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Constant Contact Combines Marketing, Social CRM with Bantam Live Acquisition

By Paul Shread     Feedback

Constant Contact's goal is "engagement marketing."

Email and online marketing firm Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT) is adding social CRM to its product lineup with the acquisition of Bantam Live for $15 million.

Constant Contact hopes to transform itself from one-way marketing to "engagement marketing" through the addition of Bantam Live's contact management and social CRM technology. Bantam Live's social CRM platform is built on the Ruby on Rails web development framework.

The combination will give Constant Contact's customers a unified view of all contacts and associated data across all channels — from clicks, email opens, and survey responses to event participation and social media interactions — with the goal of stimulating engagement and action.

Constant Contact said Bantam's social CRM technology "will play a crucial role in how data is captured, reported and analyzed for Constant Contact's more than 400,000 small business customers, helping them better track, measure and increase customer engagement."

"By understanding how their customers share, refer, endorse and engage across all channels, small businesses will be able to engage their customers and drive business success," the company said in a press release.

Social CRM functionality will eventually be built into all of Constant Contact's products, including a paid social media marketing offering that the company expects to release later this year. The offering will help small organizations create and launch integrated social campaigns.

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Constant Contact will integrate Bantam Live's Ruby on Rails-based technology with Constant Contact's Java-based SaaS solution. While Constant Contact integrates the social CRM technology into its core engagement marketing services, Bantam Live will be free of charge to active Bantam Live customers.

Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact, said in a statement, "Building highly-engaged customer relationships is the number one pain point for small organizations. To do this, they need a unified view of their contacts across all channels, from email addresses to social media connections, to event registrations. ... Armed with better, targeted insight, small organizations can more easily turn prospects into customers or members, and fans into advocates."

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This article was originally published on February 17, 2011
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