It must be the bad and unpredictable April weather, because Blogs did not even finish discussing one acquisition in the space when already another announcement about another big acquisition follows. Last Friday Google announced their agreement with DoubleClick to purchase the company for $3.1 Billion in cash.
While people speculated about if aQuantive (Avenue A – Razorfish) or ValueClick will be purchased next by Yahoo or Microsoft or even IAC, who owns Ask.com and other top internet properties, did Experian go ahead and make their own acquisition?
e-Consultancy reports reported that Experian agreed to acquire Hitwise for $240M in Cash. In a press-release by Experian the company did provide some ideas why they bought Hitwise.
Hitwise is a enterprise tool and service provider for market research and competitive intelligence. The Hitwise Search Intelligence Tool is a hybrid tool that can be used for both purposes. Here is a little primer by Christine Churchill from KeyRelevance.com. In addition to that did Experian note the following about Hitwise.
Using proprietary technology, Hitwise reports on nearly a million websites each day and sells this information to companies who market their services online. The data allows companies to benchmark their websites against competitors in terms of visitor market share, visitor profiles and time spent on sites. It also helps companies to determine which are the best websites on which to advertise, which search engines drive traffic to their sites and which key words are most effective.
What are the reasons for the acquisition? Here is what Experian says themselves.
The acquisition of Hitwise continues the repositioning of Experian’s Marketing Solutions activities
Companies are increasingly shifting from mass marketing through established media, such as direct mail, to more targeted marketing through many more channels, including email, Internet and mobile devices. Through its expertise in website monitoring, Hitwise extends the range of marketing services that Experian can offer its clients.
Hitwise strengthens Experian’s position in market research by bringing new, unique data to Experian on how consumers behave online, to complement our existing knowledge of how they behave offline. Hitwise’s services are also complementary to other Experian products. For example, Hitwise will leverage the sales and distribution network of CheetahMail, our email delivery and analytics company.
Experian , which is known to consumers as one of the 3 major U.S. Credit report agencies, next to Equifax and Transunion grew over the years to a lot more than that.
Here is what Experian says about themselves and what they do.
- Consumer credit
- Business information
- Transaction processing
- Automotive databases
- Insurance services
- Credit analytics and decision support software
- Fraud solutions
- Data and data management
- Research services
- Digital services
- Business strategies
- Consumer direct services
- Lead generation
Details can be found here. And this PDF document from end of last year.
They own already more than 50 products and companies to cover every aspect about how humans go about business. They do research, collect tons amount of structured data that even Google can only watch in envy. Google might have the most data, but I am sure that Experian has more data about you than Google, the IRS and yourself.
To keep the information organized and ready whenever needed, the have a solution called “Truvue” – a customer data integration solution combining customer data from different sources to create a single customer view. And they are their best customer.
Well known Experian properties are CheetahMail (Email delivery and analytics), QAS (address verification company), PriceGrabber (Shopping Comparison), Lower My Bills (Lead Generation) and AffiliateFuel (Ad Network) , just to name a few.
Considering what they are doing, does the acquisition not surprise me, but rather raises the question, why they did not buy them earlier. 🙂