basis, the answer is “not much.”

When we sold to Harte Hanks, we were given autonomy to run the business as we saw fit, which meant control over hiring, which clients to work with, which services to offer, our offices, our perks, and so on. As a result, other than a few tweaks to some software packages and intra-company processes, nothing will change going forward.

And a special note for our clients that also work with Harte Hanks: nothing is going to change there either. Joint clients will continue to be serviced by 3Q and Harte Hanks in perfect harmony!

The Big Picture

At a strategic level, we’re going to continue doing what we have always done: recruiting the most talented digital marketers, investing in services that drive maximum growth and efficiency for our clients, and creating a culture that clients, team members, and partners love!

Being independent does come with some benefits, however. For example, we may consider strategic acquisitions that bolster our service offering (like our acquisition of iSearchMedia in 2014), or partner with investors who can provide capital and guidance for faster growth.

The Future’s So Bright . . .

I strongly believe that digital growth agencies like 3Q are positioned to “win the future.” Traditional media (TV, radio, print) is being replaced by online media (like SEM, paid social, and video); traditional brands (like CPG or retail) are being replaced by online brands (like pretty much any 3Q client!); and traditional agencies (you know, the ones with the really nice offices on Madison Avenue) are being replaced by digital growth agencies (like, um, 3Q). It’s a good time to be a digital agency, and it’s a good time to be independent again!

Thanks for partnering with us to get us to this point. I look forward to many more years of disruptive growth!


  1. Rand Schulman March 2nd, 2018

    Tough decision no doubt David. As you know,”The journey begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Lead on!

  2. Greg S. March 4th, 2018

    Love your story, David. God bless and the best of success to you and your team!

  3. Jessica Pliner March 6th, 2018

    Congratulations! Sounds like more exciting opportunities for 3Q

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David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky is founder and CEO of 3Q Digital (formerly PPC Associates), a position he has held since the Company's inception in 2008. Prior to 3Q Digital, he held senior marketing roles at several Internet companies, including (2000-2001), FindLaw (2001-2004), Adteractive (2004-2006), and Mercantila (2007-2008). David currently serves on advisory boards for several companies, including Marin Software, MediaBoost, Mediacause, and a stealth travel start-up. David is a regular speaker at major digital marketing conferences and has contributed to numerous influential publications, including Venture Capital Journal, CNN Radio, Newsweek, Advertising Age, and NPR's Marketplace. David has a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and a J.D. with honors from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, David enjoys salmon fishing, hiking, spending time with his family, and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, not necessarily in that order.