"Today's announcement of IBM acquiring Silverpop further validates the rapidly growing marketing automation market and substantiates the industry as a whole," said Atri Chatterjee, chief marketing officer at Act-On, a competing marketing automation company. "We are seeing an increasingly growing demand for marketing automation as companies are doing more online multi-channel marketing and moving beyond email."
Adding to IBM's portfolio of more than 100 software-as-a-service offerings, Silverpop empowers marketers with cloud-based capabilities that can be quickly and cost-effectively deployed, with little technical knowledge, to adapt to changing customer demands. This equips marketing, e-commerce and service professionals with tools that allow them to directly design, execute and measure personalized interactions to acquire new customers, drive sales and build brand loyalty.
"By engineering a solution that uniquely delivers personalization through automation, our team has solved one of the most complex challenges facing marketers today," said Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop, in a statement. "Combined with the power of IBM's portfolio and worldwide partner ecosystem, we can advance our mission to help organizations build customer relationships one at a time on an even grander scale."
While marketers understand the importance of personalization, most struggle to achieve it beyond basic segmentation and audience definition. Silverpop solves this by automating the creation of personalized experiences based on real-time customer profiles that draw from permission-based data streams inside and outside the organization — such as social, Web, email and mobile activity. This approach makes it easier for brands to improve the customer experience, increase conversions and profitability, and strengthen customer loyalty.
IBM's growing ecosystem of over 140 Ready for Smarter Commerce marketing partners will create an even more complete view of each customer by integrating data from these additional sources into Silverpop, enabling deeper customization, IBM said.
IBM's acquisition of Silverpop will help the company round out its marketing platform that competes with Adobe, which has continued to build out its Adobe Marketing Cloud. At the recent Adobe Summit 2014, Adobe focused on the theme of reinventing marketing.
"Corporate Darwinism is at work here in a fast evolving market," Chatterjee said. "The companies that remain standing are the hyper-growth ones with leading-edge technology, or the behemoths that are scrambling to enter the market. Forrester Research recently published the 2014 Forrester Wave report on lead-to-revenue-management vendors where they identified and assessed the top 9 vendors in the space—wearing two lenses: enterprise and small marketing teams. This is a time of opportunity for marketing automation vendors to innovate and grow. The use of marketing automation has only scratched the surface, and we are in the beginning stages of a long and prosperous road."
The acquisition of Silverpop is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.