Brand Networks To Acquire Social Advertising Platform SHIFT for $50 Million

With a Combined 650 Enterprise Customers and $500 Million in Social Advertising Spend, Relevance-Driven Social Marketing Firm Expands Software Platform and Grows Leadership Team; Announces RelevanceRank to Increase Effectiveness of Paid and Organic Social Content

BOSTON, MA.—May 14, 2015—Brand Networks, the leading provider of relevance-driven social marketing and advertising software, today announced that it will acquire SHIFT, the award-winning platform for cross-network social advertising and collaboration, in a $50 million cash and stock deal. The acquisition creates the world’s leading social marketing platform with relevance at its core—powered by RelevanceRank, a proprietary technology also announced today. RelevanceRank is designed to help marketers achieve the highest possible levels of effectiveness and efficiency at every stage of the social marketing process.

With the acquisition, the Brand Networks platform will power over $500 million in social advertising spend for more than 650 of the world’s best known brands and agencies, such as Interpublic Group, WPP, American Express, AT&T, InBev, Discover, Yahoo! and Unilever. Customers include half of the Fortune 100 as well as 17 of AdAge’s 25 Most-Advertised Brands. This pushes the company to the forefront of an industry expected to top $16.2 billion in domestic spending by 2019.

The acquisition increases the global footprint of the company with a combined total of more than 250 employees in 12 offices around the world. Brand Networks will also bolster its executive team, bringing James Borow, co-founder and CEO of SHIFT, to Brand Networks as Chief Product Officer.

“Social marketing has evolved to become equal parts art and science,” said Jamie Tedford, Founder and CEO, Brand Networks. “Simply providing workflow for content publishing and ads is table stakes today. The new challenge for marketers is to unlock the power of data to achieve true relevance—getting to the right person with the right content, at the right time, on the right device. Beginning today, marketers can now use a single platform to break down the walls between disparate teams, data silos, and content types to deliver relevant content across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Together with SHIFT, we’re able to deliver on the promise of making marketing more relevant to consumers and more effective for marketers. I’m thrilled to welcome James and the SHIFT team to the Brand Networks family.”

“Brand Networks and SHIFT have nearly identical DNA. Together we are committed to delivering technology that sets a new standard for social marketing—leveraging real insights that enable marketers to reach customers with content that drives real business results,” said James Borow, SHIFT’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Our combined platform provides the world’s leading brands with comprehensive marketing technology to deliver the most relevant brand content across all aspects of social.”

RelevanceRank Technology Signals New Era of Relevance-Driven Social Marketing

Announced as part of the combined Brand Networks Platform, RelevanceRank is a proprietary technology that gives social media marketers a definitive way to measure and predict the ongoing performance of their paid and organic content across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The algorithmic logic is channel specific and factors for differences between platforms to programmatically surface the most relevant content for marketers to promote. This analysis is also delivered in real time, allowing marketers to quickly take action on the most immediate revenue-generating opportunities.

Additionally, Brand Networks’ marketing capabilities will now leverage SHIFT’s integration with Facebook’s Atlas, which helps drive ad relevance and measurable business results across devices and platforms, online to offline.

“Converging paid, earned and owned social media efforts on one platform is no longer a “nice to have” for marketers, it is a business imperative,” said Jessica Groopman, industry analyst with Altimeter Group. “Marketers are moving away from managing disparate single point providers and rapidly consolidating these efforts among a few trusted partners with fuller, more integrated offerings. The move by Brand Networks to acquire SHIFT aligns well with how the industry is evolving based on marketers’ needs to balance cross-functional efficiency with personalization at scale—and consumers’ increasing demands for always-on relevance.”

Brand Networks offers marketers a comprehensive platform of software and services to be more relevant and successful at every stage of the social marketing lifecycle, from strategy and planning to content creation, delivery, optimization and measurement. By integrating in aggregate their own customer data with third-party data streams, marketers can use the Brand Networks platform to intuitively reach real consumers—not pixels or cookies—which is the essence of people-based marketing.

Learn More at Live Webinar

To learn more about the combination of Brand Networks and SHIFT please join us for a live webinar on Wednesday, May 20, at 4 PM EST / 1 PM PST. Register for the webinar using the following link:

SHIFT is the leading cross-network social advertising platform for brands and agencies. The SHIFT platform brings social data, advertising and marketing teams together in one place to maximize efficiency and ROI. Global brands, including 10 out of the top 20 largest advertisers in the world, use SHIFT to automate workflow, activate data and easily execute advertising campaigns. SHIFT is a Facebook Marketing Partner, Twitter Marketing Platform Partner, LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner and Atlas Partner. SHIFT is based in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Chicago, New York and London. For more information, visit SHIFT.com.

About Brand Networks
Founded in 2006, Brand Networks delivers relevance-driven social marketing and advertising to 650 enterprise customers, including half of the Fortune 100 and 17 of AdAge’s 25 Most Advertised Brands. The Brand Networks Platform is the world’s first social marketing software with a relevance engine at its core, designed to help marketers achieve the highest possible levels of effectiveness and efficiency across paid, earned and owned channels, at every stage of the social marketing process. Brand Networks is headquartered in Boston with offices in San Francisco, New York City, Rochester, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and Sydney. For more information, please visit bn.co.