Digital Marketing Capabilities are the New Hot Commodity
The appetite for digital and online marketing solutions driven by consumer data and analytics has only increased in the first half of 2019. During April, the digital marketing space saw lively M&A activity, with a number of firms being snapped up by buyers from a range of industries. As much of the interaction between consumers and companies migrates online, companies are scrambling to acquire integrated digital marketing capabilities in order to keep up. Everyone, from consultancies to traditional marketing giants to financial sponsors have recognized the value in the space.
On April 14th, the largest of these acquisitions took place when marketing and public relations conglomerate, Publicis (ENXTPA:PUB), acquired the data-driven digital marketing solutions provider, Epsilon Data Management for $4.4 billion. Epsilon’s wealth of first-party data will no doubt serve Publicis well in drawing marketers amid external cost pressure and the shift to digital.
S4 Capital (LSE:SFOR), the marketing venture started by retired WPP founder, Sir Martin Sorrell, acquired programmatic solutions provider MightyHive in December 2018 for $150 million. S4’s push into digital started with its July 2018 acquisition of digital content company MediaMonks for $351.8 million and is now continued by this acquisition in digital media planning and programmatic ad-buying.
In November 2018, Wisconsin-based printing company Quad/Graphics (NYSE:QUAD) acquired impact marketing and advertising agency, Periscope, for $132.5 million. Quad/Graphics CEO, Joel Quadracci said in the press release that the acquisition would “turbo-charge [their] existing offering with its world-class capabilities in strategy, including media buying and analytics, creative and account management.”
We can expect to see further deal activity in the second half of 2019 as demand for these types of companies remains strong