CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 26 April 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Oracle, Bluedot, dotmailer, Promo, AppNexus, Facebook, Leanplum and incites.com

Oracle acquires brand safety player, Grapeshot

Oracle has acquired adtech platform player, Grapeshot, a move aimed at bolstering contextual audience information to improve marketing activities.

The company said Grapeshot will be added to the Oracle Data Cloud platform and provide a more rapid ability to create customised audience segments. Grapeshot’s Contextual Intelligence Platform provides brand safety and pre-bid contextual solutions to more than 5000 global marketers and across 38 billion programmatic ad impressions per month.

Specifically, the platform will help marketers avoid unsafe content that will damage brand equity, and close the loop via Moat measurement, as well as extend global audience reach by targeting the most relevant context, including late-breaking news and trending themes, to complement Oracle Data Cloud’s custom audience segments.

Oracle said it now plans to ramp up investment into more features and functionality once the deal closes, as well as better integrate Grapeshot’s platform into its own product offerings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bluedot Innovation secures US$5.5 million

Australian location-based marketing vendor, Bluedot Innovation, has secured US$5.5 million in Series A funding. Transurban led the funding with an investment of US$4 million.

Bluedot aims to enable enterprises to connect with their customers through relevant and personalised interactions based on the location and context of the customer. By combining technology and focus on the behaviour and needs of each individual user, Bluedot supports contextual engagement, business intelligence, and mobile commerce. Enterprises leveraging Bluedot’s technology include Salesforce, News Corp and Cox Automotive.

In addition to Transurban, Bluedot has attracted a range of new and existing investors to participate in the round, including Jeff Katz, formerly of Mercury Payments, as well as their long-standing board member, David Jacques, the founding CFO of PayPal. To date, Bluedot has raised US$13 million in total funding.

In November 2017, Bluedot and Transurban teamed up to create LinktGO, a mobile tolling app that leverages a smartphone's GPS and other sensors to identify when a driver has entered and exited a toll road.

Leanplum announces extra funding to fuel APAC expansion

Leanplum has also chalked up more funding from Beijing-based private equity firm, Waterwood Group, to scale and fuel growth in China and the greater Asia-Pacific region, bringing it Series D total financing to US$52 million.

Leanplum said the investment highlights the growing opportunity for brands to reach mobile consumers across APAC. Leanplum is expanding its footprint across APAC and making strategic new hires to meet growing demand in key markets such as China, Australia, Indonesia, and Japan.

Leanplum is aiming to build the next generation marketing cloud, leveraging the power of mobile to help brands drive meaningful customer relationships. Capturing more than 18 billion mobile data points daily and delivering over 50 million messages every hour, the Leanplum platform provides the real-time insights and capabilities aimed at helping marketers deliver in-the-moment engagement and build meaningful customer relationships.

Newsroom.ly rebrands and launches marketing collaboration platform

Newsroom.ly has re-branded to incites.com, and launched an insights-driven marketing collaboration platform.  

Made for marketers and publishers, incites.com aims to lead innovation in content intelligence by providing a live feed of data-driven insights, written in natural language via a completely automated service.

Using data science and artificial intelligence, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform connects to sources like Google Analytics and automatically looks for patterns in the data. Findings are posted in the live feed, eliminating the need for confusing dashboards, back-end integration, and additional page-tagging.

incites.com successfully raised $750K in seed funding from investors, led by boutique investment manager, Spring Capital.

dotmailer announces new omni-channel features

dotmailer has taken the wrappers off new omni-channel features aimed at enhancing its existing marketing automation platform.

With a host of new channels now available, including SMS and Facebook Messenger, automated retargeting across Google AdWords and Facebook Audiences, and in-email product recommendations, this development aims to empower brands to engage more effectively with their customers.

The new capabilities aim to help brands build conversations with customers that run across multiple channels – from SMS to email, social audience ads, to instant messaging platforms. This includes ConsentInsight, which allows brands store the exact consent text a contact agreed to, creating an evidence trail to satisfy the new GDPR legislation’s requirements.

Facebook offers ways to monetise videos, removes incentives from some content

Facebook has unveiled several new ways for creators and publishers to monetise content while also removing several underperforming incentives.

Facebook has invested in new formats and tools designed to help maximise payouts for eligible videos, including: Pre-Roll in Watch; Preview Trailers; Ad Breaks Auto Insertion that automatically detects the ideal place for an ad break within an eligible video; and Pre-Publish Brand Safety Check, enabling content partners to submit videos for monetisation eligibility review before posting.

Facebook is also removing incentives from content that creates less value for people. As part of this, it is clarifying policies and updating the Monetisation Eligibility Standards and Content Guidelines for Monetisation to make it clear the types of programming and distribution practices that will not be supported. Enforcement will be rolled out in phases so content partners can adapt.

Content partners with paid arrangements for Pages to methodically and inorganically share videos can no longer monetise views originating on third-party pages. In addition, formats unsuitable for an ad will not be used, and pages primarily distributing videos of re-purposed clips from other sources with limited editorialisation will be more deeply evaluated to assess what level of distribution and monetisation matches the value created for people.

AppNexus grows video monetisation for Microsoft

AppNexus has announced fresh results from its partnership with Microsoft to monetise the company’s video inventory using the AppNexus supply-side platform (SSP).

In the first quarter of 2018, Microsoft increased its video revenue on in-stream video inventory from AppNexus by 201 per cent and experienced a 29 per cent increase in eCPMs, compared to the first quarter of 2017.

To monetise inventory, Microsoft leverages three different video ad formats: In-stream pre-roll, out-stream in-article, and AppNexus’ multimedia super auction technology to enable multiple media types to participate in a single unified auction.

By driving increased demand for each advertising placement, multimedia super auctions provided revenue lift of up to 60 per cent in select markets.

Promo partners with Shutterstock

Promo has formed a partnership with Shutterstock, which will increase Promo’s 3.5 million video library to more than 12.5 million.

As part of the partnership, Shutterstock is making more than nine million videos available to Promo, which was launched by Slidely. Users will be able to customise the videos to create video ads without having to break the bank. The videos can be used on social media channels, in television advertisements, as educational videos, on websites, in multimedia presentations, and more.

Slidely CEO, Tom More , said in its mission to provide the best video creative to growing businesses worldwide, it is very picky about the video content partners it works with.

“Adding Shutterstock’s nine million premium videos will enable us to improve our creative offering by providing a much more diversified selection, supply the ever growing demand for high quality video and cater many more business types and needs, as more businesses join and create videos in growing frequencies,” he said.

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