Earlier this month, Hearst’s digital marketing agency, iCrossing, bought San Mateo, California-based Red Aril, a data and audience management platform. The deal enables iCrossing to offer clients a data management solution that incorporates and optimizes data from a variety of sources, providing a cross-channel view of customer behavior and preferences.

Red Aril’s platform supports data from any source, mashing together, for example, large volumes of anonymous Web traffic data, off-line data, third party data and the client’s own customer data.

From there, the information is standardized where it can then be used for modeling and segmentation. "The result is an accurate, real-time, 360-degree understanding of audience interests across channels,’" says the company.

"iCrossing and Red Aril are going to deliver data-driven strategies to build connected brands," says iCrossing CEO Don Scales in a statement. "This acquisition puts us at the front of the shift away from optimizing channels towards optimizing audience relationships in real time."

The deal also gives iCrossing a trading desk application, which takes information from the data management platform to more accurately manage ad campaigns across networks and real-time bidding exchanges (RTBs).

In May, the two-year-old Red Aril announced that it secured Mansueto Ventures, publisher of Inc. and Fast Company, as a client. The publisher is using the firm to more accurately serve up content, ads and offers on Inc.com and FastCompany.com.