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Perficient Buys $12M Digital Marketing Agency Enlighten

Perficient said it brought in the 75-person digital marketing agency to deepen its digital transformation business and expand its digital portfolio.

Perficient has purchased a 75-person digital marketing agency to expand its digital strategy, creative services and marketing expertise.

St. Louis-based Perficient said Enlighten -- a $12 million firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich. -- specializes in developing, implementing, integrating and supporting digital experience solutions, and counts Johnson & Johnson, the University of Michigan and sandwich shop Jimmy John’s among its clients.

Perficient, No. 56 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, brought Enlighten in to deepen its digital transformation business and expand its digital portfolio, according to Bill Davis, Perficient’s managing director of marketing and communications. Chief marketing officers control an increasingly large portion of the enterprise spending budget, Davis told CRN.

[Related: Perficient Buys IBM Analytics Firm For $5.3M]

"Enlighten's compelling capabilities, reputation for delivering excellent digital experiences, customer-centric mentality and solid client roster ensure a strong cultural fit and compelling opportunities for accelerated growth," Jeff Davis, Perficient's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Financial details of the transaction -- which closed Thursday and was revealed Friday -- were not disclosed, although Perficient said the deal is expected to boost Perficient's profitability in 2016. Enlighten didn't immediately return requests for comment.

Enlighten's workforce specializes in consulting, digital agency, technology, sales and support, with CEO Steve Glauberman slated to join Perficient as general manager of the Enlighten team. The vast majority of Enlighten's employees will join Perficient, Bill Davis said, including the entire consulting team.

"We're thrilled to join a firm with a reputation for excellence and a distinguished track record of delivering outstanding digital experience, business optimization and industry solutions to the world’s leading enterprises," Glauberman said in a statement.

Enlighten will be fully integrated into Perficient's digital experience organization and brand all of its offerings under the Perficient brand.

Enlighten said on its website that its clients can expect access to a broader range of services and a deeper pool of consulting talent, thanks to the capabilities and resources of Perficient. Specifically, Bill Davis said he anticipates that Enlighten clients will take advantage of Perficient's big data analytics, business optimization and enterprise resource planning (ERP) management capabilities.

Both Perficient and Enlighten primarily serve large enterprises, Bill Davis said, although Enlighten's client base is mostly focused in the Great Lakes region while Perficient's is spread across North America.

Enlighten was founded in 1983, and offers an array of products and services, from digital strategy and advertising to social and search engine marketing and website and application development. Other notable clients include HBO, the Wall Street Journal and supermarket chain Giant Eagle.

The Enlighten deal builds upon Perficient's January acquisition of 400-person Zeon Solutions, which also specializes in mobile and digital marketing services. One of the companies held by Milwaukee-based Zeon -- Grand River Interactive -- is actually based in the same Ann Arbor, Mich., building as Enlighten, Bill Davis said.

Though Perficient has done digital marketing for more than a decade, Bill Davis said bringing Zeon and Enlighten onboard has enabled it to push deeper into the space and expand further into a fast-growing area.

Enlighten is Perficient's ninth deal since 2013, and Bill Davis said he expects the solution provider to continue at a pace of two to three acquisitions per year in 2016 and beyond.

Other acquisitions since 2014 by Perficient include: IBM analytics firm Market Street Solutions in September 2015 for $5.3 million; the IBM Smarter Commerce Division of Trifecta Technology in May 2014 for $13.7 million; life sciences and pharmaceutical technological consulting firm BioPharm Systems in April 2014; and financial services company ForwardThink in February 2014.

In 2013, Perficient purchased CoreMatrix in October and IBM and partners Clear Task and TriTek Solutions in May.

Perficient is a Premier-level IBM business partner, a Microsoft national solution provider and Gold certified partner, an Oracle Platinum partner and a Platinum Salesforce cloud alliance partner.


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