Integrated Communications is a relatively modern reference to the evolving channels brands are using to engage their audiences. Essentially, it can be defined as the weaving together of multiple communication disciplines, including traditional advertising, PR, fulfillment, social/digital media and BPO services. The most innovative brands are engaging customers through a mix of communication channels, and working hard to leverage technology-enabled solutions in the process.
As a result, the most successful Integrated Communications Services companies have proactively chartered new territory, particularly in the digital and social media space. From an M&A perspective, activity within the industry is closely echoing this evolution. Looking back over the past five years, the marketing arena has seen significant change. In 2008/2009, the industry flailed due to a slash in demand parallel to the slash in marketing budgets. As growth and profitability have ramped up throughout the modest recovery of the last four years, the marketing and communications landscape has changed and the technology based-providers are riding the crest of that wave. Traditional print and broadcast-media companies have accelerated their efforts to provide an end-to-end solutions base by building or acquiring social and digital marketing companies and solving customer needs with technology-driven BPO solutions.
Blue River has worked directly with organizations seeking to successfully stay ahead of this shifting demand from traditional to digital-based solutions. We’ve seen the complex landscape of communication solutions innovate new territory within the e-commerce, healthcare, pharmaceutical, consumer product and business services sectors. We’ve assisted clients with exits and acquisitions in the digital printing, fulfillment, analytics, BPO call center and mobile application arenas. We share a passion for this industry and for helping our clients execute a successful M&A strategy within its ever-changing landscape