CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 July 2017

All the latest martech and ad news from Adobe, Digital Alchemy, SugarCRM, Outbrain, Adestra, BlueVenn, DoubleVerify, iClick and Episerver.

Adobe builds voice analytics capabilities

Adobe has added new capabilities in its Analytics Cloud around voice analytics, aimed at helping organisations better utilise voice-based data for customer insight.

Through Adobe Analytics Cloud, brands can now capture and analyse voice data across major platforms including Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Samsung Bixby. According the vendor, this will help brands better understand user intent, as well as tap specific parameters around engagement, frequency of use, and subsequent actions by consumers.

The new voice analytics functionality is based off the back of Adobe’s artificial intelligence and machine learning platform, Sensei, and is integrated with Marketing Cloud and Advertising Cloud. As an example, Adobe said its media targeting product, Adobe Target, can take insights from a voice-enabled device to be automatically leveraged on other channels, while also delivering personalised responses to user queries using machine learning and predictive algorithms.

“One of the most important trends in modern technology is how quickly consumers adopt new ways of interacting with content, as we’ve seen with mobile and video,” said Bill Ingram, vice president of Adobe Analytics Cloud. “We expect a similar trajectory with voice enabled devices. In the same way Adobe has shaped Web, mobile and customer analytics, Adobe Analytics Cloud will enable brands of all sizes to extend voice data insights across the entire customer journey.”

Adobe said voice adds a new layer to engagement. For instance, a hotel chain could recognise a customer immediately, and target the traveller with ways to spend reward points through their loyalty program, or send a promotional phrase to the most loyal guests prior to a stay, unlocking a special offer when spoken to a voice-enabled device.

Cloudera and Digital Alchemy team up on data

Marketing services provider, Digital Alchemy, has struck a deal with Cloudera to bring the latter’s machine learning analytics capabilities into its marketing decisioning platform.

Under the new agreement, Cloudera’s solutions will provide the technical core of Digital Alchemy’s Dynamic Decisioning Program, a data analytics offering for delivering consumer communications. The company offers two flagship solutions: CoreBox, a marketing automation platform; and uDecide, a machine learning decisioning engine.

The companies said Cloudera’s 5.8 platform includes cloud-native support for analytics and SQL development, giving Digital Alchemy the power and flexibility required for multi-tenanted and real-time predictive analytics.

“We were trying to find a big data platform that was easily scalable in terms of computation and storage capability, and more importantly, one that was easy to manage,” Digital Alchemy CEO, Regan Yan, said. “Being an analytics consultancy, the need to make maintenance and management less resource-intensive is not only essential to the upkeep of our quality standards, but essential to maintaining our competitive advantage.”

SugarCRM gives users a new Hint

SugarCRM has taken the wrappers off its new customer insights offering, Hint, the first out of the vendor’s new relationship intelligence line.

The new product searches the Web for personal and company information in order to provide customer-facing employees with information that helps them quickly learn more about their contacts. It uses basic contact details, such as email, name and company, in order to perform the search, the gathers and analyses data from social sources in order to supplement the insights sales and service teams already have on that individual client.

“With Hint, we are flipping the enterprise data model to that of the consumer world and placing more accurate and timely data in front of the CRM user at Internet scale,” said SugarCRM chief product officer, Rich Green. “This concept is the foundation of our new Relationship Intelligence product line and is leading the natural evolution of CRM, moving it from being a record of what has already happened to a customer-facing employee’s guide to the future.”

The vendor said future Relationship Intelligence products will tap predictive analytics and machine learning techniques to provide additional insights based on data patterns, helping teams prioritise opportunities, identify issues and make recommendations for next best actions in customer interactions and processes.

Outbrain partners with Dataveyes on affinity data

Content discovery platform provider, Outbrain, has partnered up with French startup, Dataveyes, in order to better visualise and report on affinity data across digital audiences.

Dataveyes offers a data visualisation application for displaying affinity data from both desktop and mobile audiences using a defined set of vertical sectors. The data comes from Outbrain’s platform, which collects data across 15 countries.

Insights are organised into 11 main categories, including auto, travel, electronics and tech and food, broken down into 88 subcategories. Each category corresponds to an affinity index, which measures the relationship between the theme of an Outbrain recommendation and the theme accessed by the user on the page of a media site.

“With Dataveyes, we wanted to offer advertisers insight into the 'Discovery moments' of their target audiences through a visualisation that makes accessible and digestible some of the vast unique data we hold,” said Outbrain’s North America country manager, Keith Pepper.

Adestra and BlueVenn join forces

Another two companies joining forces this week are email marketing provider, Adestra, and customer data management platform, BlueVenn.

The two have struck a partnership that sees BlueVenn’s single customer view, analytics, segmentation and customer journey capabilities united with Adestra’s email marketing solution. The pair said they’ll collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and co-fund innovation, and BlueVenn has also released a new connect that provides two-way data exchange between the two platforms. In addition, Adestra users will be able to trigger email campaigns directly within BlueVenn’s software.

“This technology partnership is particularly interesting for us due to the nature of Adestra’s multi-brand capabilities,” commented BlueVenn marketing director, Anthony Botibol. “We already share some fantastic clients where they require both insight and marketing automation capabilities across more than one brand, so depending our existing relationship makes sense.”

Adestra head of partnerships, Liz Smith, said the move was also about trying to take some complexity out of martech.

“Our partnership with BlueVenn offers marketers an integrated best-of-breed solution,” she added.

DoubleVerify up for sale?

Ad vertification company, DoubleVerify, has reportedly hired a banker and is conducting a bidding process to try and sell the company.

According to a report in AdExchanger, the adtech company has hired pacific Crest Securities and opened up sales bids for the business, closing this week. The report estimates the organisation’s price tag could be about US$350 million, a far cry from the US$850 million Oracle has reportedly paid for its rival, Moat, earlier this year.

DoubleVerify competes with the likes of Moat and Integral Ad Science. Its core offering, DV Pinncale, provides analysis and real-time visualisation of digital adverting impressions.

The US-based company was founded in 2008 and has partnered with several social media giants on brand safety and viewability initiatives, including snapchat and Facebook.  

Read the Adexchanger report here.

iClick offers cross-channel targeting for China audience

iClick Interactive has launched iAccess, a new cross-channel targeting solutions aimed at helping brands and agencies reach their Chinese audiences via programmatic advertising.

The data-driven solution is being pitched at agencies, marketers and demand-side platforms as a way of connecting to their Chinese audiences via one interface. It uses iClick’s own proprietary data, as well as third-party data thanks to its partnerships with Baidu and Tencent and platforms such as WeChat.

iAccess allows marketers to conduct their own audience planning with multi-dimensional targeting options and interest segmentation.

“Making data-driven digital marketing in China easy and efficient for marketers and agencies worldwide is the reason behind our development of iAccess,” said iClick co-founder and CEO, Sammy Hsieh.

Episerver enhances user-generated content features

Digital content and commerce platform provider, Episerver, has improved capabilities around its user-generated content and distributed order management system thanks to two new partnerships.

The company said the new capabilities take its clients a step closer to engaging with their customers more effectively at the right time and place with the right message. The first, Episerver UGC, is powered by Stackla, and is a self-contained cloud services based on machine learning algorithms that identifies, manages and then showcases the most effective user-generated content.

The vendor has also teamed up with OrderDynamics to bolster its distributed order management system. As well as managing orders, the new features help with intelligent inventory sourcing and product information management across Episerver’s Digital Experience Cloud and also help brands deliver more flexible order fulfilment options.

“Implementing a truly omnichannel customer journey requires a range of advanced solutions and seamless connectivity across systems,” said Episerver director of product marketing, Joey Moore. “These partnerships alongside our core digital commerce capabilities support the broader customer journey by offering an experience-driven approach that will empower our customers to deliver immersive and frictionless buying experiences that keep their customers coming back."

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