CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 27 May

The latest weekly round-up of marketing and ad technology news from Demandbase, Lattice Engines, Informatica, Microsoft, Campaign Monitor, Google, Amobee, LogMeIn, ClickDimensions and Rubicon

Demandbase acquires data science smarts

Account-based marketing (ABM) software vendor, Demandbase, has purchased Spiderbook, a data science company that taps machine learning to automate identification of accounts and buyers already in-market.

In a statement, Demandbase said the combined offering will allow B2B marketers to identify companies likely to buy, including those already considering their products and services; determine the right buyers in those accounts; an uncover buyer-specific insights and recommend personalised messages for their sales team to use.

Spiderbook uses machine learning to analyse billions of Web pages for signals that map to keynotes, interests and the profile of a customer’s target accounts. The company was founded in 2013 by several Oracle veterans and data scientists and had previously raised US$1.7 million in its first fundraising round. All staff will now be integrated into Demandbase’s US office. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Over the last several years, we have evaluated multiple solutions to help our marketing and sales teams more efficiently identify the accounts most likely to buy our own products,” said Demandbase founder and CE, Chris Golec. “Spiderbook’s technology was simply head and shoulders above anything we tried, and we heard similar feedback from our mutual customers. We were so impressed with the results generated, scalability of the technology and their team, that we decided to join forces to bring the most robust and comprehensive ABM solution to the marketplace.”

Lattice Engines debuts latest predictive insights platform

Predictive marketing and sales applications provider, Lattice Engines, has released what it claims is the first of its kind predictive platform that unifies real-time lead scoring, self-service predictive modelling and native integrations into marketing automation and CRM systems.

The Lattice Predictive Insight Platform can be used for real-time contact and account scoring, with sales reps provide with insights into every scored account, including firmographic, technographic, intent and engagement data. The next-generation platform also includes native applications for Marketo, Eloqua and Salesforce and claims to offer more self-service functionality around target account scoring and prioritisation, net-new account identification and segmentation.

The platform combines 30,000 different signals about more than 150 million companies and 250 million contacts in the Lattice Data Cloud in order for marketing and sales team to creative predictive segments and models for traditional as well as account-based marketing activities.

“We felt it was time to bring together everything that we have learned over 250 deployments into a single platform,” said the vendor’s CEO, Shashi Upadhyay. “Instead of making incremental improvements, we re-architected the solution and built it from the ground up to be enterprise-grade. Our new platform operates at an enterprise scale, creating thousands of models per day and scoring accounts and leads in seconds. It offers increased usability through native apps for all major platforms, and it is both ISO27001 and Truste certified, which is a level of security that has never been previously achieved in this industry.”

Informatica brings big data power to marketers with Marketing Data Lake

Tapping into disparate marketing data is about to become easier, according to enterprise software player, Informatica, thanks to its new Marketing Data Lake product providing marketers with self-service access to a pool of all data sources relevant to marketing.

The new offering is built on the Informatica Intelligent Data Lake and has been tested by the vendor itself for its go-to-market activities for the past nine months.

“In the past, it has often been difficult for marketers to justify investments, which is why we set out to build a more accountable and agile marketing machine at Informatica using big data and readily available technology,” said the vendor’s SVP of marketing, Franz Aman. “The results have been so transformational that we are productising our efforts with Informatica Marketing Data Lake.

The vendor claims Marketing Data Lake provides an integrated, end-to-end view across all the platforms, silos and channels by giving marketers a centralised repository of data. Having the data lake has helped Informatica’s predictive analytics efforts, marketing agility as well as its ability to consolidate and tap into complex data from numerous marketing tech sources.

As an example, Informatica said having such data access allowed its teams to use heat maps to detect spikes in Web traffic and other marketing engagements, such as email clickthrough at the account level, allowing for targeted follow up by telesales.

“Having a single platform to house customer and prospect data from disparate sources and a consistent secure enterprise view of data across business units is the foundation of our Customer 360 vision ” said an early customer, Transamerica’s vice-president of innovation and architecture, Vishal Bamba. “We’ve also been able to reduce the time it takes to integrate and relate customer information into an end-to-end customer journey from weeks to hours. The Marketing Data Lake will enable Transamerica to gain new insights and allow marketing to deliver targeted and personalised programs to our customers.”

Campaign Monitor releases publisher edition

Homegrown campaign management vendor, Campaign Monitor, has launched a new version specifically for those in the publishing space.

Campaign Monitor for Publishers includes industry-specific product integrations and sign-up forms to grow email marketing lists, drag-and-drop content design and curation tools, and email automation capabilities.

“Publishers have unique email marketing needs because their audience has expectations for email content, length and frequency that differs from other industries,” said Campaign Monitor’s CMO, Kraig Swensrud. “With more than 10,000 customers in the publishing industry, we have prescribed the best practices and simple do-it-yourself technology to help publishers deliver messages that resonate with their audience.”

The vendor’s customer base in the publishing space includes Buzzfeed, Reddit, Rolling Stone and Vice Media.

Google goes over Microsoft, Tableau with free analytics tool

Google is doubling down on its commitment to the business analytics market with the launch of a new free data visualisation tool.

The company has launched Data Studio, a free version of the data visualisation tool it introduced as part of an analytics suite it unveiled earlier this year. It includes a wide variety of data connectors to let customers visualise data from Google AdWords, Google Sheets and other Google products. It also integrates with BigQuery, and the company plans to launch a connector for SQL databases later this year.

The product competes against Microsoft's Power BI data visualisation suite, which has been one of that company's most-hyped products under the guidance of CEO, Satya Nadella. As companies collect more and more data, tech firms want to provide them with a way to better understand it.

Data Studio lets businesses take in information from a variety of sources and then compose it into reports that they can then share internally or externally to give viewers a better understanding of potentially complex raw data. Those reports can include graphs, charts, and heat maps, similar to other products.

Businesses that want more premium features still have to purchase a subscription to Google's Data Studio 360 service, but this free tier will give companies a way to get a taste for the functionality that's available to them. The biggest difference between the two products is the number of reports users can create -- free customers are limited to only five while Data Studio 360 users will get an unlimited number.

Data Studio 360 is only one part of the company's premium analytics offering, which also includes tools for A/B testing and audience targeting.

Amobee launches new cross-device formats

Digital adtech player, Amobee, has taken the wrapper off Amobee Impact, a new product suite offering a range of mobile and cross-device advertising ad formats.

Among the key features is Halo Takeover, which allows advertisers to reach consumers across mobile, tablet and desktop through a single ad creative. Amobee’s 3D ad unit technology also allows advertisers to integrate social functionality as well as create a virtual fitting room or three-dimensional product experience across mobile and tablet.

The two features are supported by insights through Amobee’s Brand Intelligence platform, which analyses billions of digital content engagements across the Web, mobile, social and video.

"As programmatic continues to mature, marketers are refining the ways mobile creative can delight and inspire audiences once targeted. With Amobee Brand Intelligence we target and with Amobee Impact we engage," said the vendor’s ‎SVP and managing director for EMEA advertising solutions, David Barker.

Microsoft updates Dynamics CRM for Spring

There's an update available for Microsoft's Dynamics CRM 2016, and it brings with it a new tool to help companies tap the Internet of Things for their customer-service efforts.

The Spring 2016 Wave of Dynamics CRM adds Connected Field Service, a new tool companies can soon use to leverage the potential of predictive maintenance via IoT devices. Available as a preview in June, Connected Field Service continuously monitors IoT-enabled devices for anomalies, generating alerts that trigger automated actions or service tickets and workflow according to service level agreements. Service technicians with the right skills and tools are then matched against the service requirement based on availability and proximity and routed to customer locations for preventive action.

Also new are Web portals designed to help companies engage external communities with self-service profile-management capabilities, rich content publishing, configurable extensions, and secure access and permissions controls. A customer portal, for instance, helps customers solve issues on their own, freeing up service agents to focus on high-impact issues. Also among the preconfigured solutions are portals for employees, partners and communities.

A new feature called Learning Path, meanwhile, offers guided navigation capabilities designed to help new application users get up to speed quickly. With personalised, context-sensitive and scenario-based tasks and sidebars, the tool walks users through the steps needed to complete a task.

Dynamics CRM 2016 is most notable for putting machine learning to work for customer service. An adaptive learning feature, for instance, determines how a product, campaign or brand is perceived on social media. Automated social triage detects intention in social posts and automatically routes them as cases or leads into the customer relationship management system.

ClickDimensions get financing injection

Marketing automation vendor, ClickDimensions, has secured a growth equity investment from Accel-KKR, a technology focused private equity firm.

The companies said the new partnership will allow ClickDimensions to continue its growth ambitions while making additional investments into existing products and product innovation in the marketing technology space. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

ClickDimensions was founded in 2010 and has more than 2400 customers and nearly 1000 reseller partners for its two platforms, ClickDimensions and Automational. The former is embedded directly in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides marketing tools and a seamless experience to CRM users, while Automational is an all-in-one sales and marketing platform tailored to the needs of small businesses.

“Our new partnership with Accel-KKR will allow us to take our products and service to the next level,” ClickDimensions CEO, John Gravely. “This is a big win for our company, partners and customers, and we are excited about the growth opportunities it brings.”

LogMeIn redesigns BoldChat for omni-channel activity

LogMeIn has released the new version of its BoldChat live chat platform, aimed at providing better support for omni-channel customer engagement.

The redesigned, Web-based agent interface supports new channels including video chat and intelligent auto-answer interactions, in addition to its support for live chat, email, SMS and social management. Customers also have the ability to switch between channels without losing the context of the conversation. There’s also a new agent interface including shortcuts and pre-built commands to streamline workflow, and to ensure omni-channel engagement is viewed in one interface.

LogMeIn said it’s also introducing more robust routing capabilities to understand the context of certain customer engagements, weigh them up appropriate, then route them base on available capacity.

Rubicon Project’s video platform goes into general release

Adtech vendor, Rubicon Project, has shifted its next-generation Mobile Video Platform from beta to general availability worldwide. Through MVP, Rubicon Project claims to power the industry’s most comprehensive mobile video solution and offer every mobile video advertising format within its advertising marketplace.

The company has also revealed MVP now reaches more than one billion unique connected mobile devices globally.

MVP supports user-opt-in / rewarded, native, expandable, interstitial, pre/mid/post-roll, outstream and vertical video in the mobile environment.

The company noted mobile video now comprises more than half of all video transacted within the Rubicon Project platform.

- Blair Hanley Frank and Katherine Noyes contributed to this report.

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