CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 18 November 2021

All the latest martech and adtech news from Criteo, Genesys, Google, Informatica, Amobee, Litmus, Similarweb, EasySend and Freshworks

Criteo debuts contextual advertising solution

Adtech player, Criteo, has brought its new contextual advertising solution to Australia, connecting first-party commerce data with real-time consumer signals across its digital media network.  

The product debut coincides with the company’s 10th anniversary in Australia and is a direct response to Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies in 2023. According to a recent survey conducted by Criteo of 79 Australian marketers, 41 per cent still rely on cookies for more than half of their digital advertising delivery. Just over eight in 10 (82 per cent) either have tests in place aimed at complementing or replacing channels relying on third-party cookies or are planning to start testing soon.

Criteo’s latest solution is also a step towards a bigger vision of becoming a commerce media platform as the line between social and digital media channels and ecommerce disappears. The vendor claims the data set it’s tapping into encompasses more than $900 billion of ecommerce sales annually.

Criteo’s Contextual Advertising offering connects first-party commerce data with real-time signals to help marketers improve media targeting. These come from Criteo’s first-party media network of 20,000 marketers and thousands of media owners. The solution then offers consumers personalised experiences through product recommendations based on contextual signals on a publisher’s site.

Criteo Australia and New Zealand managing director, Colin Barnard, said the vendor is investing in multiple solutions to help marketers and media owners manage their data responsibly “and reach and engage customers in new media environments without relying on third-party identifiers”.

“Finding the right partner with a large footprint outside walled gardens is vital in providing the technology and service needed to not only operate but grow in this next era of advertising,” he said.

Google Cloud and Genesys team up for CX

Customer experience management vendor, Genesys, has extended its alliance with Google Cloud in order to bring its orchestration solution to Google Cloud users.

Under the latest agreement, Genesys Multicloud CXTM solution will be available on Google Cloud, enabling companies to deploy a private edition of the platform on Google infrastructure. Genesys is also deepening its integration with Google Cloud Contact Centre AI (CCAI), BigQuery and Kubernetes Engine (GKE). This will mean customers can create real-time streaming events and tap historical data from across their businesses via their preferred infrastructure for governance, controls and customisation across multiple private and public cloud environments, Genesys said.

The two companies will collaborate on new AI applications, machine learning and data analytics with the aim of helping companies provide more responsive experiences. Priority areas include customer journeys, automated customer care, predictive customer satisfaction, AI-driven multi factor authentication, and unique conversational channels that leverage Google Search and Maps. In addition, Genesys has embedded its solutions into the Chrome OS Web browser.

The two companies said several customers are already using both platforms for customer service management, including Electrolux and Woolworths. For example, Woolworths has integrated the Genesys platform with Google Cloud Dialogflow to build a smart IVR as well as its virtual assistant, Olive. Combined with a smart search feature developed by Woolworths that uses Genesys open APIs, a customer can say ‘The oranges are missing from my order’ and trigger Olive to cross-check, process a refund and send a text confirmation.

Google Cloud CCAI is available as a native integration for Genesys Multicloud CX and through the AppFoundry for the Genesys Cloud CXTM platform. Genesys Multicloud CX private edition is expected to be available for Google Kubernetes Engine within the next 90 days globally.

Litmus acquires content automation player

Email marketing vendor, Litmus, has acquired Kickdynamic, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven content automation solution and product recommendations tech company.

Litmus said the purchase provides additional capability for its users to build, test and collaborate on high volumes of emails while delivering personalisation at scale. Kickdynamic was founded in London in 2021 and offers its own AI prediction engine as well as content automation technology. This enables users to connect and embed content sources such as product catalogues or feeds, into an email’s code.

Its product recommendations also allows marketers to track onsite activity and subscriber behaviour and leverage data to recommend personalised products in email that can be customised to fit the user’s needs and guidelines. 

“With tools to leverage comprehensive data and dynamic content, marketers can better predict what their buyers will want in specific scenarios,” said Litmus CEO, Erik Nierenberg. “Personalisation has never been more important for all brands, and our acquisition of Kickdynamic will help our customers provide the predictive content necessary to drive revenue.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Similarweb scoops up mobile-insights provider

Our second acquisition this week comes from digital intelligence company, Similarweb, which has purchased San Francisco-based Embee Mobile for an undisclosed sum.

Similarweb now plans to embed Embee Mobile’s data and proprietary measurement approach into its mobile app intelligence offering. Embee provides mobile insights, mobile audience analytics, consumer panels and mobile sampling and counts market research companies among its clients.

Specifically, the company said Embee’s metered panel technology and direct relationship with panellists will bring a fresh array of mobile app behavioural and performance data into Similarweb insights, as well as deeper insights into in-app customer journeys. Together, Similarweb said its desktop and mobile Web intelligence will provide cross-platform, comprehensive insights into consumer behaviour, including browsing, shopping, entertainment and gaming.

“We believe Embee’s metered panel is one of the largest in the world, and it adds a new dimension to our highly differentiated approach to digital measurement,” said Similarweb chief product officer, Benjamin Seror. “The granular insight into mobile app usage that Embee enables is more valuable than ever, across a wide variety of industries and use cases. Beyond this, Embee positions us to introduce additional exciting new market research capabilities in the future.”

Embee CEO and co-founder, Russell Tillitt, noted the two companies have been working together for years.

“We both share a passion for creating innovative digital measurement technologies with a commitment to data privacy and ethical research. We’re thrilled to be joining forces with Similarweb,” he added.

EasySend lands in Australia following US$50.5m investment

Digital customer journey platform, EasySend, has set up in the Australian market and squared its sights on building customers in the JAPAC market after securing US$50.5 million investment.

The Israeli-based company offers a no-code customer journey platform and was founded five years ago. Key focus areas include building and launching digital journeys, customer applications, onboarding questionnaires and claims forms. This is achieved through a no-code builder that is cloud-based and leverages AI, third-party integrations and analytics.

The latest Series B funding round was led by Oak HC/FT with input from existing investors, Vertex IL, Intel Capital and Hanaco Venture. The capital will be used to accelerate growth in the US and other geographic regions including Australia and JAPAC, as well as support expansion into new verticals and product use cases.

EasySend claims to have experienced a year of accelerated growth, expanding US revenues by ten-fold and helping digital transformations across insurance firms, banks and credit unions such as Cincinnati Insurance, NJM Insurance Group, PSCU, Sompo, and Petplan. The company raised US$11 million in a Series A round last year and has chalked up $71.5m to date.

Amobee fosters attention with new partnership

Adtech player, Amobee, has struck a partnership with Playground xyz to build new attention-based insights and measurements into its offering.

Amobee’s advertising technology aims to unify TV, digital and social advertising management and analytics. Through the new alliance with attention-based advertising player, Playground xyz, it’s bringing forth a new metric, Attention Time, allowing advertisers to optimise creatives, formats, placements and publishers in real-time.

Playground xyz’s tech stack measures how long, in seconds, an ad is looked at, using an AI trained and verified by eye-tracking data. Coupled with Amobee’s proprietary analytics suite, the two companies said advertisers can now get a full picture of campaign performance, stitching standard industry metrics like impressions and viewability with level of attention.

“The industry has created proxies for tracking attention in the form of CTRs, engagement and brand lift studies, but these only measure past actions and don’t give marketers the ability to optimise in real-time,” Amobee A/NZ managing director, Josif Zanich, said. “With Playground xyz’s Attention Intelligence Platform, we’re able to tap into attention signals that allow advertisers to glean deeper insights, further optimise their ad campaigns and go beyond viewability.”  

Freshwork pitches at startups

Freshworks has taken the wrappers off Freshstack, a new CRM solution aimed specifically at startups.

The latest customer relationship management suite is designed to help startups personalise marketing to generate pipeline, drive omnichannel service and scale at more affordable price point. It comes two years after Freshworks first launched a dedicated Startup Program, which has assisted more than 2500 startups with resources, mentorship and community.

Freshstack combines three Freshworks products: The omnichannel customer support solution, Freshdesk; Freshsales for sales teams including pipeline forecasting and management; and Freshmarketer, a marketing automation platform for lead generation, email personalisation and orchestration.

Companies could also be eligible for up to US$3000 in credits for Freshstack as part of the Freshworks Startup Program.

Informatica aims for data democratisiation with marketplace

Entetprise data management vendor, Informatica, has launched a new Cloud Data Marketplace for organisations to shop for data and AI models.

The marketplace is based around automated data curation and delivery at scale with what Informatica is calling a user-friendly ‘data shopping’ interface, allowing users to search, consume and publish data sets, plus analytics or AI models, for their business use case. Data assets from any source can be onboarded across multi-cloud and hybrid clouds, and lineage and use of all data, AI and analytic models has been done in a way to be auditable.

The vendor said users are also able to leverage existing curated data sets immediately without the need for additional governance before it is available for use. There are also tools to protect data including dynamic sharing agreements, while additional insight and transparency is provided to understand levels of consumption, where data is being used and for what purposes.

The Cloud Data Marketplace is available via consumption-based pricing on the Intelligent Data Management CloudTM.

“Data scientists and other data consumers are still spending the bulk of their time searching, sorting and cleaning data. It’s clear that the practices of the past won’t scale to the needs of the future,” said Informatica general manager, data governance, quality and privacy, David Corrigan. “Informatica’s Cloud Data Marketplace addresses this business need with a cloud-native solution, enabling organisations to meet their internal data consumers where they are, with a self-service model tailored to their needs and technical skill level to drive data-led decisions and continued innovation.”

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