Dentsu beefs up digital play. Buys Sokrati to launch Merkle

27 Jul,2017


By A Correspondent


Left to Right: Anubhav Sonthalia, Ashish Bhasin, Ashish Mehta and Santosh Gannavarapu

The Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has announced yet another acquisition, beefing up its digital play in a bigger way. It has informed that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sokrati, a data-driven performance marketing and analytics agency. The network has also announced the launch of Merkle in India and post-acquisition, Sokrati will be rebranded as Merkle Sokrati. Founded in 2009, Sokrati is headquartered in Pune and employs a staff of 120 digital marketing professionals.

Said Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific: “India is the fastest growing large economy in the world. It is on track for 400 million smartphone users, making it second only to China, and has emerged as a major e-commerce market. Sokrati’s strength in mobile, e-commerce, data, analytics and performance media provides an ideal basis from which to launch Merkle in India as we develop the roll-out plan for Asia Pacific. We will develop the unique M1 addressable media platform for India as a next step.”

Added Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia: “Sokrati has strong ability in CRM and data to accelerate the launch of Merkle in India and further bolster our data practice, which is becoming increasingly critical in all aspects of our business. It will also give our clients added value as we bring CRM and data into the heart of our digital offering. With Dentsu Aegis Network India already being a leader in performance marketing services, with iProspect and the recent acquisition of SVG, the complementary addition of Sokrati will enable the network to take a clearly dominant position in the rapidly growing Indian digital advertising market. With Sokrati on board, we will now be more than twice the size of any of our competitors in search and performance. Out of 3,500 staff in India, about 1,500 will be digital professionals, and over 35% of our revenue – a market-leading statistic – will come from digital.”

Added Zhengda Shen, President of Merkle Asia Pacific: “Given Sokrati’s strong credentials and proven capabilities in data & analytics, Sokrati will be in the ideal position to give strong footing to Merkle’s launch in the Indian market, in line with Merkle’s global growth strategy. India is strategic to Dentsu Aegis Network and is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.”



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