CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 4 April 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Brightcove, Ooyala, Delacon, Blueshift, Brandcrush, Zendesk, Tru Optik, Demandbase, Marketo, The Trade Desk, Evolv, Scout, and more.

Brightcove completes acquisition of Ooyala’s online video platform business

Cloud-based video services provider, Brightcove, has completed its acquisition of online video platform business of Ooyala, a provider of cloud video technology. The strategic acquisition strengthens Brightcove’s position in the online video industry.

“This is an exciting time for the company as we integrate Ooyala’s OVP business into Brightcove. We are thrilled to welcome Ooyala’s OVP customers to the family, along with our new team members in Guadalajara and around the globe. We look forward to providing a world-class experience for all of our new, future, and existing customers and employees” said Brightcove CEO, Jeff Ray.

“The addition of our new team members further positions Brightcove to accelerate our speed of innovation and provide deeper support for all of our customers. We are living in the age of video and are 100 per cent committed to ensuring our customers reap the power and value of video technology to help propel their businesses forward.”

Blueshift launches customer data activation platform

Blueshift has taken the wrappers off what it's labelling a Customer Data Activation Platform (CDAP). The vendor said the release of its App Framework completes its CDAP and gives companies the ability to not only unify and integrate data, but to use their data to power artificial intelligence-optimised customer experiences across every customer engagement application.

With this release, Blueshift builds upon several existing capabilities, including AI-Powered Cross-Channel Journeys, Predictive Audience Syndications and Live Personalisation. Each capability is now available to be integrated with every customer engagement application, enabling diverse use cases across relationship marketing, paid media, customer service, telesales, chat and in-product personalisation.

Blueshift is the brainchild of three former retail marketing, technology and analytics professionals and was established in the US in 2014. To date, the company has raised more than US$10 million to invest in its CDAP offering.

Delacon launches interactive mobile numbers

Call analytics provider, Delacon, has launched interactive mobile numbers, offering businesses communication with customers, increased lead conversion and improved marketing effectiveness.

As text messaging becomes a preferred method of communication, interactive mobile numbers provide a new level of flexibility and allow businesses the ability to immediately respond, thereby delivering improved customer experience. 

Delacon’s interactive mobile numbers with SMS functionality mean consumers have more choice in how they interact with businesses. If a text message is sent, it will automatically convert into an email, with clickable contact details and delivered to a nominated email address. Customers can be responded to via SMS or called directly, depending on the nature of the enquiry.

Brandcrush launches new marketing platform

Brandcrush has created a new marketing platform that connects brands with consumers in the real world through a network of Activation Hosts.

Brand activation opportunities on the platform include: Product sampling such as gift with purchase, bathroom placements, goody bag, online box and mini bars; experiential activations in street and foyer locations; on the menu collaborations where brands can feature on a cafe menu item; sponsorships for events and festivals; and counter top displays.  

Tru Optik makes Oracle audience data available to advertisers

Tru Optik, an audience intelligence and data-management platform (DMP) across over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV), has struck an agreement to make Oracle’s audience data available for OTT/CTV campaigns through Tru Optik’s OTT Data Marketplace.

Tru Optik claims to be the first DMP focused on the OTT/CTV market to integrate Oracle Data Cloud audiences.

The OTT Data Marketplace is synced to Tru Optik’s OTT Household Graph of more than 75 million homes, representing over 90 per cent of US viewers of ad-supported OTT content. Tru Optik clients, including demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms and publishers, will have access to Oracle’s data for audience building across their CTV and OTT inventory. 

Demandbase announces collaboration with Marketo

Demandbase, a leader in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), announced a new level of ABM integration with Marketo Engage to provide B2B marketing and sales teams more flexibility to share accounts and audiences between platforms and solutions.

Joint customers will be able to combine their first-party contact data from Marketo with deep intent-level data from Demandbase, linking known and anonymous account data across the two solutions. Marketo users can now leverage Demandbase intent and engagement insights to identify high-value accounts. Mutual customers will also have a comprehensive view of the buyer’s journey from the first signal of intent to marketing engagement to sales activity.

Demandbase will leverage contact and account activity data from Marketo to engage with target accounts through Marketo and other channels. Customers will be able to create actionable and dynamic segments at both the account and contact level. Once audiences are created in Demandbase, users can launch demand generation campaigns in Marketo targeting these accounts. Customers will also be able to launch account-based ad campaigns with Demandbase directly from Marketo, expanding on the first-party contact data within Marketo to reach the broader buying committee of a target account. 

This new functionality will begin rolling out to Marketo and Demandbase customers in Q2, 2019.

Zendesk expands APAC team

Zendesk, a customer experience and engagement software company, is expanding its footprint across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) by appointing Amy Foo as managing director.

In her new role, Amy will drive growth for Zendesk’s largest market in the Asia-Pacific.The announcement follows a year of strong growth, where Zendesk A/NZ boasted of a double-digit growth in total number of customer accounts including high-profile enterprise customers, Showpo and Xinja.

The headcount investment makes Zendesk A/NZ the largest market in the region, and fourth-largest market for the company globally. A/NZ was also a significant contributor to the APAC region’s growth, which saw more than 50 per cent increase in revenue, outpacing the company’s year-on-year revenue growth of 41 per cent.

The Trade Desk allows advertisers to reach audiences in China

The Trade Desk has officially launched its programmatic ad buying platform in China.

Since the beta launch late last year, The Trade Desk has delivered multi-channel campaigns reaching audiences in China for brands in multiple sectors, including hospitality, luxury retail, education, food and beverage, biotech, and more.

The Trade Desk’s programmatic offering allows marketers to reach millions of connected consumers in China by providing the ability to use their first-party data within The Trade Desk’s platform; partnerships with China’s media companies, including Baidu Exchange Services, iQIYI, Tencent Marketing Solution, and Youku; and the ability to target and measure video advertising by viewability.

The adtech player has also formalised integrations with leading measurement, data and brand safety partners which is said will ensure campaigns reach, scale and performance.

“We believe so much in the opportunity in China and are excited to work with our clients and partners to bring it to life,” said The Trade Desk CEO and founder, Jeff Green. “We have made a significant investment in the country over the past few years and are confident in our ability to be the trusted programmatic partner to help multinational brands grow in China and around the world.”

Evolv Technologies raises US$10 million, makes acquisition

Security screening technology company, Evolv Technology Solutions, has acquired Sentient Ascend, an autonomous experience optimisation solution for websites and mobile applications, the result of a spin-off from Sentient Technologies Holdings.

The deal came as Evolv concurrently closed a US$10 million Series A financing round, led by Horizons Ventures. Evolv will use the capital to continue to scale the Ascend business, growing its engineering and data science teams and expanding capacity within its sales and customer success operations to meet increasing customer demand.

Ascend is an evolutionary AI SaaS platform that gives marketers the power to simultaneously test multiple potential improvements to their websites and mobile apps, allowing for experimentation to be carried out at a scale never before achieved. The technology automates the experimentation process, accelerating the path to improved website performance and saving significant resource costs. 

Scout integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Miller Heiman Group has debuted a new integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for its sales analytics platform, Scout.

Scout by Miller Heiman Group uses data and analytics to coach and support sellers to take actions that should improve their win rates. The mobile-first, subscription-based software leverages the Strategic Selling Blue Sheet to guide sellers through the methodology, engage buyers in a compelling way and help win active opportunities.

The integration will give sales organisations that use Microsoft Dynamics 365, a family of intelligent business applications that include one of the market’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, the opportunity to use Scout to improve sales performance with a structured, proven sales methodology and personalised coaching.

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