Jay Henderson, global strategy director of IBM Smarter Commerce, describes the work done by the IBM Research Labs, as well as the technology being integrated into the division's products and services, as game-changing innovations. The commerce group sits in the Enterprise Marketing Management division, which now leads the Silverpop acquisition.
Henderson believes Silverpop's technology can
support marketers as they look for ways to move from "bullhorn marketing" toward creating dialogs and engaging consumers. He said IBM recently consolidated several technologies from acquisitions like
Unica into EMM, but declined to comment on the future of Silverpop's technology.
Silverpop is IBM's second acquisition in the marketing automation space. It follows the acquisition of Unica in 2010, which IBM acquired for $480 million.
Of course, the future of Silverpop depends on when and if the acquisition closes.
Henderson did explain that Silverpop brings email capabilities into IBM's marketing portfolio of services.
Henderson called email marketing platforms "workhorses" for brands because they produce great return on investments and they easily become a gateway to mobile services and social media. The company also brings customer engagement and "lead generation, nurturing and scoring" techniques to support business-to-business (B2B) marketers.
When the deal closes, the technology acquired from the acquisition will likely tie into the work done by the IBM Research Labs. Known for its research and development on emerging technologies, IBM began to commercialize some of the products developed around price optimization.
The pricing model -- a collaboration between IBM's Commerce division and Research Labs, originally designed for in-store products and pricing -- now supports multiple digital channels like desktop and mobile Web sites that tend to change more frequently. While physical stores might change prices on merchandise once weekly, the online version of the store could change the price of merchandise multiple times daily in response to competitive prices.
The prices change depending on supply and demand, similar to what consumers see when purchasing airline seats online. As the seats sell out, prices rise. Social media can sense the demand of products and services. Prices go in both directions, up and down.
Silverpop's integration of email services as a communications channel complements IBM's technology focusing on marketing capabilities around price, product, promotion and place, Henderson said.