CloudRaker acquires ASK Marketing

The agency bolsters its retail capabilities by acquiring the Montreal-based trade marketing and retail logistics company.

Over the last several months, Montreal agency CloudRaker has made focusing on “meaningful commerce” a priority, adding retail and shopper marketing capabilities.

In the latest step in the evolution, the agency has acquired Montreal-based ASK Marketing, a shop specializing in trade marketing and retail logistics. As part of the deal, ASK becomes a member of the France-based global retail communications network Altavia Group – which CloudRaker itself joined last fall – and expands CloudRaker’s retail services offering.

ASK will help CloudRaker’s clients integrate strategy, creation and execution, while supporting their sales growth, according to Thane Calder, CloudRaker CEO.

All 12 employees at ASK have joined CloudRaker’s team of 60 people spread across its offices in Montreal and Toronto. In addition, CloudRaker is looking to make three more hires to round out the new team. Former ASK president Louis Lamarche and general manager Amélie Plourde will stay on as leaders of their respective discipline within the larger agency.

The ASK team will immediately focus on the agency’s shopper and retail practice in the Quebec market, where it’s already well-established, while also playing a support role in other markets. In addition to bolstering CloudRaker’s capabilities, Calder says ASK wanted to deliver a full-service solution to clients.

ASK’s capabilities will allow CloudRaker to think through the feasibility of retail executions with its clients, starting in-store as opposed to the top of funnel, which is often the case with CPG clients, says Calder. He says the partnership helps address the “disconnect” that can result from working with multiple teams across sales and marketing.

CloudRaker opened a shopper practice last year, hiring Kris Matheson as executive director to lead the work out of Toronto. In November, it became the sole agency to be named a founding member of McGill University’s new Bensadoun School of Retail Management.