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Perficient Unveils $40M Dedicated Digital Agency Unit

The solution provider has seen double-digit annual growth in its digital agency work as it went beyond the CIO and line-of-business executive to the CMO, says President and CEO Jeff Davis.

Perficient launched a full-service, 200-person digital agency division to better meet the growing technology demands of chief marketing officers.

The St. Louis-based company, No. 56 on the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500, said Perficient Digital is set apart by its ability to provide front-end support services around creative design, branding and search engine optimization as well as back-end support around commerce and transactions, according to President and CEO Jeff Davis.

’Having a dedicated agency gives CMOs more of a comfort level,’ Davis told CRN. ’It 'credentializes' us more.’

[RELATED: Perficient Buys $12M Digital Marketing Agency Enlighten]

Perficient has enjoyed double-digit annual growth in its digital agency work, Davis said, thanks to the solution provider expanding its IT sales beyond the CIO and line-of-business executives to the CMO.

The company derives $40 million – or nearly 9 percent – of its $473.6 million in annual revenue from digital agency work and devotes almost 8 percent of its 2,678-person workforce to the endeavor, Davis said.

The roots of Perficient’s experience in design and usability go back 15 years, Davis said, but the company recently integrated all of its design capabilities in one place to make its ability to support CMOs and CIOs more explicit.

Perficient’s new agency also incorporates capabilities from two recent acquisitions: Ann Arbor, Mich.-based digital marketing firm Enlighten, which was purchased in December, and Milwaukee-based e-commerce IT firm Zeon Solutions, which was acquired in December 2014.

Davis said Perficient succeeds in part because while traditional agencies are often able to deliver creative digital work, they’re unfamiliar with the technology tools and fail to anticipate how slow the loading times will be. ’With Perficient, you get this outcome that’s not only elegant and beautiful, but functional,’ he said.

As for other solution providers with digital agency practices, Davis said Perficient’s back-end capabilities and ability to converge the creative and the technical remain a differentiator.

’We’re not seeing them [traditional solution providers] much,’ Davis said. ’We’re not competing with them much.’

Perficient’s digital agency unit will be part of the $200 million digital experience solutions division, which is led by Ed Hoffman and focuses on everything from mobile, social and creative elements to portals, commerce and digital transformation.

The division has invested heavily in automated marketing, Davis said, to gain a better understanding of crossover services and more effectively predict what customers are interested in based on prior purchases. As a result, Perficient’s Adobe relationship – which is focused around cloud marketing and analytics – has gone from zero to between $35 million and $40 million in just a few years, Davis said.

The entrance of millennials into the workforce bolstered the need for digital transformation since the latest generation of employees expects even internally facing applications to be designed elegantly to maximize efficiency and productivity, Davis said.

Although most of the digital agency’s 200 employees were already with Perficient, Davis said the unit is also doing a lot of hiring.

’It’s something our customers have been asking for more,’ Davis said. ’Demand is pretty hot.’

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