ICrossing Adds Measurement

NEW YORK Search-focused agency iCrossing continued its recent buying spree with the acquisition of a small analytics company that helps marketers gauge the performance of their campaigns.

ICrossing paid an undisclosed sum to acquire Sharp Analytics, a 15-person firm in Salt Lake City that sells technology that allows clients to measure the results of their online and offline marketing plans.

Jeff Herzog, CEO of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based iCrossing, said building a powerful analytics platform is key to his company’s goal of transforming from a search shop into a full-service digital marketing agency.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” he said. “Knowing the impact [of campaigns] is paramount to the future of all advertising. That’s what made the Internet great: you can quantify so much.”

Called SharpView, the product acts like a marketing dashboard, taking data feeds from several sources to measure the effectiveness of campaigns in search, Web display, TV, radio, newspapers and other media. The dashboard is customized for each customer’s marketing goals.

The acquisition is iCrossing’s third in recent months. In November, it bought San Francisco search agency NewGate Internet, and in February snapped up Spannerworks, a U.K. search firm.

Sharp Analytics will become part of iCrossing’s business intelligence unit, remaining based in Utah. Founder Chuck Sharp will become managing director of the Sharp Analytics division, reporting to Rod Lenniger, evp of tech development. ICrossing said it would add employees in New York, Scottsdale and London.

Herzog said the strong analytics capability would give the agency the foundation to expand its placement of media beyond search listings.