CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 17 March

The latest marketing and ad technology news this week from Google, Zendesk, Jive Software, Sprout, Workfront, Turn, Terminus, Rubicon Project, LiveChime and Verizon.

Google launches data management platform play for marketers

Google has taken the wrappers off its Google Analytics 360 Suite, a set of integrated data and marketing analytics tools.

Six tools make up the new suite, four of them brand new. Google Audience Center 360, for instance, is a data management platform aimed at making it easier for marketers to understand their customers and find more like them across channels, devices and campaigns. It offers native integration with Google and DoubleClick, and it's open to third-party data providers as well.

Google Optimize 360, meanwhile, is a website testing and personalisation tool designed to help marketers deliver better experiences.

Google Data Studio 360 focuses on data analysis and visualisation, integrating data across data sources and turning it into interactive reports and dashboards. The software taps Google Docs technology for real-time collaboration and sharing. Then there's Google Tag Manager 360, which promises a simplified way to manage the lifecycle of the e-marketing tags used to integrate third-party software into digital offerings.

The last two tools in the suite are renamed versions of existing ones. Google Analytics 360, for instance, was formerly known as Google Analytics Premium and will focus on measurement and analysis of customer data. Google Attribution 360, formerly known as Adometry, aims to help advertisers evaluate marketing investments and allocate budgets.

Read more about the significance of the platform here.

Zendesk aims to pre-empt customer dissatisfaction

Zendesk is claiming it can pre-empt when a brand’s customers are looking to stop using a brand’s products and services through its new machine learning offering.

The Satisfaction Prediction platform brings machine learning and predictive analytics capabilities together and is available to Zendesk customers on the Enterprise plan. Its aim is to predict how likely a ticket is to receive a good or bad rating and to enable organisations to better ensure positive customer outcomes.

It does this by reading signals including text description, number of replies and total wait time to dynamically calculate how likely a customer is to provide a positive satisfaction rating. This can be used by agents to prioritise workflows, drive business rules, or trigger downstream integrations based on data-driven analysis.

The product has been in beta for five months and analysed over 2 million customer interactions, and is now being used by the likes of Pinterest, Digitec and Easy Taxi globally.

“We’ve been using Satisfaction Prediction to detect conversations with customers that are most at risk of a poor customer experience,” said Pinterest’s reactive support lead, Maggie Armato. “Previously, we had a manual process where a dedicated team member would look through our tickets and proactively flag experiences identified as potentially negative. Now, we use the prediction score to accurately and automatically identify these types of tickets so our agents can focus on higher value areas.”

Jive Software looks to unite a person’s business ecosystem

Collaboration software player, Jive Software, has previewed plans for the next generation of its intranet and customer community offerings during its annual JiveWorld conference in the US. The new release is expected to be made available later this year.

Jive CEO, Elisa Steele, said the company is focusing on uniting all aspects of a person’s business ecosystem, from colleague within an organisation to individual teams, external stakeholders such as partners and customers. This will be powered by its Jive WorkHub and newly introduced Identity Service, a secure business network, and is aimed at addressing rising demand for people-based digital interactions.

“The next evolution of our core products, powered by the Jive WorkHub, provides a unique identity for any individual to participate in what we see as the ‘Internet of people’,” Steele said at the event. “We can do this by uniting people, information, systems and things inside and outside of organisations in a way never before possible.”

Workfront integrates with Adobe

Enterprise software vendor, Workfront, is hoping to address the need for more streamlined work management solutions in design and brand asset creation and announced integrations with Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform.

The plug-in extension allows work to be done in Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator then sent through to Workfront to be reviewed in one application. The company said its ambition was to both improve feedback and efficiency around design iterations, as well as sharing project files.

In addition, Workfront has been integrated with Adobe Experience Manager to provide users with a centralised asset repository that is searchable and manageable through single applications. To do this, both applications synchronise files, folders, metadata, comments, changes and updates.

Turn gets extra funding, brings in new execs

Ad tech vendor, Turn, has raised another $15 million in funding from existing investors to expand its global operations and enact its strategic vision. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to $152.5 million.

Turn announced a number of corporate milestones this week, including a 44 per cent year-on-year increase in agency and brand-direct business. The company also claims more than 50 per cent growth in the number of customers using both its demand-side platform and data management platform, as well as total ad opportunities that exceed 3 trillion monthly.

In addition, Turn announced two new executive hires: Former Google executive, Allison Young, who joins as head of US sales; and former Yahoo platform operations executive, Mike Kiernan, who joins as senior director of business operations.

Terminus raises US$7.5m for account-based marketing offering

US-based Terminus is looking to join the growing ranks of vendors hoping to win in the B2B account-based marketing (ABM) space and has raised US$7.5 million in funding in a series A round.

The round was led by Edison Partners and included existing investors Hyde Park Ventures Partners, Arthur Ventures and Knoll Ventures. The cash injection will be used to ramp up product development and expand the vendor’s workforce from 30 to 60 staff.

Terminus launched in 2014 and has 130 customers, including Dun & Bradstreet, Vidyard and Gainsight. Its platform integrates with Salesforce CRM.

Sprout Social launches Landscape

Social media management platform, Sprout Social, has launched a free tool allowing brands to resize images for all social media channels in one go.

Landscape allows users to stream image resizing for all seven major social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube. It can also do custom sizing. The user uploads an image to the tool via the online interface, chooses the social channels needed, and can crop and scale as required.

LiveChime releases second edition of its social marketing management platform

Social marketing software provider, LiveChime, has released version 2.0 of its Intercept Marketing Platform, aimed at helping marketers in small businesses use social media groups to create better reach.

The platform claims to offer small businesses a single social media marketing, email, mobile and retargeting advertising solution online. Intercept Marketing 2.0 is an automated digital marketing suite, which provides a single dashboard for marketers to view their marketing efforts and how well they are performing, across social media, email marketing, mobile device marketing, advertising on Google and Facebook, and search engine optimisation.

The company also accesses licensed articles created by Tempesta Media, to give businesses relevant content to share with potential customers via social and digital channels.

The latest version comes with a set-up service for email newsletter templates, a mobile offer, and a dozen social groups to market to.

Rubicon and Cadreon partner up

Ad tech marketplace operator, Rubicon Project, and Cadreon, IPG Mediabrands’ ad tech unit, have partnered globally in a bid to support programmatic direct buying.

Under the agreement, Cadreon will employ Rubicon Project’s Guaranteed Orders platform, a direct order automation solution, to reserve direct inventory across desktop, mobile and video advertising. The companies said the new joint platform will help Cadreon manage centralisation of these commitments by providing greater speed, efficiency, and scale to its buyers’ workflow.

Cadreon also plans to use insights gathered across its network of deals, powered by Rubicon Project’s private marketplace (PMP) solution, to help inform when and where to place Guaranteed Orders. A core component of the partnership will be the ability for the agency to provide brands with deep insights and data analysis from Rubicon Project’s premium marketplace to inform buying strategies.

According to the company, moving spend off the open exchange and into PMP and Guaranteed Orders provides increased value, efficiency and transparency for buyers looking to reach consumers across every major form of digital ad unit, device and platform globally.

Verizon aims for unified customer experiences

Verizon is looking to help organisations connect seamlessly with their customers through Web chat, social media, email or mobile via its new Unified Customer Experience solution.

The latest addition to the company’s Customer Contact Solutions portfolio offers multiple options for connecting with customers, including the callback service for when call volumes are high, as well as interactive voice recognition and speech analytics for personalising the experience.

The dedicated cloud-based contact centre solution has been developed with eLoyalty and is built on top of Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution for Contact Center.

“Customers are demanding. They want to be able to communicate in whatever form is most convenient for them so they can easily get answers to questions or resolve issues quickly,” said Verizon director of Customer Contact Solutions, Alla Reznik. “Verizon is focused on enabling enterprises to transform the customer experience through its latest offering, especially as more business is conducted online.”

The offering will be available in late May in the US and supporting users in 48 countries globally.

  • With additional reporting by Katherine Noyes

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