Efficient Frontier acquires Context Optional, expands social marketing business

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Digital marketing firm Efficient Frontier has acquired social marketing company Context Optional, the company said on May 4. Both companies will operate as separate entities with no planned structural changes; the acquisition is expected to close “within the coming weeks,” said David Karnstedt, president and CEO of Efficient Frontier. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Context Optional cofounder and CEO Kevin Barenblat will continue to run the company, and all Context Optional employees will remain, Karnstedt said. In fact, both are in growth mode; he said the two companies “have aggressive hiring plans” and cited “at a minimum” 20 job openings listed for both.

The acquisition provides Efficient Frontier a “one-stop shopping” social media offering. Because Context Optional's social marketing platform covers “the whole life cycle from engagement to retention to analytics and reporting,” Karnstedt said it complements Efficient Frontier's customer acquisition platform and algorithms. He said Efficient Frontier's clients have been asking for a complete marketing solution for Facebook in particular.

“In the social marketing space, once you've got an engagement with a customer, if you don't continue to facilitate further engagement, you lose them as a fan, as a like,” said Karnstedt.

Efficient Frontier and Context Optional gain access to each other's client base, another clear advantage to the union. Efficient Frontier's clients include Salesforce.com, Discover Financial Services, Crate & Barrel, Travelodge Hotels and Capital One, while Context Optional's roster features Microsoft Corp., eBay, Wells Fargo and CNN.

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