Editor’s note: Raleigh-based Three Ships, a provider of digital marketing agency as well as software and services focused on search technology, is splitting into three ventures. Zach Clayton, the founder of Three Ships, explains what’s happening via an email about Thursday’s news.

RALEIGH, N.C. – I have some exciting news to share with you about the growth of Three Ships!

For the past two years, Three Ships has operated as two divisions: a digital agency and a software and services company for organic search. Both of these divisions grew at an exceptional pace during 2015, giving them a talent base and a market trajectory that positioned them as independent companies. Given the momentum in the market, the talent level, and the growing organizations at both businesses, I’m very excited to announce that we are now formalizing their identities as independent companies.

The digital marketing agency will become CRISP.

The organic search software firm will become Demand Signals.

While a smaller part of our business, we’ll continue to invest in disruptive research and development, now formalizing this effort into a group called 3S Ventures led by Andy Friedman.

Concurrent with this announcement, we have promoted Jeff Kilman to CEO of CRISP and Justin Helmig to CEO of Demand Signals. Both are strong leaders and we are fortunate to have them leading their respective businesses.

[Note: Kilman was Managing Director at Three Ships and General Manager of the 3S Agency unit.

[Note: Justin Helmig was Managing Director and General Manager at Three Ships where he was responsible for leading all functions of the Search Solutions.]

I will continue 110%, full-time, and hard-charging as CEO of Three Ships. I look forward to supporting our outstanding leadership teams, continuing my work with clients, and further developing our market presence.

I’m more excited than ever by the opportunity that digital marketing is creating for companies.

Already this year, I have spoken with more than 100 CEOs, CMOs, and board members. They see digital marketing as an increasingly important growth lever. They are focused on doing more of it, doing it better, and accelerating digital transformation.

As the digital world continues to mature, greater specialization is an imperative. Deeper expertise, better technology, advanced analytics, and improved customer experiences are all required to develop and maintain true competitive advantage.

Our new structure positions us with the focus and expertise to lead in this era of the digital transformation.