IBM Acquires Silverpop To Deliver More Personalized Customer Engagements

Published: April 10, 2014

After several weeks of reports that a deal was in the works, IBM Corp. announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Silverpop. The terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in Q2, have not been disclosed, but multiple sources peg the deal at roughly $270 million.

With the real-time personalization and marketing automation technology of Silverpop, the acquisition is expected to help IBM offer a more complete customer engagement solution that incorporates personalization capabilities. However, industry observers noted that it remains to be seen how some of Silverpop’s more advanced features, including its Universal Behaviors data-integration and behavioral marketing platform, will be integrated.

“It will be interesting to see how much of Silverpop’s more innovative offerings are retained, in particular Universal Behaviors,” said David M. Raab, Principal, Raab Associates in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “Does Silverpop just become an email delivery engine? Almost everything else they do — campaign management, landing pages, web analytics — already exists elsewhere in IBM, usually in a more advanced form.”

Adam B. Needles, Chief Strategy Officer at ANNUITAS, added: “My question is whether IBM intends to integrate any of its marketing technology portfolio after all of these acquisition, including Unica and now Silverpop. So far we’ve seen a lot of IBM acquiring these platforms and tying together the ‘solution’ with marketing consulting services, but there’s more to be done.”

Get the latest B2B Marketing News & Trends delivered directly to your inbox!

Silverpop will accelerate IBM’s leadership in cloud-based marketing automation and customer engagement software with unique capabilities that enhance personalized customer engagement across channels on a large scale, Geoff Galat, VP of Marketing, Smarter Commerce at IBM, said in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “They create a 360-degree customer view through a rich behavioral profile, dynamically linking permission-based data from fragmented sources – across and even outside the organization – such as social, web, email, mobile and CRM systems.”

This enhancement in personalization makes it easier to prioritize investments by quantifying the value of each customer. “Through Silverpop, delivering the right message, at the right time, through the channel the customer chooses is made easier, more effective and assessable to brands of all sizes and industries,” Galat said.

With the acquisition of Silverpop, IBM’s client base grows to 8,000 organizations in more than 50 countries. These companies use Silverpop to engage customers in both B2B and B2C scenarios, and will now be able to leverage the marketing automation technology of IBM to further enhance their marketing strategies.

Market consolidation will continue at a rapid pace in 2014, according to Jon Russo, Founder and CEO of B2B Fusion Group.  “Eloqua/Oracle, Pardot/Salesforce, now IBM/Silverpop — these large companies see the tremendous revenue growth and scale opportunities that the marketing automation industry affords. About 50% of the F500 are using marketing automation and the SMB market has tremendous upside as more non-marketers gain an understanding of its platform power.”


Additional reporting by Kim Ann Zimmermann, Managing Editor.

Posted in: Industry News

Tagged with:

B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Campaign Optimization Series
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Strategy & Planning Series