The enterprise marketing management space has been heating up for the past couple years. IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, and Microsoft have all made one or more acquisitions here and it hasn’t stopped. Just a few days ago, IBM bought Silverpop, an Atlanta based cloud marketing automation player with customers in both the B2B and B2C space. This is in addition to IBM’s Unica and Xtify acquisitions. As IBM puts in in a Destination CRM article,
“Across the board, we’re seeing technology play more of a role in how the discipline of marketing is working. It used to be more creative; we’re seeing the need to blend the art of marketing with the science of marketing,” says IBM Smarter Commerce Strategy Director Jay Henderson.
I like the way Jay Henderson says it because the world of the marketer, especially the digital marketer has changed. It’s not just about the creative side of things. It’s now about the technical tools that enable more personalized interactions. For those of us that have laughed at the basic personalization we’ve seen these past 15 years, that’s a good thing.
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So what will IBM do with three tools that seem to overlap each other? As IBM describes it:
- Unica will provide a rich feature set for those larger and more sophisticated companies who need all the features they provide
- Silverpop will provide an easy to use interface for those just dipping their toes in the water
- Xtify will provide marketing automation geared towards the mobile market
Yes, there’s overlap between the features these three provide but the strengths IBM mentions can steer you towards the right product. Both Silverpop and Xtify are cloud based solutions.
I’ll leave you with one example of personalization that consumers are coming to expect.
Another one of Silverpop’s capabilities that appealed to IBM is its ability to create customer profiles based on behavioral attributes, allowing for enhanced personalization. If a financial services company sees a customer look at a college savings plan calculator, for example, it can trigger an email about a 529 savings plan. A B2B company can gauge the quality of a lead and send out appropriate email offers based on behavior such as a download of a whitepaper or if a customer viewed a Webinar.”While IBM has an army of assets in play for marketing, the reality is that you need mass personalization at scale to deliver on relevancy and context. Silverpop brings this and its ability to effectively keep identities in context, regardless of how that individual is engaging inside a brand and potentially with other brands,” Wang says.