- Accenture announced two acquisitions in separate press releases that bolster its marketing and data services — Search Technologies, a content analytics and search firm as well as marketing and sales consultancy Brand Learning. In a third press release, Accenture reported the expansion of its New York City Innovation Hub through the creation of a central location for its employees and clients working in the digital economy. The Innovation Hub will serve 3,000 New York-based Accenture employees.
- The Search Technologies deal brings with it artificial technology (AI) big data management and search analytics. The acquired firm will work with Accenture Analytics to make unstructured content, including social media, video, voice and audio are easily searchable.
- With the Brand Learning acquisition, Accenture added marketing and sales capabilities and alignment across a variety of business activities such as customer strategies and vision, new operating models, process development, content, cultural change and leaning programs. Brand Learning will link with Accenture Interactive, the consultancy’s data services division.
Accenture is one of a number of large management and financial consultancies that have been actively moving into territory once solely held by traditional agencies through data services groups that take a digital-first approach to solving marketing and sales pain points as well as by boosting their creative and strategy skills. The expansion of its New York City Innovation Hub indicates Accenture sees value in supporting collaboration among brands and employees working in the digital ecosystem while its acquisition strategy continues to add different pieces to its marketing and sales toolbox so that marketers can fulfill more of their needs through a single marketing services firm.
The Search Technologies deal is interesting because the content intelligence technology it offers more directly competes with large tech firms like IBM. Sales and marketing tech firm Salesforce also has a content intelligence piece. Not only is content intelligence technology fairly cutting edge, Accenture’s expansion into the ad tech space, and now the big data space as well, is a clear indication that its digital services ambitions go far beyond traditional agencies.
The new acquisitions are the latest in a series of deals in the past 12 months. Last month, Accenture bought digital testing and optimization company Clearhead while in May it picked up e-commerce solutions provider Media Hive. Last November, Accenture added UK-based creative and digital data agency Karmarama to its stable. Also in July, Accenture Interactive announced a plan to move into the ad tech space with a programmatic tool that leverages artificial intelligence technology to overlay product placements on streaming video content.