Teradata, one of the vendors we evaluate in the Marketing Automation and Social Technology stream, announced last week that it has acquired Israeli mobile start-up Appoxee. What does this mean for customers and the industry at large?
To recap: Teradata -- a vendor more known for its data warehousing software -- has been trying hard to morph from just being a data infrastructure software vendor. For the past 3 years Teradata has been on a quest to add marketing software tools to it's portfolio, including email marketing vendor eCircle, and now aggressively pitches its "Integrated Marketing Management" tools.
The latest to join the tools on Teradata's shelf is Appoxee, a SaaS tool for mobile messages (both in-app and push). You can consider it part of a niche marketing category called "mobile marketing automation." As with traditional marketing automation, Appoxee automates marketing messages based on rules and templates, analyzing recipient behaviors and customizing follow-on messages.
The benefits for Teradata customers still lie some quarters off, because integration is not instantaneous.
However, the acquisition points to marketing vendors responding to the rise of smart phones and "mobile-enabling" their software portfolios. Consider:
- In late 2013, IBM acquired Xtify, a mobile messaging vendor similar to Appoxee.
- In Q4, 2014, Salesforce has released a tool called JourneyBuilder for the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, which enables in-app mobile marketing campaigns.
- Adobe has added in-app messaging functionality for iBeacons apps in it's Marketing Cloud.
Other larger marketing automation vendors also offer mobile messaging capabilities of varying maturity.
Of course, needless to say mobile marketing is fraught with some obvious challenges (such as privacy concerns, small screen size, and so on), but the bigger hurdle to adoption stems from relevance. When mobile is not integrated with the rest of the marketing efforts but a treated as a separate silo, the relevance factor for the customer gets rapidly reduced. But when mobile gets integrated with the rest of the marketing activity-chain, arguably there is greater value in it for the customers.
For an in-depth look of the marketing technology vendors and the scenarios they are best suited for, check out our Marketing Automation and Social Technology Evaluations.