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    IPG strengthens Salesforce know-how with RafterOne acquisition

    • Interpublic Group (IPG) has acquired RafterOne, an e-commerce solutions provider focused on Salesforce, per a press release. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
    • RafterOne will be paired with IPG’s customer experience and commerce shop MRM to deepen Salesforce capabilities across the network. The agency brings a global team of more than 500 employees and founders who sit on several Salesforce advisory boards. 
    • RafterOne works with business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands, with Skechers, Kind Snacks and The Company Store among its past clientele. More agencies are trying to strengthen their cloud-based offerings as marketers demand e-commerce transformation.

    IPG’s RafterOne deal underpins the increasing importance of cloud-based technology know-how for agencies trying to capture more business around the e-commerce boom. Online retail saw a serious boost from the pandemic and is expected to jump from $3.3 trillion in sales today to $5.4 trillion by 2026, per Euromonitor forecasts cited by IPG in the announcement.

    That said, the transition to digital is rarely an easy or simple one for brands to make, and agencies see an opportunity to fill the gaps by promising “end-to-end” commerce solutions that cover an array of functions like analytics, marketing and customer experience management. Much of recent M&A activity in the industry has gravitated toward performance media and commerce-oriented solutions, with RafterOne noteworthy for its size —  IPG is netting hundreds of new specialists with the transaction — and close relationship with Salesforce. 

    The agency’s founders are members of Salesforce advisory boards that guide product development and partnership decisions for the cloud-based computing behemoth. Additionally, RafterOne is a Salesforce Summit Partner, the highest certification given to the service’s implementation partners. 

    Those bona fides may help IPG win more client business in areas it views as important to future growth. RafterOne has previously worked with MRM, with executives emphasizing a complementary cultural fit for the two agencies. 

    “Our clients are looking for partners that help them adapt strategies and find new ways to interact with customers across physical and digital environments,” said IPG chief Philippe Krakowsky in a statement. “Salesforce has become a priority platform for marketers to thrive in the digital economy and RafterOne delivers highly personalized content that engages and converts in a measurable, precise and repeatable way.” 

    IPG saw organic revenue, a key metric of agency health, up 7.9% in the prior quarter, aligning with an overall robust agency sector. The category has fared better than expected amid a tough macroeconomic environment that has led many brands to cut back on ad spending but has not seemed to temper investments in e-commerce and related fields. Omnicom in September launched Transact, a practice dedicated to connected-commerce consulting and online retail services. 

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