Arguably the biggest news of the week in the online marketing world was the announcement that IBM, the granddaddy of technology companies, will acquire Coremetrics, a leader in web analytics software.
The acquisition will enable Big Blue to help its customers gain intelligence into social networks and online media sources through a cloud-based delivery model. Then, they can incorporate this insight into their processes to create smarter, more effective marketing campaigns.
“With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities to give clients greater insight about customer behavior and sentiment about products and services, and give true foresight into their future buying patterns,” said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM WebSphere, in a press release.
This isn’t the first time a large technology company catering to enterprises has purchsed a web analytic company in an effort to expand their online marketing offerings. A few years ago, Google bought Urchin, for example. And last year Adobe bought Omniture.
But what does this all mean for marketers? For one, it validates the growing importance of digital channels and online marketing.
“Less than a year after the acquisition of Omniture by Adobe, IBM’s announcement today represents overwhelming testimony to the value of online marketing technology as a core piece of an enterprise strategy,” said Alex Yoder, CEO of Webtrends, a Coremtrics competitor. “In today’s world, the growing importance of data-driven decision making is not a luxury, but a minimum requirement to competing in today’s markets. Businesses, governments and nonprofits all realize that facts and insight let them point their innovation and resources in the proper direction.”
While Yoder went on to say that Webtrends leads the market in open standards and detailed customer information — and that his company has seen a 51 percent increase in new business bookings year over year — he added that it will be interesting to see how the acquisition “ultimately impacts enterprises looking to understand data across the multiple digital channels that comprise today’s marketing landscape.”
Responsys, a partner of Coremetrics, said in a prepared statement that the web analytics firm has taken an innovative approach to managing and leveraging the vast amounts of online customer data that today’s companies generate, and that “IBM, as the largest business technology company in the world, is sending a strong message that these capabilities must be considered part of the core ‘stack’ required to be successful in an increasingly digital world.”
Responsys went on to say that this acquisition is “raising the bar” for the industry by helping make advanced online data and marketing solutions a central and established aspect of running a business.
What do you think about the acquisition? Let me know by posting a comment below.