Yesterday, Higher Logic announced its acquisition of Informz and Real Magnet. We invited Higher Logic CEO Rob Wenger to chat with us about this development. Tune in to the full conversation.
In our second DelCor Association TechTalk, Rob joined us live from the Higher Logic HUG Super Forum to talk about the company's latest acquisitions—Real Magnet and Informz—as well as what other recent acquisitions—Socius and Kavi earlier this year—mean for Higher Logic's growth, culture, and clients.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation with Rob:
- Higher Logic has big data plans. Through their association clients, Higher Logic reaches 50 million members and performs 12 million interactions. From that data, the company will create "long-tail personas" to figure out what people want. Said Rob, "The systems can figure out what people want based on what they do. Information you get by looking in patterns of data actually leads you to stuff you don't predict."
- Why big data? Aside from what can be learned from user behavior, Rob noted the company's investment in big data on behalf of association clients—because, for most organizations, it's expensive and hard to do well.
- Another benefit of big data? Leveraging systems and behavior to facilitate communications. Here's how Rob described it: "For associations, our goal is to be better than HubSpot at member communications," noting that marketing automation is communication with members while communities thrive on communications between members. What's more, common wisdom is that associations lag behind corporate technology, "but what we find with communities is the other way around, because associations are natural communities."
- On future acquisitions, Rob said, "The pieces we want to own are in place and partnerships fill in the gaps," so don't expect any additional acquisitions in the immediate future.
- To some, Real Magnet and Informz appear to compete, but Rob explained that Real Magnet is more robust, and with that comes more complexity. In essence, they serve different audiences, each with about 900 clients.
- While Informz and Real Magnet will continue to operate independently for now, Rob envisions a path to convergence over time, with the goal of having one system—a lifecycle engagement platform—with features that can be turned on and off at the client level.
- Loretta wanted to know, "How is the purchase of all these different companies affecting culture?" Rob remarked that Socious was previously a competitior, but they were all in, and Kavi was a bit different because, well, they're Portlanders. Informz is the most similar to Higher Logic, while Real Magnet's physical headquarters will move to Arlington when Higher Logic moves into a larger space, so those folks will be working side by side with the Orange Army.
Listen in on our 30-minute conversation to hear Rob's thoughts on acquisitions among association technology vendors, competition, innovation, and artificial intelligence (AI).