CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 16 December 2021

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Criteo, Dynata, mParticle, Adobe, Influitive, Optimus Analytics, Integral Ad Science, Channel Factory, LiveRamp and Lotame

Criteo to acquire Iponweb

Criteo has entered into negotiations to purchase Iponweb, an adtech company focused on digital media trading, in a deal worth US$380 million.

The commerce media platform company said acquiring Iponweb helps position Criteo as an industry leader in the post-third-party cookie and identifier world by accelerating its platform strategy, opening up new media owner monetisation opportunities as well as first-party data management and activation across the advertising ecosystem.  

Iponweb provides DSP and SSP solutions for trading digital advertising trading across the open Web. The company has been around for 20 years and works with media owners, agencies and media companies. Criteo’s Commerce Media Platform is designed to provide marketers and media owners direct access to commerce audiences on retail websites plus apps while using media owner first-party data across its network.

Specifically, BidSwitch, Iponweb’s media trading marketplace of 130 demand and 150 supply partners will be combined with Criteo to broaden distribution of commerce audiences on the open Internet. Its BidCore customisable self-service DSP will then expand Criteo’s full-funnel marketing offering particularly around mid- and upper-funnel advertising campaigns including video and CTV, plus boost the retail media business. The MediaGrid, Iponweb’s Supply-Side Platform, would also enable Criteo to significantly expand its direct publisher footprint and enhance its first-party data distribution and activation potential.

The purchase price is a combination of cash and shares, and the acquisition is expected to be accretive to Criteo’s revenue growth, adjusted EBITDA, EPS and cash flows.

Dynata purchases Optimus Analytics

Our second acquisition this week is by first-party data platform provider, Dynata, which is purchasing Optimus Analytics for an undisclosed sum.

Optimus Analytics is an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning data science and technology company that provides a platform for connecting, modelling and transforming insights into activation at scale and in real time. US-based Dynata said the deal will enable it to make its first-party data immediately more actionable, enabling users to connect customer intelligence and consumer insights into custom first-party audiences for media, marketing and CRM activities. It’s also expected to hook these up with second and third-party data sources in a more automated way.

Dynata provides data solutions for insights, activation and measurement of custom audiences and measuring advertising effectiveness. It does this through access to more than 62 million consumers and business professionals globally and a library of individual profile attributes collected through surveys. Customers include 6000 market research, media and advertising agencies, publishers, consulting and investment firms and corporate customers across North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The company also recently acquired Ameritest, a creative testing firm. Together, Dynata claims it will be able to offer clients an end-to-end suite of advertising solutions from audience discovery to connected data, campaign activation and advertising effectiveness measurement and optimisation.

“We believe understanding the real behaviours and true motivations of real people is the foundation of marketing success,” said Optimus Analytics founder and CEO, Scott Tranter. “We help clients understand who their real customer is and then target them for maximum engagement. We’re excited to join Dynata and continue to help brands in their efforts to understand and engage their audiences to drive demand and grow their business.”

Adobe finalises ContentCal deal

Adobe has completed its acquisition of ContentCal, a social media and content marketing solution.  

The creative and marketing technology giant said Adobe customers will soon be able to seamlessly manage social media publishing workflows, in products like its new Creative Cloud Express.

ContentCal’s offering allows users to automate social media publishing and reporting tasks through a drag-and-drop experience. This operates across social channels, blogs and advertising platforms. Based in London, the company’s customer base stretches from individuals and small businesses to larger digital brands.

In a blog post, Adobe noted it shared many customers with ContentCal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 pending closing conditions.

“Right now, it's business as usual for us - we'll continue to provide the service and support our customers have come to expect from us,” said ContentCal founder and CEO, Alex Packham, in a post. “There will be much more to come over the next few months as we work with Adobe to scale our technology globally.”

Customer platform acquires to extend into employee advocacy

Customer engagement and online community software vendor, Influitive, says its acquisition of PostBeyond will allow it to extend its capabilities into the employee advocacy space.  

The Canada-based company confirmed its purchase of PostBeyond this week. The venture-backed SaaS company provides employee advocacy and social selling solutions and was founded in 2013. It claims to have chalked up 35 per cent growth in revenue and nearly 50 per cent growth in customers over the past year.

“Influitive has seen an increasing demand from our customers for employee advocacy and engagement solutions,” said Influitive CEO, Dan McCall. “While our platform handles these use cases today, the ability to acquire a market leader accelerates our product and growth initiatives and will benefit our combined base of customers.”

Combining with PostBeyond should accelerate Influitive’s growth and profitability as the two technologies merge, McCall said.

For its part, Influitive has reported eight consecutive profitable quarters over the past 24-month period. The company’s platform incorporates customer advocacy tools, services and training using automation, gamification and personalisation.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Channel Factory debuts in Australia

Global brand suitability platform, Channel Factory, has officially launched operations in Australia with a new VP and digital director.

Channel Factory pitches itself as a global brand suitability platform and YouTube measurement program partner. Its technology is designed to help users contextually target audiences on user-generated content platforms and have greater control over ad placements.

It’s appointed former TikTok head of product marketing, Kevin Wong, as VP of Asia-Pacific, as well as former Zenith digital director, Rhys Bennett, to shore up its position locally. The pair will work alongside MD, Alex Littlejohn. Wong will also be responsible for leading operations, product strategy, development and driving sales growth.

“Currently, there is a disconnect between the level of investments brands are making in user-generated content platforms, and the level of contextual targeting of audiences. Our goal for Channel Factory is to eliminate this reputational risk while maintaining the ROI of advertising campaigns across YouTube today and all platforms in the future,” Wong said.

MParticle expands into Asia Pacific and Japan

Also expanding its geographic footprint is customer data platform (CDP) vendor, mParticle. The company has stretched its reach into Asia-Pacific and Japan with headquarters based in Sydney and led by VP of the region, Kris Fagan.

According to the company, it’s working to build on early momentum with client wins across a number of categories such as retail, financial services, media, QSR and dining, travel and gaming. The new regional team will focus on serving customers throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.

“The Asia-Pacific market is home to some of the world’s most well recognised and innovative brands at the forefront of their industries,” said Fagan. “We’re eager to help brands in this region deliver the personalised experiences consumers expect across all channels with a proven approach to customer data infrastructure.”

MParticle’s CDP integrates with technologies such as Braze, Amplitude, Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Integral Ad Science and Mediaocean team up

Integral Ad Science is teaming up with Mediaocean to bring a new level of automated campaign management to its digital media quality management offering.  

The two companies said the partnership will allow media buyers and planners to more seamlessly set up, launch and adjust digital campaigns within Mediaocean’s buyer workflow (Prisma) and automatically populate this information within IAS Signal. There’s more than $200 billion in annualised media spend managed through Mediaocean right now.

“Since launching IAS Signal, we’ve accelerated our product innovation and expanded critical partnerships, including our work with Mediaocean, to give advertisers the latest tools to manage digital media quality,” said IAS CEO, Lisa Utzschneider. “Speed is critical in our business, and this integration will be transformational for advertisers looking to launch campaigns faster while aligning to media quality standards.”

Specific use cases highlighted in the announcement include automated campaign creation tools to enter information and launch faster, plus the ability to easily maintain and adjust campaign setting such as media partners or run date in-flight and across both platforms. Initially available to select advertisers, the enhanced integration will launch globally in early 2022.

Interoperability drives new LiveRamp-Lotame hook-up

LiveRamp and Lotame are flagging interoperability across the adtech ecosystem as the trigger for their latest integration.

The two companies this week announced an expanded identity partnership focused on delivering improved interoperability across identity spaces. This will see Lotame customers utilising Lotame Panorama ID able to access RampID, LiveRamp’s people-based, privacy-first identifier.

Ever-tighter privacy regulations, the imminent death of third-party cookies, implementation of Apple’s ATT and loss of IP addresses and other device-based identifiers are all contributing to the need for more connected audience solutions for advertisers and marketers, the companies explained. Lotame and LiveRamp defined interoperability as the ability to work with any platform without lock-in, and to interact with data across platforms, identity spaces and marketplaces.

“LiveRamp’s commitment to neutrality and interoperability between identities, partners and customers is second to none. Add to that the fact that we’ve built our business by making it safe and easy to use data without compromise, this was a natural partnership for us to champion,” LiveRamp VP of sales, platforms and data, Anne Acker, said.

The companies highlighted a number of benefits from using RampID including enabling audience-based activation and measurement across every channel.

“By joining forces with LiveRamp and adding the Panorama ID as an interoperable solution with RampID, we’re effectively giving them greater flexibility – and confidence –to reach individuals, measure outcomes, and drive tangible business results, today and in the future,” added Lotame VP of global partnerships, Pierre Diennet.

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