CMO's top 8 martech stories for this week - 25 May 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Google, Aprimo, BounceX, Salesforce, Brightcove, AppNexus, SugarCRM and Taboola.


Google taps machine learning for adtech enhancements

Google has announced a number of machine learning-powered enhancements this week, all aimed at improving ad attribution and personalisation.

The newly launched Google Attribution tool represents a revised version of Adometry, which Google acquired in 2014, and aims to eradicate last-click attribution. The free tool is designed to simply multi-channel, multi-device attribution by first ingesting data advertisers have sitting in Google Analytics, AdWords or DoubleClick Search, analysing performance using a selected attribution model, then automatically sending results back as reports for campaign optimisation and real-time bidding.

Google is also employing machine learning to bring location extensions to YouTube. This will allow consumers to find a local store from a YouTube ad. The store visits tool is already available for search, shopping and display campaigns.

The third innovation uses machine learning to identify customers in-market for a product or services using search. As an example, Google senior VP of ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, said a car dealership could increase its reach by better targeting users who have already searched for “SUVs with best gas mileage” and “specious SUVs”.

To do this, Google is analysing search queries and activities across millions of websites to figure out intent, to ensure ads surfaced are more relevant to them, he said.

Google certainly isn’t stopping there. The company also flagged store sales measurement is on the cards in coming months at device and campaign level, allowing advertisers to measure in-store revenue in addition to store visits delivered by search and shopping ads.

Aprimo’s new cloud-based campaign management solution

Aprimo has taken the wrappers off its new Campaign solution, aimed at helping customers better stitch together customer databases and extract insights for marketing executions.

The platform is designed to act as a central engine, bringing together customer data sets from wherever they are located and regardless of structure (offline and online), to be combined, segmented, then distributed to execution engines for all forms of marketing activity.

“The average organisation has more marketing data than it knows what to do with, and there's a serious need to bring method to the madness,” said Aprimo chief product officer, Kevin Souers. Aprimo Campaign is designed to address this issue in order to power more effective, optimised marketing activity, he said.  

The SaaS-based offering is based on Microsoft Azure and integrated with Aprimo’s wider stack, including digital asset management, distributed marketing solution, and marketing resource and productivity management platform.

People-based programmatic consortium debuts

AppNexus, LiveRamp and MediaMath have joined forces in a new technology industry consortium aimed at enabling better programmatic advertising through a people-based approach.

“Today, 48 per cent of all digital advertising dollars accrue to just two companies – Facebook and Google,” said AppNexus CEO, Brian O’Kelley. “That dynamic has placed considerable strain on the open Internet companies that generate great journalism, film, music, social networking, and information.

“This consortium enables precision advertising comparable to that of Google and Facebook, and does so in a privacy-conscious manner. That means better outcomes for marketers, greater monetisation for publishers, and more engaging content for consumers.”

The consortium will work on building an identity framework that pairs encrypted versions of an omnichannel, people-based identifier and a common, open cookie, residing on a shared, open domain. Each member will be bound to an agreement requiring best practices around privacy and security including digital advertising industry compliance.

Martech startup focused on behaviour raises US$31m

BounceX, a cloud-based startup founded in 2012 and focused on behavioural, has raised US$31 million in a new fundraising round.

The company claims not to be focused on providing a software solution, but instead offering companies and publishers the ability to understand more about their website visitors. To do this, New York-based company says it has amassed data on 200 million Web users and is focused on identifying people as they move from device to device. Profiles are created by tracking more than 20 different identifiers. Customers include Sears, Kate Spade and Uniqlo.

The funding round was led by Silicon Valley Bank and will be used to make acquisitions in the marketing technology space, as well as hire more engineers, the company said.

Krux DMP gets a rebrand

Salesforce has rebranded Krux, the DMP it purchased for US$700 million last year, to Salesforce DMP.

In a blog post, Tom Chavez said the acquisition and ongoing integration of Krux will see first-party customer data and third-party media targeting increasing come together. “The coming together of the known customer (Salesforce and Marketing Cloud’s wheelhouse) and the unknown, yet-to-be customer (Salesforce DMP’s wheelhouse) is a unique opportunity to bring the best of CRM marketing together with the best DMP,” he wrote. “We live in the world of the customer journey, where marketing is much more than ad campaigns. It is every experience a customer has with the brand, and we empower marketers to use data to impact every touchpoint along that journey, all powered by AI.”

Chavez said Salesforce DMP now interacts with more than 3 billion browsers and devices every month, supports more than 200 billion data collection events, processes more than 5 billion CRM records, and orchestrates more than 200 billion personalised consumer experiences.

Brightcove brings machine learning to video

Brightcove has unveiled its new video compression technology that uses machine learning to improve context analysis in fewer steps.  

The new Context Aware Encoding employs machine learning capability and deep video analysis to identify context based on target device and bandwidth profiles, in order to customise and optimise the quality of video with less bits. The technology then optimises video parameters such as resolution and framerate, and codec parameters like bitrate, codec profile and level, and creates the appropriate adaptive bitrate (ABR) ladder from this.  

The vendor claims result for viewers is a higher quality video that starts up faster and buffers less. “Context Aware Encoding provides more bang for the bit to Brightcove Video Cloud customers,” said Brightcove executive VP and general manager of media, Anil Jain. “In keeping with the manifesto that we’re living by in 2017, we’re proud of this new technology that simplifies the transcoding process and delivers on the promise to greatly enhance the user experience and significantly cut operational spend.”   

SugarCRM upgrades to deliver better quote conversion  

SugarCRM has released version 7.9 of its CRM platform with a new quote generation and management feature aimed at helping turn opportunities into closed deals.  

The upgrade offers improved reporting capabilities, enhancements to workflow management, and allows users to trigger a process based on fields changing to or from specific values. This is based around a new query reporting framework built into the platform. Other updates include new list view, help pop-up, search improvements and new list view.

Taboola pitches continuous scroll

Content discovery platform, Taboola, has launched Taboola Feed, a continuous scrolling feed for news.

The new capability allows users to scroll infinitely after reading an article into all types of digital content, including in-feed videos, products and app downloads. To do this, it surfaces ‘cards’ of different information and formats. The publisher has full control over which cards should be their own content, and which cards should be sponsored.

The vendor announced New York Daily News as its first publishing partner to test and implement the feed on its mobile and Web pages and said it’s seen an uplift in revenue of 26 per cent, and engagement of 40 per cent on mobile.  

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