Dotdigital seals £25m deal for partner Fresh Relevance

adtech programmaticMartech platform Dotdigital is beefing iup its operations with a £25m deal for personalisation specialist Fresh Relevance, cementing a partnership between the two businesses which dates back over five years.

Launched in 1999 as web design agency Ellipsis Media, within two years the company rebranded to Dotmailer to specialise in email marketing. In 2019, it rebranded again to Dotdigital, as part of its strategy to offer omnichannel marketing.

The company now employs close to 400 people and its client lists includes Heinz, Converse, Avery UK, McColl’s, DHL, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and Casio.

Meanwhile, Fresh Relevance was launched in 2013 and its platform delivers AI-optimised customer experiences across website, app, emails, SMS and paid social. It now has 70 staff and 350 clients, including Ann Summers, Wowcher, Dreams, Thorntons and Vision Direct.

The two firms first started working together in 2018 and already have an integration and growing joint customer base who use their solutions to deliver experiences across inboxes, message centres and websites.

The acquisition is aimed at further enabling global marketers and ecommerce teams to create personalised website content in response to individual consumer profiles, and to adapt content easily according to shopper need.

Fresh Relevance’s platform capabilities include triggered emails, product recommendations, onsite popovers, dynamic content, behavioural and geotargeting, optimisation and customer data management.

Dotdigital chief executive Milan Patel said: “Having worked together as partners since 2018, we have been long-term admirers of Fresh Relevance, its talented staff and what it stands for. The cultural alignment across our now joint organisations means that customers old and new will soon reap the benefits of a more tight-knit offering.

“A brand’s website is the final gateway between shoppers and the checkout, so falling short of consumer expectations in this area can quickly result in a lost sale. By bringing together customer insights, cross-channel engagement, and on-site personalisation capabilities, marketers can have a greater influence across the entire customer journey.”

As part of the deal, Fresh Relevance CEO and founder Mike Austin will take up the role of vice-president of personalisation at Dotdigital.

He said: “Over the last few years, Fresh Relevance and Dotdigital have built a very successful partnership, integrating our technologies to provide incredible value to our mutual customers. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining forces with Dotdigital, an organisation whose values align so closely with ours.

“Bringing our industry-leading cross-channel personalisation capabilities to Dotdigital’s customer experience and data platform will help marketers better engage with their customers, drive repeat purchases and build lifelong loyalty across all touch points. I’m proud of what the Fresh Relevance team has built and look forward to the next evolution of this market at Dotdigital.”

Dotdigital recently launched WinstonAI, a marketing intelligence engine, and an effective rebuild of the Dotdigital platform from the ground up, which allows users to unify customer profiles across channels.

Dotdigital maintains that personalisation continues to grow in importance for marketers. It cites recent McKinsey research that shows three-quarters (76%) of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from brands that personalise interactions, with websites often representing the final gateway to customer conversion.

According to Adobe, one third of marketers are spending 50% or more of their budgets on personalisation, while two thirds of North American and European ecommerce companies are planning to invest more into it in the future, Statista reckons.

Now part of the Dotdigital Group, Fresh Relevance will continue to operate under its existing brand. Plans include further integration of the product offering and extending the Fresh Relevance product offering into Americas and APAC markets.

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