What the Insightera Acquisition Brings Marketo
Marketo's vision has consistently been about multichannel relationship marketing. And last week’s acquisition of Insightera will advance that, according to Jon Miller, vice president of marketing content and strategy and a Marketo co-founder. 

Miller talked to CMSWire this week after the $19.5 million acquisition of the Israel-based real time personalization web and mobile platform. Combining Marketo’s behavioral data, targeting and multichannel engagement engine with Insightera’s capabilities is what the "marketing platform of the future looks like,” Miller said.


What Does Insightera Do?

Insightera is based just outside of Tel Aviv but also has a presence in San Mateo, Calif., where Marketo is based. It has a platform that identifies visitors and customizes their online and mobile experiences with personalized content.

Its platform dynamically changes a website based on a visit, Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez said in a conference call last week with investors. Marketo, which went public last April, is trading today around $31, up about $1 from the date the acquisition was announced.

Insightera allows customers, websites and mobile apps to be “dynamically adaptive and changed at the very instant of customer interaction to deliver a relevant and personal message to each individual visitor,” Fernandez added.

At the instant of customer interaction, Marketo can now deliver, Fernandez said, not only a relevant and personal message, but also one that is completely in context with the sum of all past interactions with each individual customer.

It allows marketers to conduct two-way customer conversations that deliver the right message at the right time, regardless of whether the marketer is reaching out to the customer or if the customer comes from a website or a mobile app.

“I believe our combined capabilities will meaningfully extend Marketo’s already significant technology leadership,” Fernandez said, “and create the only digital marketing platform that can orchestrate this true two-way communication across the inbound and outbound channels.”

Gathering Data off IPs

Miller told CMSWire that Insightera’s platform uses IP addresses to gather data and uses it to help marketers customize the customer experience. The technology from Insightera spots locations to help marketers determine messaging. For example, should a prospect get a European message or an American one?

They also have a reverse IP lookup to gain insights on companies where prospects work. Insightera’s technology also picks up industries; for instance, healthcare would get a healthcare case study and logo in its marketing message.

In addition to the IP-based personalization, Insightera also has the ability to provide personalization based on history. What a potential customer sees the fourth time should be different from what he sees the first, Miller told us.

“It’s totally based upon visitor history and IP addresses,” Miller said. “There’s nothing personally identifiable.”

Insightera also has some predictive analytics and big data capabilities, Miller added.

“They’ll look at all the content on a site — blog posts, PDFs — and analyze that semantically and have the ability to recommend the next relevant piece of content,” Miller said. “If you’re reading this blog post, here’s the next blog post for you. That’s more predictive where the other examples were more rules-based.”

Marketo can also now customize the Web experience on pages it didn’t previously manage because of the acquisition.

Why Marketo Likes Insightera

For starters, Insightera works with any content management system. Some organizations, Miller said, have the ability to do personalization, but it often requires you to be on their own content management system (CMS).

Learning Opportunities

“What we liked about Insightera was that it works with any CMS -- homegrown, Wordpress, Adobe,” Miller said. “It’ll work with anything and it has a low IT footprint.”

Talent was also a major attraction for Marketo, Miller said. Israel, he said, has a “massive depth of technological talent” with big data and data mining expertise.

“We want to continue to invest in big data analytics and have access to that talent pool,” Miller said.

Insightera distinguished itself from competitors, Fernandez said, in that others did not have its “combination of adaptability and technology headroom.”

What is Marketo Now?

The addition of Insightera’s capabilities to Marketo helps the marketing automation provider tap into the power of personally identifiable information combined with its existing platforms. Identifying where customers are in the sales life cycle is crucial, Miller said, to creating a relevant customer experience. Actual customers need to see different messages than prospects.

Further, the acquisition helps Marketo create more seamless customer engagement and conversation flows. It can map out the customer conversation across multiple streams.

“Whether you send an email or have them come to your Website, you’ll have the same offers in place,” Miller said.

Summing up the acquisition, Mickey Alon, CEO and co-founder of Insightera, said in a statement that his team’s real-time personalization platform combines with the “industry’s best digital marketing platform, and together help marketers to listen and respond at scale across channels and time.”

Existing Partners

Insightera was already an integrated partner in Marketo’s LaunchPoint echo system. The vendors share a number of common customers such as SanDisk, Knight Systems and Blue Jean’s network. Insightera’s products are sold to customers of other marketing automation systems.

Marketo plans to continue to support Insightera’s products without interruption for all of its existing customers, Fernandez said. It will continue to sell the existing Insightera solution in the same way to Marketo customers and to others without interruption upon closing the transaction.

Marketo's had a busy 2013. It partnered with Leadspace. And, interestingly, it teamed with one of Insightera's chief competitors, Demandbase, which allowed Demandbase's platform for real time identification technology to connect with Marketo's capabilities.