Atlanta-based independent agency Acadia has acquired Lift31, a company that helps small and mid market brands access and harness their first-party data. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal includes Lift31’s ShopFluence platform, which makes it affordable for small and mid market brands to activate their first-party data.
It’s the fourth acquisition for Acadia since former 360i CEO Jared Belsky launched the agency with co-founder Sean Belnick in July. Shortly after its debut, Acadia snapped up three agencies: digital marketing firm Techwood Digital, e-commerce agency Nicely Built and social agency Imagine Media, with the goal of creating an end-to-end offering for growth marketers.
Lift31 and ShopFluency add a critical analytics capability to Acadia’s arsenal, Belsky told Campaign US.
“There's this massive number of mid-market growth marketers who want sophisticated digital growth solutions like analytics, SEO, social and performance marketing, but the top options have been unaffordable or inaccessible,” he said.
Acadia’s offering spans digital capabilities, from paid search, to social, e-commerce and advanced analytics. It’s clients include fast-growing DTC brands such as Credo Clean Beauty as well as challenger unicorns like financial services company Greenlight.
“A mid-market growth marketer can't string seven boutique agencies together. That's not how digital works. Money has to move fluidly and find the return on ad spend,” Belsky said. “What's motivating us is to help people who often don't get help first.”
The Lift31 acquisition puts Acadia at roughly 100 people just shy of six months after its launch. As an agency that started during the pandemic and has grown through rapid M&A, Belsky is focused on creating a strong culture and supporting employees with attractive benefits.
For instance, Acadia has paid parental leave and offers a “several thousand dollar” educational stipend, Belskly said. Acadia also gravitates towards clients that are sustainable or doing good for the world, such as Credo and First Honey.
He added that because Acadia is independent and Belnick is its sole investor, the agency has flexibility to invest in its culture and long-term goals.
“We've tried to invest early in culture and make sure this is the best place to work. Small agencies aren't often able to do that because of the economics,” Belsky said. “Our investor is not looking at this quarterly; we're doing this for the long run.”