NEWS26 April 2022

Kantar grows AI capabilities with new acquisition

Europe M&A News UK

UK/EUROPE – Kantar is to acquire Copenhagen-based marketing measurement and optimisation company Blackwood Seven.

Big fish eating smaller fish

The transaction, expected to be completed by the end of April, is said to cement Kantar’s position as a leader in marketing return on investment (ROI) measurement – a market forecast to be valued at $3bn by 2024. 

Operationally, the Blackwood Seven team will join Kantar’s analytics practice, led by Chris Petranto. The announcement represents Kantar’s sixth acquisition since Bain Capital took a majority shareholding in December 2019.

Founded in 2013 by Henrik Hasselbalch Busch, Thomas Bertelsen and former chief executive Carl Erik Kjærsgaard, Blackwood Seven is a provider of marketing effectiveness and planning solutions. Powered by the Hamilton.AI platform, its tools model a multitude of scenarios to create future media plans down to an individual publisher level.

Sophisticated modelling, which accounts for synergies between channels, macroeconomic factors and competitor activity, allows marketers to make better informed decisions. Continuously refreshed data inputs also facilitate real-time planning and in-flight campaign optimisation.  

Commenting on the acquisition, Ted Prince, chief product officer at Kantar, said: “Our well-established credentials in ROI analysis are bolstered significantly by the addition of Blackwood Seven’s technology solution.

“Today’s marketers need a solution that brings together insights for both strategic and tactical/in-flight decision-making that is futureproofed against cookie deprecation and privacy legislation. We see this driving marketing ROI budgets towards unified marketing measurement solutions in the future.

He continued: “Clients, including Honda, Suncorp and Telenor, already use this solution for budget setting, competitor analysis, reducing customer acquisition cost, measuring brand equity and minimising customer churn. The move will give Kantar’s global roster of clients access to the more granular analytics it provides, alongside the strategic guidance we are known for.”