Perth marketing firms join forces as Dilate Digital acquires Aligned Agency

Perth marketing firms join forces as Dilate Digital acquires Aligned Agency

Dilate Digital directors Bodie Czeladka (left) and Tom Parker (centre) with Aligned Agency founder Hursh Dodhia-Shah (right).

Two founder-led marketing agencies in Perth will operate under the same banner following the acquisition of boutique website developer and search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist Aligned Agency by full-service outfit Dilate Digital.

The news comes just a few months after Scotland-based global advertising services company xDNA Group acquired a majority stake in Dilate Digital in March, with founder Bodie Czeladka and director Tom Parker partially selling down their holdings.

Since 2012 Czeladka has built up a team of more than 100 marketing strategists, SEO specialists, developers, designers, copywriters, content creators and media buyers.

He has already been friends with Aligned Agency founder Hursh Dodhia-Shah for eight years, mentoring him throughout his journey with the business in what is an otherwise competitive environment.

"He [Dodhia-Shah] out there, and he meets people, he builds relationships. He actually called me up one day and he said, 'if you get any business that you can't service for various reasons, or they don't quite fit what you're looking for, can you keep me in mind?' And I did just that," Czeladka tells Business News Australia

"He got the work because he was proactive in that regard. There's quite a bit of competition in the marketing and advertising space, but our relationship's always been quite unique in the sense that we operate in the same space but we're very tight, we're very good friends, and I want him to be successful as much as he wants me to be successful.

"He's actually the most reviewed business in Perth. Even though he has a small agency with 12 staff, he's boutique and he's got a very good reputation and is very well liked in the industry."

Czeladka says the pair had explored merger ideas a few times, but after Dilate Digital struck a deal with xDNA, Dodhia-Shah suggested they try again. This time the negotiations were fruitful, amounting to a 100 per cent buyout from Dilate but Aligned's founder is staying on.

The acquisition has been announced ahead of a relocation for Dilate's headquarters from Henderson to a 900sqm office in Fremantle in July.

"Now we're setting our sights on the eastern states, because we're positioned as xDNA's Oceanic partner and we have the ability to expand into that region unfettered and with their support," he says.

He says the merger will help both agencies better support their clients and teams, reinforcing a shared commitment to driving client success through innovative digital solutions and best-in-class services.

"Joining forces with Dilate is a strategic move that aligns with our long-term vision of delivering more growth opportunities for our much-loved team and client base," says Dodhia-Shah.

"This collaboration not only strengthens our technical capabilities but also opens doors to new technologies, skill sets, and challenges, allowing us to say 'yes' more often to our clients' evolving needs."

Dilate Digital director Tom Parker highlights the strategic importance of the acquisition.

"Our strategy of integrating diverse talents and services under one umbrella aims to deliver comprehensive solutions that create real value for our clients," says Parker.

"Aligned's addition to our group strengthens our footprint here in WA, before we set our sights on national expansion with a strong focus on the eastern states."

Parker has been instrumental in Dilate Digital's growth, giving up his job as an accountant while heavily leveraged himself and his family to invest in the company in 2018, for a 35 per cent stake at the time.

A few years later, and after Czeladka had taken a caravan sabbatical with his young family, Parker let the founder know about four key staff members who had "stepped up" in his absence.

"So I offered all four of them 5 per cent to buy into the business. Three of them accepted it. Those three people are now what we call them 'pod leads', but think of them like they run agencies within the agency...they very much are their own businesses operating on very similar processes and systems and sharing knowledge between each other, but it's almost like a bit of friendly competition between the three teams to progress," the founder explains.

 

 

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