CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 13 July 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news on Tune, Buzinga, Info, MetaX, Sizmek, Optimizely, H20.ai, TapClicks and Tableau Software.


New chatbot tunes into mobile marketing ROI

Mobile marketing tech player, Tune, has launched what it claims is the first chatbot built specifically for measuring mobile marketing results.

Tunebot is being made available through team messaging service, Slack, and aims to help marketers quickly and more easily interact with marketing and advertising data relating to mobile marketing activities, such as reports of calculating return on ad spend. To do this, customers log into the vendor’s Multiverse product, set-up a tunebot, which in turn links with Slack, then have the ability to ask for specific results, graphs and charts relating to their activities. The bot will generate insights and message back results.

“We believe all marketing should be measured and judged on performance,” said Tune CEO, Peter Hamilton. “To be most effective, marketers also need access to measurement and performance in different forms, depending on what they need to know. The first of its kind, tunebot adds a new layer of quick access to KPIs or partner performance by simply asking a question.”

Tune’s flagship product, Multiverse, integrates ad spend data from more than 150 ad partners along with attribution data in order to help marketers track ad spend, install revenues and return on advertising activity.

Buzinga goes into administration

Victorian-based mobile app developer, Buzinga, has gone into liquidation, reportedly owing at least $250,000 to its creditors.

A resolution to wind-up the business was lodged on 4 July, with liquidator, BK Taylor & Co, appointed to manage the process. According to a report on Business Insider, the company owes at least $250,000, with the largest amount owed to Indian outsourcing supplier, Signity Software Solutions. The company had 23 employees.

Buzinga was established in 2012 and has worked with more than 300 clients, including Brauz, Bluescope Steel, Bounce and Footswitch. The company was listed in BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 and rated one of the coolest companies in tech by JobAdvisor in 2016.

Rival player, Appscore, has been quick to jump on the news, offering any Buzinga clients free consultation to assess where their project is at and provide a plan to complete unfinished work. In a statement, the company said it was also interested in hearing from staff now out of work.

“It’s never good to see businesses go under, especially when you consider the toll on their staff and clients,” Appscore managing director and co-founder, Alex Louey, said. “Appscore has been in business for seven years and is currently in a strong phase of growth. We want to help those affected by this situation, even though our books are full.”

Sizmek strives to help brands tackle ad frequency

Adtech vendor, Sizmek, has taken the wrappers off a programmatic media buying solution designed to help agencies and advertisers better manage the frequency of ads served up to users.

The new Cross-DSP Frequency Capping product is the first in the vendor’s new Cross Media Plan Optimization solution and aims to help brands control ad exposure for each user by uniting activity across multiple IOs and DSPs. It does this by connecting to DSPs in the market and acting as the service layer to them, becoming the central hub for analysing bidding data on ad clicks, views, conversions, impressions and other data points.  

Sizmek executive chairman, Mark Grether, said the main problem the industry and advertisers face is that current tools only offer partial solutions to optimising media campaigns.

“DMPs mostly integrate with DSPs one at a time, missing the connection between pre-bid inventory filtering and post-bid engagement as well as lacking access to campaign performance data,” he said. “Also, Meta DSPs, as part of their core DNA, are not connected with the entire ecosystem. Cross-DSP Frequency Capping evolves how the market addresses this challenge, and helps advertisers maximize their return on ad spend, while enhancing customer experience.”

MetaX raises US$10m to fund blockchain for ad industry

Blockchain technology company, MetaX, has completed a token sale, raising US$10 million to fund development of its blockchain solution for digital advertising.

MetaX, in partnership with software consultancy, ConsenSys, have jointly created adChain, a blockchain-based open protocol that’s programmable to suit the needs of the digital advertising industry. The objective is to improve the transparency and reliability of the digital advertising supply chain using the emerging hyperledger technology.

The company said the $10m token sale will help fun product development and innovation, as well as support general admin duties, business development, consulting and legal. Over the past year, MetaX has also been working to line up industry partners, including the Data and Marketing Association, to inform how blockchain can be used in the advertising supply chain.

The first offering being developed is adChain Registry, a smart contract sitting on the Ethereum blockchain which stores domain names accredited as non-fraudulent by ADT holders.

“The adToken launch is a culmination of more than 15 months of hard work,” said MetaX CEO, Ken Brooke. “We’ve paid attention to meticulous details in the development of this product to ensure it caters specifically to the needs of the industry we’re serving – global digital advertising.

“The overwhelming interest from the crypto-community clearly demonstrates the recognition of the big problem we’re setting out to solve.”

Infor announces AI, customer service platforms

Info has made a number of product announcements aimed at improving business efficiency and staff productivity.

The vendor’s new Coleman artificial intelligence (AI) platform is an enterprise-grade offering supporting Info CloudSuite applications. Coleman mines data and taps machine learning to improve inventory management, transportation routing and predictive maintenance, as well as natural language processing and image recognition to chat, hear, talk and recognise images in order to help people use technology more efficiently.

Also unveiled this week is InfoConcierge, a self-service tool for customers designed to simplify access to site, content and resources within the larger Infor platform. Key features include access to updates on support incidents, quick views and voting on product enhancements, dates and information on product-specific education classes and webinars and a single source of product information.

Info has also confirmed a new partnership with LinkedIn that sees the vendor’s CRM offering integrated with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Through this, new functionality is being offered including ‘TeamLink’, for identifying new contacts with contextual lead recommendations, alerts to jobs and company changes, and ‘Icebreakers’, a tool that highlights shared connections, experiences and interests along with a lead’s recent activity stream.

Optimizely chalks up US$90m in recurring revenue, gets new CEO

Testing and optimisation vendor, Optimizely, says it’s now surpassed US$90 million in recurring revenue and now has its sights on growing to $1 billion and beyond.

The company has brought on new CEO, Jay Larson, to lead the next growth spurt, replacing Dan Siroker. The latter will continue to manage design, engineering and product management as co-founder and executive chairman.

Larson has 25 years of experience in enterprise software and was instrumental in helping build Mercury Interactive and SuccessFactors into global stalwarts. He was most recently CEO of cloud analytics player, Birst.

“Jay is joining us at a time when the world is going through a fundamental shift into one where experimentation is becoming critical to the way businesses operate,” Siroker said in a statement. “That’s a big idea and I believe we have the opportunity to build a 100-year company that outlives us all by addressing the need that companies have to experiment and make data driven decisions.”

In the past year, Optimizely has grown to over $90 million in annual recurring revenue and now employs 400 staff. The company claims its Optimizely X platform, which was announced in September last year, is the fastest growing experimentation platform globally. Clients on its books include IBM, Microsoft and The New York Times.

H20.ai offers up Driverless AI to automate machine learning

H20.ai has launched a new product aimed at lowering the barrier to data science in corporates.

The vendor said its new driverless AI offering is about helping non-technical employees to prepare data, calibrate parameters and determine optimal algorithms for tackling specific business problems with machine learning. It does this by automating a number of the decisions around key variables used in preparing a data model, thereby automating the data exploration and feature engineering process.

“Experience data scientists are spending far less time engineering new features and can focus on drawing actionable insights from the models Driverless AI builds,” the company said in a blog post. “Lastly, the user can see visualisations generated by the Machine Learning Interpretability component of Driverless AI to clarify the model results and the effect of changing variables’ values.”

All of this will allow users to see which models best fit their needs as well as an explanation of the results.  

TapClicks strikes partnership with Tableau

Marketing analytics reporting platform provider, TapClicks, has joined forces with Tableau Software to bring new data visualisation and integration capabilities to its customers.

The new deal gives users of both platforms the ability to report and analyse TapClicks data within their Tableau business intelligence dashboard, removing data silos and allows users to bring together marketing insights with data sets such as CRM records or financial information. In turn, marketing teams can then aggregate and report on marketing data using Tableau functionality directly from their TapClicks software.

The TapClicks platform connects to 1700 campaign data sources and 4000 metrics, stretching from SEO and social to display, programmatic, calls and appointments. As well as exposing the data, the vendor said customers gain extensive ability to control how they present their data.  

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