Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Salesforce buys BeyondCore
Salesforce.com has acquired business intelligence and analytics startup, BeyondCore, one of several recent purchased aimed at lifting it’s the analytics smarts of its platform.
BeyondCore uses smart pattern discovery technology to provide data analytics capabilities. It’s now set to become part of Salesforce's Analytics Cloud, which the company launched in 2014 to provide tools to businesses to better analyse data from their interactions with customers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I am thrilled [to] announce @Salesforce has acquired @beyondcoreinc to enhance the AI capabilities of Analytics Cloud,” wrote Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, announced in a tweet.
BeyondCore had already started integrating its product with the Salesforce platform. At the Gartner BI Summit earlier this year, the company showed off this integration, which would be part of its upcoming BeyondCore 7 release.
“Business user after business user told us how wonderful it was that smart analytics was now embedded into an application they use every day. At this point, our two teams naturally started brainstorming what more we could do together,” BeyondCore CEO, Arijit Senguptam, said.
The latest deal caps off several acquisitions by Salesforce in the business intelligence, machine learning and analytics space. Others include MinHash, Tempo AI and RelateIQ.
Amobee triggers new offering
Singtel/Optus owned marketing tech firm, Amobee, has launched Triggers, a new solution it says provides marketers with the ability to target and deliver digital campaigns at key consumer moments.
The product is based on Amobee’s brand intelligence capabilities, which tap online and offline data signals to determine when it’s the right time for a brand to address consumer groups. Foundation triggers include weather, sports, financial and location activity. Custom brand triggers then include changes in the volume of digital engagement, such as around events, topics or brands; changes in sentiment; and changes in social consumption thanks to API integrations with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Amobee said it uses 12 months’ worth of historical data to calculate the baseline for each trigger. When thresholds go 25 per cent or more above the average, it can activate or deactive media.
“Amobee Triggers is changing the way brands and agencies plan and execute their digital campaigns – it is audience targeting and media buying made for the programmatic world, leveraging Amobee Brand Intelligence technology to focus, target and launch media based on actionable signals that will generate the most impact for the brand,” said the vendor’s managing director for A/NZ, Liam Walsh.
“Amobee Brand Intelligence Triggers are created by our data scientists using Amobee Brand Intelligence to capture moments as they reach peak consumption and align brands to those moments at times that will best drive engagement and performance.”
Lotame enters new data stream
Data management platform (DMP) provider, Lotame, has taken the wrappers off Lotame Data Stream, an always-on source of third-party consumer data for its clients.
The new offering features billions of data points from Lotame's global data exchange and allows global enterprises to combine this data with their first-party data for a more complete profile of their consumers. The vendor’s consumer profiles are collected from Lotame’s partnerships with publishers globally.
The vendor said brands could use these for a wide variety of business intelligence applications and services such as product and media recommendations, to personalise digital experiences, to optimise and for customer attribution.
“Historically, having access to data at the level available from Lotame Data Stream has been limited to brands and their advertising agencies, with little flexibility in how the data is purchased, where it’s accessible, and how it can be used,” said Lotame founder and CEO, Andy Monfried. “We’re changing all that. The Lotame Data Stream unlocks consumer data and removes the CPM-based pricing model to support businesses beyond digital advertising.”
Campaign Monitor pitches new automation tools at SMBs
Campaign Monitor says it’s looking to level the playing field between larger and smaller organisations in Australia by launching a set of new integrated marketing automation features aimed at SMBs.
The vendor said its new Visual Journey Designer allows users to create personalised drag-and-drop customer experiences and then automatically trigger tailored content to consumers in real time. It does this using custom rules and tapping into customer data. The designer offering has been integrated into the Campaign Monitor technology suite and available for free for customers.
Campaign Monitor noted 60 per cent of marketers at brands in the Fortune 1000 use marketing automation to deliver relevant messages and experience, but smaller, growing brands have been slower to adopt. It claimed just 5 per cent of businesses outside the Fortune 1000 are using marketing automation.
“Marketers want to take the manual effort out of sending campaigns to customers and prospects, but the cost and complexity of enterprise marketing automation suites make them available exclusively to the Fortune 1000,” said the vendor’s CMO, Kraig Swensrud. “With Campaign Monitor’s new marketing automation capability, now every marketer can automate marketing campaigns that will increase sales and grow their business.”
Oracle launches new B2B audience marketplace
Oracle Data Cloud is offering up a new B2B audience data marketplace aimed at making programmatic and data-driven B2B marketing easier.
Oracle Data Cloud’s B2B audience solution is set to provide access to more than 400 million business profiles through thousands of B2B audience segments that can be used to create customisable target segments. B2B marketers will be able to access more 700 enhanced Oracle B2B audience segments, as well as a wide B2B audience marketplace of over 4000 pre-built audiences from partners.
The B2B solution integrates proprietary insights from Oracle BlueKai, Datalogix and AddThis. Oracle Data Cloud’s B2B data also taps into strategic partnerships with B2B data providers including Bombora, Dun & Bradstreet, FullContact, Gravy Analytics, HG Data, Infogroup, PlaceIQ, and TransUnion and predictive analytics from Leadspace.
Criteo and Steelhouse legal case heats up
The legal dispute between ad retargeting vendors, Criteo and SteelHouse, has gone up yet another notch after Criteo filed papers that feature several SteelHouse customers claiming to have been deceived by its rival.
The papers filed on 15 August include sworn testimony from several of SteelHouse’s clients claiming the vendor went against established marketing measurement practices, along with industry expert commentary that Criteo claims demonstrates SteelHouse’s unacceptable industry conduct. Several of these refer to SteelHouse’s use of an algorithm to claim impressions and views from end consumers that directly contradicts the last-click attribution model used by many of its former customers.
Criteo launched legal action against its ad tech competitor on 13 June in the California District Court, claiming both click fraud as well as a misrepresentation of its services. Specifically, is alleges SteelHouse used a counterfeit click fraud scheme to trick e-tail clients into thinking that Internet users had clicked on SteelHouse-placed ads when they did not. It also claims SteelHouse subsequently took credit for online sales attributable to Criteo and other online marketing vendors as well as e-tail clients’ own direct Internet traffic.
In July, SteelHouse filed a counterclaim, alleging Criteo had “resorted to gamesmanship and unlawful tactics” in a bid to both discredit SteelHouse as well as shield its own artificially inflated click count numbers.
Criteo returned the sally on 25 July, saying it will continue to prosecute SteelHouse and calling the latter’s claims both baseless and a deflection away from its own misconduct.
Vista Equity Partners completes acquisition of Marketo
Private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, has officially completed its US$1.79 billion acquisition of Marketo.
The deal was first announced in May and approved by shareholders on 28 July. Common stock ceased trading on 16 August.
In a statement, the marketing automation vendor’s new owner said the acquisition, which combines Marketo's product and industry leadership with Vista’s investment and operating model for high-growth SaaS companies, begins the next phase of growth.
“Ten years ago, we embarked on a journey to create a new kind of enterprise software company that would transform the way companies market to and engage with their customers,” said Marketo chairman and CEO, Phil Fernandez. “Our partnership with Vista will allow us to double down on that vision and focus on accelerating our execution toward product innovation and customer success for companies in fast-growth and enterprise business and consumer segments.”
“We see significant value in Marketo's ability to enable organisations to increase digital intimacy and lifetime value with their customers and consumers leveraging the Marketo Marketing Platform," said Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista. “We are aligned with Marketo's vision to lead the market in digital marketing transformation, and we're thrilled to work with the management team to help Marketo reach its full potential.”
Microsoft plans to bring holographics to the masses
Microsoft is bringing Windows Holographic to the masses with a forthcoming update to Windows 10, in a move to make it easier to blend physical and digital reality on any PC.
Windows Holographic will be made available through a software update sometime in 2017, the software giant’s executive vice-president of Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, said at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week. Microsoft and Intel are working together to provide minimum hardware specifications for Windows Holographic PCs and headsets.
It’s part of a push to let more people use what Microsoft calls mixed reality – either bringing physical objects into virtual reality or overlaying digital objects on the physical world. Right now, Microsoft already covers that second area with its HoloLens hardware, but it's also working with a variety of hardware manufacturing partners like Intel to build new hardware that works with mixed reality.
The Windows Holographic announcement dovetailed with the news that Microsoft and Intel are working together on Project Alloy, a wireless headset that uses sensors to bring objects into VR from the real world. Intel will release an open-source set of specifications for building an Alloy headset and allow hardware makers to build their own.
Snapchat to acquire mobile search startup
Snapchat is in the midst of acquiring mobile search startup, Vurb, according to various US media reports.
The deal is predicted to be worth US$110 million and includes a mix of stock and cash.
While it’s unclear how Snapchat would integrate Vurb’s capabilities into its social platform, a report from TechCrunch suggested it could help user make plans with friends, help build out Snapchat’s ability to automatically turn addresses into map links, prompt users with information about a movie, restaurant or place they’re chatting about, or become a daily information digest for more short attention spanned mobile users.
Marin Software aims at smart shopping
Cross-channel device marketing software maker, Marin Software, has released a new feature for the retail and ecommerce sector.
Smart Sync for Shopping is designed to help retail and ecommerce advertisers launch Facebook Dynamic Ads (DA) campaigns across Facebook's ad network, by targeting audiences who've searched for a specific brand or product category on Google.
Marin said many online advertisers has been asking for new ways to extend the reach of their product feeds from Google to Facebook without having to manually update separate campaigns to meet publisher format requirements. Marin manages more than US$7.8 billion in annualised ad spend across the Web and mobile devices.
Smart Sync for Shopping's capabilities allow advertisers to manage upsell, cross-sell and prospecting campaigns in Facebook in one workflow. Using the dashboard, users can create audiences and creative templates in bulk before cloning their top-performing Google Shopping campaigns to Facebook.
- With additional reporting from John Ribiero and Blair Henley Frank.