Confirmed: Google Acquires Incentive Targeting To Power Super Targeted, Personalized Coupon Programs

Google has just acquired coupon targeting company Incentive Targeting. The acquisition was confirmed in a tweet from Mike Dudas, who is on the team building Google’s mobile commerce business. Google confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch.

The company partners with retail chains to provide a targeted marketing and coupon service to manufacturers of grocery and consumer products. Incentive Targeting’s patent-pending technology aims to help marketers create personalized, relevant promotions — and measure ROI in real time.

A Google spokesperson issued this statement: “We look forward to working with Incentive Targeting in our ongoing efforts to help consumers save time and money and enable retailers deliver relevant discounts to the right customers.”

As Dudas wrote in his tweet, it appears that Google will be using the technology from the startup to power highly targeted manufacturer and private-label coupon programs. Essentially, he says, the company does “for retail couponing what Google [does] for online advertising: make it simple, relevant, measurable, & effective.”

It’s unclear what the acquisition price was, but the company has raised $4.4 million in funding.

So what does this mean for Google? Well, it looks like part of the company’s commerce strategy will center around delivering more personalized deals and coupons to its users, perhaps via Wallet. It’s not surprising that Google is heading down this road – every commerce and payments company is. But in order to deliver more personalized offers, Google needs to have actual purchasing and intent data, which is harder to come by. Incentive Targeting’s technologies could also be offered to advertising customers, as well.

We know a new version of Wallet is in the works, so perhaps we’ll get more insight into Google’s commerce plans and personalization strategy soon.

Here’s the announcement:

We are excited to announce that Incentive Targeting has been acquired by Google!

When we founded Incentive Targeting in 2007, we set out to do for retail couponing what Google had done for online advertising: make it simple, relevant, measurable, and effective. So, it is both humbling and gratifying to be joining the ranks of the company that inspired our initial vision.

As part of Google, we will have the resources and expertise to continue the transformation of couponing from a way to give discounts to a way to build business. And, we can now work towards that vision as part of a company that improves the lives of hundreds of millions of people every day.

We didn’t reach this milestone alone. From day one, we have relied on the support and commitment of our retailers, brands, investors, partners, and advisors, as well as the hard work and dedication of our team. We could not have done this without them, and as we look ahead, we are thrilled to be part of Google!

We’ve contacted Google for additional comment on the acquisition.