IBM joins Oracle, Salesforce in making a cloud marketing acquisition


IBM (IBM +1.1%) is acquiring Silverpop, a developer of cloud-based marketing automation software to 8K+ clients, for an undisclosed sum.

Big Blue praises Silverpop's ability to enable personalized interactions with potential clients, and to provide "sophisticated automation capabilities more commonly applied in lower volume B2B scenarios to complex B2C environments."

Its software will be leveraged by IBM's 140 Ready for Smarter Commerce marketing partners, and integrated within a new IBM cloud marketing suite - details for the latter are due in May.

Silverpop competes to varying degrees against Oracle-acquired Eloqua and Responsys, Salesforce-acquired ExactTarget, and Adobe's Marketing Cloud platform. It also competes against Marketo (MKTO -7.5%) and Constant Contact (CTCT -4.5%), which are selling off hard today amid a tech rout. Both companies have been lifted by M&A speculation in the past.

The companies are all looking to profit from a shift in IT spend towards CMOs. IDC has observed IBM's efforts in this area could lead it to face off more against ad agencies such as WPP and Omnicom.

Past marketing-focused IBM acquisitions: DemandTec, Xtify, Unica

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