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Silverpop Buy Affirms IBM’s Commitment to Marketing

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: May 5 2014

IBM recently announced its intent to acquire Silverpop, Atlanta-based provider of cloud marketing automation software, for an undisclosed sum. The giant software vendor values Silverpop's ability to enable personalized interactions with prospective corporate clients and consumers.
 
While marketers understand the importance of personalization, most struggle to achieve it beyond basic segmentation and audience definition. Silverpop goes a step further with the automation of 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, e-mail, and mobile activity). The solution creates and automatically maintains a single identity for each customer including Universal Behaviors across platforms and devices.
 
Universal Behavioral Marketing
Silverpop provides an intuitive engagement engine that aims to help reduce the complexity of omnichannel marketing, making it easier to personalize the customer experience no matter where the customer sits on their brand journey. Behavioral lead scoring and customer engagement mapping capabilities combine to deliver better customer experience while driving revenue. For example, an automotive parts supplier can determine when an auto manufacturer's parts inventory is running low and send timely offers based on understanding the customer's typical manufacturing cycle, or a financial services company can send e-mail offers for college savings plans based on Web site activity such as the usage of a college savings calculator.
 
Dynamic email execution delivers the right message to the right person at the optimal time. For example, a technology provider can prioritize high value prospects and send customized e-mail offers based on activities such as browsing a Web site, viewing a webinar, or downloading a whitepaper, whereas 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.
 
Silverpop and IBM in the Smarter Commerce Sphere
Silverpop’s software will be leveraged by IBM's 140 “Ready for Smarter Commerce” marketing partners, and integrated within a new IBM cloud marketing suite—details for the latter are due in May 2014. Silverpop competes to varying degrees against Eloqua and Responsys (recently acquired by Oracle), Salesforce ExactTarget (including former Pardot), and Adobe's Marketing Cloud platform (formerly Neolane). It also competes against Marketo, HubSpot, Constant Contact, and a number of other multi-channel marketing campaign software companies. Some observers opine that IBM's efforts in this area could even lead it to face off more against marquee ad agencies such as WPP and Omnicom.
 
While Silverpop enriches IBM’s enterprise marketing management (EMM) suite with lead-to-revenue, dynamic email marketing, and behavioral marketing, Silverpop customers can now also leverage complementary benefits of IBM's platform, given the giant’s past marketing-focused acquisitions such as DemandTec for cloud-based price, promotion, and merchandizing analytics, Xtify for mobile messaging, Tealeaf for customer buying behavior analytics, Unica for marketing resource management (MRM), and the aforementioned Coremetrics for Web analytics. In addition, Cognos is always there for sentiment analytics and SPSS for predictive analytics needs as required.
 
Over 8,000 organizations in 50 countries rely on IBM and Silverpop marketing solutions to deliver improved revenue and measurable results. That opportunity gets even larger when one considers marketing as only a part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce “Buy–Market–Sell–Service” framework.
 
 
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