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Exchange Applications Inc. is expanding its marketing automation reach to the Web with a $24 million stock acquisition today of E-marketing vendor GBI. Exchange, a long-time player in marketing automation, has been joined in recent months by vendors such as Rubric, MarketFirst, and Annuncio that have focused extensively on Web and E-mail marketing campaigns.
Exchange lacked those capabilities, but the GBI acquisition could change that. The combination of GBI and Exchange will let organizations create and execute Web and E-mail campaigns based on data warehouse information as well as customer profiles drawn from Web and E-mail interaction history, coordinate Web and E-mail campaigns with traditional campaigns, and analyze the success of the electronic campaigns.
Exchange will also acquire GBI's application service provider software-hosting capabilities. That will let Exchange offer the functions as a service, which could mesh well with many marketing units' business models. Marketing departments, analysts say, do not always have the capital expenditures, budget, or IT staff for a large application implementation but do have a monthly expense budget that can cover a monthly subscription fee.
GBI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Exchange, with GBI founder Gino Borland becoming chief operating officer of the unit. The GBI technology will be integrated with Exchange's products but will also continue to be sold separately.
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