CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 14 July

All the latest martech and adtech related news from Data61, Leadpages, SalesPredict, eBay, CenturyLink, Google, Rakuten, Tapad, Conversion Logic, Teradata, Zendesk and MaritzCX.

Sitback joins forces with Data61

User experience agency, Sitback, has signed an exclusive global agreement with CSIRO’s Data61 to implement its Web optimisation tool, which helps brands identify trouble spots in online engagement.

Data61’s Latte software is designed to expose patterns in how people interact with a website and highlight any ‘cold spots’, or specific areas on a webpage where websites are losing customers. It does this by providing data on all the pages viewed in one visit by a customer. It can also detect what elements of a page users might be struggling with, such as vocabulary choice, page hierarchy and other contextual elements.

The tool was created by the digital innovation group and originally developed to help the Federal Government’s Department of Human Services improve its website. It’s now being made available under a three-year global agreement with Sitback.

“The technology Data61 has developed is world-leading,” said Sitback founding partner, Paul Armstrong. “Our teams of UX and developers will continue to enhance Latte as we put it to work in optimising user journeys.”

Leadpages acquires to extends conversion reach

Leadpages has acquired marketing automation platform, Drip, as part of efforts to expand its portfolio from landing page creation through to conversion optimisation.

Drip’s SMB-oriented marketing automation platform is centred around email and includes a visual workflow builder, forms, tags for tracking subscribers, email marketing campaign building tools, and a lead scoring algorithm. Leadpages first announced an integration with Drip 12 months ago.

Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, however, the deal comes after Leadpages secured US$27 million in Series B funding last year and flagged plans to be acquisitive. The company claims to have about 43,000 customers.

In a statement, Leadpages said the acquisition complemented its strength in generating leads and driving sales by adding new features and functionality as well as talent.

eBay scoops up predictive analytics firm

EBay has joined the ranks of organisations tapping into machine learning and acquired SalesPredict, an Israel-based company using advanced analytics to predict a customer’s buying behaviour and sales conversions.

Under the deal, the SalesPredict team will join eBay’s data centre and support the online retailer’s artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science efforts. In addition to data processing and enrichment, eBay’s structured data efforts include data collection and the creation of product experiences.

The acquisition comes off the back of eBay’s recent purchase of Expertmaker, another predictive analytics and personalisation offering powered by artificial intelligence. The retailer said SalesPredict will help it to predict factors that can impact the price of a product while enabling sellers to improve customer conversions.

In its statement, eBay said the move is also in line with group efforts to transform the organisation into a structured online marketplace that can better take on Amazon and other large online retailers using machine learning in product recommendations and other features.

CenturyLink pitches new location analytics offering

Global ICT firm, CenturyLink, last week took the wrappers off Location-based Analytics, a new mobile engagement, analytics and marketing solution aimed at owners and operators of high customer footfall locations including amusement parks and retail malls.

The new solution features Wi-Fi technology and analytics platform in order to gather customer data, such as demographic and location information, which can be used for business insights. The solution also includes social engagement and marketing tools that clients can use to trigger activity to a targeted customer in real time.

The solution encompasses CenturyLink’s Managed Wi-Fi solution that includes Cisco access points and security appliances.

“Location-Based Analytics from CenturyLink empowers owners and operators of venues and spaces – such as amusement parks, college campuses, retail destinations and transportation hubs – to make deeper emotional connections with individual customers in real-time,” said vice-president of product management, Troy Trenchard. “Through the power of connected devices and big data analytics, CenturyLink helps businesses cultivate a high degree of customer loyalty that can translate to improved sales and profitability.”

Google hires online content sharing services team

The team at Kifi, developer of a service for users to save, collaborate and chat on online content, have joined Google’s Spaces group.

The deal appears to be an 'acquihire' by Google, in which the team from Kifi joins it, without the Internet giant acquiring the company.

Google rolled out its Spaces small-group sharing tool in May for Android, iOS, desktop and the mobile Web, which made it easy to find and share articles, videos and images without leaving the app, as Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome came built in. Others could be invited to share content on the space through email, messaging or a social network.

“Our team will be joining the Spaces team at Google to build solutions focused on improving group sharing, conversation, and content finding,” Kifi said on its website.

Google confirmed the Kifi team was joining its Spaces team, but did not provide details.

Kifi informed its users its service and data will not become part of Google. Users will be able to use Kifi for the next few weeks, after which they will still be able to export their data for a few weeks.

Rakuten expands programmatic capabilities

Rakuten Marketing has acquired Nextperf, a company offering advanced machine learning for real-time ad and creative optimisation.

In a statement, the company said the deal not only extends its European footprint, it also complements existing Rakuten Marketing display technology with improved user scoring and ad intelligence.

Rakuten Marketing has also recently made further investments into mobile, social and cross-device technologies, as well as activation of data intelligence from across the Rakuten network.

“Rakuten Marketing highly values technological innovation, and the best way to deliver optimal performance to our clients is by continuously evaluating how we can improve and advance our offerings,” said Rakuten Marketing CEO, Tony Zito.

Marlin completes Teradata Marketing Applications acquisition

Private equity firm, Marlin Equity Partners, has completed its acquisition of the Teradata Marketing Applications business from Teradata Corporation for US$90 million.

The deal, which was first announced in April, incorporates Teradata’s marketing resource management, marketing automation and campaign management offerings. These are used by more than 1500 companies globally.

Teradata COO, Bob Fait, said the acquisition would help the business make the strategic investments necessary to drive growth and said the two businesses we will continue to work with Marlin to provide a smooth transition of ownership.

“This was a unique opportunity to acquire top-tier offerings in two segments of the marketing technology landscape that enable marketers to solve critical pain points and dynamically engage with their customers,” added Marlin principal, Nathan Pingelton.

Zendesk provides Automatic Answers

Customer service management player, Zendesk, has launched its new Automatic Answers offering aimed at helping contact centres respond to customer queries more efficiently.

The tool is yet another based on machine learning and taps into existing customer service intelligence within an organisation in order to learn the best way to respond to customer queries. When a customer sends in a question in native language to a brand’s support desk, the platform can then be used to serve up suggestions on appropriate content that could answer their question.

If the customers is happy with the response, they tick a box and the ticket is resolved. If it’s not adequately answered, then the normal workflow occurs in the contact centre.

“Automatic Answers’ predictive capabilities provide customers with the resources they need to solve their issue quickly, and helps businesses free up their agents to focus on inquiries that need a human touch,” said Zendesk senior VP of product development, Adrian McDermott.

Interested clients can now sign up for early access to Automatic Answers.

Maritz gets more social

MaritzCX has released SocialCX, a new tool aimed at helping customer experience managers improve positive reviews on social media to enhance their brand’s online reputation.

The platform works by focusing on social media sources that contain the most useful information for consumers, like popular local review sites, then uses a MaritzCX text analytics engine to find, capture and transform unstructured social media data into useful and relevant CX insights. As well as being able to monitor social content, such content can be integrated with other sources of customer data to enable teams to see, sense, and act more quickly and effectively to customer insights.

SocialCX is integrated into the vendor’s SaaS-based customer experience management platform and is being delivered in partnership with social media company, Podium.

“Every company is only one bad review or post away from public ridicule and the economic impact that can follow,” said MaritzCX’s president and CEO, Carine Clark. “By monitoring online reviews alongside other CX sources of information, businesses are better armed to make the right and most relevant customer experience improvements that will boost customer retention and revenue.”

Tapad gets Conversion Logic

Cross-device marketing technology vendor, Tapad, has struck a partnership with Conversion Logic to provide unified marketing attribution functionality.

Under the deal, Conversion Logic will incorporate unified cross-screen data from Tapad’s Device Graph into its Ensemble Method, which uses machine learning, to identify related devices and media exposures and enhance reporting on the path to conversion. According to both companies, this will help customers assess advertising effectiveness with more comprehensive customer insights and give them an ability to optimise channel spend in real time.

Tapad claims to have doubled the number of companies integrating its Device Graph into their platforms over the past six months.

“Combining highly accurate data from Tapad with our own user ID technology and understanding how devices may be related at an individual level provides additional visibility into the path to conversion,” said Conversion Logic COO and co-founder, Alison Lohse.

“The more we know about the customer journey, the more effective, efficient and customised marketers can be with marketing efforts.”

-With additional reporting by John Ribiero

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