CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 18 July 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week

Telstra-backed Near raises US$100 million to Fuel Expansion

Near, the adtech platform using artificial intelligence (AI) to make real-world data actionable, has raised US$100M in a Series D funding round.

The Telstra Ventures and Sequoia Capital backed company secured its recent capital injection from private equity firm, Greater Pacific Capital (GPC). In Australia, Near counts News Corp, MCN and Telstra as key customers among others.

Near claims to hold the largest data-set of people’s behaviour in the real-world, with over 1.6 billion users worldwide. Its technology aims to allow brands, enterprises and publishers to use unique real-world signals, such as location and transaction for data enrichment and marketing, in a privacy-led environment.

With the new funds, Near will be investing heavily in data and engineering to launch a suite of new products, that’ll help strengthen its position in existing markets such as Australia and the US, and open up key strategic markets.

Adobe furthers Microsoft partnership with Avanade

Adobe is partnering with Avanade, Microsoft and Accenture’s joint venture, to help mutual customers develop, implement and derive value from Adobe and Microsoft’s digital business solutions.

Avanade will build an Adobe practice, connecting Adobe Experience Cloud with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure to provide clients with a solution specific to its unique needs and objectives. The Accenture Microsoft Business Group is designed to help accelerate these opportunities. The latest step towards integration comes as Adobe and Microsoft continue to strengthen ties between the two companies around their respective marketing and workforce productivity solutions.

Avanade will deliver Adobe and Microsoft’s end-to-end marketing, sales and service solutions to customers, including integration of Adobe Experience Manager and Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure and Azure Machine Learning; the integration of Adobe Campaign for experience delivery and Microsoft Dynamics 365 to create a single view of the customer. Avanade will focus on a number of customer verticals, including banking, healthcare, retail, loyalty and membership, insurance and automotive. 

IRI launches new tools

IRI has launched new solutions, Opportunity Finder and AIRIA, to automate the process of identifying insights, removing the need for complex data mining.

The new tools aim to enable augmented decision-making by analysing vast amounts of data and making suggestions on the best course of action. These tools make insights more quickly and simply available to enable decision-making.

IRI said it's invested more than US$1 billion in technology over the last few years. The two new tools aim to make it possible to ‘push’ insights, alerts and recommendations to any individual in a business via text, email or in-app notification.

Opportunity Finder alerts the user to the problem and suggests the solution at the same time. AIRIA (Artificial Intelligence Reporting and Insights Assistant) responds to natural language questions, whether spoken or typed, and leverages IRI’s Unify Business Intelligence Reporting Platform

AIRIA can deliver back the results of complex queries within seconds, while Opportunity Finder reduces the cycle time of analyses churning through terabytes of data from a few days down to a matter of hours.

IgnitionOne launches Website Personalization

Global marketing technology and services business, IgnitionOne, has made enhancements to its website personalisation offering.

Powered by IgnitionOne Customer Intelligence, Website Personalization aims to help to interact with customers at the most important stage of their journey, when they are actively engaging with the brand. It combines the benefits of the IgnitionOne Score; advanced identity resolution; and industry-leading customer data models that predict each customer’s likelihood to convert or undertake a specific action.

The new interactions being offered include banners, a notification, and full-page interaction, which can deliver messages designed to incentivise targeted behaviour.

Clarus Commerce acquired by private equity

Clarus Commerce has been acquired by Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm. The investment was made alongside Norwest Venture Partners, who was a prior investor in Clarus and will hold a minority stake in the company. 

“The investments from Marlin and Norwest are a testament to our leadership and innovation in the rapidly growing premium loyalty market,” said Clarus CEO, Tom Caporaso. “Retailers have recognised building customer loyalty is no longer just about points and discounts, but also strengthening relationships with consumers long-term by offering programs that build a deeper, more meaningful connection to the brand. We are excited to work with both firms to enhance our capabilities for retailers and drive our next stage of growth.”

Premium loyalty programs are gaining momentum among retailers because they provide customers with instant, 24/7 access to top-tier benefits. Instead of earning discounts or coupons after they’ve completed a transaction, a retailer’s most dedicated customers can pay an annual or monthly membership fee to get what they want, when they want it.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Emarsys introduces a complimentary benchmark tool

Emarsys, a marketing platform, has debuted a sector-specific benchmark tool for marketing,  

Free to use, claims to be a new kind of benchmarking tool meant for strategic ecommerce marketers. This tool aims to give access to the strategic KPIs that make an immediate impact on a business, not only open rates or click-through rates, but around stratagems such as lifetime value, average order value and purchase frequency. 

Built on two decades of GDPR compliant ecommerce and retail data from real customers who have achieved their goals with Emarsys, aims to help understand what KPIs align to business goals and how to make an impact on the business by identifying opportunities for improvement at a strategic level. is only available for the ecommerce vertical, with plans to release versions for other industries.  

True Influence launches new version of InsightBase

True Influence, a provider of intent-based marketing and demand generation solutions, announced InsightBase Version 3.0, a subscription model with proprietary intent signal monitoring.

Version 3.0 of InsightBase aims to allow users to connect with the exact prospects who are actively in-market for products or services. The addition of True Influence's proprietary intent data also allows the company to provide contact-level intent data delivered across many B2B markets versus only a part of the market if a publisher model is used.

InsightBase's exclusive multi-variant True Influence Relevance Engine gathers and analyses millions of signals each day from the web, then identifies purchase intent for all types of B2B decision-makers who impact a final purchase decision.

InsightBase 3.0 has upgraded its Relevance Engine to include machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). This new version of InsightBase uses visual account reporting to summarise audiences, contacts, volume and intent pace, providing an added level of intelligence, not just data. This intelligence allows organizations to size, prospect and connect to its total active market, reducing lengthy sales cycles and increasing revenue by discovering and connecting to the best-fit prospects at exactly the right time.

InsightBase's advanced analytics and reporting tools provide clear visibility into: Proprietary intent with a 90-day history; Contact-level intent to include firmographics and demographics; Campaign and account summaries; Company summary; Historical intent trendline; and Total active market.

OneTrust raises US$200 million to tackle new privacy rights

OneTrust has closed a US$200 million Series A investment led by Insight Partners. The enterprise software company founded in 2016 is now valued $1.3 billion.

The company said the funding will go towards tackling sweeping new privacy rights such as the California Consumer Privacy Rights including 'do not sell' obligations, as well as GDPR requirements.

OneTrust has three primary software offerings: OneTrust Privacy Management Software, which aims to help organisations map and assess their data collection processes, respond to incidents, and automatically generate compliance reporting for any privacy law; OneTrust PreferenceChoice, consent and preference management software to help marketers provide transparency and choice in their customer engagement efforts; and OneTrust Vendorpedia, vendor and third-party risk management software and vendor risk exchange to help security, risk, and procurement professionals.

Flybits secures US$35 million investment

Flybits, a contextual data intelligence company, has raised US$35 million in a Series C round.

The latest funding round was led by Point72 Ventures with participation from Mastercard, Citi Ventures, and Reinventure (backed by Australia's Westpac Banking Corporation), along with existing partners Portag3 Ventures, TD Bank Group, and Information Venture Partners.

Flybits aims to transform disparate data into a cohesive ecosystem with real-time insights. The technology assembles a bank's proprietary customer data, such as bank account activities and time as a customer, with machine learning and external contextual data - such as propensity to consume and risk profiles - to deliver relevant and timely recommendations to customers. All while upholding the strictest standards of privacy protection.

The Series C brings Flybits' total funding to date to US$50 million. The new investment will be used to expand the teams. The funding will also be used to commercialise Flybits' portfolio of AI and machine learning patents and further enhance user experience and design. In addition, the company is developing a marketplace that facilitates partnerships between large banks, fintechs and other data providers in the creation of new services.

Free email marketing tools available in HubSpot CRM

HubSpot is now offering free email creation, sending and analytics as part of the free HubSpot CRM.

The martech vendor said the ambition is to give users the tools they need to see the full view of the customer journey. 

“We believe email and CRM belong together, and that every marketer, no matter the size of their budget, should be able to see how their efforts are impacting their customers and, ultimately, their bottom line," CMO of HubSpot, Kipp Bodnar, said. "We’re offering email as part of our free CRM to enable growing businesses to finally see how their efforts impact their customers’ experience beyond just a single email or interaction.”

HubSpot CRM users are now able to create contact lists and send up to 2000 emails per month. The company  has also expanded the capabilities of the free tier of its ads tools, which previously only supported Facebook lead ads. Users of HubSpot’s free marketing tools can manage and track up to $1000 per month of ad spend across Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn ads.

The tool also includes conversion-level reporting and up to two account connections. Both features feed insights back into the CRM, giving users a full view of how prospects and customers are interacting with their business.

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