CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 24 November

All the latest martech and adtech news from LiveRamp, MapR, Sprinklr, Muzaara, Forrester, Facebook, DataXu, SaleCycle and BlueJeans.

LiveRamp hands over US$140m to embrace people-based marketing

Acxiom subsidiary, LiveRamp, has announced agreements to acquire Arbor and Circulate, two companies working with people-based data for marketing, for a total of US$140m in cash and $50m in Acxiom stock.

The acquisitions increase the scale of LiveRamp’s omni-channel identity graph and network and will be integrated into the vendor’s IdentityLink identity resolution tool. Arbor provides a marketplace for people-based data, while Circulate is focused on monetisation of first-party data across Web and mobile apps.

In a statement, the company said the acquisitions help it provide an alternative to Facebook and Google when it comes to deterministic, people-based targeting. They also double LiveRamp’s publisher partnerships to more than 450 and help it drive a more mobile-first strategy.

“This is a huge win for the LiveRamp ecosystem and the biggest set of actions we could have taken to increase the value of our network and thereby deliver more value to our clients and partners,” said the vendor’s president and general manager, Travis May. “These acquisitions both increase the deterministic reach we can provide marketers and gives us the ability to help all publishers tap into people-based marketing budgets.”

MapR unveils customer analytics offering

MapR has released a new Customer 360 Quick Start Solution for marketers to help improve their digital marketing activities through real-time data management and customer analytics.

Based on the vendor’s Converged Data platform and using machine learning, the new solution delivers real-time analytics for hyper-relevance at the point of sale, social interaction or ecommerce site and is targeted at improving customer experience and new revenue programs. Use cases cited by MapR include upsell and cross-sell, micro-segmentation, call centre analytics, recommendations, customer churn analytics, and customer, ad and content targeting.

“In the c-suite, CMOs may have the most to gain and the most to offer by adopting real-time Customer 360 use cases,” said MapR’s senior vice-president, worldwide services, Dave Jespersen. “Digital marketers now have enormously powerful tools with which to understand and adjust to how customer and markets evolve and this Quick Start Solution puts them on the fast track for realising the benefits.”

Alongside the actual platform, MapR is providing professional services around discovery and planning, development and project execution. The offering is now available globally.

Sprinklr acquires Little Bird

Social media management vendor, Sprinklr, has acquired US-based Little Bird, which provides tools for analysing social media connections.

Little Bird’s technology analyses connections across the social Web to identify top influencers for word-of-mouth marketing, then helps marketers build like-minded communities and create relevant content to increase engagement and tap into current trends. It does this through contextual segmentation and social graph analysis using topics and conversations rather than number of followers.

The company was founded in 2011, and has had a number of investment rounds since then, bringing total funding raised to more than US$3.3 million. It’s also expanded out from its initial focus on Twitter influencers to the wider social landscape.

Sprinklr said Little Bird’s technology will be integrated into its core platform, enhancing the vendor’s audience insights, segmentation, advertising, and analytics capabilities. The deal is the company’s 11th acquisition to date.

“We live in an age of connected and empowered consumers where it no longer matters what companies say about themselves – it’s what their customers say that determines whether a business will fail or thrive,” said Sprinklr’s founder and CEO, Ragy Thomas. “As the market consolidates from best-of-breed to best-of-suite solutions, we’re thrilled to have Little Bird’s talented team bring its technology to the world’s most complete social media management platform for the enterprise.”

Founded in 2011, Little Bird secured seed funding in 2012, and has since raised addition funds through second round of funding from the Oregon Angel Fund followed in early 2014, and a round in 2016 led by Jason Calacanis’ AngelList Syndicate fueled a new phase of growth and innovation.

Sydney startup looks to shake-up online advertising

Homegrown software startup, Muzaara, is looking to give the online advertising space a shake-up with its new ecommerce advertising platform play.

The company has built an automated marketing platform aimed at SMBs that’s designed to work in synergy with Google Shopping and Facebook to auto optimise listings and improve their performance. The solution does this by using algorithms to tap into data gleaned through consumer interaction and weigh up their ROI, then adjusts online ad campaigns accordingly.

Muzaara CEO, Neil Thomas, said intelligent algorithms are vital for marketers looking to utilise the vast arrays of information coming out of digital platforms and new technologies to improve their advertising efforts.

“What we realised is that often, even with a great deal of investment, advertising campaigns were performing way below their potential,” he said. “That’s why we developed Muzaara—to provide an intuitive and efficient solution that gets online marketing campaigns firing at their true potential, whilst saving businesses money in upkeep costs.”

Forrester names leaders in the lead-to-revenue management space

The latest Forrester Wave for Lead-to-Revenue Management Platform Vendors has highlighted Oracle, Marketo, IBM, Act-and Adobe On as leaders of the category.

The 36-point criteria evaluation of L2RM platform vendors rated 11 solution providers within this B2B category: Act-On, Adobe, bpm’online, CallidusCloud, hubSpot, IBM, Marketo, Oracle, Right On Interactive, Salesforce and Salesfusion.

The analyst firm defines L2RM as a business system for marketers whose offerings mandate a long, complex or highly considered buying process. Included within these systems are integrated goals, processes and metrics all aimed at reshaping marketing to drive better customer engagement from awareness to advocacy. Key capabilities include website personalisation, account-based marketing tools, multi-channel features and better data management.

The final list was based on current offering, strategy and market presence. Based on these, Forrester said Oracle led the evaluation for product features and functions. Marketo was chosen based on its current offering, vision, roadmap and marketplace impact, while Act-On was highlighted as a good solution for a small marketing team with a big L2RM vision. IBM and Adobe rounded out the leaders in this field. Behind them, Salesforce, bpm’online, Salesfusion and HubSpot were all grouped as strong performers.

Facebook shutters its Atlas ad server

Facebook will stop running Atlas as an ad server in favour of restricting its use as a measurement tool for marketers.

The social media giant announced the plans last Friday, saying clients had valued the measurement component of the offering, but not the ad serving part and it had struggled to attract customers as a result. Facebook acquired Atlas three years ago.

The company said there will be a transition period for advertisers now using Atlas as a server, but has not disclosed the number using the ad server. However, more than 300 advertisers have used the measurement tool in the past 18 months.

“We believe Atlas will have a greater impact and create more value for advertisers by focusing on measurement; especially as people continue to shift to mobile and more ads are served by publishers themselves instead of third parties,” the Facebook statement read.

Omnicom kicks off programmatic advertising on Spotify

Media agency giant, Omnicom Media Group, has commenced programmatic advertising across the Spotify platform and kicked off a number of campaigns in partnership with trading platform provider, The Trade Desk.

OMG claims to be one of the first agencies in Australia to embrace the new advertising opportunities available through programmatic audio. The group’s programmatic director, Tom Fryett, said Spotify’s curated playlist offering gave it the ability to deliver targeted audiences to brand advertisers as well as better control ad frequency.

“We have had great take up from major advertisers across the Group and we expect from the positive results seen to date to significantly expand this part of our programmatic offering next year,” he said.

“We have plugged into The Trade Desk for programmatic audio because they adapted their existing platform and made the creative upload process and overall UI very easy to use. “

DataXu expands local footprint

Programmatic adtech vendor, DataXu, has added two new faces to the Australia and New Zealand team as part of efforts to expand its operations in this region.

The vendor has brought on former Yahoo7 staffer, Michael Scaramozzino, as sales manager, along with former Sizmek data products manager, Fay Koo, as solution architect for Asia-Pacific to support clients in the local region. Both will be based out of the Sydney office.

SaleCycle touts new email solutions

Marketing software vendor, SaleCycle, has released a number of new email features for ecommerce brands focused on extending personalisation across wider customer engagement initiatives outside of acquisition off the back of behavioural data.

The list of new capabilities includes abandonment emails to target visitors looking at specific products with personalised suggestions based on browsing history, cart abandonment surveys, recommendation-based emails and replenishment email targeting.

“Email has always been at the cornerstone of SaleCycle’s heritage and we’re incredibly excited to bring the features to market that our clients have been crying out for,” said SalesCycle head of product, Michael Barber. “As our friends at Econsultancy recently published, email continues to outperform other channels when it comes to ROI – at 73 per cent in 2016 – and it’s a trend we don’t anticipate that will slow any time soon.”

BlueJeans claims first with broadcast-to-Facebook Live video

Cloud-based video conferencing provider, BlueJeans, has release its new BlueJeans onSocial offering, which it claims is the first platform to allow multiple participants to broadcast over Facebook Live in real time.

The vendor has launched two products under the onSocial mantle. The entry-level onSocial Personal offers anytime live broadcasting to small businesses and individuals for up at 25 participants from any device, while onSocial Studio allows up to 100 participants across different locations to connect and broadcast over Facebook Live. The latter also has tools for improving presentations, moderation, advanced camera control and live support.

“Facebook Live tapped into consumers’ love of video and offers an incredible way to share and communicate. Now we want to take it to the next level-- from one person’s experience shared with the world to a completely shared experience in which the world can participate,” said BlueJeans CMO, Lori Wright. “Our beta period reflected an incredible range of uses, greater than we had initially imagined. As such, we created a differentiated product offering in order to meet the wide variety of needs.”

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