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Is IBM trying to buy marketing automation platform Silverpop?

It was only a matter of time before IBM started to beef up its currently thin marketing cloud offerings, and it’s rumored to be in acquisition talks with Atlanta-based marketing automation platform Silverpop.

Last week, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Big Blue was rumored to be close to finalizing the acquisition of Silverpop for almost $270 million. 

Silverpop is a multi-channel marketing platform which enables brands to reach customers through a variety of digital channels, including email, mobile, social and website.

The deal would give IBM a much needed core marketing automation platform that could go head to head with Salesforce’s ExactTarget, Oracle’s Responsys, and Adobe’s Campaign offerings.It may currently be lagging behind all those marketing clouds, but IBM’s on a mission to dominate when it comes to marketing. And its acquisition of a marketing automation platform look like its first step towards doing that.

Both Salesforce and Oracle based the structure of their integrated digital marketing clouds around their acquisitions of marketing automation platforms,( ExactTarget and Eloqua respectively.) If IBM finalizes the deal with Silverpop, it’s a clear signal that it’s willing to move away from its current focus on traditional marketing and commerce solutions and enter the highly competitive, but financially promising field of digital marketing clouds. Earlier last week, IBM already announced that it was investing $100 million in expanding its marketing consulting services. With a few more acquisitions, and its tremendous global reach, IBM could be taking on the leaders in the marketing space far sooner than expected.

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