IBM acquires Silverpop, rounds out marketing cloud

Summary:IBM has aggressively building out its marketing suite as it tries to land chief marketing officers, which increasingly control more technology buying power.

IBM on Thursday said it will acquire Silverpop, a company that specializes in cloud marketing software.

Silverpop, a privately held company based in Atlanta, competes with the likes of Lithium and Marketo to name a few.

IBM has aggressively building out its marketing suite as it tries to land chief marketing officers, which increasingly control more technology buying power.

IDC: Line of business tech spending to hit $330.4 billion

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Big Blue said its plans were to combine Silverpop's personal marketing technology and customer engagement software with its enterprise marketing portfolio. IBM is hoping that Silverpop's customer base which includes a bevy of business to consumer and business to business companies will give it up sell possibilities.

Meanwhile, Silverpop can be rolled out to IBM's marketing customers.



Silverpop automates personalized marketing and uses real-time customer profiles to define audiences on social, Web, email and mobile platforms.

Constellation Research principal Ray Wang said the acquisition is a good move for IBM:

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 their ability to effectively keep identities in context regardless of how that individual is engaging inside a brand and potentially with other brands. The benefit of Silverpop is that it's not limited to just B2B or B2C. It's been effective for customers across all types of companies.

In a blog post, Silverpop CEO Bill Nussey said:

Over the last few years, I’ve looked at many different ways to accelerate Silverpop’s incredible success. But from my very first meeting with IBM, it was clear that combining our companies was better than any opportunity I’d considered...IBM was the first major company to weave together different marketing technologies into a single, unified vision. Their globally recognized CMO reports were among the industry’s earliest visions of how technology would transform marketing and the customer experience.

Topics: CXO, Cloud, Enterprise Software, IBM


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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