CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 8 September

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from TubeMogul, Zeta Interactive, Acxiom, Sizmek, Google Analytics, Adobe, Episerver, Ogury, Dentsu, Infer, Leadscape and LeanData.

TubeMogul bolsters location-based mobile audience targeting

Ad tech player, TubeMogul, has partnered with geotargeting data vendor, Factual, to bring the latter’s Geopulse Proximity and Geopulse Audience targeting capabilities into its software platform.

The new functionality allows advertisers to programmatically target video and display advertising and specific messaging to key audiences when they are within 100m of points of interest, such as retail stores and fast food locations.

Factual achieves this through its Global Places dataset, a repository of more than 100 million business listings and points of interest across 50 countries including Australia and New Zealand. Marketers can then build customised audience segments using the Geopulse Audience offering based on historical location and visit frequency data and hyper-target messaging to their mobile device.

One of the first advertisers to come on-board is media agency, DWA.

“Factual has built a market-leading solution that gives marketers the power to enhance their cross-channel advertising campaigns with highly accurate mobile location data,” said TubeMogul senior director of mobile, Antoine Barbier. “We’re thrilled to work with Factual to provide marketers like DWA with sophisticated capabilities to find and engage their target audience, wherever they are.”

“High growth and increasing levels of sophistication in the programmatic mobile video market are driving high demand for advanced mobile-first targeting data,” added Factual’s senior vice-president of revenue, Rob Jonas. “This partnership with TubeMogul will enable advertisers around the world to combine the power of location data with the engagement of video ads to create and execute highly successfully marketing campaigns."

MediaMath also announced it was integrating its platform with Factual last month.

Google Analytics just got a new AI tool

Google has added a new feature to its analytics service that taps AI to surface insights automatically.

Now available in the Assistant screen in the Google Analytics mobile app, the new automated insights feature “lets you see in 5 minutes what might have taken hours to discover previously”, wrote Ajay Nainani, product manager for Google Analytics, in a blog post.

The tool taps Google machine intelligence to find key insights from among the thousands of metric and dimension combinations that can be reported in Google Analytics. More specifically, it combs through data and offers relevant insights and recommendations.

If you're a retailer trying to get ready for the holiday season, for instance, the tool can instantaneously surface opportunities and anomalies hiding in your data, such as which products are experiencing higher-than-normal sales growth, which advertising channels are driving the most conversions and the best returns, and what devices customers are using to engage with your brand.

The tool also offers quick tips on how to improve your Google Analytics data. And because it's based on artificial intelligence, it gets smarter over time as it learns more about your business and how you use the software, Google says.

The new automated insights feature is now available with the official Google Analytics mobile app on Android and iOS for English-speaking users. Google's now working on bringing it to the Web version of the software and to other languages as well, Nainani said.

Zeta finalises acquisition of Acxiom martech; raises US$45m

Acxiom has completed the sales of its Acxiom Impact email business to martech vendor, Zeta Interactive. Media speculation suggested the deal was valued at over US$50 million.

First announced in August, the purchase by Zeta Interactive came hot on the heels of its acquisition of eBay Enterprise’s CRM business and provided the company with new one-to-one email and cross-channel marketing tools aimed at the enterprise. It also bolstered its workforce by about 300 staff. Under the arrangement, Acxiom and Zeta have also inked a long-term partnership agreement.

From Acxiom’s perspective, the transaction sharpens its focus on providing data services to marketers and opens the door to deeper partnerships with the marketing ecosystem. The company said it will also use the proceeds from the sale to help fund its recently expanded share repurchase program. Under the revised program, share repurchase authorisation was increased by $100 million to $400 million and the duration of the program was extended through 30 June 30 2018.

Zeta was founded by former Apple and Pepsi CEO, John Sculley, and former XL Marketing founder, David Steinberg. This week, the company also confirmed it had raised US$45m in new funding, raised in conjunction with the Acxiom acquisition. It comes 14 months after Zeta raised $120m and will go towards its ongoing strategic acquisitions and international market expansion plans.

Dentsu acquires programmatic ad tech provider

Dentsu Aegis Network has also been on the acquisitions front and picked up full-service programmatic advertising and technology solutions provider, Accordant Media.

In a statement, the company said the Accordant ATS proprietary technology will now be integrated into its programmatic buying offering, Amnet, which sits within Dentsu’s media investment platform, Amplifi. The deal is also a step further towards Dentsu’s plans to become a 100 per cent digital economy business by 2020.

Accordant was founded in 2010 and aimed at giving marketers greater control and effectiveness in their marketing investments. It maintains a team of 70 programmatic specialists in the US and UK with clients including Anthem, AutoNation,, Kayak and Zipcar.

The Accordant ATS cross-channel technology system features a Data Management Platform (DMP), custom data models, associated bidding and analytics tools. Following the transaction, Accordant’s direct-to-client business will retain its branding and continue to grow its client base as a new revenue stream within the Dentsu group.

Accordant’s founding leadership team including CEO, Arthur Muldoon, and COO, Matthew Greitzer, will also lead the combined Amnet and Accordant operations in the US.

“Data underpins everything we do for our clients, and the ability to manage and deploy data in real time in service of client media planning and investment is critical to the success in the digital economy,” Dentsu Aegis Network US CEO, Rob Horler, said.

“The acquisition of Accordant will further strengthen our abilities in this area, and positions us well to meet the needs of our increasingly digitally led clients.”

UK startup raises US$15m for app ad platform

Ogury, a two-year-old adtech firm based in London that aims to become the world’s largest mobile data platform, has raised US$15 million in a new fundraising round.

Ogury says its mission is to tackle the problem of irrelevant advertising on mobile devices. Its device-level data collection capability is integrated into more than 10,000 apps and is designed to help build a more accurate behavioural profile of a user’s phone usage that can then be used to target advertising. Once users opt-in, the technology picks up on an array of data signals to paint a comprehensive picture of that individual.

The firm said the latest cash injection will be used to fund international expansion, R&D and its ambitious plans to reach 1 billion mobile users within three years. The latest funds see Ogury’s total funding to date exceed $20m.

“Irrelevant advertising is a major industry issue that impairs the mobile app experience for consumers, and drives poor ROI for advertisers. Data-driven ad tech often gets the blame for this, but data isn’t the problem. The problem is the wrong data,” said Ogury CEO, Jean Canzoneri.

“The only way to truly verify data, reach the right users and enhance ad relevance is to know exactly what users are doing on their phones. We want to get to a point where consumers view ads as recommendations, and we believe our platform can help get us there.”

The company claims 200 clients have used its services on more than 5000 campaigns globally so far.

Episerver buys personalisation vendor

Episerver has acquired omni-channel personalisation vendor, Peerius, a deal it said will enable its clients to personalise at scale on “an unprecedented level”.

The deal will see Peerius’ smart personalisation technology integrated in Episerver’s Digital Experience Cloud, providing real-time predictive and adaptive analytics of big data using machine learning.

“The acquisition of Peerius is proof positive that Episerver is providing our customers with additional value on top of our core digital marketing, commerce and content management platform,” said the vendor’s president and CEO, Mark Duffell. “Peerius effectively supercharges the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud’s ability to help organisations deliver standout experiences for their customers wherever they engage by injecting real-time, smart personalization into every use case.”

Peerius CEO, Roger Brown, who retains his role, said the acquisition would allow the company to accelerate its product roadmap in areas such as enterprise search, as well as helping its grow a footprint in both B2C and B2B commerce segments.

Leadscape and LeanData partner for ABM

B2B analytics and marketing tech providers, Leadspace and LeanData, have buddied up in the name of account-based marketing (ABM) to offer users lead routing, matching and predictive analytics around individual and company contact data.

Aimed at B2B marketers, lead-to-account matching is an area of disconnect between marketing automation and CRM platforms and sales lead activity, the two vendors said. Combining the capabilities from Leadspace and LeanData is designed to solve these problems automatically by enriching leads captured in real time with accurate data, matched to the right accounts and routed for immediate engagement.

“LeanData and Leadspace together is a game changer,” claimed LeanData vice-president of product, Hendrick Lee. “Leads are automatically routed in real-time to the best sales rep or account team with high-quality B2B lead and company data. This ensures the maximum value of every lead is realized, increasing sales velocity while minimising wasted time and dollars.”

Sizmek pitches solution for data-driven dynamic creative

Digital ad management vendor, Sizmek, has launched what it is calling a self-service programmatic creative suite, a combined collection of rich media and dynamic creative tools aimed at helping marketers roll out personalised, data-based campaigns through DSPs and trading desks.

Aimed at advertisers, publishers, ad networks, trading desks and media agencies, Sizmek Programmatic Creative features ad and rich media templates, which can be populated with creative assets based on performance or audience criteria and used for programmatic advertising activity. The solution also delivers pre-bid targeting using Page39’s data intelligence on apps and websites.

In addition, the suite includes functions for workflow management, data, and campaign visualisation and the ability to collaborate with media and brand teams on creative work.

“It has never been more possible to roll-out highly efficient and highly optimized digital ad campaigns at scale. One of the big challenges that remains is scaling creative in a programmatic environment,” said Mike Molnar, Managing Partner, Glow. “Today’s introduction of its data-driven programmatic creative suite will further empower our clients to reach the right person, at the right time and with the most compelling creative.”

“Programmatic buying has clearly reached an inflection point in the marketplace,” said senior vice-president at Xaxis Ad Labs, Tim Bagwell. "Digital marketers are shifting budgets from traditional to programmatic because it creates buying efficiencies and more effectively targets brand audiences. Unfortunately, many brands have missed the opportunity to combine programmatic buying with programmatic creative.

“This miss is due to the limited creative tools in the ecosystem that put programmatic creative at the reach of digital creatives. Today’s launch by Sizmek is a big step forward in filling that gap.”

Adobe offers up new Creative Cloud, Marketing Cloud enhancements

Adobe is unveiling a number of enhancements to its Creative and Marketing clouds in advance of IBC in Amsterdam to capitalise on the rise of virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D.

Expanding on the new VR features first launched this year, Adobe is adding auto-aware VR into its Premiere Pro CC suite, which will detect and apply the correct setting to stereoscopic and monoscopic media. The vendor will also showcase a 3D rendering engine allowing users to create editable 3D elements such as text and shape layers intuitively from within After Effects CC with new Cinerender technology from MAXON.

Other media features stretching across both Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud include real-time playback in After Effects video preview architecture, better captioning and subtitles, refined colour tools for new high-definition resolution, and new actionable analytics in Adobe Analytics for Video, allowing uses to measure streams include of just starts and stop.

Adobe is also showcasing its new hosted collaboration service, Team Projects, built on Adobe Anywhere technology and including version control and smart conflict resolutions.

Infer launches new capabilities around Microsoft BI

Infer has taken the wrappers off a new sales analytics package for Microsoft Power BI, aimed at helping organisations achieve deeper insight into untapped revenue opportunities in their existing pipeline.

The package combines Infer’s predictions capabilities, buyer signals, and scores into data visualisations. For example, the vendor’s Predictive Scoring is designed to highlight gaps in a business’ pipeline by using thousands of internal and external data signals to predict which leads and accounts should be followed up for a particular product or service.

Infer Profile Management then allows marketers to craft segments of target customers by pulling in data attributes from other platforms, such as marketing automation or CRM.

“Best-in-breed BI services, like Microsoft Power BI, are rapidly innovating around how data is visualised, and we’re glad to advance that effort by providing the predictive intelligence layer for the next generation of sales reporting,” said Infer co-founder and CEO, Vik Singh.

  • With additional reporting by Katherine Noyes.

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