CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 24 June 2021

All the latest martech and adtech news from Salesforce, AWS, Progress, DoubleVerify, Rocketlane, Contentsquare, Vungle, Introhive and Uberall

Salesforce and AWS strengthen platform ties

Salesforce and Amazon Web Service (AWS) are expanding their five-year-old strategic partnership with the ambition of making it easier for customers to use both capabilities when deploying digital business applications.

The stronger ties between products means developers will be able to build and launch custom applications that connect Salesforce data and workflows natively into solutions running on AWS and in real time. For example, customers can activate virtual call centres and allow sales teams access to Amazon Connect and AWS AI/ML services, pre-integrated into both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. 

Salesforce is also embedding AWS services for voice, video, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning directly into new applications for sales, service and industry vertical use cases. New digital experience being deployed can then directly leverage AWS technologies such as its real-time communications offering, Amazon Chime SDK, plus document data extraction tool, Amazon Textract.

Previously, significant custom integration code was often required. The companies said they’ve collaborated on new low-code tools plus click-to-launch tools and a guided set-up experience to make it easier to build applications that connect data in real-time between Salesforce applications and AWS services. Under the arrangement, Salesforce customers will be able to purchase solutions directly then consume any integrated AWS services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

“This is a milestone partnership for the technology industry, and one that will enable our customers to experience an even more powerful Salesforce Customer 360 and achieve a new level of success in their business," claimed Salesforce chair and CEO, Marc Benioff. “With a more strongly unified Salesforce and AWS platform, our customers around the world can create a single source of truth across sales, service, marketing and commerce, and achieve success from anywhere.”   

New customer onboarding player raises US$3m

Rocketlane, a company looking to transform the practice of customer onboarding for B2B marketers, has officially launched and secured US$3 million in seed funding.

Rocketlane is the brainchild of several former Freshworks employees, who said they spotted an opportunity for a new systemised approach to help B2B companies onboard customers. The result of their work is a shared workspace for unifying project task management, customer communication and document collaboration. The platform also includes built-in CSAT reporting, and there are plans to turn on further insights and benchmarks to assist onboarding and implementation teams improve processes.

The launch comes after a pilot phase with companies including Aryaka Networks, Chargebee, Joveo and Netcore. The fresh seed funding for Rocketlane meanwhile, comes from Nexus Venture Partners and Matrix Partners.

“Onboarding is quickly becoming the new bottleneck for fast-growing enterprise SaaS ventures,” commented CEO, Srikrishnan Ganesan. “There’s a software platform for almost every other stage of the customer journey - sales, customer success and support. But in customer onboarding, most make do with spreadsheets and general-purpose collaboration/project tools and achieve impaired results. Rocketlane aims to fix that.”

Progress amps up digital marketing capabilities

New digital marketing capabilities are among the headline improvements across Progress software’s latest Sitefinity Insight platform updates.

The digital management vendor has taken the wrappers off its latest SaaS analytics, personalisation and optimisation system, Sitefinity Insight, as well its Sitefinity Cloud platform for managing digital experiences. Among fresh features are an AI-powered conversion attribution modelling tool for automatically discovering which interactions are impacting conversations the most, as well as detailed video performance tracking.

There’s also advanced lead scoring rules to better manage leads that have already converted or are at the beginning of the journey. In addition, new audience intelligence aims to help identify topics and touchpoints most effective in engagement audiences, split into first or last-touch and featured across paid, earned and owned channels.

Progress said improvements to the Sitefinity Cloud, meanwhile, include simplified domain management, enabling administrators to list, add, remove and configure domains across available environments.

DoubleVerify goes contextual on The Trade Desk

Adtech player, DoubleVerify, has confirmed its Custom Contextual Targeting is now available on The Trade Desk’s demand-side platform (DSP) in Australia.

The collaboration will allow programmatic advertisers using the platform to target relevant audiences using customised segments directly through The Trade Desk platform without relying on cookies. The Custom Contextual offering was initially launched in September 2020 and is part of DoubleVerify’s Performance Solutions suite. DoubleVerify’s solutions have been designed to mitigate fraud, deliver brand safety and certified viewability.

Contentsquare enters cookieless solutions fray

Digital experience analytics vendor, Contentsquare, is looking to join the group of vendors offering cookieless solutions for marketers and has debuted a new analytics solution to do just that.

The Contentsquare cookieless analytics solutions comes off the back of a recent US$500 million Series E investment round, led by Softbank. Rather than rely on third-party cookies, the company said it’s aggregating and analysing consumer interactions such as mouse movements, touch and mobile interactions to ascertain purchasing intent.

The latest solution will give businesses the option to turn off both first and third-party cookies while still accessing real-time customer insights.

Vungle acquires influencer marketing platform

US-based mobile performance marketing vendor, Vungle, has made its fourth acquisition in less than a year and purchased JetFuel for an undisclosed sum.

JetFuel is an influencer marketing management offering developers and advertisers tools for automating and scaling marketing campaigns across a 15,000-strong influencer network. Combined, the company said these influencers have 4 billion Instagram followers, 1.5 billion TikTok followers and 100 million daily Snapchat views. Advertisers are charged on a cost-per-action basis for interaction.

Vungle said the deal further expands its mobile performance marketing platform and helps tap into the Gen Z cohort. Other recent acquisitions include mobile ad creative firm, TreSensa Technologies, mobile games analysis firm, GameRefinery, and marketing intelligence player, AlgoLift.

“JetFuel brings strong technical expertise and commercial success in social media and influencer marketing, creating a unique and valuable extension to our performance marketing platform that will empower not only our current customers but the next generation of digital entrepreneurs,” said Vungle CEO, Jeremy Bondy, said.

Introhive secures US$100m

Sales and revenue platform, Introhive, has secured US$100 million in its latest Series C funding round led by growth equity firm, PSG.

The vendor’s technology offering includes real-time intelligence and artificial intelligence-based data cleaning tools aimed at improving the ability for sales, marketing and customer support teams to interact with clients. The platform works with any CRM and can be integrated with marketing automation and business intelligence technologies. The company was founded in 2021.

In 2020, Introhive said its platform processed one trillion transactions, captured more than 60 million contacts and relationships, saved nine million employee hours and supported users across 90 countries. The latest funding will be used to pursue strategic acquisitions, expand the global footprint and grow engineering, sales and marketing teams.

“We often say 'first you buy a CRM, then you buy us',” said Introhive CEO and co-founder, Jody Glidden. “Our internal compass focuses on the 3Rs – revenue, retention, and relationships – as the key ingredients to a successful and thriving business.”

Location intelligence player scores US$115m, makes acquisition

Also gaining funds this week is eight-year-old location intelligence player, Uberall, which raised US$115 million in capital as part of its growth strategy.

The joint LA and Berlin-based company’s latest investment round was led by Bregal Milestone, Level Equity, United Internet and Uberall management. The funds will be used to accelerate growth, with an emphasis on the US and Canada. Uberall operates across six countries.

The company also confirmed it’s acquiring long-term partner, MomentFeed, a proximity search optimisation player based in the US. The company said their combined might would improve and extend the reach of the ‘Near Me’ customer experience platform across 1.35 million business locations globally. Products include listings and reputation management products, Google local ad features and customer sentiment analysis.  

Customers of the two companies include BP, KFC and Pizza Hut globally. Financial terms were not disclosed. As part of the deal, MomentFeed CEO, Nick Hedges, joins Uberall’s leadership team as chief strategy officer and executive VP of North America.  

“As consumers re-emerge from a year or more of lockdowns, businesses are rebounding, and they must be able to match growing consumer demands to receive the in-store experiences and services they expect,” said Uberall co-founder and CEO, Florian Hübner. “The combination of Uberall and MomentFeed helps us become the clear category leader with more innovative products, a world-class team, and the financial resources to fully deliver on the opportunity.”

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