Verndale has done it again: the Boston marketing tech agency has made its third acquisition, this time scooping up Los Angeles digital brand agency Dustland. By absorbing the agency’s entire staff, Verndale’s total headcount for full-time employees is now 200, making what it said is one of the largest independent marketing tech agencies in the U.S.
With Dustland taking on Verndale’s name, the agency gains an important foothold in the West Coast, giving it exposure to another corner of the country (besides Boston, Verndale’s other U.S. offices are in Tampa, Chicago, Dallas and Raleigh). The acquisition also expands Verndale’s international presence with Dustland’s office in Quito, Ecuador (the agency has had an office in Bangalore, India, since 2011).
“With Dustland, we have a whole mobile app development team so we can communicate with a broader spectrum of the audience.”
The third important piece of the deal for Verndale is this: Dustland’s mobile app team. Previously, Verndale focused on creating digital experiences for mobile and desktop devices, but only through designing websites, not apps. Now it has the mobile app talent to compete with other marketing tech agencies working in that space.
“As the market matures, there’s a lot of news about how folks are continuing to use websites but moving towards mobile app development,” Chris Pisapia, co-founder and managing partner of Verndale, said. “With Dustland, we have a mobile app development team so we can communicate with a broader spectrum of the audience.”
From that, Verndale will be able to track how the customers of its clients interact with its online experiences across multiple devices and platforms, Pisapia said.
“When you look at a complex experience a customer has with a brand, they may be visiting multiple websites through different devices,” he said. “What we do as an organization is we connect all of those systems regardless of where they’re doing, so it’s a customized and personalized experience across all spectrums. [In turn,] the company get a better understanding of its audience and can make a stronger return on its investment in these products because they’re all connected.”
Pisapia said Verndale has between 150 and 200 active clients right now, and they range from mid-sized firms to Fortune 500 companies, like Stanley Black & Decker and New York Life. (It has also done work for a personal favorite of mine: Five Guys Burgers and Fries.) The Dustland acquisition brings more connections for Verndale, including HBO, which had Dustland and design firm Elastic design an online experience for the popular “Game of Thrones” show called The Compendium.