Fusion Consulting - the outfit started by a co-founder of The Internet Group - has made its first acquisition in the form of The Social Shop, as it looks to help its customers embrace digital marketing.
Fusion was set up at the end of 2015 by Adam Maurice, who co-founded TIG in 2001, and his business partner Mitch Young, whose background is in accountancy.
The firm had around 12 staff, but earlier this week snapped up the five-strong team at The Social Shop - experts in all things social media and digital marketing.
Fusion already consulted on this area - along with IT, accounting and general business advice - but the buy will bolster its digital marketing team and offering.
Marc Shelkin, founder of The Social Shop, has become creative and marketing director and remains onboard to "focus on maintaining excellent client service and new business development". The Social Shop will rebrand to Echo Marketing.
Maurice explained to CRN that many of his customers are interested in how to bolster their digital output, which will present good cross-sell opportunities for his firm.
"Consulting as a service is definitely a very, very strong area," he said. "There is lots of cross-sell opportunity. We have loads of business experience, and who doesn't want more business?"
Marketing activities in the channel have come under scrutiny in recent years, with many vendors telling their channels they are not embracing the trend enough, instead relying on events and email marketing - which many claim is declining in effectiveness.
Maurice agreed that the channel is behind some other sectors when it comes to this area, but said things are beginning to change.
"Some MDF [marketing development funds] are only for use on digital marketing," he said. "It does show the vendors obviously want to push in that direction, and that's very positive. But the channel in general is very traditional - they do mail-outs and events. In terms of social, it's still lagging behind other [sectors]."
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