March 13, 2013

Bye-bye “Unica”, it was nice knowing you “Aprimo”

I recently learned the brand names Unica and Aprimo will be retired soon.

In case you’re new to our EMM tribe, over the last few years the marketing automation space has really shown its value, and it has been validated with a number of enterprise marketing management (EMM) software acquisitions. In chronological order, these include:

  • Unica, purchased by IBM
  • Aprimo,  purchased by Teradata
  • Assetlink, purchased by SAS
  • Alterian, purchased by SDL

Also, over this acquisition period, each of these new parent companies has decided that they aren’t interested in retaining the acquired brand name (or reputation); just the software itself.

Bye-bye “Unica”, it was nice knowing you “Aprimo”, adios “Alterian”!  While rebranding a new acquisition is not unusual, let’s take a pause to stop and ask ‘why are these companies doing this’?  Especially since “Unica” and “Aprimo” are well represented inside the Fortune 500 list?

Comparing these EMM acquisitions to the run of BI Analytic acquisitions back in 2007-2008, and there is a clear difference:

  • Business Objects, purchased by SAP
  • Hyperion, purchased by Oracle
  • Cognos, purchased by IBM

…they all kept their legacy names!

So what’s different?  Well, if you look closely, you’ll see that the enterprise marketing software acquisitions are actually building blocks of something greater.  IBM, Teradata, and SDL all acquired other companies (e.g. Tealeaf, eCircle, Calamares, etc.) in the pursuit of a greater vision – a more complete, one-stop marketing suite (RE: Best of Suite).

In order to create a cohesive EMM suite, the purchased elements are sacrificing their individuality for the greater good.  And while it may remove immediate customer recognition of the software packages, these changes will ultimately lend themselves to creating something even better: a more robust EMM suite.

What better way to usher in this enterprise marketing transition than the Thin White Duke himself with “Changes”?