SA tech marketing firm accelerates its success story
- Published on 27 July 2012
Thirteen years after digital marketing firm Acceleration started in South Africa, the company this week announced that global communications powerhouse WPP Digital has acquired a majority stake in its business.
Acceleration helps media giants such as the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and ESPN to boost their brand-awareness online. Acceleration also assists marketing firms to improve the branding of their clients on digital mediums.
Similarly, WPP also has an impressive stature, as the NASDAQ listed company is synonymous with owning marketing global companies such as Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.
And it is through WPP Digital that WPP makes acquisitions and strategic investments in companies that could improve the group's expertise in the digital space.
WPP Digital, though, did not shed details on the cost of the deal with Acceleration. But Acceleration employs over 150 marketing ‘technologists’ and it has offices in London, New York, Dubai, Johannesburg and Buenos Aires.
Mark Read, WPP Digital’s chief executive, explained the rationale behind the deal in a press statement this week.
“With the continued transformation of marketing by technology, there's a growing demand for digital marketing technologists to help publishers and, increasingly, marketers manage and integrate the various specialist software tools available in areas such as analytics, ad serving, digital asset management and optimisation.
"We expect Acceleration to bring these skills to bear on WPP's clients as they already do with many of the leading marketing organisations,” he said.
Acceleration’s chief executive, Jacques van Niekerk, told ITWeb Africa of his delight with announcement.
“It’s a very positive development,” he said.
“It’s taken 13 years of hard work, but it’s been worth it,” he added.
Van Niekerk said Acceleration’s South African operations have grown in the region of 30% per annum ever since the business started in Cape Town in 1999.
He adds that the company, though, looked to international markets to boost its growth shortly after it was setup, and, as a result, he is now based in London.
However, he says he visits Acceleration’s SA offices regularly, and, while the firm has not expanded elsewhere into Africa yet, he believes that his company’s partnership with WPP could help it in its drive to target more emerging markets.
“Emerging markets are important to us.
“We are actively tracking expansion into Africa. Ten years ago, it was hard to imagine scaling digital skills into Africa; I don’t think that’s an issue anymore. I think there are real opportunities for African entrepreneurs now,” he said.