CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 26 October 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Quantium, Emarsys, Zoho, Zendesk, iAdvize, ActionIQ, SugarCRM and Rubicon Project.

Quantium debuts lifestyle segmentation

Australian data analytics player, Quantium, has launched a new lifestyle segmentation product based on real-world retail and banking transaction data. 

The company claims QCrowds will allow local advertisers and media agencies to target consumers at scale based on real-world behaviour identified across 68 per cent of Australian households. The offering is based around anonymised purchase data from Quantium’s banking and supermarket partners including NAB and Woolworths and can be activated across broadcast, outdoor and digital channels.

Examples of the 15 segments available are ‘Suburban thrift’, which Quantium said represents 10 per cent of the population, and ‘Metro high flyers’ (8 per cent). Information is based on an overview of who individuals are, what they do, where they live, the brands they show loyalty to, and topics such as food, media consumption, brand preference and hobbies. 

Quantium CEO, Adam Driussi, said the new segments will deliver brands increased cut-through by delivering the best available combination of reach and targeting accuracy. 

“As Australia’s first lifestyle segmentation based entirely on the real-world behaviour of more than 10 million Australians, QCrowds is a genuine game-changer,” he claimed. “While others rely on recall, sampling and postcode mapping, QCrowds’ deterministic match gives our clients confidence they are reaching the people that matter, not devices that behave like them or based on what their neighbours look like.”

Emarsys adds to AI and personalisation capabilities

B2C marketing automation player, Emarsys, has introduced a new artificial intelligence-powered Web Channel solution aimed at helping marketers better personalise their website.

The AI-optimised Web Channel product is based on the vendor’s AI Marketing capabilities and uses real-time session and historical CRM data to personalise website content and offers based on individual users that also tie in to wide omnichannel efforts. According to Emarsys, early adopter clients, including Showpo, Angela Bruderer, Luisaviaroma and Gerry Weber have lifted site conversions by up to 400 per cent.   

Emarsys said it’s also offering up its AI-optimised Send Time Optimisation solution, as well as launching its new Relational Data segmentation capabilities, for free, another move aimed at increasing personalisation capabilities on its platform.  

“On witnessing the phenomenal business impact of personalisation, consumer-facing companies are racing today to embed it in their marketing strategy,” said newly appointed Emarsys chief product officer, László Merklik.

“Realising that website personalisation is the future, our customers are now thinking beyond traditional point solutions and Web-based options like A/B testing. With AI-optimised offerings, like Web Channel, Emarsys can help its customers broaden their personalised omnichannel marketing efforts across devices, better meet consumer demands and drive revenues.”

Zendesk joins the AI throng with new customer relationship tools

Zendesk also showcased new machine learning-powered capabilities this week across its customer management platform.

The new additions include ‘Answer bot’, a chatbot that works with customer support teams and uses machine learning to help answer customer questions with content from the Zendesk Guide knowledge base. If in doubt, the bot will route a customer to a human agent.

Talk Enterprise, meanwhile, is a call centre software embedded in the vendor’s support ticketing system, and is designed to help teams provide more personal phone support across a multi-channel customer journey. The third product enhancement is Chat Enterprise, a live chat tool for real-time support on websites, mobile apps and messaging channels.

“Companies are under tremendous pressure to provide differentiated support to drive customer growth and retention,” Zendesk president of products, Adrian McDermott, said. “Enterprises don’t have time for months of integrating, so Zendesk created a complete solution to allow immediate results, empowering agents to reach expectations of the modern customer.”

Zoho aims for agile project management

CRM player, Zoho, has taken the wrappers off an agile project management solution designed to support teams wanting to take a more iterative and short-burst approach to work.

Zoho Sprints is based on the scrum framework and includes backlogs for creating user stories and tasks that can be prioritised, assigned and rated. Other features include agile reports such as real-time velocity charts, burn-down reports and flow diagrams, plus collaboration tools and customisable scrum boards.

“Developing new software is nothing like making trains run on time,” said Zoho CEO, Sridhar Vembu. “It’s more like laying train tracks through unknown terrain, which requires one to improvise and make decisions on the fly. Agile project management formalises that spirit of improvisation, and Zoho Sprints brings that spirit to life for all agile teams.”

Conversational marketing vendor raises US$38m

This week’s big investment winner in the martech and adtech space is France-based conversational marketing platform provider, iAdvize, which has just secured US$38 million in Series C funding.

The latest case injection brings total funding in the company to $56 million, and will be used to strengthen the company’s global footprint, including its first US office in Boston. Investors included IDinvest Partners, Bpifrance and Quadrille Capital.    

Established in 2010, iAdvize’s platform is used by more than 600 businesses across 60 different countries to engage customers and prospects who need advice and support and offer them the best response from paid advocates members of the ibbü community, a chatbot or their own customer service team.

“Our initial $18 Series B funding has helped us open our European offices and launch a major new offering, ibbü, the on-demand pool of experts,” iAdvize CEO, Julien Hervouët, said. “These savvy enthusiasts generate one million euros in revenue per week for our customers.

“This new Series C funding round gives us the means to maintain a strong pace of growth while reinforcing our presence in Europe and efficiently expanding our activity in the U.S. Our aim is to become a global leader in Conversational Marketing.”

 As well as bolstering headcount, the funding will be used to research and develop resources for core products and services, as well as ibbu’s market strategy roadmap. Current capabilities include data analysis for predicting targeting and answers to contacts in real time, cross-channel and multi-device connections, and an intelligent routing system.

Customer data platform player scores US$30m

Second in the investment rounds this week is US-based ActionIQ, which raised US$30 million in a Series B funding round led by well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz.

The New York-based vendor offers a customer data management platform for bringing together enterprise data sources and aims squarely at helping marketers manage their data. Total funding to date is about $5 million.

Its CEO and co-founder, Tasso Argyros, said the new funding further cements ActionIQ’s position and will accelerate its expansion through business development, marketing, sales and engineering headcount. As part of the cash injection, Martin Casado joins Action IQ’s board.

“Our mission remains to help marketers powerfully execute one-to-one marketing with speed, scale and freedom without having to write SQL, or depend on engineering and IT,” he said.

Clients on ActionIQ’s books already include Verizon, Weight Watchers and Shutterstock.

SugarCRM launches new on-demand solution

SugarCRM has announced the latest cloud-based version of its CRM offering, promising a number of updates around reporting and email management.

The Sugar Fall ’17 release includes shareable dashboards to visually display and share real-time CRM data and insight around lead opportunities and accounts. New drill-through charts are designed to help users better understand the insights behind the numbers within one report, while new email modules provide a central view of all relevant email records  associated with accounts and contacts that can be organised by filtering, searching and tagging.

The release is the first in a new approach being taken by the vendor around releasing product updates.

“Our new release schedule for the Sugar cloud offerings will help us innovate within a predictable release schedule, invest heavily in UX design, quality and scale, and simplify cloud development and deployment,” SugarCRM chief product officer, Rich Green, commented. “The first example of our accelerated innovation is this new feature set packed into the sugar Fall ’17 update, designed to make the CRM, and the data within it, more easily shared, organised and analysed.”

Rubicon Project private marketplace deals go live in Google

Rubicon Project’s Private Marketplace (PMP) deals have been directly integrated into Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager interface for the first time.

According to the adtech player, the new API integration will make it easier for agencies, trading desks and advertisers to buy PMPs without having to go through its own ordering platform. Google is the first platform to utilise the new orders API. Rubicon Project CTO, Tom Kershaw, said the age of having dozens of UIs to do business is over.

“Our new Orders API enables buyer platforms like Bid Manager to provide their users with greater access to premium inventory sold via PMPs. Our publisher partners also benefit from this capability, as their inventory will be more easily accessible by new sources of demand,” he said.   The company’s publisher partners offer more than 35,000 individual Private Marketplace packages on its exchange.   In other news, Rubicon has also kicked off a closed beta of open source server-side header bidding  

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