Two acquisitions recently – Teradata buying eCircle and IBM snapping up Tealeaf – mark out digital marketing analytics as a focus and investment area for the data warehousing and analytic heavyweights. Although both acquisitions have different technology use cases, they do have commonality as both have a distinctly mobile flavour; underlining the growing importance of mobile as a channel for marketing campaigns and online customer experiences.
Teradata was first out of the block when it announced its intention to buy eCircle, a cloud based European provider of digital market messaging. The company, based out of Munich, helps marketers create targeted and personalised digital campaigns through mobile devices, email and social media.
eCircle will sit as part of the Aprimo group (itself a former 2010 acquisition target) and form part of the group’s integrated marketing management offerings as well as being offered as a standalone capability. This acquisition however is not only about adding additional digital messaging technology capabilities; eCircle will help bolster Aprimo’s European presence as well as bringing core consulting expertise and experience to the team.
If not to be outdone later the same day IBM reached into its deep coffers to buy Tealeaf – a provider of customer experience analytics software that helps organisations access information about consumer web experiences. Similar to eCircle, Tealeaf will form part of IBM’s smarter commerce initiative and will get integrated into the company’s Enterprise Marketing and Management Group.
With Tealeaf, IBM gets some neat technology that’s able to capture and replay digital interactions across website and mobile devices to pinpoint online customer experience problems and use this insight to resolve and optimise the experience. As we outlined in our report Analytics and the Customer Journey, building a differentiated customer experience is becoming more of a competitive weapon for many organisations in face of tougher market conditions and an increasingly empowered and discerning customer base.
The digital marketer’s challenge, of course, is to make sure that every customer experience counts – whether this is in the form of a particular marketing communication (such as an offer or coupon) or an online customer interaction (such as an ecommerce transaction) – and in today’s untethered world this, increasingly, is happening on mobile devices too. It’s an opportunity that both IBM and Teradata, alongside other players such as Oracle, are vying for; and is part of the motivation behind other buys in this space, including IBM’s previous acquisitions of Coremetrics, Unica and DemandTec and Teradata’s acquisition of Aster Data.
And it’s not difficult to see why. From a data management and analytics standpoint, modern digital marketing platforms need to bring together a heady mix of capabilities, including advanced and predictive analytics, the management and storage of Big Data (especially when you start to factor in social media data streams for instance) that can be exploited to support the delivery of marketing communications and online experiences across multiple channels, including, of course, mobile devices. These are all areas that IBM and Teradata have leadership positions in and are obviously keen to develop.
Although we’ll have to wait until close to hear the detail behind how IBM and Teradata will integrate and leverage their new acquisitions, I’d be really interested to hear what you think. Do let me know.