Accenture buys B2B marketing agency Yesler

Linda J. Dodson


  • Accenture acquired Yesler to expand services ranging from strategy and creative to implementation and ongoing management, per an announcement. The deal will add account-based marketing, customer advocacy, sales enablement and marketing automation services to Accenture’s offerings.
  • Yesler’s two business segments include Yesler B2B, a provider of digital marketing and managed services, and Projectline services that supplies strategic resourcing solutions. The company is based in Seattle and has 400 employees worldwide, including offices in Philadelphia, London, Toronto, Singapore and Portland, Oregon.
  • Amazon, Claris, Google, Ingram, Magento, Marketo, Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP are among Yesler’s clients, per its website. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.


Accenture’s acquisition of Yesler indicates that the management consulting firm continues to seek opportunities to broaden its range of marketing services. Yesler touts its expertise in marketing services for high-tech companies that serve the enterprise market, which is becoming more like the business-to-consumer (B2C) market with a greater investment in digital sales.

While Accenture didn’t disclose how much it paid for Yesler, the deal is significant for expanding the consulting company’s services into B2B marketing for the tech industry following a series of acquisitions over several years focused on beefing up its B2C marketing services.

With the Yesler deal, Accenture is trying to meet the changing needs of high-tech marketers while diversifying its customer base to potentially weather economic turmoil better. Business customers have grown to expect the same “Amazon-like” service they receive as everyday consumers, Brian Whipple, group chief executive for Accenture Interactive, said in the announcement about the Yesler deal. The enterprise market also is traditionally more stable than the more cyclical consumer market, which currently faces significant disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought deal-making to a standstill as financing dries up, Barron’s reported, making Accenture’s acquisition of Yesler notable for its timing. Last year, Accenture was among the top 10 buyers with $1.46 billion in advertising industry deals, including the takeover of creative agency Droga5. That purchase was named Marketing Dive’s Deal of the Year in December because it was Accenture’s biggest and marked a significant expansion of its creative expertise.

Accenture’s acquisition of Yesler follows the purchase of a minority interest in Ideoclick, which is best known for its cloud-based e-commerce optimization software and services for businesses that sell on Amazon, by its Accenture Ventures investment group in January. The deal was part of a collaboration to advise brands on increasing their online sales, with the global e-commerce market forecast to grow 11% a year to $24.4 trillion by 2025, per data cited by Accenture.

The pandemic may pressure many smaller ad-tech firms to seek buyers or face insolvency as advertisers pull back or cancel their marketing plans during Q2. Last year, the deal value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among advertising and marketing companies fell 15% to $27.7 billion amid a pullback in buyouts of ad-tech firms, according to a study by consulting firm R3. Major ad holding companies slashed the number of M&A deals by more than half while their dollar value rose 8% to $6.53 billion. This year’s drop in asset prices may create more opportunities for dealmaking, especially among private equity firms that are more opportunistic, CNBC reported.

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