CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 20 December 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Verint, Swiftpage, Litus, Amobee, Upload Software, Blippar, Adroll and Up

Verint to acquire ForeSee

Verint has struck a definitive agreement to acquire ForeSee, a cloud voice of the customer (VoC) vendor.

The Verint-ForeSee combination will create a comprehensive omnichannel cloud VoC portfolio that will allow organisations to better measure and understand customer experiences and prioritise the improvements that will have the greatest business impact.

The acquisition will add ForeSee’s causal modelling, predictive analytics and benchmarking to Verint’s existing omnichannel VoC portfolio. Various international media reports suggest the price tag for the deal is about US$65 million.

"This business combination further solidifies our commitment to customer engagement market leadership, helping organizations achieve their customer experience goals at all levels - from the contact centre to digital channels and across the entire enterprise,” said Verint president of customer engagement solutions, Elan Moriah.

“Combining ForeSee’s deep digital domain expertise with our automation and analytics expertise will accelerate our cloud VoC technology innovation and squarely address the needs of customers to drive better business outcomes by enhancing the customer experience.”

Blippar folds

Augmented reality (AR) startup, Blippar, has laid off all of its employees after it collapsed into administration.

The company said it would wind down its augmented reality services and let go of all of its staff after being unable to raise funding to remain operational. Administrators, which have been appointed by a UK court and took charge on 17 December, will be expected to find a buyer for all or parts of the business.

The news comes despite the fact Blippar has raised more than US$130 million in funding since debuting in 2011 to pursue its AR mobile app ambitions.

In a blog post, the company said it had been working to repivot around a B2B proposition, as approved by its board and shareholders and supported by the latest funding round in September.

"That funding was secured, but it ultimately required shareholders’ approval for Blippar to access it. Regrettably, one shareholder voted against the additional funding, effectively blocking the investment even if they were not asked to participate in any further financing of the business, and despite our extensive efforts to reach a successful resolution," the company stated.

"Blippar’s services are likely to come to halt once the administrators take control of the business and its servers. As part of the administration process, all employees will be let go. This is an incredibly sad, disappointing, and unfortunate outcome."

Upland Software acquires Adestra

Upland Software, cloud-based enterprise work management software, has acquired Adestra, a provider of enterprise-grade email marketing, transaction and automation software.

Adestra will be combined with Upland's mobile messaging, customer engagement, and knowledge management solutions to create a product suite serving the $5.9 billion CXM market. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Adestra adds a fundamental component to Upland's CXM Solution Suite, which now includes multi-channel messaging and email, automated mobile conversations via SMS, MMS, and RCS, mobile wallet functionality, Voice of Customer (VOC) and Voice of Employee (VOE) solutions, knowledge management, and marketing automation and personalisation.

"Adestra broadens Upland's product portfolio, strengthens our CXM solution suite, and builds our sales capacity and footprint," said Upland Software chairman and CEO, Jack McDonald.

Amobee announces partnership with Place Exchange

Amobee has partnered with Place Exchange to launch a programmatic marketplace for out-of-home media, allowing marketers real-time bidding capabilities as well as planning, execution and attribution alongside other digital channels on a single platform.

The collaboration allows Amobee clients to converge out-of-home media with other digital channels through Amobee’s demand-side platform. Once an ad has played in physical space, Amobee’s platform generates audience insights about the audiences exposed to out-of-home ads.

By combining this data with foot traffic conversion and other signals, the vendor said marketers can better understand how audiences are interacting with the out-of-home ads, optimise out-of-home campaigns while in flight, and extend reach across other media channels, devices, and segments.

RollWorks launches new digital advertising capabilities

RollWorks, a division of AdRoll Group, has taken the wrappers off new ad retargeting capabilities designed to increase the likelihood of closing deals by helping marketing and sales teams reach and influence the entire buying committee.

This feature allows marketers to map site visitors back to accounts, and then expand the contact list from beyond those visitors to the larger buying committee at those accounts.

RollWorks customers can leverage the new account-based retargeting capability where they can: Select key website pages to find the cookies and then map to domains for accounts visiting that page; layer firmographic filters to identify the attributes that match their ideal customer profile; win new business by surrounding the buying committee, not just one contact, with digital advertising and targeted messages.

Litmus announces integration with Oracle Marketing Cloud

Litmus, a platform for email creation, testing and analytics, has debuted a fresh integration with Oracle Marketing Cloud through Oracle Eloqua.

The new integration brings Litmus directly into Oracle Eloqua, enabling marketing teams to streamline production and accelerate the delivery of effective email campaigns. Oracle Eloqua customers can now test email campaigns in more than 90 popular email clients and devices, directly inside their Oracle Eloqua Email Editor, so they can catch errors before they send, increase output, and improve email performance.

The new integration enables marketing teams to: Streamline email production, improve email quality to maximise results, and realise the benefits of standardised templates.

Swiftpage acquires Kuvana

Swiftpage has purchased Kuvana, the maker of InboxGuru, an email marketing and marketing automation solution for small and medium sized businesses.

InboxGuru’s technology powers the all-new Act! marketing automation solution that was released in November. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

The acquisition represents a significant step forward for Swiftpage as the company continues to transform the Act! portfolio and deliver a comprehensive platform built specifically for small business success. With this move, Swiftpage strengthens its strategic commitment to providing solutions that help its SMB customers grow their businesses with the right tools to solve conversion and retention challenge.

"This strategic acquisition and integration of technology will allow Swiftpage to continue to innovate and build on the proven Act! CRM platform and the powerful marketing automation technology in the next generation of Act! that provides our customers with the ultimate toolset to drive business growth,” commented Swiftpage president and CEO, John Oechsle.

Up launches conversation payments

Up, the digital banking platform that went live in October 2018, has launched conversational payments in app for customers. An Australia first, the experience will bring functionality on par with the United States, Europe and China, where Venmo, SquareCash and WeChat Pay have significantly altered and improved customers’ payment experience.

Up chief imaginer, Anson Parker, sayid driven by Osko, payments are made in real time to friends and merchants.

“And we’ve built this platform from the ground up to enable the conversational format that gives customers clarity on where money is going to and coming from – all in one spot," he said. 

 “Our new payments function is more like ‘What’s App’ or Messenger than the isolated transaction you’d make on a traditional banking app. You’ve room to explain the details of your transaction and all your history is there in conversation format – so you’ll soon know who’s not paying for beers on a regular basis! We’re hoping our combination of payment features will make moving money easier than ever before.”

Along with Osko, Up has also introduced PayID technology, which lets customers map their mobile phone number or email address to their bank account, so friends don’t need to know their BSB or account number – using contact details instead.   

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

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