The new venture is led by former union boss Paul Howes, partner, head of wealth management advisory, KPMG Australia. The firm has acquired market research firm Acuity Research and Insights.
Acuity founder, Amanda Hicks, joins KPMG today as a partner, together with her team. Their research expertise includes customer experience and satisfaction, brand health, corporate and stakeholder communications strategy, and employee engagement.
KPMG’s Customer, Brand and Marketing practice launches with a combined team of 43 specialists, including six partners. Its suite of services include customer experience strategy, customer experience design, customer journey, sales and channel transformation, marketing and product transformation, service transformation and customer insights.
Mr Howes said the KPMG Australia is already eyeing off some further acquisitions and is in the process of recruiting more top talent.
“This new business exists to transform client organisations into more customer-centric ones, to build their brands and to apply more commercial rigour to their strategies,” said Mr Howes.
KPMG Australia chief executive Gary Wingrove said he expects customer and marketing advisory to be a key growth area for the firm in the next three years.
“The chief executive agenda is increasingly focused on placing customers at the heart of business – but their depth of customer insight is often insufficient,” said Mr Wingrove.
“That’s where Acuity comes to the fore. Acuity’s strong track record conducting some of the country’s longest-running customer engagement and corporate image research projects provides a significant point of difference for our offering.”