Marcoms deal activity in Q1 intensified with 288 deals completed globally, an increase of almost a third (32%) on the same period last year. The combined disclosed value of those deals was $6.5bn, compared to $3.9bn for the first quarter of 2015.
Particularly active areas in Q1 2016 by deal volume were integrated, media buying and full-service digital agencies. In addition, data & analytics businesses remain highly sought-after assets: the first quarter saw 15 deals in that market segment, compared to a total of 21 for the whole of 2015.
WPP and Dentsu were, once again, the most acquisitive buyers (closing 14 and 12 deals respectively) and Publicis came in third place with six deals.
In line with its recent strategic announcements, IT giant IBM was also very active in the market. It acquired US digital agency Resource/Ammirati in January, followed by two German full-service digital agencies, ecx.io and Aperto, and global CRM services provider Blue Wolf Group.
Julie Langley, Partner at Results International, comments: “The rise in activity in Q1 demonstrates that buyers continue to show appetite for investing in marketing services. Strong areas of interest for buyers include mobile, data & analytics and content. A key theme remains the confirmed convergence between the IT/consulting and marketing services sectors, and as a result marcoms is a very strong M&A market that is ever more competitive for acquirers. With buyers coming in from all sides and the lines between marcoms and technology getting increasingly blurred, the market should remain robust.”
Click on the image below to view the infographic.