Campaign Monitor acquires its way into customer data platform space

Email marketing automation vendor says its acquisition of Tagga will help it bring customer behavioural data access to the masses

Campaign Monitor’s CMO says the vendor’s acquisition of customer data platform (CDP) startup, Tagga, is about filling the gap B2C marketers have in managing, operationalising and personalising marketing activities based on customer behaviour.

The Australian-founded vendor announced its acquisition of Tagga on 16 March. Under the deal, the latter’s CDP offering will be integrated with Campaign Monitor’s email marketing automation platform, with a beta due out later this year. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Tagga is based in Vancouver and has less than 50 staff, most of which are expected to stay on once the deal closes, including all digital and data experts.

Campaign Monitor CMO, Andrea Wildt, said the acquisition was another step forward in the company’s quest to deliver a next-generation CRM for the B2C market and “democratise behavioural customer data”.

“What we have been seeing across marketing in general is a trend towards personalisation, because it drives higher engagement and revenue,” she told CMO. “Last year, we responded to this by launching a visual journey designer, which we had a great response to.

“But what we’ve also found a lack of access to data to drive personalisation, particularly when it comes to behavioural data. That’s what we’re trying to solve with the acquisition of Tagga.”

While the B2B market has been utilising CRM platforms for some time, B2C organisations have struggled to find an equivalent, Wildt said. Many are trying to cope with fragmented data housed in ecommerce, from their website and email service provider, for example.

“They don’t have this sense of a customer master like B2B organisations do,” she continued. “In addition, it’s a totally different scale. In B2B you might have 100 clients, whereas B2C could be hundreds of thousands. Outside the Fortune 500, brand haven’t got armies of developers and data scientists to pull it all together into a singular place. That’s why the acquisition is so exciting for us.”

The Tagga platform allows all customer data sets to be put into one central location. From there, marketers can drive advanced segmentation to deliver relevant content, trigger behavioural journeys, then conversion reporting to tie it all together and back to business objectives, Wildt said.

An example of customer using both vendor technologies is Flight Centre, which combines Tagga and Campaign Monitor to automate all online reservation emails. Tagga pulls in data from booking systems, reservation systems, then Campaign Monitor facilitates segmentation by audience types. An example could be females who are 30-45 years old who have booked in the past and engaged on social. This is then used to trigger relevant content to those people.

“This has allowed them to send three times the amount of email, but importantly, there is a direct correlation between email opening and bookings,” Wildt explained. “The more relevant emails they send that engage with customers, the more they see impact to the bottom line. We’re trying to harness that and replicate that across all of our customers and make behavioural data accessible to all brands.”

Wildt said there was relatively little overlap between the two companies’ customer databases, mainly because Tagga is still a relatively new business. Both, however, share a focus on the B2C SMB market, with a particular emphasis on the retail, travel, not-for-profit and hospitality industries.

CDP is a growing category of marketing technology that’s been rapidly evolving over the past couple of years. First coined as a term by founder and principal of Raab & Associates, David Raab, CDPs are described as marketer-managed systems that create a persistent, unified customer database accessible to other systems.

The objective is to provide a single customer view through data that can be used for all manner of marketing and customer engagements. They are positioned as an alternative to other data management products such as data management platforms (DMPs), traditional data enterprise warehouses and channel applications, such as email engines.

“CDP tends to be hub, where data lives. What marketers struggle with is how to operationalise that, and what are the engagement layers on top of that, such as email,” Wildt said. “That’s what’s interesting about the acquisition and how this fits into Campaign Monitor’s vision.

“We wanted to bring this back to provide an easy-to-use, accessible product to growing brands. We want to democratise for the masses, not just the Fortune 500.”

Campaign Monitor will look to further acquisitions where it makes sense, and Wildt also highlighted an organisational vision to extend beyond email.

“We’re starting with email as it’s the number one channel for marketers and driving the highest ROI. But we have a bigger vision for other channels,” she said. “It depends on the needs of our customers.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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