CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 20 January 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from mParticle, Placer.ai, Unbounce, Highspot, Databricks, Alida, Upwave and Daasity

MParticle acquires Indicative in the name of data entropy

Customer data management player, mParticle, is the first of our acquirers this week, picking up customer journey analytics vendor, Indicative, for an undisclosed sum.

The company said the purchase is focused on solving for customer data trust and reliability in the face of scale and growing organisational complexity. While the companies plan to better integrate their respective platforms, Indicative and mParticle will also remain available in an unbundled capacity. 

“MParticle and Indicative share the vision that empowering marketing, product and data teams with high quality customer data combined with better interfaces is the key to delivering next-generation, adaptive customer experiences,” said mParticle co-founder and CEO, Michael Katz. “MParticle has been focused on helping teams build the foundation for digital success by solving underlying challenges around data quality, governance, transformation and connectivity.

“Indicative offers several visualisation capabilities including unique multipath funnel capabilities, providing teams the ability to compare various conversion paths across different segments, and identify key behaviours that impact conversion.”

Combined capabilities will give teams a variety of workflows to operationalise analytics while protecting privacy and data integrity, Katz said. Examples include defining the most common paths to customer conversion then connecting segments within those in other marketing or social platforms, ingesting campaign and experiment data from various SaaS tools to combine in order to get closed-loop operational analytic, and providing personalised offers based on digital feature engagement.

Unbounce aims for better attribution with LeadsRX purchase

Our second acquisition this week is by conversion intelligence vendor, Unbounce, which acquired the LeadsRX performance marketing solution for an undisclosed sum.

Unbounce said the deal will help it to support its predominantly SMB customer base with better tools for evaluating customer journey touchpoints, attributing their worth across the funnel, then optimising ad spend accordingly.

US-based LeadsRX is designed to help users operating across digital, radio, TV, podcasts and streaming services access data to better understand the value of these touchpoints and optimise customer journeys. It does this by collecting anonymous customer data from 2.5 billion customer touchpoints. Unbounce offers a landing page builder solution for marketers as well as AI tools to develop optimised campaigns.

LeadsRX co-founder and CEO, AJ Brown, will remain CEO while reporting to CEO of Unbounce, Felicia Bochicchio. The companies said the rest of the 21-person team will continue to operate independently. In addition, while Unbounce plans on bringing the value of marketing attribution to its conversion intelligence platform, LeadsRx and Unbounce will remain standalone platforms for now.

Highspot raises US$248m

Sales enablement platform, Highspot, has secured the big bucks this week, raising US$248 million in a Series F funding round.

The latest round brings total funding to $648 million and the company’s total market value to $3.5bn. Highspot is focused on aiding salespeople to deliver appropriate content to prospects by utilising AI capabilities. It does this by delivering insights on what content sales teams and team members are using, linking content back to its original source so engagement metrics are recorded. All data feeds go into custom reports.

The company was founded in 2012 by former Microsoft senior leader, Robert Wahbe, along with several other industry veterans. Recent product innovations include Engagement Genomics, which auto-relates buyer engagement data to the appropriate CRM record, and new Scorecards for aggregating data about a sales rep’s behaviour, the revenue impact of content, and outreach activity’s influence on sales opportunities and revenue.

Placer.ai Raises US$100m

Placer.ai has hit a US$1 billion market valuation after raising a further $US$100 million in Series C this month.

Placer.ai offers a foot traffic analytics platform for physical enterprises such as retailers, commercial real estate and hospitality. The latest round was led by Josh Buckley with participation from WndrCo, Lachy Groom, MMC Technology Ventures, Fifth Wall Ventures and JBV Capital. The funds are earmarked for accelerating growth and R&D/product development.

“Placer experienced significant growth during 2021 as a consensus formed across the market that accurate, reliable consumer behaviour analytics is indispensable to brick-and-mortar decision-making,” said four-year-old company’s CEO and co-founder, Noam Ben-Zvi. “Yet, location analytics is just the foundation for a much broader and more comprehensive vision.

“With this funding, we will accelerate the development of the Placer.ai platform, adding an unprecedented range of new data sets – such as vehicle traffic, planned construction, Web traffic, purchase data, and much more – as well as more advanced solutions to empower any professional with a stake in the physical world to make better decisions, faster than ever before.”

Databricks launches retail and CPG data lakehouse

Databricks has taken the wrappers off its new Databricks Lakehouse for Retail offering, a specific data management platform for retail and consumer goods companies.

The platform offers a centralised data and AI platform tailored to help solve critical data challenges retailers, partners and their suppliers are facing. As well as data collaboration and sharing functionality, tools include real-time streaming data ingestion from point-of-sale, mobile app, inventory and fulfilment sources; demand forecasting and time-series forecasting, a machine learning-powered recommendation engine and customer lifetime value analysis and reporting.

Databricks said early adopters of Lakehouse for Retail include Walgreens, Columbia, H&M Group, Reckitt, Restaurant Brands International and Co-Op Food.

Databricks is also working with Deloitte and Tredence to deliver pre-built analytics solutions on the lakehouse platform for real-time customer use cases. Tailor-made for the retail industry, these include Deloitte’s Trellis solution accelerator for forecasting, replenishment, procurement, pricing and promotion services, and Tredence’s On-Shelf Availability Solution, which combines data processing with Ai/ML expertise.

Alida aims for better digital incentives

Alida (formerly Vision Critical) has partnered up with Rybbon, a Blackhawk Network business and provider of digital rewards.

According to the companies, connecting the Alida TXM platform with Rybbon’s rewards program solution, PointsJoy, will give clients the ability to grow engagement through incorporating incentives as part of their Voice of Customer (VoC) and Voice of Employee (VoE) programs.

Using PointsJoy, Alida said users can preset the number of points to award for a completed survey, while Rybbon’s AutoRewards feature enables organisations to set a predetermined points threshold. When respondents meet or exceed this threshold, a reward email is automatically sent to the respondent, enabling them to redeem their points for a desired digital reward from a curated reward catalogue.

Upwave debuts customer forecast metric

Brand analytics platform provider, Upwave, has launched a new Customer Forecast feature aimed at giving marketers a more comprehensive reporting metric.

The name of the game is to understand which media tactics are driving future customer growth and to identify long-term media efficiencies. Customer Forecast is validated by sales data, rather than relying on short-term metrics such as multi-touch attribution (MTA) or sales lift. It’s designed to help users see the number of new customers acquired or retained that have been exposed to their brand campaigns, as well as length of time between exposure to a campaign and becoming a customer.

“Ultimately, methodologies like MTA undervalue the longer-term revenue impact of TV, and other brand campaigns. Upwave’s Customer Forecast metric is really the holy grail of marketing measurement–proving that your brand spend leads to real customers,” claimed Upwave SVP product, Ken Archer.

Daasity raises US$15m for its Shopify analytics platform

Nearly five years after setting up shop, US-based Daasity has raised US$15 million in funding to further scale its Shopify data analytics tools.

The company, which started in ecommerce consultancy, was born out of the need to analyse Shopify data. Daasity has since become a Shopify Certified App Partner with more than 1600 consumer product brands as clients.

The fresh US$15m cash injection comes after a year where the business grew 300 per cent, said CEO and co-founder, Dan LeBlanc, in a blog post. The round was led by VMG Catalyst and included support from Cove Fund, Exeter Capital, 1855 Capital, Mooring Ventures, Okapi Venture Capital and Serra Ventures.

On the agenda are tools to make it easier for clients to configure components of their data stack through a dashboard, functionality to push data through to marketing channels for further use, and more resources and support. The company also plans to double headcount this year and invest in more ecommerce analysis skills.

“This funding will rapidly accelerate the expansion and development of Daasity products as well as our merchant education efforts in order to bring our vision to fruition: Daasity is making ecommerce data accessible in the same way that Shopify made ecommerce accessible,” LeBlanc said.

Daasity said it’s also adding to its list of partners with 35 more integrations, including with TikTok Ads, BigQuery and Tableau.

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