Accenture acquires digital content agency MXM

30 March 2018

Accenture acquired digital agency Meredith Xcelerated Marketing in order to further bolster its digital customer experience offerings. Accenture is increasingly positioning itself to dominate within the advertising industry.

Accenture continues to purchase digital marketing agencies, positioning its digital marketing and advertising branch Accenture Interactive as an increasingly fearsome competitor to traditional ad agencies. In the past year, Accenture Interactive has absorbed a number of high-profile players, including award-winning Irish creative agency Rothco and visual effects company Mackevision, best known for providing the digital dragons and gore of ‘Game of Thrones.’

And while ad giants like WPP are dismissive of consultancies’ “creative aspirations” for now, Accenture nonetheless persists in its strategy of growing into the advertising and design sectors, giving its clients yet another service offering in its total consulting portfolio. And clients are responding: the Vatican recently chose Accenture Interactive to provide an integrated digital communications strategy, while Disney chose the firm to be a founding member of its innovation complex Studio Lab.

Accenture acquires digital content agency MXM

Accenture Interactive further bolstered its capabilities last month with the acquisition of New York-based digital agency Meredith Xcelerated Marketing. MXM was targeted because of its excellent data and analytics skills, as well as its award-winning content creation and substantial customer engagement abilities. Parent media company Meredith was also reportedly receptive to offers on some of its properties after its recent acquisition of Time Inc.

“The acquisition of MXM reflects our commitment to build on our existing capabilities in marketing services by bolstering our data and content offerings,” said Accenture Interactive head Brian Whipple. “The blend of MXM with our current capabilities and robust marketing intelligence platforms will set us apart as a leader to design, build and run the best customer experiences on the planet.”

MXM, formerly a part of media conglomerate Meredith Corporation, has a team of more than 450 people in the US and Canada. The agency has worked with notable clients including NBC, Kraft, and Volkswagen. MXM has won 27 Content Council Awards and a Golden Effie Award, and was named Content Marketing Agency of the Year in 2014.

MXM’s addition will strengthen Accenture Interactive’s studios in US markets – including Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. Accenture Interactive, which helps brands shape “customer experience” in today’s “experience-led” economy, was deemed the world’s largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report. It is part of Accenture, a tech-focused consultancy which employs 442,000 people and works in over 120 countries.

MXM President Georgine Anton commented, “We are thrilled to be joining the Accenture Interactive family. The combination of Accenture Interactive and MXM will be powerful in the market, plus the depth of their offerings will deepen our capabilities, enabling us to better serve both existing and new clients. Accenture Interactive will provide MXM with a home where it can offer clients best-in-class, single sourced, integrated solutions – this is a clear competitive advantage for Accenture Interactive and, now, MXM.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed.


OneDigital buys Northwestern Benefit in company's largest acquisition yet

11 April 2019

Human resources and benefits consultancy OneDigital Health and Benefits has acquired Northwestern Benefit, the largest privately held benefits broker in Georgia.

Atlanta-based OneDigital has carried out an aggressive acquisition strategy in past years, completing 28 deals in 2018, as well as five in 2019 thus far. Its recent acquisitions have included consulting firms Paradigm Group, Cherry Creek Benefits, and Veritas Risk Services. OneDigital’s rapid expansion last year boosted annual revenue by $100 million in 2018, reaching $400 million.

OneDigital’s core offerings include strategic benefit advisory services, analytics, compliance support, human resources management technology, and insurance broking. The firm has more than 80 offices in the United States.

The consulting firm has continued its accelerated growth strategy with the purchase of benefits and HR consultancy Northwestern Benefit, which is also based in Atlanta. “This represents an exciting milestone for OneDigital, where our largest acquisition to date is also located right here in our home state of Georgia,” Adam Bruckman, CEO of OneDigital, said. “Northwestern lets us compete in the Atlanta benefits marketplace in an entirely new way.”OneDigital buys Northwestern Benefit in company's largest acquisition yetThe acquired firm was founded in 1996, and provides benefits, HR, compliance, wellness, education, and workforce planning advisory services to clients in George and across the US. Northwestern Benefit’s 150 employees will join OneDigital, bringing the firm’s headcount to over 1,600 employees, and its employer client count to approximately 50,000.

OneDigital’s chief growth officer, Mike Sullivan, highlighted Northwestern’s excellent sales culture and client service models as factors in the deal, while noting that the deal will significantly expand the firm’s middle market scale and capabilities. Sullivan expects more deals on the horizon, as OneDigital seeks to scale up further. “We expect north of 25 acquisitions again this year to bring us over the $500 million revenue threshold,” he said.

David Asbury, CEO of Northwestern Benefit, will join OneDigital as a senior managing principal. “As the benefits space continued to consolidate and we considered acquirers, it was incredibly important to me to find the right partner,” he said. “With OneDigital’s scale, reach and long-term vision, we knew our organizations would fit together and be stronger together right off the bat.”

As employment levels remain at record highs, employers are increasingly turning to effective and comprehensive benefits packages in order to attract and retain a dwindling pool of talent. HR and benefits firms help employers strategize the ideal benefits and compensation packages to get the talent they need, while doing so in the most cost-effective manner. “In a rapidly changing economy, an employer’s ability to attract and retain talent is often directly tied to the benefits they can provide, and OneDigital ensures we’re supplying our clients with the most robust health, wealth, and HR advisory services,” Bruckman said.