Archive for November, 2007

Omniture’s Appetite for All Things Analytics

Friday, November 16th, 2007

On October 25th, Omniture announced its acquisition of Visual Sciences for an estimated sum of $394 million. The deal will bring together two the top vendors in the online business optimization space, which has been growing at a breakneck pace over the last few years as businesses seek ways to measure the effectiveness of their online spending. Currently, marketers are faced with a lot of choice when it comes to online marketing tools, but many of these tools remain disparate and lack effective integration.

The Omniture-Visual Sciences deal is part of a larger trend of consolidation and “roll-up” within the web analytics industry. Even though Omniture and Visual Science have some overlap in terms of products (see their web analytics applications — duh), the acquisition will allow Omniture to add to its earnings and client base, as well as knock out a key competitor. For marketers, this means the appearance of more integrated solutions that can take care of a wide range of analytics needs. This consolidation leaves 800 lbs gorilla Omniture to compete with Webtrends and Core Metrics until it eats them up as well.

The real question is where do the roll-ups stop? My guess is that they will go all the way to the big guns like in the B2B space or Google in the B2C arena. What these mergers do show for now is that a lot of people are banking on the propensity of companies to look to manage all of their marketing vehicles from one centralized interface and eventually cast aside their current toolbox of disparate systems. Look to see more and more consolidation in the space as we move forward.

In case you are curious, here are some quick facts about the acquisition:

  • Visual Sciences:
    • Founded in 1996 (originally WebSideStory)
    • Provider of analytics applications and analytics driven application
    • Offices in the U.S, Europe and Australia
    • Currently trading at 15.54 on Nasdaq
    • Total revenue for the year was 20.4 million, a 17% increase on year-over-year basis
    • Reported a net loss of .2 million dollars for Q2 2007, should break even in the next 2 or 3 quarters based on current trends
  • Omniture:
    • Provides search marketing, marketing integration, and web analytics tools, as well as on-site behavioral targeting
    • Headquarters in Utah, additional national and international offices
    • Currently trading at 27.78 on Nasdaq
    • Some of its current offerings come from previous acquisitions (such as TouchClarity)
    • Will acquire Visual Sciences in a stock and cash transaction worth 394 million.
    • Q2 2007 revenue of 33 million, up 13% compared to the previous quarter
    • Reported a net loss of 4 million for Q2 2007, expecting a loss for Q4
    • Acquired Offermatica in September

$58 Million Buys a lot of Suspects

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

KnowledgeStorm, an Atlanta startup made good, was just acquired by Tech Target for roughly $58 million. KnowledgeStorm hosts white papers for vendors and guarantees a certain number of leads (from white paper downloads), each of which must register for the site before accessing any content.

Though these leads are hardly prospects (and indeed at the point they are transferred, they are really “suspects” at best), KnowledgeStorm has built up a sizeable business in lead generation.

Companies who take advantage of leads like these must realize that they are most often far from sales ready. The white papers they downloaded did not even come from the authoring company’s website. The suspects may indeed be quite surprised if followed up with by a sales rep.

It probably makes more sense to do a little lead nurturing or qualification first, whether that is through an automated system or a marketing coordinator. Only once they have started to show some buying signals should they be handed off to the sales department. Companies incorporating nurturing programs will see the most value from the suspects they purchase from third parties.