CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 11 February

All the latest marketing technology and ad tech news from Marketo, Sysomos, Criteo, Livefyre, Pegasystems, BPM'Online, Taboola, Curalate, Krux and AppNexus.


Marketo reports solid full-year 2015 results

Marketo has posted solid full-year 2015 results as well as healthy fourth-quarter figures, a reflection of the ongoing buoyancy and growth occurring in the martech industry.

The marketing automation vendor saw a 40 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to US$209.9 million for full-year 2015, as well as a 46 per cent increase in deferred revenue to $92 million. Annual calculated billings were also up by 39 per cent to $238.9m over the same period. Off the back of these results, the company reported a net loss of $71.5m.

In Q4, 2015, Market reported revenue of $58.3m, an increase of 38 per cent year-on-year, with calculated billings of $68.1m, another strong result.

"Our solid fourth quarter performance capped a year of healthy growth, including improved operating leverage and positive cash flow from operations for the full year," Marketo chairman and CEO, Phil Fernandez, said.

"I am optimistic about our business and believe we are well positioned to capitalize on the market opportunity in 2016. As a recognised leader in the industry, with a highly differentiated position in the market, we continue to deliver breakthrough innovation and make our customers successful."

Pegasystems extends CRM to the field

CRM vendor, Pegasystems, has launched a new application offering that allows organisations to extend customer service management capabilities to field technicians and agents.

Pega Field Service is aimed at streamlining and unifying field service operation from first call to final resolution using a single platform. The offering encompasses a customer service dashboard and integrated native mobile app, and also taps into the vendor’s predictive analytics features to help provide next-best action recommendations. Other functions include digital signature capture, barcode scanning, auto complete and access to data, such as parts catalogues or full customer lists, offline.

“Now with Pega Field Service, we can provide a turnkey way for organisations to transform their field service operations and improve the customer experience while at the same time reducing operating costs,” said Pegasystems senior vice-president of products, Kerim Akgonul.

BPM’Online comes to Australia

BPM’Online, which provides a cloud-based CRM for sales, marketing and customer service, has opened its first office in Australia.

The vendor has set up shop in Canberra in order to address the needs of clients and partners in Australia more effectively and efficiently. BPM’Online claims to be used by 6500 organisations today, with customers including Heinz, Bayer, Century 21, LÓreal and OMD.

“As part of BPM’online’s global expansion plan, we are thrilled to open the doors to our new office in Canberra,” said its CEO and managing partner, Katherine Kostereva. “The Australian market is particularly receptive to innovative CRM solutions that are capable of aligning sales, marketing and service on one platform with all the benefits that come with it. Establishing a full-time presence in Australia will allow us to provide more fast-growing businesses with BPM’Online’s top-notch technologies.”

Taboola and Criteo join forces on content discovery

Content recommendation engine, Taboola, has partnered with ad delivery platform vendor, Criteo, to give Criteo advertisers access to global media audiences through publisher websites.

The companies claimed their alliance is the first time online retailers can reach audiences at scale through native placements on premium publisher websites. The pair will use personalisation data to match the most relevant product recommendations to the right people on those sites at the right time.

Taboola has also extended the scope of its platform from video recommendations to include articles, slideshows, apps, products and services. In January, the company announced plans with Microsoft to recommend Windows apps and products to relevant MSN users. The vendor’s technology is based on analysing signals in real time, such as device type, geography, referral source, in order to generate appropriate recommendations.

“In our multi-decade journey to build a new category called ‘discovery’, our partnership with Criteo is a major step towards connecting people with relevant products and services they may like,” said Taboola founder and CEO, Adam Singolda.

Criteo was also in the news this week for its stellar financial performance, reporting a record 2015 result. The company exceeded $1 billion in revenues over the past 12 months, and also saw Q4 revenues increased 55 per cent year-on-year.

Social data startup promises integrated social marketing

Canadian-based social media monitoring startup, Sysomos, has brought together several of its analytics capabilities into an integrated marketing platform that it claims will help brands to better take action on social listening activities.

The new Sysomos Everything Together offering combines social monitoring applications to help marketers identify trending topics and who is influencing conversations, then use those insights to optimise paid marketing campaigns. Capabilities include Map, for research and analytics; Heartbeat, for listening and monitoring; Influencer, for identifying and engaging with social influencer; and Optimize, for targeting ad campaigns on Twitter.

The vendor said data will be shared across solutions, allowing marketers to nurture results from a single interface.

Sysomos’ customer list includes 1400 brands such as Boeing, Coca-Cola, Marriott and Mondelez International.

Krux unveils peer-to-peer data sharing network

Data management platform (DMP) provider, Krux, has launched a peer-to-peer data sharing service aimed at helping publishers and marketers buy and sell premium audience assets in a transparent, reportable way.

Krux Link was officially launched globally in February, but has been in development for the past 18 months and is now being used by select clients globally. Early participants in Link include A&E, Edmunds.com, Tribune, LÓreal and Annalect (Part of Omnicom Media Group).

According to the vendor’s chief solutions officer, Mike Moreau, Link addresses rising demand for data-as-a-service and provides a mechanism for publishers and brands to trade whatever de-identified audience data sets they have - on their terms. It’s designed as a complement to Krux’s core data platform.

“What we have found is that over time, more and more customers are doing data deals with each other,” Moreau told CMO. “Sometimes it’s publishers and marketers on our platform, sometimes it’s publishers on our platform and marketers on another DMP, or marketers who might not have a DMP. In all these cases, we’re seeing a real need for policy-controlled data transfer and ease of use.”

You can read the full report on Krux Link here

Visual commerce solution provider raises US$27.5 million

US-based visual commerce solution, Curalate, has secured US$27.5 million in its latest Series C financing round, bringing total funding to $40m.

The round was led by existing investor, NEA, and also included First Round Capital and MentorTech Ventures. The funds will be used to further expand on the vendor’s product offering.

The Curalate platform is designed to enable marketers to use visual content to influence the customer journey from awareness to conversion across various consumer touchpoints. The company claims to be serving billions of visual brand engagements to more than 100 million consumers monthly.

Curalate provides the ‘buy’ functionality on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, and has also established partnerships with the likes of eBay Enterprise, Demandware, Tradedoubler and Movable Ink. Users include a host of well-known retailers including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Forever 21, Loft and J Crew.

“Curalate is transforming commerce,” said Harry Weller, general partner at NEA. “Curalate is one of those rare companies with both the disruptive vision to rewire the consumer experience across the $1.6 trillion dollar global ecommerce market and the ability to execute with innovative solutions that accelerate customer adoption.”

Livefyre releases Content Hubs

Social curation platform vendor, Livefyre, has launched Content Hubs, a set of pre-built templates to help brands and agencies create website for desktop and mobile interfaces.

The vendor claims companies can quickly launch social experiences as well as activate audiences using the customisable website templates, which have been categorised based on business use case. For example, Live Event is pitched at live events or conferences and includes tools for audience engagement at offline event, while Live Coverage is for new or ongoing coverage of a specific topic and provides capabilities for live video streaming, featuring branded content, social maps and trending topics, and showcasing curated user-generated content.

The latest offering comes off the back of the vendor’s recent launch of Livefyre Engagement Cloud, and is part of ongoing efforts to expand its product portfolio.

AppNexus launches Headerbid Expert

Programmatic ad tech vendor, AppNexus, has debuted a new plugin aimed at allowing publishers to better evaluate header bidding wrappers.

The Headerbid Expert tool allows publishers to run auctions directly on their page and is also known as ‘pre-bid’. The vendor said the process is an alternative to waterfall setups and DFP’s closed Dynamic Allocation feature, which allows Google’s AdX, but no other exchange, to see and bid on every impression.

"For publishers who are unable to migrate their ad serving off DFP, header bidding opens up pipelines to additional demand sources and allows publishers to earn what their inventory is truly worth," said Tom Shields, SVP publisher strategy at AppNexus. "By using Headerbid Expert, they can monitor and manage this process with ease and efficiency. Today's launch is one more building block of AppNexus' mission to build a better Internet."

Kickstarter campaign launched for Brisbane coding app startup

Brisbane-based startup, Zenva, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds in order to build Codemuari, a mobile app that will teach users how to program while on the move.

The plan is to raise $20,000 for the app between now and 10 March. It’s designed to tackle Australia’s critical shortage of coding skills and was prompted by feedback from Zenva’s 150,000-strong game and app developer community, which reported a need for an engaging and interactive mobile phone platform that allowed them to learn programming on the go.

It also comes off the back of Zenva’s 30-day Kickstarter campaign to build an online course on game development, which went live in February last year and was part of River City Lab’s Sponsored Entrepreneur Program. That activity raised more than $30,000 and was supported by 572 backers.

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