With its latest acquisition, WPP-owned Wunderman wants to cosy up to Salesforce

Mark readYouTubeWunderman global CEO Mark Read

The consulting firms are coming, and this agency is trying to make sure that it’s prepared to take on the challenge.

WPP-owned global digital agency Wunderman has acquired a majority stake in marketing software integration and solutions company Pierry Inc., Business Insider has learned.

Pierry help marketers design, develop and execute customised ad programs using software and data with the goal of improving efficiency and increasing their return-on-investment. It specialises in helping brands do so using Salesforce’s suite of digital marketing tools

“Salesforce is one of the fastest growing software companies in the world, with a market cap in excess of $US65 billion,” Mark Read, Wunderman’s global CEO told Business Insider. Pierry brings us one of the best teams who can help our clients take advantage of their technologies and platforms.”

Wunderman has an estimated $US1.2 billion in annual revenue and operates in about 60 countries around the globe. The Pierry acquisition brings in an additional $US14 million in revenue for Wunderman in the US, increasing its North America revenue by 3%.

The move is also a strategic one geared at boosting Wunderman’s technology consulting expertise in the US, as agencies at large face the imminent threat of consulting firms chipping away at their business. Wunderman has been beefing up its portfolio, making a number of important and focused acquisitions in recent years that have brought in technology and consulting expertise.

Wunderman’s parent WPP acquired e-commerce specialist Salmon in 2013, for example, recently placing it within Wunderman. It also acquired the digital consultancy The Cocktail in June and joined forces with WPP digital ad firm Possible Worldwide back in July.

“As marketing becomes more technology-driven, we need the type of software integration skills that Pierry brings, but which are so much more powerful when combined with a practical understanding of what works and how marketers will use the platform,” said Read. “Our advantage against consulting firms is our understanding of consumers and marketing, which means that we build marketing platforms and programs that work for CMOs.”

More broadly, WPP is in the midst of streamlining its operations in a bid to integrate across marketing functions, such as data, digital, creative advertising and media buying and offer up a simpler structure to its clients, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

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