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Digital company news

Publicis Groupe acquires leading digital marketing agency 'Synergize' in South Africa

#BIGLoveBIGData for Synergize and Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa

Publicis Groupe has announced the 100% acquisition of South African digital search marketing company, Synergize.

Founded in 1999, Synergize is one of only a few Google Analytics accredited agencies in Africa and the Middle East. The agency offers services in SEO, online marketing, web design, CMS development, mobile, PPC/Paid Media, analytics, copywriting and social media. Their portfolio of 100 clients varying in e-commerce, property, finance, retail and travel include those such as, Prime Meridian, a South African car insurance company, Car Magazine, Property 24 and Cash Crusaders, a popular local second-hand e-commerce site.

Synergize is the Search Marketing category winner of the 2012 and 2013 Bookmarks Awards, and a winner of three additional 2013 Bookmark awards, the Oscars of digital marketing in South Africa.

The agency will be integrated into Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa, further boosting its integrated communications capabilities in South Africa and across the Saatchi & Saatchi Africa network. Saatchi & Saatchi's At Play digital arm will be absorbed into the new division, which will be renamed Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize.

Shaune Jordaan, CEO of Synergize, will become CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize and Chris Corbet, the co-founder of Synergize, will become chief operating officer. The Synergize staff team of 48 will integrate into the Saatchi & Saatchi offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg to form a team of 154 professionals.

Jordaan says, "The combination of Saatchi & Saatchi's creativity and Synergize's analytical and measurement aspects will deliver results driven campaigns using extensive reporting tools, and will give Saatchi & Saatchi Synergize a strong competitive edge."

According to Gail Curtis, Saatchi & Saatchi Group CEO, South Africa, "The integration of this Big Data powerhouse into Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa will ensure the new integrated entity is a formidable force on the African continent. Synergize's in-depth knowledge of search engines and online marketing techniques will increase the value we can deliver for our clients," says Curtis.

Justin Billingsley, COO of Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA, says that this acquisition creates a strong integrated creative agency bringing together the two critical halves of the future of marketing communications.

"Synergize are very good at what they do, namely optimising the digital channel so that brands can reach individuals in their audience faster and at lower cost and convert these people to purchase," he adds. "They play very well in the so-called 'Big Data' space that is attracting the attention and spend of our clients. The magic though, is not only in knowing where and how to reach people, but to inspire them with the ideas you have to share.

"This is where the partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi makes this so exciting - 'Big Data' meets 'Big Emotion' to create a sweet spot of optimal ideas with optimal targeting. We have been working together already on some of our clients and it simply works, integrating the ideas and the digital channel."

Billingsley points out that the time of simply creating something and sending it out into the world is over. "Today the critical skill of an integrated creative agency is 'curation' not just 'creation', in other words the ability to manage the storytelling around a brand in real time," he says. "By integrating Synergize into Saatchi & Saatchi we are bringing this real-time digital channel management to make the power of our ideas even stronger."

He continues: "When we look at potential partners it is not just about capabilities. We are very proud and protective of our 'Nothing is Impossible' culture at Saatchi & Saatchi. What's amazing about Synergize is not just that they are awesome at what they do, but their culture, under the inspirational leadership of Shaune Jordaan, is a natural fit with ours."

South Africa is ranked as the eighth fastest growing advertising market in the world between 2013 and 2016, driving the next wave of adspend growth.

For more information visit: www.saatchi.co.za | Twitter @Saatchi_ZA #BIGLoveBIGData


Saatchi & Saatchi's press office

Saatchi & Saatchi
We are a full service, integrated communications network. We're in the business of getting people to fall in love with our clients' products and services. Through our creative ideas across all media and all disciplines, we set out to turn brands into Lovemarks which, unlike brands, generate loyalty beyond reason. You can see our work here.
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