CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 28 September 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Oracle, Taboola, SAP Hybris, Alterian, HubSpot, Act-On Software, ProsperWorks, RhythmOne and Dataxu.

Oracle unveils new audiences for Australia

Oracle has launched its first Australian-specific technology product, Oracle Audiences, aimed at helping marketers reach digital consumers with more accuracy.

Sitting within the Oracle Data Cloud platform, the new Oracle Audiences offers 400 Australia-specific segments from online interest, demographic and online intent data across 64 million local device ID profiles and 15 million domains. The vendor said the localised audience offering will provide more relevant data and scale to Australian marketers and advertisers, including specialisation across key industries such as automotive, B2B, consumer technology, lifestyle, retail and restaurants.

The data set is being supported by a fresh sales and support team in-country. In a statement, Oracle said the move will allow it to deepen its presence in Australia’s marketing and advertiser sector.

Oracle Data Cloud has applied its cutting-edge data science to the world’s largest audience data marketplace to create hundreds of Australia-specific audiences that will help marketers improve the accuracy of their campaigns,” said Oracle Data Cloud international VP and GM, Brandon Paine.

“Oracle Audiences are designed to incorporate the culture, language and interests of Australian consumers, so marketers reach the right local consumers with the right messages, thus driving more effective campaigns and better results.”

Taboola creates third-party data marketplace

Oracle’s data play was also in the news this week thanks to a fresh offering from content discovery platform player, Taboola. The company has secured a number of data alliances and established a third-party data marketplace to enable brands and advertisers to more accurately target audiences.

The Data Marketplace is being supported by Oracle Data Cloud, Neustar, Acxiom and Bombora and is designed to surface the best performing third-party segments to reach audiences in the Taboola Publisher network. The vendor claims it’s the first time a content discovery platform and recommendation engine has created a third-party data access platform. Each partner will offer specific insights across industries and consumer types.

Brands and advertisers can use the marketplace to target audiences by demographic, intent and Web behaviour in additional to current contextual targeting options, and optimise against key performance indicators. Brands will pay for data layered onto campaigns based on performance results, rather than usage.

“The ability to leverage third-party data with a few clicks becomes paramount to effectively reaching audiences at scale,” said Taboola founder and CEO, Adam Singolda. “We intend to collaborate with every meaningful data partner in the world so our marketers have the ability to layer data into their Taboola campaigns.”  

SAP Hybris acquires customer identity management vendor

SAP is giving its business software users a new way to track their customers with the acquisition of customer identity management specialist, Gigya, for a reported US$350 million.

If your business isn't already a Gigya customer, then you're most likely to have seen its name flickering in your browser's status or address bar as you log in to consumer websites. Banks, hotel chains, media companies and ecommerce stores use its opt-in registration service to track their customers' identities and provide them access to services.

SAP's wants to combine the 1.3 billion identities Gigya holds with the data-matching capabilities of SAP Hybris Profile, the multichannel customer profiling module of its Hybris ecommerce platform. The two companies have been testing the combination on a smaller scale since 2013, when they began offering an integration service for businesses that were joint clients.

Managing customer data on a global scale is going to become increasingly difficult for businesses as privacy laws differ from one country or region to another. Things will become simpler, yet stricter, in Europe next May, when the General Data Protection Regulation enters effect.

Gigya says it's ready for that, and can handle GDPR compliance requirements for its registration-as-a-service clients.

SAP has recently been beefing up other aspects of its Hybris offering, which it acquired four years ago. This month, it has updated its business accelerators, or packaged software solutions, for the financial services and travel industries. It is also extending geographic availability of a range of Hybris microservices it calls Yaas. After localising the platform for the US and Germany last year, it has added support for the UK and Switzerland, but has yet to deliver on a promise to roll out service in the Asia-Pacific region this year.

HubSpot turns sights to entire customer experience

Social media management platform, HubSpot, has introduced a new inbound customer service product aimed at extending its reach across the entire customer experience process.

HubSpot Customer Hub is built off the back of HubSpot CRM Free, and features customer service tools such as inquiry management, live chat, ticket escalation, along with automated customer feedback and Net Promoter Score functionality, the ability to automate customer testimonial capturing, sentiment analysis and churn forecasting, and a centralised knowledge centre. The platform is integrated with other HubSpot sales and marketing tools including its one-to-one messaging tool, Conversations.

“Too often, companies pay lip service to customer service and success,” said HubSpot co-founder and CTO, Dharmesh Shah. “With Customer Hub, businesses can now rally their teams around the customer, allowing them to have better conversations, develop deeper customer insights and strengthen their relationship.”

The new offering is due out in 2018, with pricing yet to be determined.  The product was one of several announced at the vendor’s recent Inbound conference alongside a new Sales professional toolkit, integration of Conversations into HubSpot CRM Free, and new features in its HubSpot Market platform including campaign reporting, segmentation tools for ad targeting on Facebook, Instagram for HubSpot and content strategy tools.

Act-On partners up with SugarCRM

Marketing automation vendor, Act-On Software, has taken the wrappers off a new product and support bundle designed to complement the SugarCRM platform to help SMBs link sales and marketing more effectively.

Act-On for Sugar includes a native CRM integration that sees Act-On automatically update contacts and lead records in Sugar, as well as access to Engagement Insights for real-time analytics and reporting of marketing data across an organisation. The platform is coupled with premier support.

The companies said more than 500 organisations worldwide are already using their products, making integration a no-brainer.

“As companies respond to disruption and invest in digital transformation, integrating CRM with marketing automation is a must to create an end-to-end system, covering all phases of the lead-to-sales cycle,” said SugarCRM CEO, Larry Augustin. “Our two companies have deepened our already strong partnership to offer a great solution enabling marketing to deliver more highly qualified, sales-ready leads.”

ProsperWorks raises US$53m

Google-centric CRM tools vendor, ProsperWorks, has secured US$53 million in a Series C funding round to bolster its engineering team, accelerate product development and expand internationally.

The latest cash injection comes off a $24 million series B found last year, and brings the company’s total funding to $87 million. According to ProsperWorks, this total makes it the number one funded CRM company in the last decade. This week’s funding round was led by Norwest venture Partners with participation from GV (Google Ventures).

The platform seamlessly integrates with Gmail, Google Contacts and Calendar and positions itself as a modern CRM platform that fits within an organisation’s existing workflow. Founded in 2013, the company now has 140 employees and 25,000 customers.

ProsperWorks said it will use the investment to hire more engineers to bolster its G Suite capabilities, build out third-party application integrations and specialist offerings, and grow its presence globally.

Alterian debuts Real-Time Adaptive Email

Marketing engagement platform vendor, Alterian, has launched a new email experience tool it says will help solve the ‘email relevance gap’ between the time emails are set, opened and re-opened by customers and prospects.

The Real-Time Adaptive Email tool comes off the back of the release of Alterian’s ‘Millisecond marketing functionality’ in July, another capability in its Chameleon Adaptive Customer Experience Platform.

Capabilities of the new tool include creating contextual audience segments using both historical and real-time customer information, creating campaigns using these integrated audience segments, and adapting email messaging in-the-moment based on new customer behaviour between send, open and re-open.

Alterian said marketers can use this to make dynamic, self-adjusting and timed offers, aggregate customer deals, factor in weather, countdown timers, stock levels and social media activity into email campaigns, and also adjust based on browsing activity and cross-channel clicks.

“Trigger-based journey maps can work for sending personalised emails based on customer behaviour, but relevance has suffered as customers all too often deviate from the planned path,” Alterian CEO, Bob Hale, said. “Real-Tim Adaptive Email fills that relevance gap.”

RhythmOne, Dataxu face off in the US courts

Programmatic adtech players, RhythmOne and Dataxu, are currently in court over allegations of unpaid bills and hidden fees.

According to a report in AdExchanger, the legal tussle came to light after RhythmOne filed a lawsuit against Dataxu to recover US$1.9 million from three unpaid invoices earlier this year. Dataxu then filed a counterclaim, alleging it hadn’t paid the invoices because RhythmOne violated a 2015 business agreement by using a fake auction to overcharge Dataxu for inventory purchase in its exchange.

The legal spat has shone a light on the lack of transparency around programmatic bidding and digital advertising auctions and raised further questions about second-price auctions.

You can read the full AdExchanger report here.

  • With additional reporting by Peter Sayer

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