Data specialist GI Insight boosts digital offering with acquisition of web analytics firm Cognesia

Customer analytics and database marketing company GI Insight has extended its reach and capability in the area of online consumer behaviour with the acquisition of a majority stake in digital media analysis firm Cognesia . GI Insight’s traditional strength in loyalty programmes and highly targeted direct marketing campaigns will be bolstered by Cognesia’s expertise in the real-time tracking and analysis of customers’ online interactions.

Cognesia will now be able to strengthen its ability to identify and respond with personalised content to customer behaviour on digital channels such as websites, mobiles and social networks by drawing on GI Insight’s proficiency in managing, analysing and acting on offline customer information such as data captured via loyalty schemes and customer management programmes. Leicester-based GI Insight will be able to provide expertise to Cognesia clients on building a single customer view (SCV) database and using it to improve analysis, profiling, segmentation and marketing communication to customers.

Cognesia will operate as a division of GI Insight and the two businesses will work closely in tandem on certain accounts and on joint pitches. Cognesia’s principles, Head of Insight Simon Roberts and Head of Technology and Product Mark Wilding, will remain with the business, which will maintain its London office.

Andy Wood, GI Insight’s managing director, comments: “This is a one plus one equals three deal. Cognesia enables us to move beyond what is already a strong basis for customer analysis, using primarily transactional information, to incorporating data on other interactions with registered customers across digital media so that we have a more extensive picture of each customer’s interests, preferences and, most importantly, patterns of behaviour. For instance, we will now be able to see where website browsing and queries drive in-store purchasing by registered customers.”

He adds: “Cognesia does something that not everybody does and few do well: it is able to track online behaviour of individual customers and segment and target website content so that companies can seamlessly create a personalised online experience for customers. Combine this with the broader management of the customer journey that we at GI Insight bring to the table and we have the potential to do something really different.”

Cognesia’s Mark Wilding notes: “Working with GI Insight widens our ability to provide a picture of the customer for clients. A lot of companies don’t have a way of bringing together their web, mobile and app data with other information such as in-store purchasing histories and recorded preferences in a single customer view – or even of creating an SCV at all – and then understanding how those work together. GI Insight has an established track record in this area and for a long time has been building and analysing SCVs to better understand customer behaviour and create broad customer management plans for UK companies.”

He concludes: “GI Insight brings real depth and experience in analytics, loyalty and long-term customer management. Its insight team is great at getting more out of data and together we can produce a more compete view of each customer and help companies get a better handle on their customer journeys.”