CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 11 November 2021

All the latest martech and adtech news from Dun & Bradstreet, Treasure Data, Microsoft, Tableau, Medallia, Celtra, DoubleVerify and Demandbase

Dun & Bradstreet buys Eyeota and NetWise

Dun & Bradstreet has struck agreements to acquire both Eyeota and NetWise in an attempt to make it easier for marketers to combine offline and online data for personalised B2B marketing and activation.

Eyeota is an audience intelligence vendor that helps brands, publishers and data companies onboard, enrich and activate data assets across markets and geographies. Now 11 years old, the business operates in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. NetWise is focus on of B2B marketing data provisioning and offers a B2B Audience Data Platform.

The Eyeota transaction is in the process of closing, while the NetWise transaction is expected to close in the next month. Financial terms have not been disclosed at this stage.

Dun & Bradstreet said the acquisitions will extend its position in the B2B online marketing value chain by adding geographic scale and the online data to power omni-channel marketing globally. On the cards is the ability to link professional contact data to consumer data for higher digital match rates, plus an international ecosystem of digital activation platforms and global data.

“This is a fast-paced, growing market and we are seizing the opportunity to expand our role as the global provider of trusted data that fuels a more expansive set of B2B marketing and sales solutions,” said Dun & Bradstreet CEO, Anthony Jabbour.

“Just as our clients rely on the D-U-N-S Number for precision in their offline data, these acquisitions will help to provide them with the same level of confidence and consistency online as well. With the addition of these two complementary companies, we will be doubling down on our Audience Solutions business, which has grown over 40 per cent year-to-date.”

Treasure Data raises US$234 million for its CDP

Boasting that it’s just undertaken the largest single funding round for a Customer Data Platform (CDP), Treasure Data has secured US$234 million in its latest investment raising effort.

The martech vendor’s latest cash injection was led by Japan-based SoftBank, with participation from Carbide Ventures, which was founded by Treasure Data’s founders and long-term executives. The new capital is earmarked for executing on CDP innovations as well as to accelerate global growth.

Founded in 2011, Treasure Data offers a platform for connecting customer data in one platform. It has more than 450 customers worldwide across industry verticals.

“This investment by SoftBank will help us execute on our vision of bringing the CDP enterprise-wide, whether it is in marketing, service, sales or beyond,” said Treasure Data co-founder and CEO, Kazuki Ohta.

Majority stake purchasing into Celtra worth US$190m

The second of our mergers and acquisition stories this week relates to creative automation platform vendor, Celtra, which is selling a majority stake to Symphony Technology Group (STG) for US$190 million.

Symphony Technology Group is a private equity partner to a number of companies in data, software, and analytics. Putting its weight behind Celtra will allow the 16-year-old vendor to grow. Celtra noted it’s been a profitable company since 2017 and is expected to generate over $50m in revenue in 2021, representing 25 per cent growth year-on-year.

STG's investment also comes on the back of Celtra winning more than 40 new enterprise customers in the recent year, and the expansion of Celtra's Creative Automation solutions from media businesses into brands and agencies.

“Over the last 10 years, we've grown Celtra by providing the most advanced creative platform for leading media and adtech companies. Now, the creative industry is on the cusp of a revolution: Just as programmatic transformed media and ad buying, we will now see the same wave take over creative execution and workflows in the next three years,” Celtra founder and CEO, Miha Mikek, predicted. “We are thrilled to partner with STG to bring our vision to life and grow the company to the next stage.”  

The transaction is expected to close in Q4, 2021. Mikek will remain as CEO, alongside co-founder and chief product officer, Matevz Klanjsek, and co-founder and chief financial officer, Maja Mikek. Softbank Capital, an early investor in Celtra, will remain invested in the company.

Medallia unites feedback and behavioural metrics

Medallia Digital Suite has taken the wrappers off its new Medallia Digital Suite, which brings together user feedback metrics with behavioural data to better inform and optimise digital experiences.

Medallia is claiming an industry first with its ability to deliver a complete view of digital behaviour and feedback in a single platform. More than 60 behaviours are on offer, which can, in turn, be tied to business outcomes such as revenue impact. The vendor said real-time visibility into where experiences break down, insights into how much revenue such issues are costing and direct access to customer feedback and suggestions on how to include are all part of the package.

Use cases could include proactively detecting a customer struggling with a website or application, connecting them with customer support, and helping keep them in their preferred channels, or optimising mobile app experiences through specific capabilities such as scroll heatmaps, error tracking and app store review management.

There are also new browser feedback extension capabilities to tap into employee sentiment directly within the business applications employees are using day-to-day, while artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology is housed in the platform to help understand customer buying behaviour.

DoubleVerify to acquire OpenSlate

The third acquisition in our round-up this week is by adtech player, DoubleVerify, which is looking to extend its position in the social video and CTV advertising space by acquiring OpenSlate in a deal worth US$150 million.

OpenSlate offers a pre-campaign contextual targeting platform aimed at helping brands tee up advertising with relevant content across both social video and CTV formats. It does this by providing evaluating and providing insights into ad-supporter content across video-driven social platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. OpenSlate operates in 37 markets and supports global brands such as Coca-Cola, Facebook, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer and Unilever.

DoubleVerify, meanwhile, provides digital media measurement, data and analytics solutions from pre-bid targeting through to post-bid measurement and optimisation. These are designed to protect brand equity sand improve digital investment results.

The proposed deal includes $125m in cash plus stock and is expected to close this quarter. And it’s a clear nod to the changing privacy landscape and demise of tools such as third-party cookies. Both DoubleVerify or OpenSlate stressed neither relies on persistent tracking technologies, such as third-party cookies or mobile device IDs like Apple’s IDFA.

“DV’s mission is to make digital advertising stronger, safer and more secure, giving global brands clarity and confidence in their digital investments,” said DoubleVerify CEO, Mark Zagorski. “OpenSlate’s pre-campaign solutions perfectly complement DV’s post-campaign measurement capabilities across CTV and social environments. Integrating the two provides advertisers with unparalleled end-to-end brand safety, suitability and contextual optimisation."

Microsoft joins the CX platform game

Microsoft has unveiled its Customer Experience Platform, an overarching platform play that brings together CDP, orchestration and activation tools for organisations to better control and manage customer engagement activities.

Key features of the new platform include out-of-the-box AI and insights for better predicting customer intent. Microsoft said pre-built models allow users to predict key customer attributes such as lifetime value, churn, lookalikes and interests. AI-orchestrated journeys are then available for creating tailored experiences and delivering the right content on the right channel and at the right moment.

To do this, the new platform takes advantage of integration between Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Microsoft Advertising. Segments can also be distributed into Microsoft Advertising and other ad platforms. Another feature, Microsoft PromoteIQ, has been developed to monetise decision journeys that bring customers into a retail website.

The Customer Experience Platform is the overarching platform connected to a host of products across Microsoft’s portfolio, including Microsoft Advertising, Dynamics 365 Customer insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing, Microsoft Promote IQ, Microsoft Clarity, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Purview.

Demandbase collaborates with Microsoft

Complementing the Microsoft CX platform unveiling is news that B2B martech vendor, Demandbase, will work with the vendor on pre-built connectors and integrations between its account-based marketing tools, InsideView and DemandMatrix offerings and Microsoft’s CDP.

The new alliance will see data from Demandbase, InsideView and DemandMatrix Integrated into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. While Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights has been available for B2C customers for the past two years, this collaboration brings the same level of rich functionality to the B2B space.

The new functionality means Demandbase customers can flow customer engagement and intent data from Demandbase, firmographic and contact data from InsideView and technographic data from DemandMatrix into customer profiles within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. Data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights can also be pushed into Demandbase One to engage customers across the buyer journey through targeted advertising, social platforms, direct and email promotions.

“B2B revenue teams have typically worked with data silos, which create a cascade of worsening problems over time,” Demandbase CEO, Gabe Rogol, commented. “This work with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights eliminates such data silos by unifying customers’ first-party customer data from CRM and ERP systems, transactional data and more into a single, unified view. It brings together all the best from tech powerhouse Microsoft in the CDP world, and the best from Demandbase and our companies in the B2B world.”

Tableau’s product, analytics innovations

Major product integrations with Slack along with new categories of analytics and data management advancements are among announcements made by data visualisation and reporting vendor, Tableau, this week.

Tableau has announced Slack-First Analytics, bringing Slack insights directly into the Tableau offering. The new Ask Data in Slack capability, for example, allows anyone to talk to their data using natural language and automatically get rich data visualisations as answers. Explain Data in Slack helps customers interpret data with AI-driven explanations behind the trends in a data set. Another AI addition, Einstein Discovery in Slack, provides predictions within the workflow.

Tableau has also expanded its Business Science capabilities for decision-making through AI technologies. The new Model Builder functionality enables business teams to collaboratively build and consume predictive models, using the Einstein Discovery engine, without having to leave their Tableau workflows. Scenario Planning is another addition for comparing alternative scenarios, building robust models and understanding expected outcomes.

A further innovation, Trusted Data at Scale, aims to help customers better manage the data within their analytics environment, ensuring trusted and up-to-date data can be surfaced to drive decisions. Virtual Connections enables site administrators to create access points to data sources centrally and ensure it can be shared with anyone across the organisation.

Also on the product enhancements list are Centralized Row-Level Security features to improve flexibility and segmentation, plus Prep Extensions for users to leverage community-developed tools to simplify and augment data preparation flows. Share Prep Flows in Tableau Public then allows people to share their flows in the community. In addition, the vendor has integrated Enterprise Data Catalogs (EDC) into its platform to help Tableau customers bring in external metadata from the likes Collibra, Alation or Informatica.

Alongside product improvements, Tableau is working to extend its ecosystem. Tableau Exchange for instance, is a new-look approach to the vendor’s Extensions gallery and a hub of integrated products, solutions and service offerings. Accelerators can be found in the Tableau Exchange and help speed time to value with, pre-built dashboards that broadly spans industries, lines of business and specific Salesforce Clouds.

Upcoming innovations also flagged this week include Tableau Actions with Salesforce Flow, enabling customers to take action directly anywhere in Salesforce. The vendor said embedded offerings will make it easier for customers and partners to embed Tableau dashboards, Ask Data and Metrics into their applications and make any app an analytical app.Tableau was acquired by Salesforce in June 2019.

Connected Applications gives site administrators the ability to set up a trusted relationship with external services using standard protocols. This will help customers streamline user authentication while prioritising security and ease of use.

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