CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 30 November 2017

All the latest martech, CXtech and adtech news from Amobee, InMoment, dotmailer, Dovetail, Affinio, Genesys, Bench and Octoly.

Amobee debuts Marketing Platform off back of Turn purchase

Amobee is promising advertisers a fully integrated DSP, DMP and analytics suite for programmatic advertising across the digital spectrum with the launch of its new Marketing Platform.

The debut follows the adtech vendor’s US$310 million acquisition of programmatic rival, Turn, in February, and sees Turn’s DSP and DMP offerings combined with Amobee’s DatMine Analytics and brand intelligence capabilities. It can be used across all digital channels and screens for programmatic delivery of video, display, mobile and social advertising.

The platform is being launched first this week in Australia and New Zealand, ahead of the rest of the world.

“The Amobee Marketing Platform gives advertisers a clear understanding of who to reach, where and when while utilising only the most cost effective and insightful methods,” said Amobee A/NZ managing director, Liam Walsh. He added the new platform leverages unique data assets and allows advertisers to customise analytics to understand what's working, and where to allocate their digital marketing investments.

“The launch of the platform represents months of hard work on the part of our engineering and product teams to combine multiple platforms that leverage unique data assets into a single integrated solution that meets the needs of advertisers trying to connect with consumers across different environments,” Walsh said. “We’re thrilled to provide our agencies and brands with an integrated platform that delivers truly relevant marketing experiences across the entire customer journey.”

Amobee is a subsidiary of Singapore-based telco operator, SingTel, which also owns Optus.

InMoment joins forces with Yelp

Voice-of-customer technology provider, InMoment, has partnered with Yelp to tap the latter’s customer reviews and deliver new levels of insight to its client base.

A spokesperson described the partnership as a unique but not exclusive one, giving InMoment access to more data than it would using third-party metrics. In addition, InMoment’s machine learning-based platform mines customer conversations via other social platforms, comments and online reviews. 

Yelp is a customer reviews site for local services, and features more than 140 million, cross-industry reviews.

“The future of feedback isn’t asking your customers more and more structured questions, it’s about gaining understanding directly from their own words,” said InMoment CEO, Andrew Joiner. “Yelp has proven that its community can utilise unsolicited feedback to find amazing local experiences across a wide range of industries. InMoment is applying its CX platform to bring unique intelligence to this feedback at scale, allowing businesses to learn what is fundamentally driving superior experiences and guide their organisations accordingly.”

For Yelp senior VP of business and corporate development, Chad Richard, too many businesses are still trying to manipulate the natural flow of reviews instead of listening to customers and making changes accordingly.

“InMoment’s powerful technology helps brands earn great reputations by giving them intelligence on what customers love and what they can improve,” he added.  

Dotmailer acquires omni-channel messaging player

Email marketing management vendor, dotmailer, has acquired Comapi, an omni-channel messaging platform, for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase is part of ongoing investments being made into broadening the capabilities of the dotmailer marketing automation platform. Through Comapi, users can automate mobile messaging including SMS, social media channels and live chat tools.

Under the deal, Comapi’s technology will be integrated with dotmailer’s software but the company will continue to work directly with its customers, including Gap, eBay, TSB, British Airways, Carphone Warehouse and Collect Plus. dotmailer and Comapi already have numerous shared clients including Superdry, Hayes Recruitment, Daisy Group and betting giant Ladbrokes.

“By adding Compai to our business, dotdigital is executing its vision to be an omni-channel marketing automation platform,” said dotdigital group CEO, Milan Patel.

Comapi managing director, Paul Putman, said the acquisition will allow his company to accelerate product innovation while capitalising on the growing conversational commerce market.

Ex-Atlassian staffers Dovetail into customer feedback

Two former employees of business software darling, Atlassian, are rapidly developing a new customer feedback management software after securing support from the NSW Government.

The new company, Dovetail, received a $25,000 Minimal Viable Product grant from the state government as part of the Jobs for NSW program to help build its software offering, which analyses and then shares user research and customer feedback in the cloud. Dovetail has already attracted interest from brands such as Nike, Deloitte and Freshworks.

Dovetail CEO and co­-founder, Benjamin Humphrey, said it was a big step to leave Atlassian to bootstrap his own company but he has confidence in the product.

 “At Atlassian, we were working on some really cool platform pieces so it was a big decision to leave that and start our own thing” he said. “We’re inspired by the Atlassian model of building great SaaS products that people love to use every day, and differentiating ourselves with great design, functionality, and affordability.”

Humphrey said the Jobs for NSW grant will help Dovetail develop new features for customers to analyse the emotional sentiment of large sets of data from a range of apps and social media.  

“We have over 500 companies signed up for Dovetail, and we’ve been working closely with researchers and product managers at Pinterest, Deloitte, MacMillan Learning, Freshworks, and Tyro to shape our MVP,” he said. “We’re excited about the future of our company. We believe that deeply understanding your customers is the secret ingredient to making great products, and that’s exactly what we’re intending to do with Dovetail.”

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro, said it was good to see the government’s initial support was helping Dovetail to grow strongly and said he hoped the company would succeed both in Australia and internationally.

“It’s great to see talented Sydneysiders Benjamin Humphrey and Bradley Ayers taking a leap of faith to launch their own great idea that has the potential to create new business growth and jobs for NSW,” he added.

Marketing intelligence startup closes US$9m funding round

Yet another martech startup is promising to bring better audience insight to marketers after closing a US$9 million Series B funding round.

Affinio, a company that offers an algorithm for analysing and clustering audience relationships based on their affinities, topics and brand advocacy, brought its total fundraising tally up to $14 through the latest cash injection from Whitecap Venture Partners and Social Starts.

The company said its latest funding round will go toward product integrations with data management platforms and demand-side platforms, as well as with data brokers that aggregate store transactions. Existing brand customers include Unilever, BBC Worldwide and Paramount.

Genesys integrates with Amazon Lex

Genesys has integrated its customer engagement solution, Purecloud, with the Amazon Lex conversational interface to improve the way call management is handled by brands.

The vendor said the integration will enable businesses to more easily build and maintain conversational interactive voice response flows within the call centre through Amazon Lex’s natural language interpretation. This means organisations can consolidate multiple interactions into a single flow applied over different self-service channels.

“We are excited to see our collaboration with Genesys extend even deeper by combining its best-in-class cloud customer engagement solution with the AI-powered, natural language understanding capabilities of Amazon Lex,” said Amazon Web Services and Amazon AI vice-president, Swami Sivasubramanian. “Through PureCloud, Genesys is allowing companies of any size to adopt AI via Amazon Lex as a tool for enhancing the customer experiences they can create.”

Genesys PureCloud executive vice-president, Olivier Jouve, said deepening the collaboration with AWS provides businesses another way to improve customer satisfaction by enhancing IVR routing, shortening call-time, and making management easier. The new integration will be available to customers in the New Year.

Sydney-based marketing campaigns player secures Fast50 spot

Sydney-based performance and programmatic marketing software player, Bench, has joined the ranks the winners in this year’s Deloitte ‘Fast 50’.  

The competition recognises the fastest-growing technology organisations based in Australia. It’s the second time Bench has been identified as a local tech leader first winning an award in 2014 under the ‘Rising Star’ category. This year, the firm came in at 44th. The list was led by HireUp, a disability support and services provider.  

Bench software is used to manage cross-channel digital media campaigns and offers tools for planning out media strategies, audience targeting and buying media. Founded in 2012, the vendor’s customers include 20th Century Fox, Dixon Advisory and Medtronic.  

“Over the last six years, we’ve put in a lot of effort into making Bench a world-class technology platform that helps marketers run more profitable paid media campaigns,” said CEO, Ori Gold. “Automated ad buying has disrupted the marketing industry, and we’re empowering brand marketers and agencies by helping them gain control over their cross-channel media investment.”

Agencies back new influencer platform

Havas Group is among a number of players that have invested US$10 million into Octoly, an influencer marketing platform based out of Paris that already has 1 billion subscribers.

Octoly launched just two years ago and now has a team of 60 working across its Paris and New York locations. The platform is a form of ‘gifting’ marketplace, where influencers access curated products for free and write original content and reviews in return. To date, more than 200,000 beauty and lifestyle products have been sent to influencers globally, across 200 brands.

“We decided to support Octoly as earned media is becoming more and more important in the marketing mix for our customers,” Havas Group CEO, Yannick Bollore, said. “We strongly believe that the value of Octoly is in its capacity to deliver unbiased reviews for brands. Authenticity is the cornerstone of influencer marketing which is now a billion-dollar industry.”

Other investors in the funding round include Otium Venture, Twins Partners and the EU's SME Instrument program.  

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