Dentsu Aegis acquires marketing cloud agency

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 20 August 2018
L to R: Zhengda Shen, Blair Cooke, Jessie Mitchell and Simon Ryan.

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has continued its run of acquisitions, with global marketing agency Merkle picking up Sydney-based Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist Amicus Digital.

The business will now become Amicus Digital, a Merkle Company, led by current MD and co-founder Blair Cooke, with fellow founder Jessie Mitchell becoming commercial and client service director.

Amicus Digital is a Salesforce 'Gold Partner' that assists clients in the use of the company's Marketing Cloud product, which provides digital marketing automation and analytics software and services.

In the quest for better data and unifying the customer journey, companies such as Adobe, Marketo, Salesforce and Oracle have all grown in popularity among agencies and clients.

The acquisition will see the Amicus Digital team use their understanding of the marketing cloud to accelerate Merkle's "growth and differentiation" in Australia.

Blair will report to Simon Ryan, CEO of DAN ANZ and Zhengda Shen, president of Merkle APAC.

Ryan says the acquisition was based upon a growing demand from clients to provide assistance across multiple communications services, adding that building out its capabilities in the data and digital space was "imperative".

“Amicus Digital has a market-leading reputation for expertise across all aspects of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and brings a unique and in-demand offering to our group," Ryan says.

"There is a strong cultural and strategic fit, and we look forward to welcoming the Amicus Digital team and supporting them through the next phase of growth for our business and that of our clients.”

Merkle, which was acquired by DAN late last year, is steadily building its presence in Australia after officially launching in March, with data-driven marketing agency Columbus and B2B digital media and marketing agency, DWA, both part of the Merkle network locally.

Shen says Australia is a "priority market" for Merkle's global expansion, with the company focused on building upon its recent momentum and acquisitions.

"On the back of bringing Columbus and DWA into the Merkle family locally, it’s critical that we build on this momentum and continue to build out our capabilities to establish a strong local market position," she says

“Amicus Digital is one of the few consultancies in Australia that can provide people-based strategy, transformation, technical implementation, support and campaign execution."

In April, Ted Stites was appointed as executive vice president, customer experience and marketing technology solutions for Merkle’s Asia Pacific region.

Outside of Merkle, DAN has also been making a significant push for acquisitions within the sports marketing space, through DAN's global lifestyle marketing arm MKTG.

Earlier this year, MKTG acquired Klip Desk – a new technology business that allows clients to capture and measure live content across all digital media.

The B2B enterprise software enables sports rights owners to automate real-time delivery and commercialisation of their highlights via a product called Klip Studio.

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