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Oracle’s acquisition of AddThis on Tuesday — for a rumored $175 million — brings the data giant one step closer to becoming the Mordor of marketing clouds. Oracle has a persistent pattern of expanding its capabilities by buying companies, giving them a “one ring to rule them all” platform for marketing technology.

AddThis is best known for its iconic social sharing buttons on websites. And this massive glimpse into the behaviors of website visitors, 1.9 billion visitors according to AddThis, has given the Virginia-based company the ability to expand into audience insight and personalization tools.

The acquisition of AddThis helps to plug the last gaps in Oracle’s data-as-a-service (DaaS) offering,” said VentureBeat analyst Stewart Rogers. “Previous acquisitions, such as BlueKai and Datalogix, brought ‘anonymous data,’ known identity information, and transaction data to the platform (along with additional reach, of course). With AddThis, Oracle Data Cloud is shaping up to be a complete view of what consumers buy, say, and do online.”

Well played, Oracle. Marketing cloud competitors such as Adobe and Salesforce are surely taking notice. No doubt, so are current customers of AddThis. It remains to be seen how the acquisition will affect them.


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But all joking (and #LOTR references) side, Oracle’s acquisition of AddThis is exciting. It has a lot of potential, in terms of what’s possible with personalization using web and social data.

“We are seeing web behavioral data become more important in personalization, but given the scale of social data available and how rich with insight it can be, it is an obviously valuable source of data for personalization that extends well beyond just the owned website,” said VentureBeat analyst Andrew Jones, who wrote the VB Insight report Web personalization: “How big (and small) companies are increasing conversions and boosting retention.”

The AddThis acquisition should give marketers new possibilities for personalization, but whether those insights remain locked behind the walls of Oracle remains to be seen.

VB Insight marketing personalization

Above: Social data drives personalization

Image Credit: VB Insight


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