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IPG Acquires Acxiom for $2.3B, SparkPost Names New CEO, More News

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Dom Nicastro avatar
Catching up on the latest in digital customer experience software news.

The marketing technology software industry has seen its latest major acquisition. On July 2, advertising firm Interpublic Group (IPG) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Acxiom Corporation's Acxiom Marketing Solutions (AMS) business unit in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. Officials said in a press release the deal combines IPG's media, creative, marketing services and analytics capabilities, global scale and consumer insights with AMS's expertise in data management. The Acxiom brand name will become part of the IPG portfolio. The transaction does not include the LiveRamp business of Acxiom Corporation. Acxiom will bring 2,100 associates with data and analytics skills to IPG's 50,000-person global workforce. 

Acxiom Marketing Solutions includes:

  • Data management services 
  • Data strategy services
  • Analytics services
  • Audience creation services

"Everyone knows how valuable data is, but for most businesses it remains an under-leveraged asset," Philippe Krakowsky, IPG chief strategy and talent officer and chairman and CEO of IPG Mediabrands, said in a press release. "There also remains a great deal of uncertainty on how best to combine data with the creation and delivery of marketing messages. Our goal is to solve for those opportunities."

Dennis Self and Rick Erwin will continue to serve as co-presidents of AMS, which will remain a stand-alone division. They will report to Arun Kumar, IPG's chief data and marketing technology officer.

    In other customer experience software news ...

    G2 Crowd Founders Step Into Leadership Roles

    G2 Crowd, a B2B software review platform, has announced that three of the company’s original founders are stepping into new leadership roles. Co-founder Godard Abel returns to become the CEO. Co-founder Tim Handorf, previously CEO for four years, will now become the company’s president and will lead the product, engineering, design, research and people and culture functions. Co-founder Matt Gorniak is returning to G2 Crowd as the chief revenue officer.

    For Godard, this will be the third tech venture he has built and led as CEO, having previously created cloud market provider BigMachines, which was acquired by Oracle in 2013, and SteelBrick, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2016. Abel remained with Salesforce as SVP and GM of CPQ and led SteelBrick’s integration before returning to G2 Crowd last summer as executive chairman. Gorniak served as SVP of Global Quote-to-Cash Sales at Salesforce for the last two years.

    Learning Opportunities

    Tableau Executive Mark Nelson Joins Talend Board of Directors

    Talend, a cloud integration solutions provider, has named Mark Nelson to its board of directors. Nelson brings three decades of software development, engineering and SaaS infrastructure experience at AT&T, Informix, Oracle, Concur, and currently at Tableau, where he leads the global engineering team as executive vice president of product development. Nelson acted as CTO at Concur and also spent more than 16 years as vice president and architect at Oracle, where he was responsible for much of Oracle's cloud infrastructure in his last role. Nelson is also an advisory board member for SkyTap, a cloud provider.

    SparkPost Appoints Rich Harris as CEO

    SparkPost has a new CEO. The cloud email API service provider has named Richard Harris as CEO. He succeeds outgoing CEO Phillip Merrick. Prior to joining SparkPost, Harris served as group vice president of Oracle’s Data Cloud business unit and was responsible for its international operations. Prior to Oracle, Harris was CEO of AddThis which was acquired by Oracle. Merrick is leaving SparkPost to pursue his passion for growing early-stage companies, according to company officials.

    Postie Launches in US Market

    Postie, a solution that applies analytics to direct-mail campaigns, has officially announced its launch in the US market. Postie helps digital marketers apply machine learning to direct mail campaigns, from testing and optimization to audience modeling and attribution. The company has received $3.5 million in seed funding led by Bonfire Ventures and Crosscut Ventures. Postie’s platform includes prospecting (data management platform), retargeting, retention and reengagement. 

    “Postie continues to create a resurgence in direct mail by helping advertisers overcome the many issues facing digital ad marketing and the over-reliance on limited platforms," Dave Fink, CEO and co-founder of Postie, said in a statement. "Until now, the vast majority of a brand’s media spend has been allocated to digital, and we’ve cracked the code on what marketers can do to apply these same principles to direct mail."