CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 28 January

The latest marketing and ad technology news this week, featuring Yahoo7, Eyeota, TrustSphere, Iterable, Hypetap, Valkre, AppNexus, DataXu, SaleCycle

Yahoo7 launches mobile app developer suite

Yahoo7 has taken the wrappers off its new Mobile Developer Suite in Australia and New Zealand, promising mobile app developers the tools to build, monetise and promote their apps more successfully.

The new platform combines analytics, measurement and performance tools into a single software development kit that’s now available to mobile app developers for free. It’s powered by Yahoo7’s analytics tool, Flurry, as well as the global Gemini native advertising marketplace tool and Brightroll video demand and also uses Yahoo App Publishing. In addition, connects with Yahoo App Marketing, which offers mobile app creators performance metrics.

According to the media company, developers will be able to deliver a better mobile user experience through targeted native and video ads. Yahoo claims more than 200,000 developers are employing its tools globally across 730,000 active apps used across 2 billion mobile devices.

“Mobile use is exploding, with Australian users spending over 33 hours each month on their smartphones,” said Yahoo7 CEO, Ed Harrison, “This Mobile Developer Site is a single SDK which empowers app developers to manage world-class analytics AND monetise through a local advertising marketplace.”

Eyeota reaps in investment dollars

Singapore-based local audience data vendor, Eyeota, recently embarked on a Series A funding rounding, raising US$7m to help grow its global market presence.

The adtech company boasts 1.5 billion unique profiles gathered from publishers across Australia, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US, and uses this audience data to provide marketers with insights on specific online audiences to target.

The latest cash injection brings Eyeota’s total funding to $10m, all of which is being used to build out international offices, as well as grow the technology development team. The latest funding participants included Global Brain Corporation, Infinity e.Ventures and Project A Ventures.

Eyeota opened a Melbourne office last year and now claims all six top media agency holding groups, including WPP, Omnicom and Dentsu Aegis Network, purchase its data for their media buys. The company also claims to generate data revenues for partners including Experian, Ipsos, Roy Morgan Research and CACI.

All-in-once B2C marketing platform raises US$8m

Yet another US-based email marketing and personalisation platform, Iterable, is looking to expand its market presence after raising US$8 million in a Series A round of funding led by Charles River Ventures.

Iterable positions itself as a growth marketing and user engagement platform for B2C marketers and was founded in 2013 in San Francisco. The software helps marketers segment users, personalise messages, build behavioural workflows and conduct A/B testing across all digital channels.

The company said the new funding will help further accelerate Iterable’s strong momentum in 2015, which included growing its customer base by 800 per cent and achieving cashflow breakeven position in Q4. Employees include technology and marketing leaders from Twitter, Google, Microsoft and Return Path.

The latest cash injection brings total funding to date to $9.2 million.

“Iterable achieved very important milestones in 2015, including becoming the best-in-class platform for enterprise B2C marketers,” said its co-founder and CEO and former Twitter staffer, Justin Zhu. “We're executing our mission: Empowering tech-savvy growth marketers with a platform to effectively grow, engage and retain large consumer audiences across all channels.”

SaleCycle adds SMS to remarketing services

Behavioural marketing company, SaleCycle, has added SMS remarketing to its portfolio of email and onsite remarketing solutions.

The new tool will allow marketers to send personalised and dynamic SMS messages to customers featuring a short link that loops them back into the purchase process. Salecycle has partnered with SMS provider, Dynmark, to handle dispatches of the SMS remarketing messages.

The Singapore-based company said its first client to launch SMS remarketing is Malaysian-based airline, Firefly, which is using the capabilities to try and reconnect with potential customers and claims to have already started seeing recoveries and conversions. Other SaleCycle customers globally include Virgin Airlines, Ikea and Ralph Lauren.

AppNexus aims for transparency with Mobile App bidding

Ad tech vendor, AppNexus, is another company putting an emphasis on mobile with PriceCheck, a new header bidding feature for mobile app developers which it claims will help them maximise advertising inventory yields through more transparent, multi-bid and integrated programmatic capabilities.

In contrast to closed platforms that practice high-latency mediation, such as DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and MoPub, the vendor said its PriceCheck technology simultaneously allows hundreds of demand-side platforms (DSPs) and ad networks to bid on an impression. App developers gain real-time transparency into the value of each ad impression and control over whether or not to accept these bids.

“The most important step mobile publishers can take to improve the monetisation of their inventory is to know what it is worth,” said AppNexus SVP and GM, publishers, Ryan Christensen. “PriceCheck, which provides impression-level price transparency, helps publishers drive demand density and increase yield. It’s the end of the black box for mobile advertising yield management.”

PriceCheck is now generally available for banner, video and interstitial ad units. AppNexus also claims PriceCheck allows ads to be displayed with almost zero latency, because the module and APIs allow developers to pre-load ads in the background of the app.

According to eMarketer research, mobile advertising spend will surpass $15 billion in 2016 and soon surpass traditional display.

Hypetap switches to freemium model

Homegrown influencer marketing platform, Hypetap, has shifted its business model from annual subscriptions to a freemium-based approach in a bid to attract more brands and agencies to its platform.

Under the new pricing structure, the base platform will be available for free, with additional charges applied for premium features on a per-campaign basis. Non-paying users won’t be able to browse and invite influencers, but can post campaign briefs that influencers can respond to. Free users will also pay a 10 per cent service fee to Hypetap when they negotiate payment to an influencer.

“We found that a lot of SMEs and agencies were approaching us with the intention of running influencer campaigns, but they didn’t have the budget for an annual subscription and didn’t need some of the more sophisticated features we offer,” said Hypetap co-founder, Detch Singh.

Hypetap customers include Nestle, Uber, LG and Carlton and United Breweries. The company claims to have completed 150 campaigns, reaching 50 million social media followers.

According to research conducted by Tomoson in 2015, businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, and 59 per cent of marketers surveyed planned to increase their budget for influencer marketing over the next 12-month period.

Valkre comes to Australia

US software vendor, Valkre Solutions, has struck a reseller agreement with The Spitfire group to bring its B2B marketing applications offering to the Australian market.

Valkre’s platform was co-developed with B2B companies such as GE, Phillips and Owens-Corning and is designed to help B2B brands have better conversations with their customers by better demonstrating their impact on the customer’s bottom line. The company calls its patented methodology ‘customer value creation’.

The Spitfire Group founder and director, Simon Lane, who was most recently the CMO of Fuji Xerox before launching the business last year, said that it’s critical for B2B brands to effectively describe a compelling value proposition to their potential end customers.

He posed the question: How does a software company that sells asset management software to hospitals demonstrate how it can increase bed availability in an emergency ward?

“Valkre enables powerful conversations with customers, because it describes a vendor’s total value proposition using the customer’s financial metrics,” Lane explained, adding the platform also plugs in to CRM solutions such as Salesforce.

“This allows you to clearly demonstrate how you can make your customer more profitable than the next best alternative.”

Sky TV takes US$10m stake in DataXu

European entertainment group, Sky, has forked out US$10 million to acquire a stake in US-based programmatic marketing analytics, data management and media activation vendor, DataXu.

In a statement, Sky said the investment was the latest in plans to take an equity stake in innovative companies to help bring new ideas, insight and services into its business, and will specifically bolster its programmatic knowledge.

Under the new arrangement, Sky’s advertising sales division will work with DataXu to explore new opportunities around extending the reach of its next-generation advertising products, as well as leverage the vendor’s experience in buying TV ads programmatically. Sky is also looking to better harness data and analytics for better marketing results for customers.

Sky has already taken steps to better target advertising to consumers, launching its Sky AdSmart product in 2014 to serve the most relevant ads to different households watching the same program using data profiling. It also launched SkyAdvance last year, a cross-screen offering for advertisers.

Relationship analytics vendor bolsters search capabilities

Relationship analytics vendor, TrustSphere, has launched a new search and intelligence capability to help B2B sales and marketing teams distinguish between connections and their actual business relationships.

The LinksWithin tool uses real-time relationship analytics and algorithms to help users determine the most relevant connection points within their company who have an existing, active relationship with an external customer. This is done by continuously identifying and scoring every relationship a company has by analysing corporate communication activity.

TrustSphere said the feature is a step up from CRM systems, which just store contacts for each account but rarely show the strength of a relationship in the B2B space.

The LinksWithin feature can be accessed via TrustSphere’s mobile application, as well as through the vendor’s technology partners including IBM, Riva and SugarCRM.

“With LinksWithin, organisations can unlock the power of their combined relationship network to enable more effective social selling, better customer engagement and increased cross-selling,” said TrustSphere CEO, Manish Goel.

Magento releases Commerce Order Management

Ecommerce platform provider, Magento, has released its Magento Commerce Order Management platform for online order fulfilment and omni-channel retail management as a standalone cloud-based offering.

The solution aims to help retailers better manage complex order processes and to sell and fulfil across multiple channels and geographies including stores, drop shippers, multiple warehouses or third-party logistics companies. It’s a multi-tenant, cloud-based offering that is also pre-integrated into Magento’s Digital Commerce 1.X version, as well as its next-generation platforms, Magento 2.0 and Magento Retail Associate Platform.

The vendor said it’s also integrated with third-party webstore platforms including IBM’s WebSphere Commerce and Demandware.Global brands already using Commerce Order Management include Dyson, iRobot and Brown-Forman.

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