Constant Contact yesterday acquired contact management and social CRM provider Bantam Live, marking an important step in its ability to offer small organizations a platform to launch and monitor customer engagement campaigns across multiple channels.
The $15 million deal will help the email marketing software provider create a unified database across all its channels, which include clicks, email opens, survey responses, event participation, and social media interactions. Bantam Live’s social CRM technology will also play a crucial role in how data is captured, reported, and analyzed for Constant Contact’s more than 400,000 small business customers.
“We are building a platform that delivers a targeted approach to building stronger customer relationships and cultivating new ones—the number one business driver for small organizations,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact, in a statement. “Armed with better, targeted insight, small organizations can more easily turn prospects into customers or members and fans into advocates.”
The acquisition comes after Constant Contact conducted intensive research on how to better serve small businesses. According to Eric Groves, senior vice president of strategy, corporate development, and innovation at Constant Contact, Bantam Live was a “logical choice.”
“In serving that market, it’s important to build applications that enable a small business owner to get robust functionality through very simple usability. It has to be very simple for him to get from Point A to Point B,” Groves says. “We used that as our key metrics of what we were looking for.”
Constant Contact also expects to release a social media marketing platform later this year to help small organizations create and launch integrated social campaigns.
“We have always been the hub, and we intend to continue to be the hub of our customers’ contact information, and now we are just extending that so that it can collect social information,” Groves says.
To create a scalable platform that serves the evolving needs of its customer base, Constant Contact will also integrate Bantam Live’s Ruby on Rails-based technology with its Java-based software-as-a-service solution.
“Bantam Live’s social CRM technology is a highly scalable technology that is the perfect accelerator to Constant Contact’s business and technology vision, enabling them to more quickly build and launch a complete engagement platform for email organizations,” said John Rourke, CEO of Bantam Live, in a statement.
Rourke, who will join Constant Contact’s strategy and innovation team, said combining the “two winning technologies” will enable small businesses to easily promote, track, and analyze engagement. “It’s a match made in heaven,” he says.
Although Constant Contact’s primary and immediate focus is the new partnership with Bantam Live, Groves says additional investments and collaborations are likely in the future. “We intend to continue to enrich our products though acquisition, building, and partnering,” he says.