Data juggernaut Alliance Data Systems (ADS) might keep a relatively low profile, but the multibillion-dollar company has its fingers in quite a few data pies. What it needs now is to connect the dots.
And as ADS’ recently announced $2.3 billion acquisition of ad tech company Conversant (née ValueClick/Dotomi) for subsidiary Epsilon denotes, that’s exactly what it appears to be doing.
“You have these companies, and there are only a few now, that have an incredible amount of consumer data, but what they need to do is put all the pieces in place to be able to package and sell their broader marketing capabilities to that top tier of clients,” Nucleus Research VP Rebecca Wettemann told AdExchanger. “That means having the customer data piece, but it also means having the email marketing piece and the agency services skills that will ultimately complement and pull it all together.”
ADS, which was founded in 1996 in Plano, Texas, has its roots in loyalty services, specifically private label credit cards. In fact, the company, which went public in 2001, came to be as the result of a merger between The Limited’s private label credit card bank and the transaction processing arm of JCPenney. ADS bought Canada-based loyalty programs provider LoyaltyOne a couple of years later in 1998, followed by email, loyalty and marketing services firm Epsilon in 2004.