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Digital Services – 2016 Market Review

By Rosemary Fallowfield 12 Jan 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2016 review of our Digital Services Perspective – Results Internationals’ regular market update for the digital services segment. The digital services sectors we track in this market overview include (i) Data & Analytics, (ii) Strategy, UX, Design & Build, (iii) Bespoke Software & Systems Integration, (iv) eCommerce and (v) Enterprise Mobility & App Development. We cover the broader advertising and marketing services market in our quarterly infographics which you can find here.

Despite ongoing economic and political uncertainty, 2016 was another strong year in M&A with over 400 deals across the digital services sectors that we cover. We at Results International were extremely pleased to advise four of these transactions, namely the acquisitions of MMT (web development and UX) by Be Heard, DBG (data-based marketing, strategy and CRM solutions) by Merkle and Mubaloo and The App Business (both mobile app developers for the enterprise) by IPG and St. Ives respectively.

Other noteworthy transactions in 2016 include the acquisitions made by IBM’s Interactive Experience agency of Salesforce systems integrator Blue Wolf and UX, web design & build agencies and Aperto. Accenture followed in a similar vein, acquiring a number of systems integrators such as DayNine Consulting and more recently Nashco Consulting whilst adding marketing communication services through the acquisitions of MobGen, Techilogica, and Formicary. These deals highlight the growing convergence between the once traditionally distinct sectors of IT / consulting services and marketing communications as enterprise clients increasingly demand end-to-end digital services which enable them to build genuine digital advantage by transforming the way they operate internally and engage with customers externally.

The sector continues to attract interest from a broad universe of buyers in addition to the IT / consulting services and the marketing communications groups. These include (i) PE houses such as Advent International (acquired data-driven performance marketing agency Ansira in November), and XIO Group (acquired J.D. Power for $1.1bn from S&P Global earlier in the year) and (ii) more traditional publishers such as Axel Springer (acquired Contact Impact, a data-driven digital advertising and performance marketing agency) and The Economist (acquired Signal Noise, a data design agency). With the buyer universe constantly expanding to reflect the ever growing demand for rapid delivery of innovative digital products, services and new customer experiences, 2017 will be an extremely good time to contemplate corporate activity in the digital services space – if you are, please do get in touch.

We hope that you enjoy the document and look forward to discussing the data and underlying themes with you.

Click on the image below to view the report.


Digital Services


We hope that you enjoy the document and look forward to discussing the data and underlying themes with you. We have also produced our view on 2016’s proceedings in a series of other market reviews on:

Enterprise Software



AdTech & MarTech

The Tech Report (all 5 sectors)


Rosemary Fallowfield


Contact Rosemary

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