Rosetta's Brulant acquisition makes a large interactive shop

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Rosetta's acquisition of Brulant brings together two midsize interactive agencies to form one of the largest independent interactive agencies with expertise in consumer insights, digital implementation, e-commerce and interactive marketing.

The deal reflects two fundamental changes currently taking place in consumer marketing, said Chris Keunne, chairman and CEO of Rosetta. The first is the move from mass marketing to personalized marketing. “The old form of personalized marketing was behaviorally based, but now with clickstream analysis, you can really understand what makes customers click and target them with the right experience,” he said.

Another change is the increasing pressure on CMOs to demonstrate profitability and growth. “Direct marketing allows marketers to measure the economics of individual relationships; what are you spending to enhance this relationship, and what are you getting back,” Keunne said.

The new agency will address these trends with a focus on both execution and analytics, he continued. “Interactive and digital firms have focused for the most part on building executional abilities alone or on building modeling capabilities alone,” said Keunne. “We have started with the premise that you can't do separately, you have to do simultaneously.”

The new agency will also offer clients a unique structure that is organized by industry verticals, such as retail, healthcare and financial services. “Traditional agencies are organized by competency, with separate companies for modeling and interactive that are networked together,” Keunne said. Len Pagon, Brulant's founder and CEO, becomes the vice chairman in charge of growth initiatives at the new Rosetta. Kurt Holstein, COO of Rosetta, becomes president of healthcare and digital media. Brad Wertz, COO of Brulant, becomes president of consumer products, retail and financial services.

Brulant's expertise is in e-commerce platforms, creative execution online and search marketing. Its clients include Borders, Coach, Nationwide, Citizens Bank and Marriott.

Rosetta and Brulant will consolidate under the Rosetta brand after a short transition period.

The acquisition will add offices in Cleveland, Chicago and Boston to Rosetta's current locations in Princeton, NJ; New York and Denver.

Rosetta holds five patents for its Personality segmentation product, which tailors the online experience for customers. It has achieved compound annual growth of more than 40% since its inception 10 years ago and had nearly $50 million in revenue last year.

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