IBM to Buy Digital Marketing Agency Resource Ammirati
"We see the imperative to infuse analytics and insight into everything we do from an experience standpoint," Armstrong said. "It's one thing to design a great experience in terms of its visualization or its efficiency, but the expectation consumers have is for a personalized experience. And that personalized experience can't exist if you aren't applying what we know about a customer to really guide the way we deliver the experience—whether that's digitally or in the physical realm. These guys are passionate about Watson and we're eager to ensure the doors of IBM are flung open." Founded in 1981 with Apple as its first client, Resource/Ammirati has been known for pioneering firsts in the digital marketing space—from infamously "breaking the Internet" in 1999 with the Victoria's Secret Webcast Fashion Show during the Super Bowl to being the first to tackle Facebook's e-commerce capability for The Limited, Home Depot and P&G to creating Sherwin-Williams' ColorSnap Studio, an Ad Age "App of the Decade," and the first-ever digital personalized circular, CVS' myWeekly Ads, IBM said. The agency also has a rich tradition of thought leadership, including the 2008 book The OPEN Brand that provided marketers with a playbook for navigating the "always on," technology-inspired and consumer-driven OPEN era. In 2014, Resource acquired advertising firm Ammirati, establishing its presence in New York and adding branding and design capabilities to round out the firm's creative, digital and e-commerce offering for a growing base of clients. "We see in IBM iX a reflection of Resource/Ammirati's own mission to use creativity, technology and collaboration to make anything possible for our clients," said Nancy Kramer, Resource/Ammirati's founder and chairman, in a statement. "Our associates and clients will all benefit from IBM's global reach and resources, including access to additional strategic, design and development talent as well as powerful analytics and technology expertise in cloud, mobile development and systems integration. Additionally, IBM's legacy of progressive, associate-centric practices is a perfect match for our company's culture.""At the same time, IBM's strengths in design and other digitally-driven skills and technologies, including cognitive and analytics, should prove highly synergistic to R/A offerings, resulting in enhanced and entirely new services and solutions," King said. "Overall, this deal should prove to be highly beneficial for both companies, along with their existing and prospective clients."
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said he believes the acquisition of Resource/Ammirati should be highly complementary to IBM's Interactive Experience digital advertising solutions and services by bringing value in terms of the experience of its management and staff, its existing portfolio of services and a client list that includes numerous world-class, global companies.