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Acadia Makes Fourth Acquisition in Six Months



With acquisition of Lift361 and ShopFluency, the agency disruptor adds elite customer segmentation, marketing database creation, and forecasting to its expanding services for middle-market companies

Acadia Makes Fourth Acquisition in Six Months

Pictured Left to right: Sean Belnick, Jared Belsky, Seth Hirsch, Carol Davis and Sally Kazin

Acadia, which gives middle-market businesses the digital acumen once reserved for the world’s biggest brands, has acquired Lift361, a long time analytics strategy counsel for the Fortune 5000 whose ShopFluency software platform lets smaller companies use customer data to make smarter decisions across their business operations. The acquisition is the fourth in Acadia’s expansion plan, and allows the company to help clients beat marketing inflation by identifying a brand’s best customers from first-party data, recommend a complete customer approach (from product to marketing) and deliver a more effective media outreach. 

“With Lift361 and ShopFluency, we can put clients’ entire businesses on a more intelligent basis,” said Jared Belsky, CEO of Acadia. “We’re building the growth platform they need by uniting specialist agencies with technology that lets everyone see customers from the same marketing and service perspectives at any given time. We’ve already improved marketing measurably for more than a dozen brands, and now we can solve related business issues as well for companies of any size.”

Acadia formed earlier this year when Belsky, former CEO of 360i, teamed with Sean Belnick, founder of BizChair, and bought three elite digital providers in rapid succession – digital marketing agency Techwood Digital, ecommerce agency Nicely Built, and social agency Imagine Media, The result was a self-funded start up that gives clients a unified approach to search, social media and ecommerce based on first-party data. Lift361 adds such brands as Massage Envy and Bealls to an Acadia client list that includes Greenlight, NASDAQ, Hexagon and Pipette Baby. 

“We’re coming from a non-traditional point of view,” said co-founder Sean. “Jared is a renegade agency guy with a good sense of what’s important to companies. I’ve been a client of many agencies, so I know what matters most personally to clients. And we know how to find and merge really good partners together.” 

Acadia sought out Lift361 because middle-market clients need more sophisticated analytics, data engineering and marketing technology, as well as more affordable software tools. Since 2001, Lift361 has helped Fortune 5000 companies define their best customers and design profitable product, marketing and commerce strategies using first-party data inputs that businesses often undervalue. Last year the company launched ShopFluency, a SaaS platform that lets smaller brands take a similarly sophisticated approach to business growth.

Lift361’s core team is staying intact and joining the senior leadership team of Acadia. “As part of Acadia,we can connect our real-time customer updates with the critical levers of marketing,” said Sally Kezin, director of analytics and strategy lead at Lift361. “And we can apply our combined power to the kinds of disruptor brands that will redefine their categories. That’s exciting.”

Jared and Sally cite Alchemy Bikes as an example of the Shopfluency SaaS platform hard at work. The maker of expensive mountain bikes was marketing to young daredevils, but the platform identified their most important customers as middle-aged exercise riders. With ShopFluency, Alchemy now weaves first- and third-party data to update product, distribution and marketing continuously. The analysis is refreshed monthly at a fraction of the cost of typical customer segmentation analysis. So, Alchemy gets  higher sales, a cleaner pipeline and improving margins.  

Acadia continues to seek out premier specialists with complementary skills and like-minded culture, so that founders will stay with the company. By consolidating initial acquisitions in Atlanta, Acadia is helping to make the city a global hub for clients that disrupt their categories.  

“Atlanta’s becoming the digital heart of the middle market,” said Jared. “What’s next for data-driven business is happening here. We’re elevating the disruptors that are redefining categories, and in the process we’re setting the bar for smarter marketing in the years ahead.” 

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The Marketing Standard, Thu, 11 Nov 2021 17:20:35 GMT