SAS adds marketing management with Assetlink buy

SAS Institute Inc., a Cary, North Carolina-based vendor in business intelligence and business analytics, acquired Pleasanton, Calif.-based, Assetlink Corp., a resource marketing management vendor with the goal of providing better integrated marketing management platform for enterprises.
Resource marketing management combines marketing planning, operations management, marketing analysis and assets management.
Assetlink is an asset to SAS because its marketing planning, operations and assets management can be integrated with SAS analysis and products, according to David Raab, an analyst at the New York-based Raab Associates Inc.
Assetlink will also improve financial reporting in addition to bringing workflow management for multiple items to help marketers avoid bottlenecks.The acquisition will also help enterprises manage communication in call centres, on Web sites, using mobile devices and social media, Raab said.

“SAS’s powerhouse analytics help companies identify areas to improve marketing, build stronger customer relationships and increase profitability. Bottlenecks in budgeting, planning and resource allocation can hinder effective marketing,” said Jim Davis, the senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at SAS.

This interaction between Assetlink and SAS is not new; these companies have been doing business with each other for a while, Raab noted.

“This is less about providing new capabilities than about ensuring that the existing capabilities remain available — that is, to prevent someone else from purchasing AssetLink,” Raab said. “But it’s more than just defensive, because ownership will enable SAS to invest in expanding the AssetLink product and to integrate it more tightly with other SAS offerings.”

Raab said this gives SAS, already a known player in the business intelligence space, an edge on other large vendors. It also opens the door to other industries that SAS has not had much impact. “It ensures that SAS can compete with IBM and Teradata in providing a full scope of integrated marketing management features,” Raab said.  

Assetlink has many pharmaceutical clients in marketing who do not use SAS products, according to Chetan Saiy, the CEO of Assetlink.

Assetlink will also benefit from the takeover, by gaining access to more financial resources, marketing, advertising and SAS technology. So the move will help Assetlink allocate more resources to expand their products, according to Raab.

“(Assetlink) is marketing in a very isolated island. A solution such as marketing management, helps us streamline,” Saiy said, referring to pharmaceutical marketing management.

“This combination makes perfect sense for both partners — and, more importantly, for the marketers they serve,” Raab said. “It allows SAS to offer the full range of marketing planning and execution features that are part of high-end marketing automation suites.”

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