- Accenture Interactive, the digital marketing services division of Accenture, acquired the Mexico-based design and strategic research firm Insitum for an undisclosed sum, according to a press release.
- Insitum, founded in 2003, will support Accenture Interactive's existing design unit, Fjord. Insitum has more than 200 employees and is known for work with both local and global clients, including Bancolombia, BBVA, CEMEX, Grupo Bimbo, Roche and Uber. The deal comes as Accenture looks to build out a stronger presence in Latin American countries like Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and especially Mexico.
- Accenture Interactive recently acquired two other Latin American agencies: Sao Paulo-based content marketing specialist New Content and the Brazilian digital marketing and commerce shop AD.Dialeto. Shackleton, which is based in Spain, also gave the consultancy a larger presence in Chile when it was bought by Accenture Interactive in April.
Accenture Interactive continues an acquisition streak with the purchase of Insitum, which joins more than two dozen marketing firms that have folded into the consultancy's global network over the past decade. The deal indicates where Accenture Interactive is eyeing new areas of growth, extending a series of Latin America-focused acquisitions that span digital marketing, commerce and design.
Insitum's support of Fjord links back to the roots of Accenture Interactive's M&A strategy. The division made one of its first big waves in the advertising world when it bought Fjord in 2013.
Fjord has grown in the time since, expanding a presence both stateside — the company formed in London in 2001, but has a significant U.S. presence — and abroad to become one of Accenture Interactive's centerpiece brands. With Insitum, the unit and Accenture Interactive's other Latin American operations could glean more local knowledge and talent, as well as connections to deep-pocketed clients like Uber.
"Today's problems can no longer be solved with yesterday's solutions," Baiju Shah, Accenture Interactive's chief strategy officer and and a global co-lead at Fjord, said in a statement.
"To tackle these challenges, clients must be agile and focus on blending a human-centered design approach with an analytics-led strategy to keep ahead of the unprecedented pace of change and ambiguity we live in," Shah said.
Localization, or the ability to tailor work based on local cultures and interests, remains a pain point for many marketers. Just 10% of global marketing leaders recently surveyed by the CMO Council reported feeling "exceedingly confident" in reaching customer engagement and revenue goals on this front. Operational structures, in particular, were found to hamper customer relationships.
Accenture Interactive's regional specialization and data-driven marketing services have appeared to be a boon while the group's largest competitors, namely major ad holding groups like WPP and Omnicom, have seen growth slow. Discussing earnings results earlier this summer, executives forecast that Accenture Interactive could increase revenue 20% this year to surpass $10 billion.
Some of Accenture Interactive's acquisitions of late have raised eyebrows. In April, it purchased Droga5, a decorated creative firm, marking the biggest deal in its 10-year history. Some industry analysts have wondered how the agency, which was proudly independent for years, will preserve its culture under the new ownership.