CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 2 December 2021

All the latest martech and tech news from Optimizely, Pega, The Spec Sheet, Quantcast, Odee, Unruly, PROS and Salesmanago


Optimizely acquires Welcome martech

Digital experience platform vendor, Optimizely, has acquired marketing orchestration vendor, Welcome, for an undisclosed sum.

Welcome provides a range of marketing orchestration tools including content marketing, marketing resource management and digital asset management. Optimizely said integrating these capabilities directly into its platform will provide a more comprehensive and unified suite of solutions for marketing teams.

Optimizely provides testing and experimentation tools as well as commerce and content management. The vendor now has its sights on provide end-to-end marketing lifecycle management across campaigns, allowing users to better control delivery of content to the right audiences without the support of IT or development by leveraging customer data insights and existing digital assets, and bring AI-based testing and content recommendation capabilities to all marketing processes.

The deal follows Optimizely’s acquisition of customer data platform (CDP) provider, Zaius, earlier this year. It’s expected to close by end of Q4, 2021.

"We believe a world-class customer experience starts with an outstanding marketer experience,” said Optimizely CEO, Alex Atzberger. “By combining Welcome’s campaign planning, content production and asset management capabilities with Optimizely’s existing breadth of digital experience solutions, we empower marketers to rapidly launch campaigns and control the optimisation of every digital touchpoint which results in growth for the business.”

New Aussie marketing system for accountants and advisors debuts

A new Australian platform from Icon Visual Marketing is offering a connector for accountants and business advisors to add marketing consulting to their offering.

Odee is based around the premise of making more marketing services available to the smaller end of the company spectrum while also giving smaller advisory firms access to capabilities the enterprise players have built. To do this, the founders said they’re employing algorithms, coupled with an extensive questionnaire, to produce a tailored marketing plan. After completing the questionnaire, users receive their plan and a comprehensive roadmap. The plan and roadmap links to a portal allowing uses to access a range of marketing services. 

A digital dashboard is also included for tracking marketing activities. Odee is managed through a client-accessed online hub and supported by an Australian-based marketing team.  

“Many accountants are expanding their service offering to their customers to cover a whole suite of business advisory services. Odee provides them with a full marketing system they can brand as their own and on sell to their existing customer base,” said Icon/Odee managing director, Joe Papadatos. “Marketing consultancy services are offered by the largest accounting advisory firms in Australia. Odee allows small to medium-sized accounting and advisory businesses to offer this same service.”

While work on Odee started prior to Covid-19 in 2019, Icon/Odee’s founders said they hoped it would play a role in helping small businesses grow as they recover from the debilitating effects of the pandemic. 

“Icon has worked with businesses of all sizes over the years and the one thing that always separated those that were successful was that they had a plan. Having a marketing plan is an essential part of growing a business,” Papadatos added. 

Aussie startup draws up specs on adtech

Another Australian startup, The Spec Sheet, has launched a tech platform this week, this time aimed at revolutionising ad specifications.

The Spec Sheet has debuted a centralised online hub for managing and sharing ad specs between media owners, media agencies and creative agencies in real-time. Claiming a global first, the tech platform is designed to remove some of the manual labour, doubling up and potential complexities involved in campaign delivery requirements, from sourcing to organising and managing ad specs across all channels. It’s claiming the tools can save up to 70 per cent of a media planner’s time and eliminate double handling for media agencies.

The SaaS platform is the brainchild of co-founder and ad creative, Jesse McLallen, and producer, Sharon Gray.

“The sharing of ad specs between agencies and media owners is often messy and time consuming and can create tensions in relationships. The Spec Sheet brings order and consistency to ad specs via its centralised database,” Gray said. “It allows users to access up-to-date ad specs all in one place and to simplify and automate building spec sheets for campaigns. No more incorrect spreadsheets, no more out-of-date spec PDFs. No more spec mistakes.”

The Spec Sheet has signed on a raft of media owners including Nine for Brands, SBS, QMS, realestate.com.au, Foxtel, Nova, Playground and Shopper Media Group.

Quantcast brings cookieless solution to Australia

Global adtech player, Quantcast, has brought its cookieless solution to Australian shores.

Housed within the Quantcast Platform, the solution is designed to provide cookieless advertising activation with a click and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to sort through a range of behavioural signals in order to find, activate and measure audiences. These include first-party data, contextual, consent, time, language, identifiers, cohorts, device and geolocation. It’s a direct response to Google’s decision to phase out cookies across its Web platform in 2023.

The platform also includes reporting tools for campaigns, based on clicks, impressions, spend, uniques and conversions. Quantcast claims to be scoring thousands of predictive models a million time per second, querying databases of a trillion signals in order to provide granular, real-time audience insights.

Pega pitches next-best-actions

Pega has taken the wrappers off next-best-action customer journeys within its Customer Decision Hub.

The AI-powered capability uses decision and propensity modelling to tap into behavioural signals to inform dynamic rather than pre-set customer interaction management. Through the new capabilities, the vendor said marketers can gain visibility of contexts and needs at a given moment and adjust outreach approaches in real time, as well as deliver personalised messages on their preferred channels. So instead of business rules and pre-defined experiences dictating the customer journey, organisations can integrate a customer’s current journey and stage into next-best-action models.

To do this, users define the customer journey across business objectives, channels and lines of business, then add appropriate stages and actions. The platform then works to understand which actions work best at each stage and optimises against these changing customer interactions. There’s also journey visualisation tools to build a graphical representations of end-to-end customer experiences that can also be updated in real time.  

Customer Decision Hub is part of the Pega Infinity digital software suite.

Unruly pinpoints content-level targeting

Adtech vendor for the video and connected TV programmatic advertising ecosystem, Unruly, has also debuted a fresh targeting solution this week.

The company is now offering content-level targeting for segmenting media inventory based on publisher bidstream attributes that mirror linear TV buys, such as genre and rating. Unruly said the new capabilities bring more standardisation to programmatic over-the-top and CTV buying as well as more contextual targeting into the digital TV environment.

There are 26 segments on offer upon launch. Publishers can also leverage Unruly’s Private Marketplace (PMP) platform, CTRL, to package inventory for buyer demand for privacy-conscious, publisher first-party targeting solutions across CTV and video, the vendor said. Buyers can activate through Unruly’s direct DSP integrations and via Tremor Video, the demand-side of Tremor International’s end-to-end platform.

Unruly said it’s planning to further expand support for content attributes in coming months to include language and IAB content category, as well as introduce self-service forecasting, reporting and insights tools in support of new attributes.

Private equity firms pick up CDP player

Polish-based CDP vendor, Salesmanago, has been acquired by SilverTree Equiry and Perwyn in what has been described as a “nine-digit Euro” deal.

The investment is earmarked for fuelling international expansion of Salesmanago’s marketing automation and no-code CDP offering, which has a sweet spot focus on mid-market ecommerce companies. Salesmanago has more than 300 bluechip customers including BMW, Burger King, Starbucks, Toyota and Crocs. It also boasts of 2500 customers globally.

Under the deal, Trustpilot chairman, Tim Weller, joins the group as chairman, while founder of Inpost, Rafal Brzoska, along with martech guru, Jean-Phillippe Baert, join the board. Both SilverTree and Perwyn have committed to significant growth equity financing.  

According to Salesmanago, its business is growing at 50 per cent per annum on average. The company was recently recognised by the Financial Times and Deloitte as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies and operates across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

“We founded Salesmanago in 2012 with the ambition to deliver a world-class customer data platform. Since then, the company has grown rapidly into a CDP and marketing automation market leader,” said founder and CEO, Greg Blazewicz. “Our partnership with SilverTree and Perwyn brings us additional strength to fuel our rapid growth and accelerate our current momentum internationally. The combination of these two investors, with their strong software and international growth expertise, provides more access to global resources and enables us to invest even more to deliver innovation and value for our clients.”

PROS acquires digital offer marketing company

Our third acquisition this week is by SaaS platform player, PROS, which has purchased EveryMundo for US$80 million in cash plus stock options.  

EveryMundo is a 15-year-old, US-based company that provides digital offer marketing tools to brands in order to help them build direct customer relationships and encourage them onto their owned digital channels. Its client list include American Airlines, Tennis Australia, Greyhound and Japan Airlines Vacations.

PROS provides tools for optimisation shopper and ecommerce experiences using business AI, user experience design and process automation. PROS will pay US$80 million in cash at closing, subject to certain customary adjustments, as well as approximately $10 million in stock in the future, subject to certain conditions.

“With EveryMundo, our collective portfolio gives brands much greater control over direct and indirect channels they participate in to consistently deliver superior brand experiences that exceed customers’ expectations every time, regardless of channel,” PROS president and CEO, Andres Reiner, said.

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