SAP, the German software unicorn, stunned the market research and financial markets in 2018 by acquiring Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash. No earnouts, no deferred compensation, no stock. Cash. Tableau was recently acquired by Salesforce for nearly $17B and Bain Capital has entered into an agreement to buy 60% of Kantar from WPP. Without a doubt, the competitive environment of the market research industry is changing rapidly and broadening from an old paradigm of traditional research to a new one that converges with both business intelligence and data analytics providers. With advertising spend continuing to increase (projected to reach $280B by 2021 in the US alone), data-driven insights across multiple paradigms (customer, business and third party data) is of increasing importance and of increasing interest to investors. This panel discussion of leaders actively driving M&A activity in the marketing insights and technology vertical will discuss the key industry trends that are driving investments and acquisitions, illuminate the key differentiators driving high valuations, as well as the impact acquisitions ultimately have on research buyers.
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