- Omnicom Group agreed to buy a majority interest in digital marketing firm Areteans as part of the advertising holding company's ongoing effort to provide marketers with expertise in digital transformation and customer experience. The acquisition will expand Credera, the part of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group that specializes in digital and customer relationship management (CRM), per an announcement. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
- Unilever, Macquarie Group and QBE Insurance Group are among the customers of Areteans, which uses technology such as CRM software from Pegasystems to help marketers find and retain customers, and to improve their digital marketing and e-commerce capabilities, The Wall Street Journal reported. Areteans, which was founded in 2015, has more than 600 employees worldwide, while Credera has more than 800.
- Omnicom's planned purchase of Areteans, which is expected to close in the second quarter, comes as traditional ad agencies seek to expand their digital capabilities amid growing competition from management consulting firms that encroached on their turf with the acquisitions of ad-tech firms and creative agencies.
Mergers and acquisitions in the advertising industry have picked up this year, including deals by brands seeking to expand their in-house expertise, and Omnicom's planned purchase of a controlling stake in Areteans is in line with the recent emphasis on digital marketing and advertising technology. With consumers spending more time with digital content and shopping online more frequently, marketers are looking for agency expertise in delivering personalized messages to new and existing customers.
Personalization demands better use of data from different sources, which is expected to become more challenging as companies like Google and Apple enact policies to give consumers more control over personal data that support behavioral ad targeting. Areteans's expertise in real-time interaction management (RTIM) and CRM can help Omnicom offer a wider range of services to marketers.
"We believe that technology skills in RTIM and decisioning are critical components of modern marketing, and the addition of Areteans to our group will help us meet our goals of creating innovative solutions and meaningful results for our clients," Luke Taylor, CEO of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, said in a statement.
The planned acquisition of Aretreans comes a week after Omnicom Health Group, whose agency brands focus on the drug and healthcare industries, announced that it had bought Archbow Consulting. The startup specializes in helping pharmaceutical and biotech companies design, build, and optimize market access operations, product distribution and patient access hubs, according to a separate announcement.
These acquisitions come as Omnicom seeks to rebuild after a difficult year for the advertising industry, when many marketers slashed or delayed their spending on media and marketing during the pandemic recession. Omnicom's revenue slumped 12% to $13.17 billion last year, while its profit plunged 29% to $945.4 million, according to its annual report.
Omnicom's acquisitions are another sign that agency holding companies are seeking to push back against growing competition from consulting firms whose expertise in technology and database services is in demand for marketing applications. To expand into creative services, Accenture's digital marketing arm two years ago bought Droga5 for an estimated $475 million, the biggest acquisition in its history. Meanwhile, Deloitte Digital, the marketing services arm of the consulting firm, has bought agencies including Heat, Pervorm, Acne, Market Gravity, Brandfirst, CloudinIT.