Accenture Acquires Acquity

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Fjord and avVenta were swallowed by Accenture recently.
Fjord and avVenta were swallowed by Accenture recently.

In its quest to become the panacea for the data-driven woes of CMOs, Accenture agreed on Friday to acquire Acquity Group for  $316 million. Acquity's 600 employees will join Accenture Interactive, a global enterprise with more than 4,000 employees in 120 countries offering marketing, analytics, and technology solutions.

Accenture executives say that Acquity's distinction in working with leading digital platforms made it an attractive complement to the services provided by Accenture Interactive.  Acquity was named 2012 partner of the year by both Adobe and Hybris.

“So many factors are coming into play for CMOs. They have to drive performance from multiple channels and most of them have multiple agencies to help them do it, says Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital marketing for Accnture Interactive. “Converging of all these players with a clear focus on driving performance is what we're about. We think CMOs are looking for a new type of marketing provider.”

While Hartman notes that Accenture Interactive is happy to work with a client's current roster of agencies and marketing service providers,  a recent spate of acquisitions makes it evident that the unit of the $28 billion Accenture aims to present itself as a one-stop-shop for CMOs. It purchased design consultancy Fjord just last month and digital production house avVenta in late 2012.

“We want to be and end-to-end provider that takes responsibility for outcomes,” Hartman says. “We want to free CMOs to think about marketing and customer experience while we think about the organizational processes and best practices.”

Accenture's timing may be good. In the Direct Marketing Association's latest quarterly business review, released today, 70% of member respondents agreed that the practice of data-driven marketing is positioned for growth. 

Acquity Group itself has been on a fast growth track. Its $141 million in 2012 revenues represented a rise of 32% over the previous year.

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