• February 15, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Omniture Acquires and Discovers

Omniture, a provider of online business optimization software, announced on Wednesday a definitive agreement to acquire London-based Touch Clarity, a developer of on-demand automated behavioral targeting. The deal, expected to close by the end of Q1 2007, will cost Omniture $51.5 million, plus approximately $8.5 million in assumed vested stock options. The acquisition will add approximately 50 personnel to Omniture's roster, half of them in product engineering and the rest in operations, client services, and marketing. Touch Clarity's technology combines real-time predictive modeling, data mining, and machine learning into an on-demand service that has been used by such clients as AOL, HSBC, British Telecom, and Barclays, according to Omniture. It has already been integrated with Omniture's own SiteCatalyst and is an accredited partner with Omniture's Open Transaction Framework data collection process, so it is likely that transition hiccups will be minimal. Previous analysis suggests that the close integration of Omniture with Touch Clarity is a wise move. "Several factors, including the success of search marketing, the scarcity of quality online media, and technology improvements, have awakened marketers to the opportunity of online behavioral targeting. And, it's a win-win for marketers and publishers," wrote Shar VanBoskirk, senior analyst with Forrester Research, in her March 2006 report "The Reality of Behavioral Ad Targeting." The increase in click-throughs and improved conversion rates, she wrote, make it a must-have for marketers. "Forrester believes that the widespread adoption of behavioral targeting is imminent and will cause search engine marketing agencies (SEMs) to expand their current offerings and catalyze the rebirth of the online marketing suite." Omniture followed its acquisition news with the release today of Omniture Discover 2.0, the company's on-demand real-time customer analytics package. Discover, part of the Omniture Online Business Optimization Platform, uses visualizations to provide data insight to users at all levels of a business, from executive to manager to analyst, with optimal speed and granularity for each, according to the company. Key features of Discover 2 include real-time segmentation, to create and compare multiple customer segments and performance metrics; multidimensional site analysis, which provides visual analysis of site navigation to help improve design and increase desired outcomes; advanced fallout analysis, for building and analyzing online processes; and dynamic path flow, a tool for exploring unique customer paths to optimize content placement and navigation. While integration is usually the battle cry among CRM and related vendors, there is equal value placed on a unified package when it comes to analytics and BI. "Multiple analytics platforms and technologies can create big reporting problems for companies," said Bill Gassman, research director for Gartner, in a written statement. "Industry advances in data integration, business intelligence, and analytics make it possible for users in different roles to work off a common set of information. With shared information comes greater insight and better decisions." Related articles: E-commerce Best Practices Make Perfect
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