By any reasonable measure, 2018 was a pretty extraordinary year in marcoms M&A. Market forces from inside and outside the industry have combined to create massive disruption to agencies around the world.
As things stand today, the net beneficiaries of this disruption are the consultancies and mid-market agency groups. The losers at this point are undoubtedly the global holding companies.
Watch SI Partners' latest marcoms M&A update from Tristan Rice for the full picture
What are the consultancies acquiring?
Tech consultancies have capitalised on increasing demand from clients for more a centralised, joined-up approach to customer data, experiences and relationships. Accenture has consolidated its position as the leader of the pack, acquiring substantial agency businesses in all the major European markets this year, as well as a growing presence in Asia and South America.
And although the number of agency acquisitions by other consultancies has slowed this year, their organic growth into CMO’s budgets has not and that is really taking the shine off the performance of the big marcoms groups.
The mid-market agency groups?
Mid-market agency groups are also taking this opportunity to take market share from the agency networks. Their smaller scale makes them more agile and better able to adapt to changing client needs, combining multiple capabilities to provide the integrated approach that clients now want.
Major holding company acquisition strategy
So how are the holding companies responding to all this? Find out in the full marcoms M&A update from SI Partners' Tristan Rice here: