MARKETING AUTOMATION NEWS: IBM buys marketing automation firm Unica

IBM has bought marketing management software provider Unica for approximately $480m (£307m). 

IBM says the purchase of Unica will expand IBM's ability to help organisations analyse and predict customer preferences and develop more targeted marketing campaigns.

The purchase is part of IBM's ongoing focus on providing software and business services rather then hardware. In May the company bought Sterling Commerce followed by the purchase of web marketing analytics firm Coremetrics in June.

IBM said it is "assembling transformational capabilities to help clients create this consistent and relevant cross-channel brand experience to promote customer loyalty and satisfaction." 

"IBM understands the demands on today's organisations to transform core business processes in functions such as marketing with intelligence and automation," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions. "Unica was a clear choice for IBM based on its power to automate a broad set of marketing capabilities and its established reputation for delivering customer success in marketing to organizations around the world." 

Rival marketing automation firm Aprimo released this statement at the news, "We at Aprimo are excited about this acquisition as it validates our position that marketing must become a top-priority for businesses and is in the midst of a revolutionary change. Therefore, the market for marketing solutions and integrated marketing software is hot and growing," said Bill Godfrey, chief executive officer at Aprimo.

Godfrey added, "The proliferation of new marketing channels, pressure for marketers to deliver ROI, and customers' growing appetite for personal relationships are all factors driving demand for an integrated solution."