Elite SEM acquires CPC Strategy with an eye toward growing its Amazon practice

Digital performance agency Elite SEM announced Thursday it has acquired San Diego-based e-commerce agency CPC Strategy. Particularly attractive to Elite SEM is CPC Strategy’s Amazon advertising expertise.

“The acquisition of CPC Strategy is our response to the escalating demand from Elite’s most successful clients for strategy and execution in the Amazon marketplace, including its media offerings, creative services, and analytics, and the integration of Amazon with other performance media channels,” said SEM Elite President Zach Morrison. “More than a year ago we set out on a mission to find a solution at scale to meet this demand, and no alternative came close to CPC Strategy.”

This is Elite SEM’s third acquisition since taking private equity investment from Denver-based firm Mountaingate Capital in February 2017. It acquired Massachusetts-based social media advertising agency OrionCKB in October 2017. In June 2018, Elite SEM announced it acquired eight-year-old CRM and email marketing agency Email Aptitude.

“For our clients and for our dedicated team members, the benefits of joining forces with one of the most respected and successful agencies in our space were very convincing,” said said Rick Backus, CEO of CPC Strategy. “We are aligned strategically and extremely motivated to continue to build innovative solutions that drive improved client results through digital media with our new partners at Elite and also Mountaingate Capital,”

CPC Strategy has 125 employees. Clients include Pfizer, Reef, Guthy Renker, The Honest Company, Hallmark, Nestle, Unilever’s Seventh Generation, and Nutrisystem, as well as Amazon-only sellers. Combined, Elite SEM says it will have roughly 500 media specialists, strategists and data scientists. The CPC Strategy acquisition also includes its proprietary optimization platform for Google Shopping and Amazon Sponsored Products called CAPx.

“While Elite SEM will continue to work with industry partners and third-party technology,” the company wrote in a press release, “this proprietary solution enables strategy and service teams to address market gaps and provide the best platform recommendation for clients.”

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. We’ve reached out to both companies for comment and will update here when we receive responses.