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

All the latest martech and adtech news from AdRoll, Google, Maximiser, MediaMath, Qualtrics, Zendesk, Criteo, IBM, Pitney Bowes, Spredfast and Hootsuite.

AdRoll extends into email retargeting

Performance marketing adtech provider, AdRoll, has launched a new product it claims extends its programmatic retargeting capabilities to email.

SendRoll is based on AdRoll’s retargeting engine, which uses intent signals such as the buying habits of shoppers, combined with email automation capabilities acquired through the purchase of UserFox in 2014. The product automatically triggers emails with personalised content or product recommendations at a relevant point in their buyer cycle. It’s the first product that the vendor has launched beyond advertising and is aimed at better leveraging customer data for marketing activity.

“We expect SendRoll to open the floodgates for personalised email marketing in the same way AdRoll did for display retargeting in 2008 and how the IntentMap did for data co-ops last year,” said the vendor’s president and CMO, Adam Berke.

“Our DNA is in making the most sophisticated programmatic marketing technologies accessible for brands of all sizes. Dynamically personalised email is a perfect example of a technology that can be incredibly effective, but is too complicated to implement and too resource-intensive to gain mass adoption.”

Google spies opportunity with eye tracking

Google has acquired a three-year-old eye-tracking company for virtual and augmented reality headsets, signalling the tech giant's interest in the immersive technologies.

Eyefluence, founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneurs, Jim Marggraff and David Stiehr, develops eye-interaction technologies to control VR and AR headsets. The deal with Google was announced Tuesday. Financial details were not disclosed.

“With our forces combined, we will continue to advance eye-interaction technology to expand human potential and empathy on an even larger scale,” Eyefluence said in a blog post.

The deal allows Google to put Eyefluence's technology into VR and AR products like its Daydream virtual reality headset, allowing third-party developers and publishers to use it as part of the Google's UI toolkit, said Lewis Ward, research director for gaming and VR/AR at IDC.

Maximiser repositions CRM as system of engagement

Maximiser has released the 2017 edition of its CRM platform, aiming the technology squarely at businesses wanting a solution to manage the entire customer lifecycle.

According to the vendor, the 2017 edition includes innovative automations, enhanced business process configuration, and an expanded API infrastructure, all aimed at repositioning CRM as a system of engagement. It also offers enhanced connectivity with Microsoft Office 365 and includes modules for sales, marketing and customer service.

“Consumers engage through different channels- websites, email, ecommerce and more,” Maximizer president, Vivek Thomas, said. “Relationship management software needs to connect with these systems to deliver an enriched view that gives businesses insight into where and when they can be of service.”

MediaMath integrates with Google’s programmatic guarantee

MediaMath is claiming to be the first external programmatic technology partner to integrate its platform with Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange Programmatic Guaranteed product.

The vendor says its integration with Google’s Programmatic Guaranteed streamlines the workflow for securing and negotiating high-value inventory from more than 500 publishers while ensuring the quality of programmatic media buys. The opportunity is now live in all AdX markets across EMEA, APAC, LATAM and North America.

“Advertisers achieve better ROI when they execute this new type of deal – it’s a must-have,” MediaMath VP, global media partnerships, Tanuj Joshi, said.

“We’re excited to bring new ways to use the power of real-time, data-driven decisions combined with access to brand-safe, reserved publisher inventory to the market,” Google Media platforms managing director, Chip Hall, added. “MediaMath’s integration with the DoubleClick Ad Exchange is a great example of how Programmatic Guaranteed is creating new opportunities for advertisers and publishers to connect."

Qualtrics brings in emotional AI

Qualtrics has partnered with Affectiva to bring the latter’s emotion recognition technology into its Insight Platform for market research and media testing.

“Emotions drive consumer behaviour and help predict key success factors in advertising such as brand recall, purchase intent and virility,” said Qualtrics head of partnerships and alliances, Shane Evans. “We are delighted to integrate Affectiva’s patented emotion recognition technology in the Qualtrics Insight Platform to give our clients actionable data about the performance of their ads.”

Affectiva co-founder and CEO, Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, was also excited about the integration. “The integration of our Emotion AI into the Qualtrics Insight Platform offers organisations unique insights into consumers’ unfiltered and unbiased emotions while respondents provide feedback through the Qualtrics platform.”

Zendesk launches two new products and a rebrand

Zendesk has unveiled two new products and a redesigned company brand all aimed at helping the vendor extend out of customer service management into wider customer relationship and engagement management.

The new Zendesk Connect and Zendesk Explore products are aimed at creating a more personal connection between customers and organisations using customer intelligence and analytics. Explore, for example, unifies data for all of Zendesk’s products and any third-party source and is designed to make this data accessible across the organisation. Connect, meanwhile, combines historical data with individual customer activity across digital channels and then pushes this out as customer intelligence to the wider organisation.

“Customers want a single experience with companies based on their preferences and history, not the needs of internal departments,” said Zendesk senior vice-president of product development, Adrian McDermott. “We’re creating a shared memory for organisations so they know their customers and can connect with them in the moment.”

Zendesk has also launched a new brand redesign aimed at illustrating how its seven core products interact via two shapes. The logo is also designed to symbolise the intersection of business and customer.

Pitney Bowes and IBM partner up on geo-location intelligence

IBM has partnered with Pitney Bowes to provide additional geospatial capabilities across its Cognos Analytics and Watson Analytics platforms.

The partnership sees Pitney’s geographic boundary data on things such as city or state borders worldwide, being used in IBM’s platforms to enable customers to ingest other geographically relevant data for richer and more accurate reporting and insights.

As an example of how the data can be used, the companies said financial services companies can select optimal branch sites, re-evaluate underperforming brands and increase customer service by installing ATM locators. Or an adtech company can create context information to enhance locations identifying where users are and what they are near.

“Highly detailed and accurate data has been proven to shed insights on understanding customer segments, managing risk and making important decisions with greater confidence,” said Pitney Bowes EVP and president, software solutions, Bob Guidotti.

“Working with Pitney Bowes, we will be able to unlock insights tied to location and geographies, which has applicability across a wide range of use cases and industries. Cognos Analytics and Watson Analytics customers will be able to leverage these integrated capabilities without special geospatial skills, bringing geospatial analytics to business analysts and executives,” added IBM’s general manager of business analytics, Marc Altshuller.

Spredfast aims at better customer care

Social marketing software provider, Spredfast, also has its sights on improving customer engagement, and has launched a new solution to help brands better manage high volumes of social conversation.

Spredfast for Social Customer Care offers real-time social monitoring and routing, including configurable workflows, automated routing and labelling and status indicators to eliminate duplication and multiple responses to the same social issue. It also has a purpose-built interface for agents and managers, includes a view into historic context and threading as well as the ability to connect CRM systems, and metrics around social customer care.

The solution is designed to work alongside the vendor’s platform and leverage its experience, intelligence and conversations tools.

"Our customers rely on us to help them deliver world-class customer service, and they challenged us to build a solution that meets the demands of advanced care organisations,” commented Spredfast market director for A/NZ. “So we got to work, and invested millions of dollars to create a package of interfaces, analytics capabilities, and automated tools that are incredibly aligned to their needs.”

Criteo pitches predictive search

Performance marketing vendor, Criteo, has taken the wrappers off a new product that extends its reach into the paid search space.

Criteo Predictive Search, which is available immediately in the US, comes off the back of the vendor’s acquisition last year of DataPop, which provides technology that turns a retailer’s product catalogues into paid search ads on search engines including Google and Bing. It uses machine learning to optimise Google Shopping search campaigns and improve their performance.

The product is already being beta tested by 30 clients including Revolve Clothing and Camping World, and Criteo claims they’ve seen a 22-49 per cent lift in revenue as a result.

"With consumer trends and inventory constantly evolving, our team found that a standard Google Shopping campaign structure was limiting our performance," said Revolve Clothing search engine marketing manager, Ben Shum.

“With Criteo Predictive Search, we're able to tap into Criteo's wealth of knowledge and expertise in product feeds, user data, campaign structure and have since seen our return on ad spend increase by over a third.”

Hootsuite ups social advertising ante

Social media management vendor, Hootsuite, has partnered with six technology and services solutions for social advertising in Asia-Pacific, alliances it claims give it the largest social advertising ecosystem of any platform provider.

The list includes AdEspresso, which provides a self-service solution for Facebook and Instagram advertising optimisation; Kenshoo, an agile marketing player; Nanigans, which provides advertising automation software for in-house marketing teams; Adaptly, whose solutions helps advertisers scale campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest; Mediative, an integrated digital marketing and media company; and Popimedia, which has a solution to help brands optimise and scale media on Facebook.

Hootsuite said the partnerships will allow its customers to complement organic social media activity with optimised social advertising campaigns.

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