CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 20 May

All the latest martech and ad tech news from IBM, SAP, Adobe, Criteo, Radius, Blis Media, AppNexus, SpearMaven and OtherLevels.

IBM to bring cognitive computing to its marketing product suite

IBM announced a raft of product updates to its marketing suite this week at its annual IBM Amplify event, the most game-changing of which is embedding cognitive computing services into its marketing and ecommerce product suites.

The first way cognitive computing is being employed is through Real-Time Personalisation, launching within the IBM Marketing Cloud (Silverpop), which aims to help marketers deliver the right message and offer to customers in the moment. This is being achieved through the Cognitive Rule Adviser, which employs machine learning capabilities to learn, advise and suggest the offer and message that should be shared with digital customers.

In addition, the vendor is overhauling its Marketing Software stack (Formerly Unica), a move again aimed at tighter integration across that family of products. On offer with Marketing Software Version 10 are new advanced search tools, the ability to manage complex flowchart libraries, and a new workflow engine. The software can now be directly tied to Marketing Cloud, so marketers can execute digital interactions from their Campaign platform and vice versa.

Also on the data front, IBM is integrating location weather data from its recent acquisition of The Weather Channel, allowing marketers to use weather events to triggers targeted campaigns.

You can read the full report from IBM Amplify here.


SAP creates a DSP and DMP from scratch

SAP has stepped into the digital advertising space, launching an organically built DSP and DMP called SAP Exchange Media.

The new cloud-based platform, which is based on SAP Hana in-memory technology, connects with the vendor’s ecommerce platform, hybris, as well as back-office software and allows marketers to access and deploy first-party data into their media targeting and buying activities.

According to SAP, advertisers will get full transparency and control through end-to-end ROI advertising analytics and campaign management capabilities in real time. Features include real-time monitoring and reporting, and the ability to spend in mobile Web, app, desktop and digital out-of-home via open exchanges, private marketplaces and directly with publishers.

“With SAP XM, SAP will alter the way businesses run marketing in the digital era,” claimed Dr Wolfgang Faisst, cofounder and head of SAP XM. “SAP XM creates greater efficiency, transparency and control by connecting buyers [advertisers] and sellers [publishers] directly through an integrated suite of products.”

SAP has partnered with several ad tech players including PubMatic and Krux and said it will add more partners shortly, including video platforms.

SAP debuts consumer data-as-a-service

SAP also took the wrappers off Digital Consumer Insight this week, a data-as-a-service offering aimed at giving enterprises purchasable insights on physical consumers via the SAPStore.com.

According to the vendor, insights are based on near real-time mobile data, and provide details on where consumers are coming from, age groups and gender, comparison with other locations and/or competitors and devices being used. Users can tap these to better understand physical consumer behaviour in order to help determine the demographics of people coming through a store or location, SAP said. This can then be used for advertising, proximity marketing, location planning and sales strategies.

“A wealth of information is available about consumer behaviour online but, until now, it was impractical for businesses to get similar information about consumer behaviour at physical locations," said chief digital officer and head of SAP Digital, Jonathan Becher. “SAP Digital Consumer Insight allows businesses of every size to benefit from knowing more about consumers at a given location. The insights will allow them to improve their products and services, run better marketing campaigns, scout locations for expansion and even learn more about competitors.”

The service is initially based on US mobile data but SAP said it plans to add data from additional geographies later this year.

Adobe brings VR and AR capabilities into Marketing Cloud

Adobe is expanding VR and AR capabilities within its Primetime offering, providing ad insertion, DRM and playback. These will be linked to Adobe Analytics to allow users to measure activity and ROI.

The new capabilities are focused on ad-driven monetisation, and include sponsored playback, where branding can be integrated into the physical environment through objects and dynamic signage, along with pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ad insertion using both 2D and 360-degree content. The vendor said brands can also insert or replace objects within the VR environment for more targeted advertising.

In addition, Adobe Primetime will support playback of virtual cinema and 180/360-degree VR video scenarios. Adobe said it will initially support Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard devices but plans to also include Oculus Rift and HTC Vive at a later date.

Criteo reveals email retargeting

Performance marketing vendor, Criteo, has introduced Criteo Dynamic Email, an email retargeting solution which aims to help marketers personalise email recommendations inside and outside of their customer base using behavioural insights.

The solution is being powered by the vendor’s Universal Match technology, which pairs anonymous data with third-party permission-based email addresses from Criteo’s publisher network to reach consumers who have demonstrated an interest in a brand and its products.

"We believe that relevant, timely communications drive performance, engagement, and ultimately, conversions for our clients," says Michael Steckler, executive vice-president and general manager of email at Criteo. "We've seen extraordinary success from Criteo Dynamic Retargeting on desktop and mobile display, and we expect to see similar results from recommendations on our Dynamic Email product."

Blis claims world-first with native ad solution

Location data technology vendor, Blis Media, is claiming a world-first with a location-powered native advertising solution.

The latest addition to its cross-device targeting stack will sit alongside Blis’ display, rich media and video ad formats and allows advertisers to tap location data on a consumer as a way of improving their audience targeting.

“As a leading provider of location technology solutions, we have significantly expanded the Blis platform to meet the demand for native ads.” said Blis CEO, Greg Isbister. “Our continued innovation in location-based advertising, combined with advanced proprietary machine learning technology, allows us to deliver a stronger return on investment to our clients across all ad formats.”

The news follows the vendor’s recent funding announcement of US$25 million, which will help it launch in the US market as well as grow its engineering base.

Radius expands predictive marketing offering

B2B-oriented predictive marketing platform vendor, Radius, has expanded its platform in a bid to better serve enterprise marketers.

Key solutions on offer including the Predictive Acquisition feature, which visualises signals shared among an organisation’s best customers to provide a view of the ideal buyer profile for look-a-like targeting. The vendor said marketers can then use Radius to run dynamic addressable market analysis on size, penetration and success rates to find opportunities in new markets and deploy campaigns directly.

There’s also Predictive Prioritisation to help determine which inbound leads to prioritise based on signals such as product technologies in use, social presence, firmographics, trigger events and third-party indicators on intent.

The Radius solution uses the vendor’s proprietary data cloud, Radius Business Graph, which taps 50 billion dynamic business signals across more than 18 million US companies to provide its segmentation and signalling capabilities.

AppNexus offers up Streaming Data

Ad tech vendor, AppNexus, has placed its Streaming Data feature in limited availability. Available to both buyers and sellers, Streaming Data allows customers to access campaign data in real time instead of batch data processing.

“Batch data processing was adequate in the age of the programmatic internet,” said Andrew Eifler, VP of product management for AppNexus’ Advertiser Technology Group. “But it doesn’t work for the programmable internet, which is highly customized and dynamic. Streaming Data allows advertisers to react to campaign performance moment-by-moment, rather than hour-by-hour. We believe it’s the new table stakes, and any platform that doesn’t power this capability is in danger of falling behind the curve.”

With Streaming Data, results on 70 per cent of served impressions arrive in less than 10 seconds, the vendor claimed, while results on 90 per cent of served impressions arrive within 30 seconds. By gathering continual, event-based data, customers can derive statistical correlations and build ‘closed feedback loops’ that recalibrate campaigns in the moment, the vendor said.

Another ABM vendor debuts its wares

SpearMaven has become the latest technology vendor to jump on the account-based marketing bandwagon, debuting its ABM and revenue cycle solution for B2B companies this week.

The vendor’s primary target market is B2B companies using Salesforce in combination with third-party marketing automation tools. SpearMaven said it hopes to enhance infrastructure and data to enable stronger account-based marketing and closer connection to the company’s revenue cycle. Marketing-sales alignment is enhanced via a single revenue cycle with unified account-based scoring metrics shared by both groups. Customers are also assisted navigating new marketing technology procurement as part of a holistic marketing strategy.

“Marketing technology is expanding exponentially, and deployment is becoming more complicated,” said Bruce Grant, founder and CEO. “B2B marketers face overwhelming choice, and an increasingly complex task to make all the moving parts work together smoothly. Our mission is to help B2B marketers improve marketing and revenue performance through better use of technology, workflows, connectivity and automation.”

OtherLevels and Dyn partner up

Digital messaging platform, OtherLevels, has partnered with Dyn, a cloud-based Internet Performance Management (IPM) company, in order to provide an omnichannel-optimised toolset of data-powered messaging solutions to customers.

According to the pair, the two companies will provide their respective customers with scalable, high-quality digital messaging solutions spanning email, mobile/SMS, push notifications and other digital channels, supported by analytics, real-time customer data analysis and location-based marketing functionalities.

“We’ve built our business around helping marketers drive more impactful omnichannel results, and our new partnership with Dyn will further strengthen the value we provide to clients across the retail, online gaming, and travel sectors,” said OtherLevels MD and CEO, Brendan O’Kane.

OtherLevels’ Intelligent Messaging product decides in real-time which message type a marketer should deliver to a customer maximise engagement. Dyn’s platform, meanwhile, provides control into cloud and public Internet resources.

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