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

All the latest martech and adtech news from Marketo, Sprinklr, Demandbase, Bluecore, mParticle, Nielsen, Quantic Mind and Scribblelive.

Marketo tackles content personalisation

Marketo has taken the wrappers of Marketo Content, an artificial intelligence-powered solution designed to help brands identify and automatically distribute the right content assets to users across digital channels.  

The recommendation engine discovers and catalogues website assets then uses AI to decide which content to display to each pre-determined audience. Marketers can use the platform to personalise websites, mobile experiences and email using drag-and-drop functionality, and also have access to insights and metrics showing top content views, conversions, and engagement based on each content asset.

The solution is built on top of the vendor’s core Engagement Platform and integrated with its broader suite of marketing automation and customer data capabilities.

“With Marketo Content, marketers make every interaction with each customer more valuable, and this engagement drives revenue,” Marketo chief product officer, Manoj Goyal, said. “We discovered that, on average, brands who leverage the Content solution experience a nearly 75 per cent increase in clicks compared to a traditional, rules-based approach.”

Sprinklr bolsters CX cloud with eight new products

Sprinklr has unveiled eight new integrated products and a fresh user interface aimed at elevating the business from social management into a wider customer experience play.

The list of new offerings is broken across social, marketing, advertising, research, commerce and care. Enhanced social listening for example, gives users deeper access to twitter’s data platform and more AI capability, while Sprinklr display offers templates and the ability to control displays from mobile devices.

Fresh to the Marketing Cloud are content marketing, based around a global marketing calendar of record, designed to help bring strategy, execution and reporting into one platform. There are also self-service admin and management tools for advocacy marketing. The Advertising Cloud includes paid media advertising automation, while the Research Cloud now features location insights.

On the Commerce front, Sprinklr has brought ratings and reviews automatically into monitoring dashboards, while with its Care Cloud, the vendor has introduced new layouts for the agent and supervisor point of view as well as more customisable workflows aimed at increasing efficiencies and usability.

All of this is based on Sprinkler’s new Space Experience design architecture and user interface. The company said it’s taken seven years to build its first unified platform behind the scenes, and two years of front-end development.

“Today I’m proud to unveil version one of the CXM platform we’ve always inspired to build, giving companies – for the first time – the ability to communicate externally across channels and collaborate internally across silos to deliver more human experiences at scale,” Sprinklr founder and CEO, Ragy Thomas, said.  

QuanticMind raises US$20m for marketing platform 

Yet another martech startup is set to ramp up product development and growth after securing US$20 million in a series B funding round in the US.

QuanticMind claims to be the pioneer of predictive management software for digital marketing channels including paid search and social. Tapping into machine learning capabilities and data science, the solution is based around a decision engine for predictive the best ad investments using a combination of signals, data and in-memory bidding options.  Its customers abroad include Rosetta Stone, HotelsCombined, Moz and Felix.

The new funding will be used to accelerate AI, predictive advertising, data science and machine learning capabilities within the data platform, the company said. As part of the latest cash injection, majority investor, the general partner of major investor Foundation capital, Ashu Garg, joins QuanticMind’s board of directors.

The series B round comes just a year after QuanticMind completed its first round of funding. The company claims to have also grown its customer base by more than 300 per cent over the last two years.

“This incredible milestone marks the next phase in QuanticMind’s continuing journey to help marketers step into the future, where their considerable talents are amplified by intelligence data science algorithms and machine learning-based automation,” said co-founder and CEO, Chaitanya Chandrasekar.

Bluecore secures US$35m

Also bringing in the investment dollars is Bluecore, a US-based automated marketing platform vendor focused on ecommerce brands, which secured US$35 million in Series C funding led by norwest ventures this week.

Bluecore launched in 2013 and was originally aimed at helping marketers manage email marketing through trigger-based activity. The vendor is now tapping machine learning to provide more predictive insights into how marketers should conduct digital messaging.

Bluecore’s customer list includes Staples, Sephora and Express. The company claims to have captured 47 billion real-time behavioural events and driven more than $1 billion in customer revenue.

“While Bluecore’s days as the new kid on the block are long behind us, we still have an enormous mission and opportunity ahead of us,” CEO, Fayez Mohamood, said in a blogpost. “We started off with a technical insight around data integration that allowed us to combine customer identity, the product catalogue and onsite behaviours to generate retail triggers and personalised audiences not possible on legacy marketing stacks.

“We believe this unique approach is the foundation upon which true personalisation, omni-channel communication and all other customer-centric initiatives will be built in the future.”

Data from its 400 customers has now allowed Bluecore to grow into products based on data science, Mohamood said. “Bluecore’s data science-based products will have a singular pursuit at their core: To allow marketers to focus on strategy, customers and products, rather than on the high-core, low-value operations that take up so much of a marketing team’s time,” he said.

mParticle adds to martech investor tally

And the dollars keep flowing. MParticle also raised US$35 million in series C funding last week in a round led by Harmony Venture Partners and including previous investors, Bain Capital Ventures and Social Capita.

The latest cash injection brings total funding in mParticle to US$76m since its launch in 2013.

MParticle’s platform is designed to help marketers pull in data sets from disparate sources, such as websites, digital channels and apps, in order to analyse and create a single customer view than can then be actioned. Its customers include Spotify, NBC Universal, Starwood and Airbnb.

Coinciding with news of the latest funding, the company also unveiled its IDSync identity resolution offering built for omni-channel brands. The tool allows clients to create their own identity strategies tailored to their business, privacy and legal needs.  

“The customer experience needs to be coordinated across many connected devices including mobile, connected TV, voice, Web and more,” mParticle co-founder and CEO, Michael Katz, said. “With the new investment and the rollout of IDSync, we’re excited to deliver on the promise to bring true digital CRM to leading consumer-facing brands.”

Scribblelive acquires ion interactive

On the flip side of the company spectrum, interactive content platform provider, ion interactive, has been acquired by fellow content experience player, ScribbleLive.

In a statement, ScribbleLive said the deal further strengthens its ability to help companies manage the full lifecycle of their content by bringing new interactive capabilities to its platform. It’s the company’s largest acquisition to-date, adding over 50 ion interactive employees and more than 250 enterprise customers including Salesforce, Starbucks, Deloitte and M&T Bank.

Ion interactive is an enterprise SaaS platform designed to help marketers produce data-driven interactive content at scale and without code. The company was co-founded by well-known martech guru, Scott Brinker, who has since joined HubSpot as VP of platform ecosystem.

Financial terms were not disclosed. ScribbleLive has raised more than US$55 million from investors including $35m last year.

“Buyers actually need to interact with a brand about 10 to 15 times before they buy a product,” commented ScribbleLive CEO, Vincent Mifsud. "At ScribbleLive, we want to help content-focused teams move beyond developing one-off experiences, and consider their interactive brand as an opportunity to quickly drive relevant experiences and revenue.”  

Ion interactive also has developed strong relationships with many industry leading agencies, making the company a powerful addition to ScribbleLive's partner network, Mifsud added.

Demandbase launches next-gen ABM

B2B marketing tech vendor, Demandbase, claims its next-generation account-based marketing (ABM) platform will make it simpler to set up and manage campaigns across the funnel.

According to the vendor, the latest version does this by combining targeting, engagement and conversion solutions into one fully integrated platform. Other enhancements include an AI layer, which deliver a 100 per cent improvement on account identification, as well as the ability to create b2B audiences based on buyer intent signals from thousands of publisher websites.

Users can also personalise website experiences on interest in real time, and the self-service interface has been designed to make it easier to select target accounts, and manage audiences across campaigns and integration account information from a CRM system. There’s also reporting tools for measuring ABM program performance based on pipeline and revenue.

“What’s been missing from ABM technology is an integrated platform that makes it easier to implement, execute and grow your ABM efforts seamlessly,” Demandbase CEO, Chris Golec said. “I’m confident the new AI-based platform introduced today with fully integrated targeting, engagement and sales conversion solutions will set us apart for many years to come.”

Nielsen completes purchase of Visual IQ

Nielsen has officially completed its acquisition of Visual IQ, a multi-touch attribution modelling platform provider for digital advertising.

The acquisition, which was first announced in September, is about improving Nielsen’s ability to automatically ingest and process large datasets, as well as giving it access to more proprietary big data from advertisers, publishers and retailers.

The deal sees Nielsen clients gaining access to Visual IQs marketing attribution software platform as well as support expertise.

Nielsen global head of product leadership for marketing ROI, Matt Krepsik, said the Visual IQ platform will be integrated into Nielsen’s marketing effectiveness suite.

“Our marketing effectiveness suite is really part of the full value chain that measures audiences through the Nielsen total audience framework, identifies how to target them through the Nielsen Marketing Cloud and ultimately measures the outcome through our effectiveness solutions, creating a holistic closed loop for the marketers,” he said.

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