In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Teradata’s Marketing Applications (TMA) business is to be split into two and rebranded as part of ambitious plans by new owners, Marlin Equity Partners, to maintain category leadership.
Just weeks after completing its purchase of Teradata’s Marketing Applications, the private equity firm has announced a new structure that sees the marketing business carved up into two independent businesses: Marketing operations, and marketing execution. Each is being given separate branding, along with leadership teams, operating structures and go-to-market strategies.
To coincide with the news, Marlin also revealed its acquisition of partner marketing automation vendor, Revenew, and said the company will now form part of its new marketing operations division. Revenew’s platform is being combined with the marketing operation capabilities acquired through TMA, including its marketing resource management (MRM) platform. Together, they’ll be known as Aprimo, taking on the original branding of the marketing management platform acquired by Teradata in 2010 for US$525 million.
Marlin has appointed Revenew’s CEO, John Stammen, as chief of the new-look Aprimo business. Prior to joining Revenew, Stammen was in fact executive VP of Aprimo before it was acquired by Teradata six years ago. Aprimo will be headquartered in Chicago and is supported by global R&D and customer support in Indianapolis, with an international operations hub in London.
The marketing execution business, meanwhile, sees the digital marketing centre (DMC) component of TMA’s platform integrated with the email marketing functionality provided by BlueHornet, a company Marlin acquired last December. DMC allows marketers to optimise email, mobile, app, social and Web marketing and is also used for executing paid channel activities such as display and search via and integrated data platform.
It incorporates capabilities acquired over the years through Teradata’s acquisitions of eCircle, mobile marketing vendor, Apoxee, and social marketing player, Argyle Social.
Current BlueHornet CEO, Michael Biwer, has been appointed CEO of the new marketing execution business, which will be launched under the new unified brand name later this year.
“With this merger, we are creating a leader with a global presence and complete omni-channel solution driven by a market differentiating data management platform to power campaign targeting and effectiveness, backed by a strong services portfolio, which is unique within this industry,” said Marlin principal, Nathan Pingelton.
“The combination fits well with our strategy to operate the respective marketing execution and marketing operations assets acquired from Teradata as two distinct businesses, with separate leadership teams, operating structures, and brand identities.”
Pingelton added its two-pronged approach would enable both companies to have a clear and focused strategy for delivering best-in-class products and services to customers and the market, and allow each business to further entrench its position as a category leader.
Locally, TMA’s current regional director of Asia-Pacific, Adam Dougall, stays on to lead the new-look Aprimo business in this region. He told CMO the MRM and digital marketing platform offerings have always been distinct parts of the organisation both locally and globally because of the different nature of the technology and its usage. As a result, they’ve always maintained their own sales, support and engineering teams and this will continue.
In Australia, MRM has been the more dominant offering, with a larger customer base and employee support team as a result. While the marketing execution business will continue to have local representation, it will report through a different leadership structure globally.
Dougall welcomed the news of the reinvigoration of the Aprimo brand, as well as the acquisition of Revenew, which sees several former Aprimo employees returning to the new-look business.
“It makes sense to run these separately – the teams were separate, working on different technologies and projects,” he said. “This delivers a renewed sense of focus on our respective markets.”
Pund-IT principal analyst, Charles King, wasn't surprised by the decision to split TMA into two businesses.
"The move should strengthen both Marlin's channel-focused and its digital marketing/personalised email campaign solutions," he told CMO. "Those are separate businesses logically and practically, requiring unique management and organisational expertise. If there are situations or opportunities for BlueHornet and Aprimo to collaborate commercially, I'm certain Marlin will find ways to facillitate it."
King also saw the acquisition of Revenew as a step towards strengthening and expanding the offering for enterprise customers, specifically those engaging regularly or significantly with channel partners.
"The fact is that many businesses find channel relationships to be quite challenging, and sometimes struggle to derive value from those relationships. Revenew's SaaS platform is designed to monitor channel marketing performance, and should help Marlin's customers to better determine proper levels of investment for managing content, campaigns and lead generation with channel partners," he said.
Marlin Equity Partners picked up TMA in April for US$90 million in cash. The deal officially closed on 1 July 2016.