Accord Holdings Ltd., the direct response advertising agency group, has acquired website design, development and online Travel marketing specialist Netizen.

Netizen will merge with the group’s paid search marketing division, Accord Search Marketing (ASM) and the merged companies will re-brand as Netizen Digital.

Little known as a brand, ASM is already one of the top five paid search agencies in the UK, last year handling £25 million in search business. Their Google-certified team manages Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine marketing campaigns for 130 clients in the UK.

Netizen delivers a bespoke offering, based around its proprietary website platform, ‘Mosaic’. In addition to its website development, and content management services, the company also provides reservation system integration, search engine optimization (SEO), and e-mail marketing.

The acquisition and subsequent merger will give Accord Holdings, which last year had a turnover of £153 million, its own in-house full-service online marketing specialist. Netizen Digital will deliver integrated, end to end marketing campaigns across all online channels. It will operate direct to clients and across Accord Holdings’ portfolio of companies, which includes Conrad Advertising, Boyne Publicity, Artavia Advertising and MKH Advertising.

Netizen Digital, which will be headed up by ASM Managing Director Lewis Lenssen, will initially focus on clients in the Travel and Property industries; however the company plans to rapidly broaden its target market and will embark on a campaign of new business acquisition.

Lewis commented, “We are delighted to be joining forces with Netizen and we have exciting plans for Netizen Digital”.

“Companies in Travel and Property are now realising the full potential of online marketing. The future lies in maximising ROI performance across the full range of integrated channels. Paid Search and SEO will generate response, but if your website isn’t up to scratch, or if you don’t keep in touch with your existing customers, you are reducing your likely returns. You need to be consistent throughout the entire consumer buying experience.”

“Netizen Digital will be committed to providing engaging online solutions that persuade customers to purchase, build loyalty, and develop profitable long-term relationships.”

Netizen Digital will continue its commitment to developing innovative technology solutions that offer real benefits to their clients. This year Netizen launched a ‘live person’ chat service that enables customers to chat live online with a company representative, thus increasing conversion, and a Google Earth facility for Travel clients who want to deliver a stronger user experience on their websites.

“Technology clearly plays a key role within both companies. We use technology to maximise the response generated by our clients’ budgets, but we don’t rely on technology in areas where we know that human judgment achieves better results. That’s why, when we run PPC campaigns, we don’t use an automated bid management tool – we trust our campaign analysts to make the right decisions in line with our clients objectives.”

“A commitment to understanding our clients’ businesses, focusing on their objectives, leveraging best-of-breed technology and allocating the right human resources makes us distinctive in the marketplace.”

Lewis Lenssen, Managing Director
Netizen Digital
Tel: 020 7269 2601

Published on: 12:00AM on 13th September 2006