CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 18 January 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week

InMobi buys AerServe

InMobi has acquired AerServ for US$90 million in order to create what it claims will be the industry’s first platform with a unified programmatic auction for mobile in-app publishers.

The ambition is to deliver a platform that goes beyond traditional ad mediation and provides high-quality brand demand, marking the industry’s first platform to deliver this combination to publishers worldwide.

Industry reports suggest two-thirds of the world’s digital display advertising will be traded programmatically by 2019, with advertising sold programmatically increasing from US$57.5 billion to US $84.9 billion over the next two years, growing at an average rate of 21 per cent a year.

Together, InMobi and AerServ provide over 90 per cent viewability and over 70 per cent video completion rate. AerServ has integrations with more than 75 DSPs, exchanges and agencies around the world, enhancing InMobi’s global footprint, and together they cover a large majority of the Fortune 500 brand buyers. AerServ runs more than 90 billion ad opportunities each month and provides access to brand programmatic demand to over 2000 mobile apps.

Salesforce debuts Distributed Marketing

Salesforce has launched a new product to enable corporate marketers to deliver approved cross-channel consumer journeys to their partners and improve personalised engagement with local consumers while staying on-brand.

The vendor noted corporate offices are well attuned to delivering on-brand marketing campaigns. But these often fail at the 'last mile' of personal engagement because local partners directly manage the consumer relationship. In addition, local partners often struggle to access and create corporate-approved marketing materials.

Using Distributed Marketing platform, marketers can pre-build personalised customer journeys through Salesforce Marketing Cloud and deploy them to their partner networks. From there, partners using Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or Community Cloud can manage and personalise these consumer journeys, such as on-boarding new clients, holiday promotions and renewals.    

Demandbase Extends ABM Platform with AI-Based Conversion Solution

Demandbase has launched its next-generation Conversion Solution, helping generate measurable sales activity, increase lead generation, and speed up sales cycles to support account-based marketing (ABM).

The Conversion Solution is part of the full-funnel Demandbase ABM Platform. It aims to provide tighter ABM integration between marketing and sales teams by delivering artificial intelligence-enabled intent data and insights to sales teams so they can contact the right target accounts with the right messages at the right time. The Conversion Solution integrates with Salesforce Sales Cloud, Slack, and LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator to allow sales teams to automatically receive insights and reach out to target accounts using these third-party tools.

Key features of Conversion Solution include the ability to inform sales teams in real-time when one of their accounts is on their website, in the news or has spiking interest in their products. The platform also surfaces accounts showing most interest in a company’s products. Insights are then compiled and alerts sent to sales teams across multiple channels in real time. Additionally, users can create multiple profiles of accounts for different products and services.

Adobe’s retail Experience Cloud innovations

Adobe has announced retail innovations in Adobe Experience Cloud.

The new capabilities are aimed at helping retailers understand and act on in-store shopping behaviours and include the ability to show live foot traffic and segment those shoppers based on loyalty, last visit date, or shopping preferences to push in-store offers within a retailers’ mobile app.

The retail innovations also aim at better personalisation of the shopper experience by expanding big data capabilities in Adobe Campaign to allow retailers to leverage all data stored in a Hadoop environment, such as pricing models and demand forecasts.

Other innovations include automatically tailoring and optimising images for different screens so retailers can automate tasks in bulk and deliver experiences faster, and delivering 3D, Panoramic, and VR imagery to help retailers deliver immersive experiences without custom development through the integration of Experience Manager with Adobe Dimension CC.

Finally, Adobe is introducing the industry’s first set of flexible commerce microservices, built on Adobe I/O Runtime to customise omnichannel commerce. Each of Adobe’s microservices are pre-integrated with commerce and order management systems including CommerceTools, ElasticPath, Digital River, Hybris, and Magento, and supported by integrations across Experience Cloud.

Canva raises US$40 million

Online design and publishing platform, Canva, has a new valuation of US$1 billion after raising US$40 million in its latest funding round.

Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder at Canva, said that while the company is profitable with investments from previous rounds remaining untouched, additional capital would allow it to pursue global opportunities and rapidly advance the core product offering. In this round, Sequoia China has joined forces with long-time Canva investors, Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures, in backing the design company.

This announcement follows several new product launches this year from the 250 person-startup headquartered in Sydney, including the platform’s availability in 100 languages, a Canva for Android app, and roll-out of Canva Print in the US, Europe and Australia, with Mexico recently made available. Canva also supports over 17,000 non-profits around the world with free access to its premium product.

Marlin Equity Partners acquires majority stake in Talkwalker

Talkwalker has confirmed a majority stake in the company has been acquired by Marlin Equity Partners (Marlin), a global private equity firm with over US$6.7 billion of capital under management. The acquisition allows the software company to leverage Marlin's operational resources and expertise in growing technology businesses. Talkwalker's founders and management team will continue to lead the company during this new stage of growth, with a focus on accelerating product innovation and international expansion.

Utilised by more than 1000 clients, Talkwalker's multi-tenant cloud platform uses AI-powered technology to analyse images and text in 187 languages across social, online, and traditional media. The company's social listening and analytics software also provides real-time analytics across all channels.

"We are excited to partner with Marlin as we enter a new phase of development as the leading provider of listening and analytics to the PR and marketing industry," said Robert Glaesener, CEO of Talkwalker. "Our focus on AI-powered features, global expansion and strategic acquisitions should provide our clients with a major competitive edge and ensures that they have access to the best technology on the market to protect, measure, and promote their brands worldwide."

Zeta Global leads investment in Visto's Enterprise Ad Hub for programmatic

Marketing and Data Cloud vendor, Zeta Global, has invested in Visto to further develop the latter's agnostic workflow and analytics platform.

As part of a broader strategic partnership, Zeta has signed a multi-year Visto licence commitment and will integrate Visto's workflow and execution capabilities into its flagship platform, ZetaHub. In addition, Zeta will be Visto's channel partner to provide programmatic solutions to its clients.

As part of the agreement, Zeta will acquire Compass, Visto's programmatic execution and optimisation arm, encompassing sales, operations and client services to extend and enhance Zeta's programmatic capabilities and further leverage Zeta's people-based data assets for clients.

ContentSquare launches Auto-Zone

ContentSquare has launched Auto-Zone, an artificial intelligence-based recognition algorithm that replaces content tagging and tag configuration with automatic element identification on each area of a website.

With Auto-Zone, marketers can set up content elements through the ContentSquare interface using artificial intelligence, removing the need to place unique tags on each individual page element before they can answer related customer journey questions. The technology 'zones' provides semantic understanding of the data, enabling brands to improve their display process on their site, while also providing insight into customer journeys and overall user experiences.

The ambition is to help marketers answer any question about customer behaviour on a site, disrupting the practice of adding data collection tags.

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