Stéphane Zermatten: “We are combining their 14 years of experience in data analysis and media planning with our own 20 years of travel retail shopper experience to offer a strong end-to-end proposition”

SWITZERLAND. Experiential marketing, brand activation and consumer engagement agency CircleSquare has announced the acquisition of a “significant stake” in Swiss digital marketing agency comtogether.

CircleSquare said the move comes as it “seeks to strengthen its focus on the digital elements of campaigns for its travel retail clients”. CircleSquare works in the channel with brand houses that include Diageo, Mondelez and L’Oréal.

Based near Geneva and with offices in Hong Kong, comtogether is an agency with a client list that includes MSC, Maurice Lacroix, Fisherman’s Friend, Sygnum and Swiss health & wellness clinic Clinique La Prairie. Its primary focus is on data-driven digital marketing, producing campaigns – including media planning and buying – and bespoke automations.

CircleSquare said that comtogether’s knowledge of Western and Chinese digital media eco-systems and its approach that combines data and psychology to target shoppers were factors in formalising its association with the agency.

“This is a very positive step forward for our business,” said Stéphane Zermatten, Managing Partner at CircleSquare. “We are combining their 14 years of experience in data analysis and media planning with our own 20 years of travel retail shopper experience to offer a strong end-to-end proposition.”

He added: “comtogether is an important part of our pioneering work to make light of channel agnosticism, seamlessly blending digital and physical to allow brands to have a consistent campaign message delivered across the entire shopper journey.”

CircleSquare’s association with comtogether began in July last year with an integrated digital-meets-physical campaign for eyewear specialist Luxottica.

Philip Handley: The new partnership will deliver precise, relevant customer data that can inform planning

“We worked with comtogether to target shoppers on social media with personalised messages before their trip, effectively driving awareness for the campaign and creating footfall to the physical activation at Hamburg Airport, remaining connected with the shoppers throughout their journeys,” explained Zermatten.

He continued: “COVID-19 has fast-forwarded the need for travel retail to look closer into digital as a means to engage shoppers and ensure a strong end-to-end omni-channel offering. Accordingly, we have noticed an acceleration of the move towards digital, in terms of both client requests and budget allocation.

“In order to continue to deliver on the digital briefs at the highest standards – not only the travel retail standards but also the local market standards – we have made an important move to acquire a major stake in a leading digital marketing agency to bring these strategic capabilities in-house.”

CircleSquare Executive Creative Director Philip Handley added: “One of the most exciting things to come out of this acquisition is just how accurately we will be able to get precise, relevant customer data to inform our strategic planning. This will allow us to offer existing and potential new clients a unique service bringing together the best of the digital and physical worlds at the same time.”

Charlene Lau, Head of Media Planning at comtogether in Hong Kong, said: “Integrated campaigns are a necessity, but the secret of a successful campaign is showing up for the right customers, at the right time, where it really matters, in a remarkable way. We are delighted to be working with a company of the stature of CircleSquare, to help deliver the footfall and engagement to the irresistible experiences they are renowned for creating.”

CircleSquare has partnered with The Moodie Davitt Report for a monthly column that aims to inform, surprise and provoke, and to offer a fresh perspective about the role of design in the channel. The latest in the series can be found here