With so much of our shopping now done online, its easy to forget the experience of actually going to a store, and getting good in-person customer service. It's impossible for it to ever go back to the way it used to be, but it is possible to merge the on-line and off-line worlds to create a better experience for everybody.
Nomi, a marketing platform for offline businesses, wants to do just that and it has purchased digital marketing platform Media Armor to accelerate the process, it was announced on Thursday. This is Nomi's first ever acquisition.
No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but the entire four person team from Media Armor will be moving from Boston to Nomi's office in New York City, Marc Ferrentino, co-founder and CEO of Nomi, told me in an interview.
Media Armor's two founders Elizabeth Zalman and Eric Brown will also be placed into newly created roles at Nomi: Zalman will become Vice President of Insights, where she will be in charge of helping marketers maximize the benefits of Nomi's platform. Brown will become Director of Product Management, where he will be overseeing the product roadmap to offer additional value propositions on the Nomi Marketing Platform.
The addition of Media Armor will help Nomi achieve its ultimate goal, which is "to create a cross-device attribution analytics platform for the online world," Ferrentino told me.
He described Media Armor as a "cross device remarteking company," and said that he was most interested in the company's cross-device analytics.
"The problem Nomi is trying to solve is to unify the online and offline worlds," he said. "The path to doing that is around elevating the level of data in offline world so that it is on par with the online world."
He said he that th two companies were a good fit the first time he spoke to Zalman and asked her for her view of the world.
"We talked about a world where its not about the last click or channel, but a customer-centric look at marketing," he said. "I shared that philosophy 1000%, so I knew culturally that we were going to be in good shape."
With Media Armor coming at the problem from the online side, and Nomi from the offline side, the two companies were able to met in middle. By purchasing Media Armor, Nomi was able to accelrate its roadmap by two years because "they gave us the online piece."
So what will the integration look like? The example that Ferrentino gave me was somebody coming to a website to look for a pair of shoes. They find them, put them in the shopping cart, but then decide that they would rather see want what they look like on their feet. That customer can now come to the store days later, and find those shoes set aside for them.
The store could also push a promotion in order to help with the purchase.
"We want to enable offline businesses to deliver VIP level experiences by leveraging this technology," said Ferrentino.
Founded in August 2012, Nomi is a mobile first technology platform that provides companies that have physical spaces with the ability to gain greater insights by tracking consumer behavior across in-store and online channels by measuring, analyzing, and engaging their customers in real time.
The company currently has 80 customers.
Media Armor, which was founded in 2010, raised $1.75 million in two rounds: a $250,000 seed round and a $1.5 million Series A in February 2012.
The company only had three customers, all of whom will now become customers of Nomi.
(Image source: go.nomi.com/media_armor)