Experian Invests in Facebook Advertising by Acquiring Ads API Tool Provider Techlightenment

Global credit and marketing services giant Experian has acquired Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant and Facebook Ads API beta participant Techlightenment. The acquisition will add social media advertising, brand monitoring, polling, and social CRM services to Experian’s portfolio that includes internet competitive intelligence from the previously acquired Hitwise, and email marketing. Experian can now offer an integrated web and social marketing solution to brands.

The acquisition signals that major marketing companies may be ready to make investments in the future of social media advertising. The field requires special technologies that can be difficult to develop internally, so marketing companies may look to instead purchase existing tools. Hitwise indicated that Facebook was the most visited website of 2010, making it obvious that Experian will have to offer Facebook advertising services if it wants to stay competitive.

Our profile of Techlightenment’s Facebook Ads API tool Alchemy found it to have a powerful system for quickly creating thousands of ad creative and targeting variants, and running multi-variate testing to determine the best performing ads. Spend can then be shifted to these top ads to produce highly efficient and successful campaigns. Users can set up rules in the tool such as “if when this ad hits 500,000 impressions the CPC is higher than .36 cents, then lower bid to .30 cents” in order to optimize spend as click through rates shift and ads grow stale.

We’ve profiled nearly a dozen Ads API tools and Alchemy is one of the best ways to manage Facebook advertising spend, making Techlightenment a great choice for an acquisition. The tool is intuitive, which will make it easy to train Experian’s marketing services division that Techlightenment will be joining.

As of June, Techlightenment had 30 employees and a $7 million in annual revenue. Experian reports that Techlightenment’s revenue has grown to $7.9 million for the year, and its gross assets at the end of 2010 totaled to $3.9 million.  The majority stake was acquired from Techlightenment’s founders, including Ankur Shah, co-founder and co-CEO, who said that “combined with Experian’s global scale and data expertise, we are perfectly positioned to take the benefits of our products and services to a wider audience.”

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