The M&A frenzy continued earlier this week as J.L. Halsey Corporation grabbed Web CMS vendor, Hot Banana, and web analytics vendor, ClickTracks. Importantly, I have to wonder how quickly they'll re-brand Hot Banana.The company acquired email marketing leaders Lyris Technologies and EmailLabs in May and October 2005 respectively. The new pair, combined with previous acquisitions, will eventually do a mean online marketing suite tango. And with more than 13,000 combined clients, these acquisitions make J.L. Halsey one of the largest providers of marketing technology solutions to the mid-market.
"The acquisitions of ClickTracks and Hot Banana further our goal of providing a complete emarketing tool set that directly increases the effectiveness and ROI of organizations' emarketing spends. At the same time, by adding Web analytics and Web content management solutions we are extending our commitment to bringing distinct, best-of-breed marketing technologies under one roof for the benefit of the marketing community," said David Burt, CEO, J.L. Halsey.
As a Web CMS player, Hot Banana has had a good year -- gaining favor at the Gilbane CMS conference, adding breadth to its channel partner network, and with strong sales in the non-profit sector. Their branding has been strongly marketing focused. Unlike other mid-market Web CMS vendors like Ektron and Microsoft, Hot Banana never played to the developer crowd. And with a ColdFusion-based product, I'd guess that was the right choice.
In this light, the acquisition and pairing make a lot of sense. Hot Banana's long term play was to be a marketing tool set. ClickTracks offered one of the most sophisticated web site analytics package. And J.L. Halsey's previous email marketing acquisitions will tie-in well with the other products, replacing or enhancing existing capabilities offered by Hot Banana.
Once the dust settles and the production integration has happened in earnest, this will likely be a compelling tool set for online marketers and business managers.