CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 2 February 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Return Path, AppNexus, Sizmek, Rubicon Project, MailChimp, Tapad, LiveIntent, SugarCRM, Unlockd and Centerfield.

Return Path acquires ThreatWave

Return Path, has acquired email data company, ThreatWave, in a deal it says will offer its mailbox provider partners with an unparalleled view of sender activity and potential threats.

The purchase includes all data and technology assets, plus staff and customers. The purchase price was not disclosed.

In the short term, ThreatWave data will be integrated into Return Path’s current Email Optimization product suite. The company said the data set also created the opportunity for new product development in the future.

“ThreatWave’s global email data provides unparalleled visibility into the threats facing the email ecosystem - spam traps, bad senders, and more,” said Return Path CEO, Matt Blumberg. “Through this acquisition, Return Path will be able to help marketers and email service providers to pinpoint which data sources, list acquisition practices, email programs, and customer segments are driving deliverability issues.”

The ThreatWave data stream will also be used to enhance Return Path’s Data Exchange. The company will, however, operate independently and continue servicing existing customers and selling data directly to new customers that fit their typical use cases.

Sizmek aims to streamline audience management with Data Hub

Sizmek has launched a new Data Hub offering aimed at helping advertising pull in audience segments from integrated DMPs and supplement them with data collected from served ads.

Using Data Hub, advertisers can create audience segments to target creative to through the Sizmek platform, or alternatively, activate segments on DSPs for audience buying. Ad serving data could include viewability, video completion and clickthroughs.

The vendor was quick to point out that the platform was not in competition with DMPs, such as Krux or Adobe, but instead an add-on offering.

“Our customers are always looking for ways to make their data work harder in order to deliver high-performing campaigns,” said Emmanuel Brunet, CEO of Eulerian Technologies. “By integrating with Sizmek’s Data Hub, we’re enabling our clients to get more out of their data since they can effectively recycle insights from their campaigns.”

AppNexus, Index Exchange extend partnership

AppNexus and Index Exchange have expanded their bidding partnership to support server-to-server integrations.

The two companies said they’re working together as partners in each other’s server-side solutions. The first partnership saw the pair agree to support each other’s headerbased wrapper.

According to AppNexus, server-to-server integrations run a unified auction in which supply-side platforms act as demand sources and bid on ad inventory. The activity takes place in the server rather than the header itself.

“We strongly believe that publishers should have unbiased and transparent access to every exchange, not just the one that comes with their ad server,” said AppNexus chief strategy office, Tom Shields. “Our server-to-server offering builds on our years of delivering fast, reliable server-side connections to hundreds of industry partners, and just like the open source prebid.js, allows publishers transparent access to the exchanges that work best for them.”

AppNexus offers up weather data in real-time

In other AppNexus news, the vendor announced it was going to globally distribute geo-targeted weather advisories and life-saving warnings in real-time thanks to a partnership with the Federation for Internet Alerts (FIA).

The service is being made possible thanks to a direct integration with the FIA Alert Hub, a centralised, cloud-based hub that aggregates official all-hazard alerts, and AppNexus’ ad serving technology. The vendor claims it becomes the first advertising technology company to distribute PSAs globally and in real-time.

“Through our integration with FIA, we are extending the technology built for our platform – enhanced targeting, mobile capabilities and campaign tools – to help protect communities hyper-locally and in real-time,” said AppNexus CEO, Brian O’Kelley.

Since December 2016, FIA has sent 71,819 issued alerts to AppNexus, resulting in 14,992 alert activations. These alerts resulted in the delivery of 471.8 million impressions served to the public. Examples of the expanded alerts served include avalanche, flash flood, tornado, red flag, winter storm, blizzard, severe thunderstorm and wind chill warnings.

Rubicon Project and Tapad strike global partnership

Rubicon Project has joined forces with cross-device platform provider, Tapad, to offer a unified, cross-device campaign delivery solution within its automated advertising marketplace.

Under the agreement, Tapad’s Device Graph, which enables buyers to expand display data signals to associated mobile devices, will be integrated across Rubicon Project’s leading advertising exchange and Orders platform. Rubicon Project claims to operate one of the world’s largest mobile exchanges with approximately 1 billion unique mobile devices globally.

The new global partnership allows buyers within Rubicon Project’s exchange to find and engage audiences across their entire digital experience.

“Cross-device delivery is crucial for buyers today with more than 81 per cent of Internet users currently relying on more than one device for digital access,” said Rubicon Project chief revenue officer, Harry Patz.

“Through our partnership, buyers will be able to extend their desktop private marketplace campaigns to mobile, allowing them to find and engage their audience across devices, anywhere in the world. The net result will also benefit sellers; the increase in mobile reach will better position publishers and app developers to strategically capitalise on their inventory, ultimately increasing bid rates and mobile revenue across the board.”

MailChimp expands into Facebook ad campaigns

Email platform provider, MailChimp, has launched a new tool that lets users create Facebook ad campaigns inside its dashboard.

In a step towards its ambition to become a more holistic marketing platform vendor, MailChimp said it will not only allow customers to use their email lists to target existing fans and customers, they can also target a Facebook look-a-like audience exhibiting similar characteristics. Clients can also just target a specific audience on Facebook.

The new tool is free as part of the platform and will be trackable through the MailChimp dashboard.

LiveIntent and LiveRamp join forces

Acxiom division and identity resolution company, LiveRamp, has joined forces with LiveInternet with the aim of helping publishers and brands improve digital media transactions through people-based inventory.

The deal sees LiveIntent employing LiveRamp’s IdentityLink Indentity Resolution Service to give marketers the ability to access people-based inventory from a logged in, viewable and what it claims is fraud free environment, its Connect portal. LiveIntent claims to have an audience of 145 million unique monthly people which can be identified using email address.

“Inventory buyers want access to their audiences, and inventory sellers need to be able to provide resolution to buyers for targeting, measurement and attribution to prove the efficacy of their inventory,” LiveIntent Founder and CEO, Matt Keiser, said.

“This partnership helps both sides: Buyer and seller. With LiveRamp and its IdentityLink service, we've accelerated our ability to bring our superpowers to a broader cohort of satisfied customers. In LiveRamp, we have a partner that can help us expand our superpower scope to include the full array of contexts and arenas that benefit from people-based marketing and advertising.”

SugarCRM strikes agreement with TrustSphere

CRM platform provider, SugarCRM has struck an agreement with TrustSphere to resell its relationship analytics solution as part of its offering.

The combination of the two will allow marketers to access and surface real-time insights on customers and integrate these directly into the CRM platform. Relationship Analytics for Sugar will be priced at $20 per month and integrates with email systems including Microsoft Exchange and Office 365, Gmail and Lotus Domino.

“A vast majority of daily interaction between customers and businesses happens outside of their CRM application," said TrustSphere CEO, Manish Goel. “With Relationship Analytics for Sugar, sales representatives will have unprecedented access and insight into all the interactions between the customer and all of the individuals across the business with a few simple clicks.”

Homegrown adtech player bolsters international leadership team

Unlockd, an Australian company that provides an ad and content-funded mobile platform, has added two c-level executives to its ranks to bolster its international presence.

The new international leaders are global chief creative officer, Jonathan ‘JC’ Oliver, and chief revenue officer, Matt Von der Muhill. Both will be based in Unlockd’s London office.

Oliver is a regular speaker on digital and creative strategy, while Muhill has been with Unlockd since 2015 as a seed investor. He was most recently managing director of APAC for SpotXchange.

“These two new roles continue to reflect the rapid growth journey that Unlockd has been on over the last year. Attracting and retaining world class talent in the business is a priority for us and I am thrilled JC will be joining our team, and that Matt is expanding into a new and integral role,” said Matt Berriman, CEO and co-founder of Unlockd. “They both passionately share our values, have executed on a global stage and have a proven entrepreneurial spirit that will help continue our company’s success globally.”

Centerfield Secures US$156 million and acquires Qology Direct

Digital media technology vendor, Centerfield, has acquired performance-based marketing player, Qology Direct, thanks to a US$156 million cash injection.

Centerfield’s proprietary technology, Dugout, is designed to help optimise the customer acquisition process by identifying high value and intent-driven consumers across digital media platforms including search, display and social and bid on them in real-time. The company said adding Qology Direct into its offering will give it a better sales and marketing solution to engage consumers from initial touch point through to completed sale.

“Bringing Centerfield together with Qology Direct is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity that delivers greater accountability and increases return on ad spend by enabling brands to more effectively identify, reach, cultivate, care for and convert customers,” Centerfield co-president and co-founder, Jason Cohen, said.

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