November 17, 2017
    Higher Logic brings Informz, Real Magnet under one roof

    Acquisitions will enhance innovation, Higher Logic execs say


    Another consolidation of vendors has rocked the association space. Higher Logic, the provider that supports online community-building, has acquired two of the biggest names in email marketing, and marketing automation: Informz and Real Magnet.

    Higher Logic CEO and co-founder Rob Wenger said the companies will soon carry the Higher Logic brand. Plans are to keep the staffs of both companies. “We need them,” Wenger said. Informz president Joe Tyler and COO Terry Nawrot have stepped away from the company. Real Magnet president and co-founder Tom Pines and CTO and co-founder Mitchell Eisen are staying with Higher Logic.

    Informz headquarters will stay open in upstate New York. Real Magnet’s office in Bethesda, Md., will close, and that staff will move to Higher Logic’s offices in the D.C. area.

    Wenger said there was overlap in customers of about 150 with Informz, and 125 with Real Magnet, but a total of 800 customers between the two companies that did not overlap with Higher Logic.

    He said the acquisition of both companies avails Higher Logic of the high-end features of one and the base of small organizations of the other.

    With the acquisition, Informz plans to expand into marketing automation to enhance its social outreach and online communities. Wenger explains it is about big data and the lifecycle engagement process - tracking the billions of member interactions that Informz and Real Magnet bring to the table, plus the billions more that Higher Logic already tracks.

    “It’s about learning what associations members are interested in and providing them more personalized content,” which then leads to personalized messaging, Wenger said.

    When the news broke earlier this week, some association executives expressed concern over not just this consolidation, but consolidation going on among all the vendors in the association space, leaving a void in competition and a dip in interest to innovate. Wenger said this consolidation is about optimizing the experience for the association member.

    “Informz and Real Magnet were fighting each other all of the time, spending all their dollars fighting instead of innovating. [This acquisition] actually doubles the pace of innovation rather than inhibits it in any way,” Wenger said.

    Higher Logic president and co-founder Andy Steggles added that Higher Logic has always been member-focused and that the acquisitions are going to enhance member engagement.

    “The role of the association professional is changing and silos are being brought down,” said Steggles, who is a past TRENDS Association Partner of the Year. “Who would have thought a community manager would also be involved with marketing, member services automation and marketing automation. We’re going to see more of that disruption because technology is advancing so quickly and breaking down those silos.

    “The tools as well that are disrupting the norms, they’re providing much greater efficiency. Organizations that leverage them enable staff to do more with less,” he said.

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