CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 4 May 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Alterian, Aprimo, MailChimp, Amplero, zvelo, Taboola, Outbrain, Ooyala and dotmailer.

Alterian debuts adaptive CX platform

Alterian has taken the wrappers off Campaign Manager 6.0, its first major product release since spinning out of SDL and rebranding to Alterian last November.

The vendor says its new adaptive customer experience platform will help clients manage marketing activity from one system. Two key new features of Campaign Manager 6.0 are campaign design tools for executing inbound, phased and outbound campaigns using time, event and channel variables based around a unified user experience, as well as a segment builder, allowing marketers to see all audience segments in one location.

“We are constantly working to design a better experience for digital marketers to compete and win in the omni-channel world,” said Alterian CEO, Bob Hale. “Campaign manager 6.0 will simplify our clients’ user experience while giving them new levels of power for not only email marketing, but to visualise, identify and connect with customers for more valuable – and valued – customer relationships.”

According to Alterian, the platform takes advantage of both in-the-moment response activity, or ‘fast’ data, as well as historical, or ‘slow’ data, to help marketers better understand the wider context of the customer relationship, personalise messaging, and gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns. This is achieved through its Adaptive marketer DataMart single database engine.

Aprimo launches distributed marketing capabilities

Marketing management vendor, Aprimo, has launched what it’s calling a new through-channel marketing automation platform, Distributed Marketing, to help users better gauge the ROI on their channel activities.

The new offering is based on the marketing capabilities acquires through the group’s acquisition of Revenew last year, as well as digital asset management provider, ADAM Software. Key features include channel and community management, funds management, lead insights and content and campaign management.

For example, the platform offers self-provisioning for campaign and content, allowing users to setup and schedule multi-channel integrated campaigns such as co-branded collateral and digital advertising on microsites. There’s also a new Lead Nurture feature for aligning the customer’s journey through the lead stages with various content types and engagement channels such as email or advertising. Also available with Distributed Marketing is Lead Scoring.

In addition, more comprehensive built-in business intelligence tools and visualisations mean Aprimo users can build custom dashboards and automatically generate reports on partner community’s campaign performance, levels of engagement, and ROI on marketing spend.

“Aprimo represents the market’s most sophisticated marketing operations platform, proven with the added capabilities brought into the fold through Revenew and Digital Asset Management vendor ADAM Software,” said Aprimo customer success director, Mark Schlief. “These latest enhancements to Aprimo Distributed Marketing clearly illustrate our focus on meeting specific customer needs within the dynamic technology environment.”

Zvelo aims at better ad visibility with new dataset

Zvelo, a provider of categorisation and malicious detection data for web pages, devices and traffic, has launched its new Comprehensive Page-Level Traffic (CPT) dataset.

The vendor said CPT allows advertisers, ad-tech platform, and suppliers to get thorough visibility into the quality of ad impressions, down to a specific Web page. This level of detail exceeds higher-level domain-based insight, and offers a granularity not yet seen in the industry, the vendor claimed.

Using what zvelo calls a ‘zTag’, customers using CPT will place a lightweight JavaScript tag across all or a subset of targeted Web pages or ad creatives. Customers then gain comprehensive classification data and insight into the validity of that specific page’s Web traffic. The CPT dataset is also designed to easily integrate into the reporting tool of the customer’s choosing.

“Digital ad fraud continues to eat away too much of digital advertising budgets,” said zvelo vice-president of business development, Cordell BaanHofman. “As problems with non-human and low-quality traffic continue to rise, it is increasingly critical that businesses have accurate, up-to-date data guiding their decisions about where and how to reach desired audiences.

“Zvelo’s Comprehensive Page-Level Traffic dataset now provides the deepest level of web traffic quality information available in the market.”

Taboola and Outbrain merger

Taboola and Outbrain, the two largest content recommendation vendors currently in the marketing technology landscape, are set to merge, according to fresh media reports.

First suggested in a report by Israeli news outlet, Calcalist, the two companies are rumoured to be working on a merger, bringing their combined valuation to about US$1 billion. A report in TechCrunch said the two companies employ about 500 people globally and were both established in 2006. They also both have their headquarters in New York with development centres in Israel.

Both vendors have been acquiring to pump up their might in recent years. Taboola for example, acquired ConvertMedia in order to build up recommendation capabilities for online video, while Outbrain has made four acquisitions, including Revee, which provides a monetisation measurement tool for publishers on articles.

Read more about the proposed merger here.

MailChimp gives marketing automation away for free

Email marketing vendor, MailChimp, is giving away its suite of marketing automation features free to all users.

The email automation service was previously only available to paying members of the vendor’s subscription service, but has now become made a complimentary feature for all 15 million users. The preset automations are designed to help with campaign workflows, customising settings and email activities.

“Automation empowers our customers to create sophisticated campaigns that help them compete with bigger companies, but we know that not everyone has a large list or the budget to upgrade to a paid account when they first get started,” the company said in a blog post announcing the decision. “Small businesses look to MailChimp to help them build their brand, and we want to give everyone – no matter their account type or list size – the opportunity to use our marketing automation tools to do just that.”

Amplero extends AI capabilities

Amplero has extended its Artificial Intelligence Marketing Platform (AIM) with new machine learning-based insights aimed at improving marketing’s responsiveness to customer behaviour and engagement.

The new insights are designed to notify marketers of unexpected shifts in customer behaviour and help optimise marketing accordingly. This is achieve through real-time monitoring, machine learning capabilities and multi-armed bandit experimentation, an alternative to A/B testing, which tests thousands of marketing permutations on an ongoing basis.

“Amplero's AIM platform adaptively tests and executes marketing interactions at the nano-level, often evaluating more than 2100 permutations for a given marketing program,” explained Amplero CEO, Olly Downs. “Because of this, the AI is learning which pieces of the campaign works for a unique individual at an unprecedented rate.

“When you think about the fact that the length of the universe in seconds is 244, Amplero generates a depth of learning that is far beyond what is humanly possible."

In addition to the machine-learned insights, Amplero has added additional push-pull connectors around customer and marketing data, as well as a revamped UX designed to better align with the workflows and objectives of today's modern marketer.

Ooyala strikes partnerships with Adobe, Microsoft

Video monetisation provider, Ooyala, has struck a new partnership with Adobe to combine its Integrated Video Platform solutions with the latter’s Experience Cloud.

The deal is about enabling media and entertainment companies to build digital TV and OTT solutions within the one platform complemented by reporting and insights functionality.

Ooyala is a US-based subsidiary of Telstra and offers a programmatic ad serving and media logistic solution for video content.

“Modern media companies with large audiences and real skin in the game need better insights and technologies to recognise greater return on their video business,” said Ooyala co-founder and SVP of products and solutions, Belsasar Lepe. “Pairing our IVP solutions with Adobe gives even more insight into analytics and measurement, building common data sets across every function of video all with a single goal -- to grow your business.”

Ooyala has also forged a partnership with Microsoft’s Cognitive Services, integrating its media logistics tool, Ooyala Flex, with the software giant’s machine learning offering. The goal is to simplify metadata capture by extracting transcripts, detecting faces within videos, and analysing text to detect key topics in video content, the companies stated. This will be used to help with video recommendations as well as better ad targeting.

Dotmailer ramps up investment in Australia

Email marketing technology vendor, dotmailer, has launched the first instance of its SaaS platform hosted in Australia.

The company said the investment signifies the growing importance of Asia-Pacific to its global growth strategy and will help improve performance for customers across the region.

The new instance is utilising a Sydney-based data centre and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform for security and encryption.

"dotmailer's customers consist of marketers and businesses that want an intuitive yet sophisticated online tool that helps them engage with their customers more effectively. By launching in Australia we can offer customers a secure, faster service in the APAC region," said the vendor’s CTO, Steve Shaw.

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