CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 3 March

The latest top marketing technology and ad tech news from CabinetM, Salesforce, TubeMogul, Emarsys, Mariana, GumGum, Rakuten, Crimson Hexagon, SalesPredict and Microsoft.

CabinetM claims industry first with martech stack configurator

Martech marketplace and collaboration network startup, CabinetM, is claiming an industry first with its new MyStacks offering, which is designed to help marketers and agencies better create, share and collaborate around marketing technology stack design.

MStack is a drag-and-drop configuration tool that can be used to build and visualise the entire marketing technology stack, as well as show how new and existing tools can be integrated. It leverages a database of more than 4500 marketing technology solutions, indexed across hundreds of categories, and provides users with an ability to add product functionality, spend, performance and integration information into the visual representation of their marketing technology stack.

The offering is being supported by StacksUp, a community forum for collaborating with peers on marketing stacks, and to showcase expertise by branding stacks, or contributing anonymously for the benefit of the crowd. CabinetM is also offering a content centre, dubbed StacksInsights, dedicated to perspectives on creating marketing stacks.

“With the tremendous rate of innovation in martech, and more of the marketing budget moving to digital initiatives, managing the marketing technology mix is becoming increasingly complicated,” said CabinetM’s CEO, Anita Brearton. “The ability to visualise the marketing stack means teams can easily track the tools they are testing and try and look across all the layers to identify opportunities to improve ROI on marketing spend.”

A basic subscription is free, but the vendor is providing premium upgrades for users wanting increased exposure across the network.

Rakuten picks up social advertising vendor

Omni-channel marketing tech player, Rakuten, has acquired Manifest Commerce, a product intelligence company with a solution for automated social advertising.

The company said the deal will advance Rakuten Marketing’s social advertising and ad optimisation capabilities for retailers, as well as help drive incremental revenue through prospecting and retargeting campaigns by collecting, testing and optimising product performance data in real time.

Manifest is a San Francisco-based company that uses predictive marketing and optimisation engines to select products from a brand’s catalogue, tests those within market segments, then dynamically optimise ads off the back of data insights. The vendor claims post-click conversion rates of more than 8 per cent across advertising in major social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“The new offering will drive incremental value to clients’ social campaigns through our combined capabilities and insights, and our strong integration into the social space,” said Manifest CEO, Bob Buch.

Rakuten noted the programmatic marketplace is segmenting into two ways: Through demand-side platforms (DSPs) and, increasingly, application programming interfaces (APIs). Manifest’s API-based technology, combined with real-time bidding technology from recently acquired Deep Forest Media, will enable Rakuten Marketing to utilise both types of inventory, the company said in a statement.

Crimson Hexagon comes in Australia

Social data and analytics platform, Crimson Hexagon, has struck a partnership with Melbourne creative agent, One Small Step Collective, to bring its products to Australian and New Zealand marketers for the first time.

Crimson Hexagon’s software aims to help clients extend out of social sentiment analysis into understand opinions and nuance, and provides data for real-time decision making, as well as historical analysis. To do this, it accesses and analyses more than 750 billion posts from blogs, forums, consumer review sites, news sites, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Crimson’s global client list includes Microsoft, Twitter, Starbucks, Oakley, Campbells and Target, as well as agencies Edelman, Carat, CP+B, HUGE and We Are Social.

“We have enormous confidence that Australian brands and agencies will benefit from having direct access to the platform and a local team to support them in leveraging the insights to create more precise strategies, engaging content and measurable outcomes,” said One Small Step Collective managing director, John Williams.

Asia-Pacific customers see Emarsys record triple-digit growth

B2C-focused marketing automation vendor, Emarsys, has claimed an increase of more than 100 per cent in global new business growth year-on-year.

The company added more than 400 new clients in 2015, including L’Oreal, Office Depot, Runtastic, Shiseido and The Body Shop, bringing its total customer numbers up to 1500 and active users to more than 20,000.

A driving factor was Emarsys’ expansion into Asia-Pacific and Australia. Local customers signed up to the platform now include Australian Fashion Labels, Cosmetics Now, Glasshouse Fragrances, Golf Clearance Outlet, Showpo and Styletread.

Founder and CEO of Emarsys, Hagai Hartman, said the growth spurt will allow the vendor to invest into more social and mobile platform capabilities to cater for increased consumer purchasing through these channels.

“We have been extremely pleased with the momentum we have achieved in APAC over the past 12 months,” regional MD, Stuart Barker, said. “Adding Australia to our regional footprint has been an extremely exciting development for us. As an early adopter and instigator of marketing trends, we know Australia often plays a role in spearheading new ways for businesses to engage with, and retain, customers through the use of technology.”

Over the past year, Emarsys secured $33 million in its first round of institutional funding, which will be used to support accelerated growth into the North American market, product innovation as well as expand regional sales and marketing teams.

Mariana aims to address account-based marketing needs

Three-year-old B2B demand generation platform vendor, Mariana, is ramping up operations after securing $2 million in funding and kicking off a second investment round.

Founded by Silicon Valley marketers and artificial intelligence experts, Abhishek Kashyap, Soumyadeb Mitra and Venkat Nagaswamy, Mariana’s technology taps deep learning capabilities to better understand B2B customers and automate buyer persona creative.

Positioned as a platform that supports account-based marketing (ABM), the company claims it will solve the issue of ineffective, broad campaigning by finding the buyer first, and then identifying the right personalised marketing.

According to Mariana, automated personas not only take into account demographics, psychographics and needs of the buyers, they also produce actionable marketing activities. These personas are used to identify prospects in net new accounts and hyper target them on all marketing channels including Facebook promoted posts and Twitter.

“We allow marketers to do something they have always wanted to do: A combination of account-based and persona-based marketing,” said Nagaswamy. “Made possible by deep learning, we help marketers find the right buyers and influencers in the right companies, target them with the right content, using the right channels at the right time necessary to convert leads.”

Two products are on offer: ProspectIQ, which analyses a client’s existing customer database against up to 50,000 real-time data points to identify net new accounts; and ConversionIQ, which cleans then augments leads with persona and buying information that allows marketers to run personalised nurture campaigns.

Customers to date include Fuze, MemSQL, Egnyte, WhiteHat Security and two additional brands, while 10 companies, including Appboy and Big Switch Networks are in pilot phase. Mariana claims early clients have seen 2-3x improvements in conversion rates using ConversionIQ.

SalesPredict aims for automated ABM

SalesPredict is another company looking to address growing demand for account-based marketing in the B2B space and has confirmed its latest release supports predictive demand generation.

Available on the Salesforce AppExchange, SalesPredict strives to provide accurate predictive scoring for a client’s current leads and accounts, along with automated segmentation. The vendor is now expanding these demand gen capabilities to include an automated process for launching ABM campaigns to targeted segments through a variety of ad network partners.

“Everyone is buzzing about ABM, but no one is addressing the critical question: How to dynamically identify the right accounts to focus on in the first place – the ones statistically most likely to buy from you,” said SalesPredict co-founder and CEO, Yaron Zakai-Or.

“This release is the first step towards our vision of delivering predictive revenue generation and we can now help marketers with their number one issue: Delivering qualified sales accounts and leads.”

Microsoft reveals Dynamics CRM improvements

Microsoft made two key acquisitions last year with the explicit purpose of integrating them into Dynamics CRM. This week, the software giant announced improvements to the platform that brings those additions to light.

Coming to online users in the second quarter, the new release focuses on the integration of FieldOne and Adxstudio technologies for new field service and Web portal capabilities. The vendor will also introduce project service, an offering that's designed to support complex, multi-day engagements and optimise resourcing with skills-based assignments.

“With IoT technology, there is a whole new opportunity to monitor device data, detect anomalies and proactively identify next best actions for maintenance and repairs,” wrote Jujhar Singh, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a blog post.

To provide such services, companies can now tap not only their internal resources but also those of third parties.

The CRM Spring 2016 wave also introduces new Web-portal capabilities for community engagement – a result of the Adxstudio acquisition – as well as guided navigation features for users.

Two new machine-learning tools, meanwhile, are coming to Microsoft Social Engagement. With automated triage, for example, Microsoft Social Engagement will automatically detect intention in social posts and, using machine learning, route them as cases or leads into CRM.

In-image ad tech launches locally

In-image advertising vendor, GumGum, has launched its Australian operations with a new local publisher agreement and fresh VP for local sales.

The US-based company, which was founded in 2007, provides a digital marketing platform for targeting advertising based on images. One of GumGum’s key selling points is its ability to contextually place in-image ads based on the technology’s analytics capabilities. These incorporate image recognition and text mining technologies, scanning images to recognise details such as facial features and hair colour, brand logo detection, semantic and contextual analysis and product features and details.

The vendor also claims its targeted ad solutions offer high viewability, a growing concern for brands and publishers as digital advertising gains maturity.

To kick off its Australian operations, the company has struck an agreement with Bauer Xcel Media which will see GumGum’s advertising solutions made available across the digital division’s To Love women’s network, Beauty Heaven as well as WhichCar and Wheelsmag.com.au.

More information on GumGum’s launch can be found here.

TubeMogul promises refunds in anti-fraud effort

Ad tech vendor, TubeMogul, is promising to automatically refund clients every time it serves an ad to non-human traffic or bots.

Known as the Non-Human Traffic Credit Program, the anti-fraud effort is being powered by a partnership with ad fraud detection company, White Ops, which will see the latter’s verification technology rolled out across every video ad bought through TubeMogul’s OpenRTB platform.

The service is available to all clients who have a ‘masters service agreement’ with TubeMogul and kicks off on 1 April.

“We can measure all we want, but until there is clear accountability in the system, it’s hard to make significant progress on fixing the problem,” said CEO and co-founder of White Ops, Michael Tiffany. “Brands need to demand, and providers need to accept, responsibility for the elephant in the inventory. TubeMogul’s bold program is throwing down the gauntlet, and others like it will help move the industry forward.”

Salesforce chalks up 31 per cent Marketing Cloud growth

Salesforce's marketing cloud revenue grew 31 per cent to US$184 million in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2016 year to 31 January 2016, the company revealed this week. For the full fiscal year, the marketing cloud operation expanded revenue 29 per cent to $654 million.

In addition, the vendor’s marketing cloud increased the number of seven-figure transactions by 60 per cent this year.

“In Q1, we had the largest marketing cloud win ever,” said Salesforce chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, during a call announcing the results. “Then we signed an even bigger one in Q3. In Q4, we did it again. We entered into the largest marketing cloud relationship ever with a large social network.”

Despite this, Salesforce still reported a net loss of $25.5 million in the quarter. However, this was an improvement on its net loss of $65.8 million during the same period last year.

  • With addition reporting by Katherine Noyes.

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