CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 7 November

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Verint, Wrike, Rokt, Hootsuite and Proofpoint, Blis, Brightcove, Adobe, HubSpot and Canva

Martech outfit Rokt gains $70 million funding injection

Ecommerce martech outfit, Rokt, has raised $70 million from Australian-based global investment firm, TDM Growth Partners along with its existing investors in its latest C funding round.

Rokt, which recently acquired B2B marketplace OfferLogic, uses proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyse customer data and then personalise each customer’s journey along the sales funnel. The latest funding round brings its total value up to approximately $400 million. As a result of the latest cash injection, TDM's Tom Cowan joins the Rokt board.

The company said the funds will go towards expanding its market footprint and accelerate R&D around its ecommerce offering.

Founded in Australia, Rokt surpassed $100 million in revenue this year and has a wealth of clients locally including Live Nation, Staples, Groupon, GoDaddy, Expedia and Wells Fargo. Its backers include Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer's Square Peg Capital.

HubSpot acquires PieSync, teams up with Canva

Inbound marketing platform, HubSpot, has acquired real-time customer intelligence synchronisation platform, PieSync, for an undisclosed sum.

PieSync is described as one of the only iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service) offerings providing a current and historical two-way sync of customer data that operates in the background. It’s designed to free up time so companies can focus their energy on their customers instead of their software.

HubSpot co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, said its platform has grown significantly over the past four years, with more than 300 integrations now available to customers.

“While those integrations are powerful on their own, the addition of PieSync’s two-way sync technology will amplify that power and enable our customers to get the most value out of the tools they use every day,” he said. He added the acquisition helps shift HubSpot from product to platform provider.  

PieSync was launched in 2014 with a startup investment from accelerator program, Imec.istart and investor, Dirk Vermunicht. In 2016, the company raised an additional seed round and in 2018, gained Series A funding, bringing total investment to US$5 million. 

In other HubSpot news, the vendor has also teamed up with online design platform, Canva, to introduce a new ‘Canva Button' in the HubSpot platform. Businesses will now be able to create and distribute design assets within the HubSpot platform using the new ‘Canva Button' a new, in-depth integration with online design platform Canva, that will help customers save time and design beautiful assets with the click of a button, all within the HubSpot platform.

The Canva Button brings the Canva experience right into the HubSpot platform so customers can design ads, banners, and social graphics, and publish to their marketing channels directly from HubSpot. With the new Canva Button, HubSpot customers can create and add imagery to marketing assets in fewer steps.

Beyond uploading existing images in HubSpot, users can now load Canva and begin creating an image with one click. The new tool also enables assets to publish directly from the Canva platform to HubSpot landing pages, emails and more.

Verint unveils integrated financial compliance solutions with Microsoft Teams

Customer engagement company, Verint, has integrated its Verint Financial Compliance portfolio with Microsoft Teams, ensuring compliant across the full complement of Microsoft Teams unified communication and collaboration capabilities.

The vendor said the move enables employees in regulated businesses to comply with regulatory compliance requirements. Verint’s multi-platform recording capabilities make it possible for companies that use Teams to be assured they comply with industry and government regulatory monitoring and archiving requirements.

The Compliance integration with Teams will expand on Verint’s broad portfolio of Microsoft IP Co-Sell designated applications. Verint’s Workforce Engagement, Voice of the Customer and Financial Compliance for Skype for Business solutions are all IP Co-Sell designated. The continued collaboration with Microsoft spans Verint’s partnership activities as a member of the One Commercial Partner Program.

Hootsuite and Proofpoint partner on real-time predictive compliance tool

Social media management platform, Hootsuite, has partnered with security and compliance company, Proofpoint, to launch an AI-powered, real-time compliance verification feature.

The aim is to enable customers in regulated industries to create and publish compliant social media posts with confidence. Posts created within Hootsuite’s new compose platform will be automatically screened so as users compose social media messages, they are alerted in real time, while they type, to common compliance policy violations.

In the event of violations, the ability to post is automatically disabled until the user fixes the errors. This provides real-time guidance with clear instructions similar to how a spell checker works, allowing users to learn and correct common compliance mistakes, rather than trying to publish and having their content rejected.

Hootsuite Enterprise customers who also subscribe to Proofpoint Social Syndicate can now access the predictive compliance feature within the vendor's social suite. Proofpoint Social Syndicate simplifies compliance for digital content sources and publishers across the entire organization.

Blis real-world intelligence expands to Facebook

Blis is expanding its programmatic offering by making its location-based audiences available on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Snapchat, along with over 170 data management platforms (DMPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs) across Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Blis Audience Targeting is available via pre-defined or custom-built segments providing an opportunity to target on a granular level or at scale. Pre-defined audience segments include categories such as food and drink, retail, sport and travel, while custom audiences encompass specific lifestyle indicators and behaviours and can be contextualised to ensure that the brand message reaches the right consumer at the right moment.

The Blis data-as a-service (DaaS) offering enables brands to access global cross-channel location-based audiences on social media using verified Blis data, through a new partnership with LiveRamp. This integration is currently available on campaigns running in Australia, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan and Canada with US implementation in the coming months.

Brightcove flicks the switch on video service Brightcove Beacon 

Video cloud services outfit, Brightcove, has flicked the switch on general availability of Brightcove Beacon, allowing online video content owners to launch over-the-top (OTT) services and monetise content.

The continuously expanding list of viewing devices is a challenge for many content owners, and Brightcove Beacon addresses this by allowing customers to launch content to multiple platforms simultaneously. Additionally, with multiple paths to monetisation, including advertising, subscription, freemiu, and authentication models, Brightcove Beacon helps customers to launch and monetise video content across mobile, Web, connected TV and smart TV from one platform.

"The OTT landscape is evolving and isn’t a one size fits all category anymore; viewers have increased expectations and appetites for watching videos while consuming content on a growing list of devices," said the vendor's chief product officer, Charles Chu. "Brightcove Beacon helps customers reach new viewers across more devices and expand their ability to protect and monetise their video content."

Companies now using the platform include TN Marketing, Christian Broadcasting Network and The Weather Network parent company, Pelmorex.

Adobe debuts new version of Creative Cloud

The next generation of Adobe Creative Cloud has launched with Adobe Photoshop on iPad and extended Adobe Fresco to Microsoft Surface, along with the anticipated Adobe Illustrator on iPad and the all-new Photoshop Camera.

The latest swathe of updates includes Adobe Aero, a new authoring tool for creating in augmented reality, along with major updates to Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, InDesign and Adobe XD. 

With the latest version of Creative Cloud, new features powered by Adobe Sensei’s AI and machine learning technology were introduced across products including Auto Reframe in Premiere Pro, Object Selection in Photoshop, Auto Tone in Photoshop Camera and Live Brushes in Fresco. In addition, Adobe unveiled a redesigned Creative Cloud desktop app, which offers a more intuitive way to access Adobe apps.

Other new features including Creative Cloud Libraries integrated with XD and accessible in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint; a beta of Coediting, allowing multiple users to work in a document at the same time; and Premiere Pro's Auto Reframe featuring using Adobe Sensei technology to analyse footage and apply intelligent panning and cropping to keep the action in the frame.

Read more: The experience factor and the retail challenge

With After Effects, Adobe has released significant performance updates with smooth, fluid playback of cached previews, faster Multichannel EXR files and a faster content-aware fill that uses half as much memory. Lightroom meanwhile, now has interactive in-app tutorials for desktop; while InDesign now has support for SVG imports across digital and print design workflows and the option to use customisable variable fonts within the app.

Wrike joins LaunchPoint 

Collaboration platform Wrike has joined LaunchPoint by Marketo, an Adobe company partner program, as an Accelerate partner.

With this new alliance, campaign performance data can be linked to specific projects and tasks within Wrike. It comes after Wrike introduced several new features and analytics tools including Wrike Analyze, Wrike for Professional Services, Wrike for Professional Services Performance and Wrike for Marketers Performance, which provide end-to-end work management solutions that measure the impact of effort and cater to specific use cases.

Wrike Analyze is an advanced analytics and reporting add-on that improves visibility into and management of portfolios, projects and unique business KPIs. Wrike for Professional Services helps organisations increase on-time project delivery, profit margin and client satisfaction by providing visibility into all stages of a project life cycle, empowering them to optimise resource utilisation and automate repeatable processes. 

Wrike for Professional Services Performance provides out-of-box performance analytics for quick insights into key performance metrics, customisable reporting and dashboards, and easy report sharing with internal and external stakeholders, as well as financial solutions and CRM integration.

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