M&C Saatchi Group, through LIDA (their CRM and direct marketing agency), has acquired a majority stake in MCD Partners, a digital customer experience agency. The US offering will be led by MCD Partners co-founders Ian Magnani, John Caruso, and Wasim Choudhury. LIDA, based out of London, will continue to be led by Matthew Heath, Chairman and Victoria Fox CEO. It marks another key milestone in the M&C Saatchi Group’s plan to take the LIDA offering to key global markets, starting with the launch of LIDA Australia in 2014.
“Rather than just find a clone of LIDA in the US, we chose MCD Partners as their digital customer experience skills are a perfect partner for our own roots in CRM,” said Heath. “We are hugely excited about using this opportunity not only to grow into the US market, but also to enhance our talent and client capabilities in the UK and beyond.”
LIDA, Campaign UK’s 2013 and 2014 Customer Engagement Agency of the Year, and Emmy Award-winning MCD Partners share a strong background of industry leadership and digital innovation. The acquisition brings together their complementary areas of expertise, resulting in a full suite of offerings from omnichannel advanced data analytics and CRM to user experience design and creative digital marketing.
Together, LIDA and MCD Partners’ collective capabilities, technologies, and platforms—including their proprietary in-house Data Room and Insight Labs—will inform design processes and engagement strategies, giving a more complete view of the consumer and helping to bring clients even closer to their customers.
“LIDA is an ideal partner for us, with our corresponding strengths, locations, and cultures. We value and respect each other’s unique identities, which we felt was crucial,” said Ian Magnani, partner and co-founder, MCD Partners. “We’re thrilled to share our combined expertise with one another and with our clients, as we continue to grow and evolve in our new partnership.”
LIDA specializes in CRM, data strategy and analytics, and direct marketing, deepening customer connections for clients including O2, Boots, IKEA and National Trust. MCD Partners specializes in user experience design, digital marketing, and website/mobile/app development, with an established roster of clients and long-time partners including Discover Financial Services, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, and TIAA CREF.
MCD Partners is comprised of 120 digital and technology experts in New York and Chicago, and will continue to operate as MCD Partners for the foreseeable future. LIDA is comprised of 230 digital and direct marketing experts in London and Sydney.
The acquisition comes 18 months after LIDA’s first international expansion, with the opening of its Sydney office in July 2014. Today, LIDA Australia has grown into an agency of 50 employees, with seven clients including CommBank, Lexus, Freedom, and Google.