Dec 14 2015

Connexity Acquires Hitwise from Experian

Expands platform to include Hitwise AudienceView audience segmentation and marketing planning tools

Los Angeles (December 14, 2015) Digital marketing company Connexity, Inc. today announced that it acquired Hitwise, a leader in large-scale online clickstream data collection and consumer behavioral analytics. Hitwise will operate as a division within Connexity.

Hitwise’s broad, audience-based insights into consumer online behavioral trends bolsters Connexity’s offering to marketers, agencies and publishers—giving them an unmatched ability to understand, reach and acquire their target customer. Hitwise’s recently-launched audience segmentation and behavioral analytics platform, AudienceView, provides companies with a comprehensive view of demographic and psychographic enriched behavioral insights on their target consumers, including visibility into behavior patterns by device type, such as mobile phones.

“Hitwise’s shift from website analytics to audience-based analytics aligns perfectly with our audience activation approach at Connexity, which is focused on delivering highly-targeted audiences created from our expansive shopping network,” says Bill Glass, CEO of Connexity. “The combination of AudienceView’s clickstream and panel-based data with Connexity’s programmatic audience targeting will enable our customers to research, understand and identify their target audiences, and their behaviors, and eventually, in the same interface activate those audiences.”

Once fully integrated with Connexity, retailers could, for example, use AudienceView to compare the demographics, preferences and web behavior of customers that shop at their physical stores, to the customers that shop online, and then use that data to rethink their ad creative, update their media planning and then execute a campaign from the same interface.

“Adding Hitwise extends the services we provide to retailers, marketers and agencies,” adds Glass. “With AudienceView we help them simplify the process of identifying their customers, segmenting them and then activating them with media.”

This acquisition—the company’s fourth in less than two years—furthers Connexity’s position as a digital marketing platform for retailers, brands and agencies. Connexity is adding Hitwise to a collection of established businesses including retail product listings (second only to Google), voice of the customer feedback via Bizrate Insights, and programmatic audience targeting—all powered by data from its retail network touching over 100 million in-market consumers per month.

In a simultaneous transaction, Connexity’s private equity parent, Symphony Technology Group (STG), acquired Experian’s Simmons division, the publisher of the National Consumer Study (NCS), a world-class syndicated consumer research database in the US. Recognized as the “The Voice of the American Consumer,” the Simmons NCS provides leading marketers, media brands and agencies with critical marketing information including detailed usage information on over 8,000 brands, 500 product categories and virtually every conceivable media genre available in the United States.

Simmons and Hitwise operate today under the combined entity called Experian Consumer Insights. The two business lines will continue to operate as a combined entity, though Connexity and Symphony will seek to separate the two properties over the course of 2016.

Terms of the two transactions in aggregate were $47 million plus a further potential amount of up to $5 million based on an earn out.