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.
Aprimo ups the ante on marketing operations
Marketing operations management software vendor, Aprimo, has updated its SaaS platform in order to better integrate with the wider marketing technology stack. It’s the first major update since the business was spun out of Teradata last year.
The vendor has implemented new and expanded APIs, connectors and plugins, a move it says will make it easier for marketers to connect operations management into their wider marketing ecosystem and speed up the process around campaigns and content.
There are also a number of enhancements that have been made to the marketing productivity product including a new annotations feature for print, digital and video assets, which can be used to mark-up video files and review side-by-side annotations, as well as enhanced social capabilities.
Local Measure raises $4.5m
Australian social intelligence vendor, Local Measure, has raised $4.5 million in capital to fuel its business growth and global expansion in the travel and tourism sector.
The company said the funds will be used to expand its global footprint, including a new office in Dubai later this month and another in Los Angeles this quarter. It already operates in Sydney, Singapore, London and Miami. Backers included private investors, funds and private equity firms across Asia-Pacific and brought total funding to $15m to date.
Local Measure provides a geo-location social intelligence platform that aims to deliver real-time insights about guests, as well as flag negative reviews and guest issues, based on social media activity. Its customer base of 380 clients includes Qantas, Club Med and AccorHotels.
“Customer loyalty is seen as a ‘holy grail’ for hotels and tourism brands, yet to date the industry has generally been unable to capture the data and preferences, in real-time, that customers share during their journey, missing an incredible opportunity to drive loyalty,” said Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO. “Our technology leverages the growth of social media to provide a new and powerful tool for hoteliers and tourism asset managers, who finally have a way to use social intelligence to positively impact guest experiences.
Oracle partners up with Eyeota
Oracle has integrated its Marketing Cloud with audience data management player, Eyeota, in a bid to provide more intelligence through its data management platform (DMP).
The partnership will allow marketers to better personalise non-US campaigns to Eyeota’s 3 billion unique audience profiles across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The audience criteria on offer encompasses socioeconomics, interests, intent and B2B purchasing intent and can be activated within the Oracle DMP. In addition, Oracle users can directly build audiences using that data through Oracle’s BlueKai marketplace.
“Eyeota’s audiences reflect the company’s depth of data in the EMEA and APAC regions and this integration dramatically improves our international data offering, making the Oracle Data Management Platform an even more compelling platform,” said Oracle Marketing Cloud senior product marketing manager, Karen Kokiko.
Kargo brings mobile advertising offering to Australia
Mobile adtech vendor, Kargo, has opened an office in Sydney, its second global location outside of the US alongside London.
The new location will serve as the company’s Asia-Pacific hub and will be manned by Robert Leach (general manager, Asia-Pacific), Peter Birch (commercial director, Asia-Pacific) and Rob Williams (operations director, Asia-Pacific). Kargo said it is also looking to double its local workforce by the end of 2017.
Kargo is a mobile advertising company that creates rich-media campaigns for more than 200 brands globally including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Verizon and L’Oréal. It partners exclusively with an alliance of handpicked publishers, such as Bauer, The New York Times and CBS Interactive, and offers its own advertising automation tools and creative studio.
Over the past year, the company has grown its workforce by nearly 60 per cent, launched its programmatic software business, and completed its first major mobile ad research initiative.
AOL offers self-service for supply side platform
AOL has taken the wrappers off new self-service capabilities for its programmatic mobile supply-side platform, ONE by AOL: Mobile.
According to the vendor, the new self-serve functionality will help mobile-first app developers and publishers by maximising mobile ad inventory and providing transparency and control. Through the platform, app economy publishers and developers have the power to manage their monetisation strategy in line with their app experience strategy.
“The new capabilities will give Australian mobile publishers and app developers the tools they need to make the right decisions for their own brands in a highly effective, low friction environment”, said AOL Australia sales manager and AOL: Mobile lead, Toby Williams. “Developers want premium demand and greater buyer-level insight and control and we are now able to deliver that in a flexible, easy-to-use, streamlined platform”.
Homegrown Neto offers integrated POS platform
Australian technology vendor, Neto, has released its 2017 POS solution, an integrated, multi-channel point-of-sale platform it says better integrates the customer experience with supply chain side for retailers.
This update introduces new fulfilment, customer management and discounting options to Neto POS. Businesses can now mark in-store orders for fulfilment at a later time, add customers to VIP pricing in real-time, provide account credit redemption services, email receipts and even offer customers lay-by payments through integration with the Neto Online Store platform.
“The latest version of Neto POS makes it easier and faster than ever for Aussie businesses to digitise their point-of-sale infrastructure, in a way that revitalises customer experiences and supply chain efficiency from the word go,” said the vendor’s CEO, Ryan Murtagh.
“Our vision is to remove the friction between digital and bricks-and-mortar stores so that customers and retailers get a consistent experience no matter which channel they’re using. This upgrade takes us a step closer to tying together POS, CRM, and order fulfilment in a truly seamless way, by bringing Australia’s cash registers and in-store sales channels into the digital era.”
Neto POS also sits alongside the vendor’s digital commerce platform for online store management, marketplace listings and logistics.
Neto was founded in 2011 and is now backed by Telstra.
Datalog.ai launches MyPolly for continuous conversation
Artificial intelligence startup, datalog.ai, has launched MyPolly, a platform that allows virtual assistants and bots to interpret a human’s input and building continuous conversations.
The platform allows virtual assistants to revise their responses based on the information they receives from users over time, with the goal of powering a dynamic interaction between human and machine. For example, the platform could learn the pet name of a consumer’s dog, then recall this at a later date.
The launch comes off the back of a US$3 million private investment last made last year into the technology offering.
“Today's AI is not meeting what consumers crave. Most bots only allow for a single response to a single question,” said founder and CEO of datalog.ai, Jack Crawford. “Current home devices can understand speech, yet fail to incorporate past interactions, requests, or habits that the consumer has exhibited. We are here to change that.”
Box launches standalone notes app
Box Notes is getting its own standalone web app and a new desktop app for Windows and Mac. It's a new turn for the product, which allows users to collaboratively edit documents in real time.
Notes gives users a workspace for jotting down ideas and sharing them with others. Those notes can include rich text elements like embedded images, tasks and tables, in addition to plain text. The service is designed to give users a shared workspace in the cloud for discussing ideas and working on them with other people. Making Notes a standalone app could help it appeal to a broader audience and increase its usage.
Document collaboration and note taking is a crowded market. Box co-founder and CEO, Aaron Levie, said the product's key point of differentiation is that it's backed by the company's storage technology, which means it inherits features around security and compliance that aren't always available from other apps.
Right now, Notes is being used by a little more than half of Box's customers in the Fortune 500. Box Notes doesn't have a standalone mobile app, though Levie said that the company is building one.
Looking towards the future, Levie said the company isn't building a competitor to Microsoft Office or Google Docs. Notes is focused instead on capturing ideas that might otherwise be locked up in someone's brain, left on a whiteboard, or passed around via email. Updates to Box Notes might support features like embedding content into documents from the web, and adding live-updating content to a note. Levie also said that Box is looking into how it can integrate Notes with Slack.
Radius tool assesses quality of marketing data
Predictive marketing platform vendor, Radius, has added a new Data Stewardship tool to its solution.
The new offering is based on Radius’ business graph, which syncs with a customer’s CRM and marketing automation technology to check on the quality of data being employed in marketing activity. This includes checking for duplicate records, or those of people no longer in business, incomplete records and additional information relevant to businesses based on its own 450 attributes.
"With the rise of AI-based technologies like predictive analytics, we know addressing the issue of faulty foundational data is absolutely critical," said Radius CEO, Darian Shirazi. "That's what we solve with Radius Data Stewardship. Using the Radius Business Graph as a point of validation, we continually and exponentially improve our customer's CRM and MAT data, so they can maximise the value derived from predictive analytics platforms like Radius."
Taptica claims rapid revenue growth
Israel-based mobile advertising platform player, Taptica, claims revenues for 2016 will be ahead of market expectations at US$125 million following rapid growth in the latter half of 2016.
The company, which also has offices in Beijing and Seoul, is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. It is now forecasting revenues of at least US$125 million, compared to 2015 revenues of $75 million, and an EBITDA of $25m, a result it says was driven by particularly strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Further to the trading and business update statement of 9 November 2016, the Company is pleased to report that in the last two months of the year, there was better-than-expected growth from the mobile advertising campaigns being run for its new and existing clients as its technology platform delivered better results for them," the company statement read.
The Taptica platform is being used by 450 brands globally including Amazon, Expedia, OpenTable and Disney. It uses machine learning, algorithms and data insight to optimise digital ad collateral as well as via mobile apps for acquisition and ad optimisation.
- With additional reporting by Blair Henley Frank.