CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 12 October 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Salesforce, Aprimo, Criteo, ShareRoot, Acquia, Brandwatch, MediaMath and 250ok

Salesforce ramps up IoT data access with new edition

Salesforce has launched a new edition of its Internet of Thing (IoT) solution aimed at helping marketing, sales and support teams tap IoT data as part of their wider engagement efforts.

Salesforce IoT Explorer Edition is a platform service add-on to any Salesforce Cloud, including Marketing, Service and Sales, and allows users to collect and use IoT data to trigger real-time activities and business processes. The vendor said the low-code interface can be used to create rules-based automation for any connected device, such as triggering a service call when a product reaches a certain state of usage or performs below what’s expected.

Another use case is for understanding and responding to customer context. For instance, Salesforce said connecting device, sensor and application data into one platform will help users identify and respond to sales, service and marketing opportunities. Other examples the vendor used included Emerson tapping connected heater and air conditioning installers to deliver proactive service based on real-time diagnostics, and Schneider Electric driving sales campaigns anticipating a customer’s next purchase based on performance capacity of their existing electrical equipment.  

“Many businesses struggle with the prohibitive cost in time, talent and money of turning IoT data into actionable information,” said Salesforce IoT EVP and general manager, Woodson martin, in a blog post. “A platform service available to any customer, Salesforce IoT Explorer Edition is designed to remove those barriers and empower anyone to harness IoT data to build, iterate and deploy proactive sales, service or marketing business processes.”

Criteo debuts new Ecosystem solutions for commerce marketing

Adtech player, Criteo, has debuted two new solutions for audience matching and customer acquisition in its Commerce Marketing Ecosystem.

The Criteo Commerce Marketing Ecosystem was introduced in August and is a network of thousands of retailers, brands and publishers aimed at integrating marketing technology built for commerce that’s powered by machine learning. The two new solutions, Criteo Audience Match and Criteo Customer Acquisition, are designed to round out a suite of solutions supporting the full shopper journey online and offline, Criteo senior VP of product managemenr, Patrick Wyatt, said.

Criteo Audience Match uses CRM or DMP data to more accurately retarget audiences across Web, mobile browsers and apps with product messaging. The vendor said it’s achieving this through a foundation of deterministic IDs within Criteo Shopper Graph, enabling beta customers to see a match rate of more than 60 per cent of existing client lists with online profiles. The new tool can also be used to executive paid display campaigns for re-engagement of lapsed customers, promotion of seasonal offers or cross-sell, the vendor said.

Customer Acquisition, meanwhile, is designed to help brands find and attract new customers, again using identity and interest data from Criteo Shopper Graph. The performance-based, acquisition solution analyses historical and behavioural data to create a profile of an ideal target, identifies new customers that match the target profile, and engages them based on products that indicate highest, predicted interest.

Aprimo taps AI for improved digital asset management

Marketing operations management vendor, Aprimo, has introduced new artificial intelligence-powered capabilities into its digital asset management platform, ADAM, to further automate digital content creation.

The new auto-tagging functionality is aimed at improving the consistency, scalability and ease of use and is a cloud-based offering. It uses image recognition to identify and automatically tag images being uploaded. Other enhancements include new Sitecore, Adobe, desktop and IBM Aspera connectors, all aimed at better integrating Aprimo’s DAM offering with third-party marketing and content management solutions.

“Aprimo now gives marketers access to a single source for all content to enhance it, make it smarter, and available programmatically to different systems and individuals who need to access it,” said Aprimo CEO, John Stammen. “We are proud that we’re helping brands succeed in today’s digital-first world and are dedicated to delivering on the customer experience through the Aprimo Digital Asset Management solution.”

ShareRoot opens up integration with Facebook and Instagram

ASX-listed adtech player, Shareroot, has announced new integration capabilities with Facebook and Instagram ads as part of efforts to improve its social media ties.

The latest integrations will allow clients to post content obtained via Shareroot’s user-generated content (UGC) platform, including images and video, directly into Facebook and Instagram Ads Manager. ShareRoot chief product officer, Jason Weaver, said the vendor is now looking to strike further partnerships with third-party adtech vendors to fuel social media advertising for brands.

“We’re continuing to deliver on our strategy of rolling out new features to our UGC platform,” he said. “These new features will allow us to continue to grow revenue by securing new clients, strengthening our engagement with existing clients and building stronger business partnerships in the social media and advertising sectors.”  

ShareRoot’s software-as-a-service solution is designed to help clients source UGC from a range of social media services, request and obtain legal permission for the full legal rights to use the content.  

“This new feature gives them a seamless solution that addresses that need as we roll out to initial customers in the coming weeks and further into 2018,” Weaver added.  

Acquia’s new DAM and Journey features  

Another vendor looking to improve its capabilities for digital marketers is Acquia, which released two new tools for digital asset management and customer journey mapping this week.  

Acquia’s first digital asset manager (DAM) offering provides a centralised management repository for digital creative assets and is integrated with the vendor’s wider Acquia Platform. The bigger release, however, is Acquia Journey, a new solution for connecting marketing automation with customer profiles and journey maps. The solution allows marketers to plan, test and put into play personalised campaigns, offers and communications to website visitors based on real-time interactions.  

Key features include a journey editor, graph editor and engine, profile manager to unify data from CRM systems, email databases and other digital sources, and journey metrics.  

“Some would call it omnichannel marketing, others call it journey mapping. We call it the end of wasted time,” Acquia CMO, Lynne Capozzi, said in a statement. “Orchestrating the customer journey has been the dream of every digital marketer, who for years has believed in martech’s promises but struggled with execution. Every marketer drafts the perfect customer journey scenario on a whiteboard.  

“Going from a whiteboard spec to full execution remains elusive for most. Acquia Journey takes whiteboard scenarios and pulls them into software, connecting systems, data, and content to yield highly targeted, contextual customer experiences.”  

Brandwatch buys BuzzSumo  

Social media monitoring company, Brandwatch, has acquired content marketing and influencer identification player, BuzzSumo, for an undisclosed sum.  

In a statement, Brandwatch said the deal expands its intelligence suite for online marketers, as well as rounds out market coverage from enterprise to SME. Under the terms of the deal, BuzzSumo retains its branding, and its founding team will also remain under the new owners.

BuzzSumo’s data-driven social content discovery and performance analytics is used by more than 3000 customers and 300,000 users worldwide including Expedia, BuzzFeed and Disney. Brandwatch said it plans to add BuzzSumo to its social intelligence offerings including Analytics, its core listening product; Vizia, its data communication platform; and Audiences, the company’s influencer and audience analysis tool. Audiences is built off the back of influence technology and data acquired via the acquisition of PeerIndex in December 2014.

“BuzzSumo is a high-performing and high-growth tech firm that fills an important need in the marketing world,” Brandwatch CEO, Giles Palmer, said. “Bringing together our strengths at serving either end of the market while maintaining our brands will only bring more value to all our customers.”  

Brandwatch raised US$33 million in Series C funding in 2015.  

MediaMath backs IAB’s ads.txt initiative

Programmatic adtech player, MediaMath, is throwing its weight behind the IAB’s ‘ad.txt’ initiative, and will roll out the fraud prevention resource to all of its supply products.

The immediate step will be via the vendor’s guaranteed brand-safe and fraud-free premium media offering, Curated Market, with the company only buying over authorised paths from publishers who have an ads.txt file in place. MediaMath claims Curated Market has already demonstrated significant lift across a broad range of marketer business outcomes when compared to an open auction environment since launching in April.

The ads.txt rollout will then be phased in over coming months to encompass all supply products, a decision which allows publishers sufficient time to create and implement the ads.txt files on their websites, the vendor stated.

“Bringing ads.txt into our arsenal of fraud prevention resources strengthens our ability to protect our clients,” said MediaMath general manager of supply, Lewis Rothkopf. “Working in consultation with outside experts, we’ve found that no single tool or third-party vendor alone is likely to be able to prevent all instances of fraud, particularly as the tactics and techniques used by ‘bad actors’ evolve.

“Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we leverage a variety of technological and human methods, taking into account first and third-party inputs, to ensure our ecosystem is brand-safe and fraud-free.”

The ads.txt open standard approach sponsored by the IAB was announced in May. While MediaMath noted the pace of publisher adoption of the initiative has been relatively slow, the company is expecting buy-side impetus will see rates begin to rise. Google is also a supporter of the initiative.

Email analytics company raises US$2.6m

250ok, an email analytics vendor out of the US, has secured US$2.6 million in Series A funding for product and staff expansion.

The company, which was established in 2011, is on a mission to help marketing teams get the most out of email with advanced insights around program performance. It does this by connecting email service provider data with its own data sets. 250ok works with a number of enterprise solutions including Marketo, SendGrid and SparkPost around email deliverability and design, and claims to have signed 60 brands in Q3 alone.

The latest funding round was led by Arthur Ventures, which has also invested in Infusionsoft and Terminus.  The money will be used on product extension, partner integration and bolstering headcount. However, the company already claims to have doubled employees in the last year and recently announced plans to hire 53 more employees in the next five years in conjunction with Indiana Economic Development Cooperation.

"As an industry, we're only scratching the surface of how effective email marketing can be with the right data," said 250ok CEO, Greg Kraios. “Arthur Ventures’ investment, combined with their expertise and relationships within the software-as-a-service space, accelerates the execution of our vision to shake the status-quo mentality currently plaguing email marketing.”  

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