It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
Marketo replatforms to own enterprise customer play
Marketo has made a number of product announcements during its annual industry summit, all aimed at furthering its ambitions to be at the heart of CX transformation across the enterprise.
One of these is what the vendor is calling its largest technology investment to date, code-named Project Orion. The next-generation platform, based on streaming database architecture, is designed to run across the enterprise and is aimed at putting every customer interaction in the context of what came before, and what comes next. Marketo said this will enable companies to listen, learn and respond to each customer in a personalised, relevant and contextual way.
Account-based marketing (ABM), one of the B2B marketing sector’s hottest buzzwords right now, also took centre stage with news of a new ABM solution. This combines ABM and sales capabilities into Marketo’s existing engagement platform and aims to help marketing and sales teams better collaborate around accounts, rather than specific contacts.
Marketo has also added email to its predictive content application based on machine learning algorithms, as well as a new analytics structure and tool called Email Insights.
Radius, Leadspace integrate with Marketo
Several third-party vendors also announced integrations with Marketo’s marketing automation platform this week.
Among these is predictive marketing platform, Radius, which has integrated its offering with Marketo’s engagement marketing platform and is aimed at B2B marketers. The integration allows marketers to identify their most promising segments of customers and prospect records, discover net-new opportunities within those and deploy these opportunities directly through Marketo. Radius has also added predictive scoring to its arsenal of functionality.
Leadspace has also integrated its lead-to-account matching signals offering into Marketo’s new ABM solution. The vendor claimed marketers that use both platforms will get more actionable insights that drive more successful ABM campaigns. Data and insight provided by Marketo’s ABM solution combined with Leadspace’s predictive analytics is also aimed at helping marketers identify and target missing decision makers from specific accounts.
Act-On announces ABM solution
Act-On Software has become the latest marketing software player to launch an account-based marketing solution aimed at giving B2B marketers the capability to orchestrate automated, multi-channel activities to specific target accounts.
The new functionality is being offered as an add-on module, and being made possible by several third-party vendor partnerships, the vendor said. It provides account-level views and scoring, the ability to link behaviours and data to that single account view, as well as automate campaigns based on pre-determined triggers.
The vendor said its ABM offering will integrate with several additional applications including its Attend event management platform, ListenLoop ad retargeting capabilities, PFL direct mail offering, Terminus targeting, Siftrock email management tool and Oktopost social listening.
Infer overhauls profile management
Predictive sales and marketing vendor, Infer, has released the latest version of its Profile Management platform, offering a host of new lead management capabilities including personalised profile recommendations and quickstart features.
According to the vendor, the update gives users the ability to deploy the profiling solution in order to conduct more targeted, high-value outreach to potential buyers. Infer is also now offering its platform on a 14-day trial.
Profile Management is a self-service platform that works by identifying ideal target profiles using a combination of signals, including Infer’s proprietary signals and prospect and customer data from internal systems. These templates could be based on a company’s products, business models or customers. It does this by leveraging a pre-built connector for Salesforce.com. Infer has also built connectors into Marketo, Google Analytics and other third-party systems.
The new-look platform also allows users to define profiles over ‘Accounts’ and ‘Opportunities,’ in addition to ‘Leads’ and ‘Contacts.’
SugarCRM calls latest features ‘informative’
SugarCRM has released version 7.7 of its customer relationship management platform, including features it claims will put more timely and relevant information into the customer-facing employee’s fingertips.
New features include custom tagging for any record in the application, allowing users to organise data within a common theme and global search powered by scalable query engines.
There’s also a new search user interface designed to help individuals pinpoint the right information from their CRM as quickly as possible. The search option automatically expands upon selection, with result sets filtered by module and other criteria, while individual colour-coded search results can be evaluated using the preview option. Each query searches across all Sugar standard and custom modules, will match any text or number stored in the application, and prioritises frequently viewed records.
The Sugar Knowledge Base of articles for 7.7 has also expanded, and includes an intelligence panel where a context-sensitive display allows agents and customers to more quickly find relevant articles. Sugar 7.7 also includes enhancements aimed at streamlining lead conversion for individuals, to better highlight key quote and forecast information.
Wayin acquires EngageSciences
Wayin, a vendor that provides real-time social data and visualisation capabilities, has acquired UK-based EngageSciences, a digital campaign delivery and first-party data collection technology offering.
Wayin is a US-based business launched by former Sun Microsystems co-founder and CEO, Scott McNealy, in 2011, and has chalked up US$50 million in equity investment since then including $15.4m last September. It now operates across nine offices globally. EngageSciences also launched in 2011.
Under the new agreement, EngageSciences’ executive team join Wayin, including Richard Jones as CEO. McNealy remains executive chairman.
The vendors said the combination of both technologies will create a full-service digital marketing technology tool that can be integrated with existing CRM and marketing automation systems. Together, the companies have 300 customers globally.
Outbrain scores US$45m in funding
Content discovery and recommendation software vendor, Outbrain, has raised US$45 million in its latest funding round, funds it says will be used to continue product innovation both organically and through acquisition.
The blog post announcing the latest cash injection also highlighted a number of milestones during the past quarter, including Outbrain’s acquisition of Revee, a technology that hooks up a publisher’s ad servers to provide a dashboard view of which articles are earning the most money in real time. As a result of the deal, Outbrain launched its Automatic Yield product offering.
The vendor has also built a new two-way chat bot technology to power content recommendations insight chat and messaging applications.
Salesforce and Google team up
Google and Salesforce have announced a new strategic partnership this week, designed to boost both companies’ ability to make identity-based matches on CRM and email data.
The new tool, called Marketing Cloud for Google Customer Match, allows users to create audience segments within the Salesforce platform that can then be targeted across search, YouTube and Gmail.
A report on Adexchanger noted that Salesforce’s digital advertising capabilities previously focused only on social ads on Facebook and Twitter, email, mobile and onsite personalization, making this new deal with Google a significant one.
“Because so much of advertisers’ budgets still goes to search, making that spend more effective and more relevant to marketers’ end customers, was really what this deal was all about,” said VP of product marketing for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Gordon Evans.
For instance, a marketer searching for net new customers can exclude existing customers from an ad campaign, or if a certain audience were targeted for an email campaign, marketers can reduce the number of YouTube or search ads they see.
xAD sees location intelligence sales soar
Location intelligence vendor, xAd, has chalked up 100 per cent year-on-year revenue growth, bringing its annual run rate up to US$250 million, a fact it claims makes it the largest player in mobile location marketing.
Overall, the company has doubled its workforce since 2015, adding a number of key hires including Google and Yahoo! veteran, Shashi Seth, as chief product officer; Google’s Panos Zampetakis as regional sales VP; and Twitter’s Ori Carmel as VP of sales marketing.
xAd has a number of proprietary technologies, including Blueprints and Marketplace, both launched within the last year, which are designed to help marketers leverage location intelligence in their engagement efforts.
xAd said it now has a presence in 10 countries and claims 60 per cent of the world's top retail brands as customers.
“Location has become a category in itself and the most critical factor for brands in successfully engaging with consumers to influence buying decisions,” said xAd’s founder and CEO, Dipanshu ‘D’ Sharma. “In the last 12 months alone, we've seen a significant global increase of capital investment into the space and predict location buying to reach the same levels of investment that mobile did earlier in the decade.”
Memeni launches community building solution for SMBs
At the lower end of town, Memeni is launching a new SMB-oriented, white-label product aimed at helping organisations build and manage their own customised online communities.
The solution is aimed at helping SMBs develop relationships with customers, analyse community data, and monetise this through their own social channels. The vendor said its solution provides customers with unrestricted access to information about community members, and leverages big data to target relevant individuals to join groups pertaining to their interests within the platform.
Memeni said it utilises advanced content matching technology to scan each community member’s posts. Based on the analysis of the text, other relevant community members are invited to the discussion. Users can also integrate in their own CRM data.
Users can either choose to build their own community, or integrate a community with an existing application or site. From there, they could share articles, post surveys, offer special promotions and provide news updates to community members.