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IBM buys Unica to increase targeted marketing capability

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IBM is to buy Unica Corporation in a deal that it expects to help it deliver targeted and personalised marketing campaigns for its clients.

IBM has agreed to pay $21 per share, equivalent to $480m for the company, subject to shareholder approval and the deal is expected to close by the end of 2010.

Unica’s chief executive, Yuchun Lee, describes Unica’s business as delivering “marketing messages so relevant that they are perceived as a service to our clients’ customers.” He said the transaction would help bring Unica’s marketing management solutions to a wider group of customers. Currently its customers include Monster, Best Buy, eBay and ING.

The deal is expected to increase IBM’s ability to analyse and predict customer preferences, developing more targeted marketing campaigns.

It also follows hard on the heels of IBM’s acquisition of Sterling Commerce and Coremetrics.

In its announcement of the deal IBM said the ability to deliver targeted, personalised marketing campaigns was becoming more important to large organisations, along with the technology, such as that from Unica, which supports them.

“Marketing professionals are increasingly investing in technology to automate and manage marketing planning and execution to help them better analyze customer preferences and trends and in turn, predict buying needs and drive relevant campaigns,” it said.

Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions, said: “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 organisations around the world.”

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