KPMG joins consulting jostle to own marketing services with new acquisition

Consulting giant launches new Customer, Brand and Marketing advisory and acquires Australian market research firm, Acuity Research and Insights

KPMG has joined the ranks of consulting giants looking to take a slice from the customer-led marketing supplier pie, launching a new marketing advisory practice and acquiring Australian market research firm, Acuity Research and Insights.

The new Customer, Brand and Marketing advisory venture was officially launched this week, and is being led by partner, Paul Howes. The practice is being bolstered by the acquisition of Acuity research and Insights, which has built a reputation in customer experience and satisfaction research, along with brand health, corporate and stakeholder communications strategy and employee engagement.

As part of the acquisition, Acuity founder, Amanda Hicks, joins the new KPMG advisory practice as one of six partners. In total, KPMG’s Customer, Brand and Marketing practice has 43 staff and will focus on providing customer experience strategy and design, customer journey mapping, sales and channel transformation, marketing and product transformation, service transformation and customer insights.

The company said the new practice will also work closely with UK-based KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence Centre.

KPMG Australia CEO, Gary Wingrove, noted customer experience at the top of the CEO agenda, but said many lack sophistication and maturity. For example, according to the consulting group’s recent study of global CEOs, 45 per cent believe their depth of customer insight is hindered by a lack of quality customer data, a number that leaps to 61 per cent in Australia.

In addition, KPMG’s research found 89 per cent of Australian CEOs feel a growing responsibility to represent the best interests of their customers, but only 59 per cent are currently evaluating the impact of change or investments on their customers.

“This new business is a contemporary extension of our traditional customer advisory services, which typically have supported large performance improvement and business transformation projects for clients,” Wingrove said. “Paul is a proven practice builder with a natural flair for customer insights and brand building. I’m confident he’ll do an outstanding job driving this new enterprise forward.”

Howes flagged more acquisitions as the Customer, Brand and Marketing advisory shores up its position in the local market and said he’s also endeavouring to recruit more talent.

“This new business exists to transform client organisations into more customer-centric ones, to build their brands and to apply more commercial rigour to their strategies,” he commented. “We specialise in achieving ‘customer-first’ outcomes to drive financial and operational results, and this will be a major point of difference.”

KPMG’s acquisition of Acuity is just one in a raft of acquisitions undertaken by consulting groups looking to extend their reach into the marketing sphere. Its rivals, Deloitte and Accenture, have also been busy buying up agency capability to round out their customer and digital marketing advisory consulting, implementation and agency services.

Just last week, Deloitte formalised its acquisition of digital communications agency, The Explainers, saying the team will form a new operating unit within its Customer practice focused on helping clients better articulate their brand story.

Other purchases made by Deloitte over the past 12-24 months include Sydney-based Cinder Australia, which became part of its Customer Behaviour team, virtual reality player, Kid Neon, social analytics adviser, Digivizer, technology integration shop, SixTree, spatial design and CX group, mashup, Oracle implementer, Dataweave, and cloud infrastructure advisory firm, Cloud Solutions group.  

Accenture’s local acquisition list, meanwhile, has included creative and design agencies, The Monkeys and Maud, digital agency, Reactive Media, design and innovation consultancy, Fjord, and digital marketing company, Acquity Group.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why efficiency and effectiveness are opposing forces in a marketing tug of war

I’ve been a long-time fan of renowned effectiveness experts, Peter Field and Les Binet, and their work. But while their approach is clearly important, the marketing leader’s challenge to deliver effectiveness more often lies in organisational structure. I see the bigger question being whether a marketing chief has a seat at the executive table, and the ear and respect of the CEO and company board.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

Augmented Reality: What’s behind the marketing industry’s failure of imagination?

Every flagship smartphone in Australia includes hardware and software purpose-built for AR. A huge audience is ready and waiting. We have an opportunity to craft extraordinary, innovative work. But to get there, we need to push our creative thinking a little harder, writes Gil Fewster.

Gil Fewster

Creative technologist, The Royals

Does your brand need a personality review?

There are five tell-tale signs your brand needs to take a long hard look at itself.

Charlie Rose

Senior Strategy Consultant, Principals

Why it's important for me to know that? I don't get it, sorry.

James Fogle

7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment

Read more

Info graphic have proven to be very useful to create brand awareness and drive traffic. Thanks for sharing these Information.Graphic Desi...

Govind Dadhich

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Best web hosting packages Vancouver WA understands that only technical support and domain associated email address can bring huge leads ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

I had the same vision about change from CX terminology to HX. Even with almost the same title: 'Forget customer experience...' https://ww...

Ekaterina Khramkova

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Thank you, so do I.

David Freeman

Sustainability of message: H2coco founder's commitment to consumers

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in