IBM boosts ad tech with Silverpop acquisition


IBM has bought personalised ad technology firm Silverpop for an undisclosed sum, as the software giant looks to take on rivals such as Oracle and Salesforce in growing marketing automation sector.

The acquisition adds to IBMs existing portfolio of marketing technologies, which includes Unica, Coremetrics, Tealeaf, and Xtify. Silverpop will automation and real-time personalisation technology to IBM’s marketing tools for clients.

As an example of how the technology can work, a mobile service provider can discover if a customer is an early technology adopter and serve up permission-based marketing offers via mobile messages for the hottest new smartphone just before the customer’s contract expires.

The deal could be seen as a response to Oracle's recent $1.5bnn acquisition of Responsys and to's $2.5bn purchase of ExactTarget in 2013.

All three companies now have strong suits in personalized digital messaging, primarily via email, but also including social and mobile campaign capabilities.

The terms of the deal for the privately held company were not disclosed. Atlanta-based Silverpop has 8,000 customers in more than 50 countries, including Mazda, Stonyfield Farm, and Advanced Micro Devices.

“The acquisition of Silverpop turbocharges IBM’s ability to put the customer at the center of any organization,” said Craig Hayman, GM, Industry Cloud Solutions, IBM. “Now, nearly any marketing, commerce or customer service professional from any business will have the ability to deliver the kinds of personalized customer experiences that make a measurable impact on the brand experience and the bottom line.”

“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, Silverpop. “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.”

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