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Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Silverpop, a privately held software company based in Atlanta. Silverpop empowers marketers with cloud-based capabilities that deliver personalized customer engagements in highly scalable environments and will accelerate IBM's leadership in marketing automation. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The shift to social CRM is more than an adoption of new operational models or technologies," says Sandy Carter, vice president of social business evangelism and sales for Armonk, N.Y.-based technology firm IBM. "It is a philosophical, cultural transformation concerning customer relationships, which is still in the early stages for many. Businesses need to stay laser-focused on what their customers value in social media to reap the full potential of a successful social CRM strategy."

U.S. shoppers took advantage of early sales this holiday driving a 39.3 percent increase in online Thanksgiving day spending while setting the stage for 24.3 percent online growth on Black Friday compared to the same period last year, according to cloud-based analytics findings by IBM. As part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM's online retail benchmark study reveals the following trends as of 12:00 am PST:

See more news releases in: Computer Electronics, Computer Software, Acquisitions, Mergers and Takeovers, New Products & Services Addition of web analytics enhances IBM business analytics strategy ARMONK, N.Y., June 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM

A pounding beat communicates urgency. Avatars explain After Inc.'s problems. Those watching the trailer for IBM's business process management game learn they alone can provide the solutions that will save this mythical company.

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