IgnitionOne Buys Knotice, DMP With Email Chops

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merging-the-dmpDisplay and search ad tech company IgnitionOne has acquired Knotice, a data-management platform (DMP) and email service provider with approximately 70 employees, AdExchanger has learned.

The deal is the latest in a wave of consolidation in the DMP space that began with the October acquisition of Aggregate Knowledge by Neustar for $119 million, and also includes Oracle's February purchase of BlueKai for about $350 million.

The acquisition  helps IgnitionOne, a former subsidiary of Japanese holding company Dentsu that became independent last year in a management-led spinoff, create a more plausible story around omnichannel data and "life-cycle" marketing.

"The world is going to be about more technology from less vendors, a more integrated approach," IgnitionOne CEO Will Margiloff told AdExchanger. "The marketer will want not only customer acquisition, but also conversion and CRM."

IgnitionOne did not disclose terms of the acquisition, which the company says is its eighth. Previous transactions included European ad platform AdJug in 2011.

According to Margiloff, Knotice is "what a database marketing company should have evolved into." The company began as an email platform helping marketers mine customer data to drive repeat conversions. It later added mobile messaging, again with a focus on first-party data. Customers include Canon, TiVo and Wyndham Resorts. The company was named a "strong performer" by Forrester Research in its 2013 DMP Wave report.

"It's not a traditional DMP," Margiloff said.

That's probably a good thing, since IgnitionOne already has a DMP of sorts for display advertising, based on third-party cookies. This will be to tied to Knotice's CRM, data-storage, data-enrichment and cross-device capabilities.

For now, IgnitionOne is not planning to merge the personally identifiable information (PII) in Knotice's system with the non-PII stuff in its own data store. Any audience matching for ad-targeting purposes that uses PII as a starting point will be done through third-party hashing providers.

The combined company has more than 400 employees spread across 10 countries. About 150 of those are in engineering or other technology-focused roles. Among the customers of its search and display ad solutions are General Motors, Bridgestone, Fiat and La Quinta. The company works closely with agencies, including its former corporate siblings 360i and iProspect, and WPP Group  media agency network GroupM.

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