CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 5 May 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Movable Ink, ActiveCampaign, Madison Logic, StackCommerce, InMobi, Integrate, Xandr, GumGum and Upwave.

Movable link secures US$55m funding pipeline

Digital content personalisation vendor, Movable Ink, has secured US$55 million in Series D funding, bringing total capital raised to date to $97 million.

The latest round was led by Silver Lake Waterman, with participation from existing investors, including Contour Venture Partners and Intel Capital.

Movable Ink was established in 2010 and has gone through rapid change in recent years. The latest funding comes off the back of crossing the $100 million annual recurring revenue threshold in Q1, 2022, as well as hiring more than 100 new employees globally over the same timeframe, bringing total headcount to 550. The company said it plans to grow to more than 700 staff by end of this year as it cements its expansion across Europe.

Movable Ink also recently acquired artificial intelligence (AI) content engine player, Coherent Path, to better activate customer intent data through personalised content in emails and digital touchpoints. New clients on its roster include MGM Resorts, Cirque du Soleil, American Golf and The Los Angeles Times.

“fresh round of capital will allow us to accelerate our product roadmap, answering marketers' calls to drive continued innovation and automation across their programs and help them thrive in this new world,” said Movable Ink CEO and co-founder, Vivek Sharma.

ActiveCampaign buys two companies

ActiveCampaign is the first of our acquirers this week, picking up Postmark, a transactional email services provider, and Dmarc Digests, an email authentication and monitoring service.

The campaign automation platform said the two companies advance its ability to offer transactional messaging with sales and marketing automation alongside CRM. This will help customers grow while providing a unified view of all messages, ActiveCampaign said. The company also noted its data showed more than half of consumers are frustrated by no-reply email addresses they cannot reply to, and 29 per cent have stopped shopping with a brand because of this. The acquisition of Postmark makes inbound replies possible for all companies to offer their customers.

Financial terms of both deals have not been disclosed. ActiveCampaign is following up the acquisition news with an initiative to streamline user experience of both current ActiveCampaign service offerings and Postmark to ensure a single stream of communication across functions through its automation platform.

“Transactional communications have historically been limited to those with coding knowledge and API experience. In integrating the ActiveCampaign and Postmark platforms, we’ll be opening up the power of transactional email to non-technical users by allowing them to send transactional emails with automation, rather than custom coding and APIs,” said Jason VandeBoom, founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign. “This is a true game-changer for the market. Just as important to note, this has been one of our most requested features by our customers, and will help retain, attract and grow usage.”

Madison Logic enhances integration with LinkedIn Ads

Account-based marketing (ABM) platform, Madison Logic, has upped the ante on its LinkedIn Audiences integration as part of new enhancements to its platform.

The vendor said its ML Platform release enables B2B organisations to dynamically personalise messaging and content across channels to accelerate the buying journey. The latest integration allows marketers to share lists of accounts from ML Insights to LinkedIn Campaign Manager to be used for LinkedIn ad targeting and unify their ABM strategy across multiple channels.

Functionality includes optimising account insights, advanced cross-channel program activation on LinkedIn using any LinkedIn ad format alongside ABM Content Syndication and ABM Display Advertising, and enhanced measurement and pipeline insights. Madison Logic noted joint customers also benefit from an existing LinkedIn Reporting and ROI integration as part of the ML Platform.

StackCommerce acquires The Fascination

Commerce and content platform, StackCommerce, has acquired discovery and commerce platform for direct-to-consumer brands, The Fascination, for an undisclosed sum.

StackCommerce said the deal will add scale and distribution to The Fascination’s curated online marketplace for DTC brands while adding such brands to existing shops and affiliate offerings for its publishers.  Launched in 2020 as a platform for new and emerging brands to be discovered and purchased, The Fascination has had more than 1000 brands request to be on its platform such as Keeps, Native, Brooklinen, Leesa, CUTS and The Ridge. The Fascination features about 200 brands on site, which are personally tested and curated by the team. It claims traffic has grown 25 per cent per month recently.

StackCommerce’s move follows last year’s acquisition of BrandCycle, an affiliate marketing and influencer network, and is part of an ambition to build an all-in-one commerce solution for content creators. This latest acquisition adds unique, premium DTC brands to existing shops and affiliate offerings for publishers, a big step toward Stack's mission, the company stated.

The acquisition provides The Fascination and its top-tier brands access and distribution to 200+ leading digital media publishers. Publisher and brand partners at StackCommerce can now opt into new CPC and whitelisting opportunities, bolstering Stack’s performance media division, StackMedia. Built on Shopify tech, the marketplace enables Stack to also integrate better with sellers on the platform.

“The Fascination has built out a well-curated collection of quality-proven DTC brands and premium content that will now be accessible to all of Stack’s publisher partners, bringing us another step closer to being the go-to commerce solution for anyone with an engaged audience,” said Karl House, President of StackCommerce.

InMobi launches customised vertical private marketplaces

Adtech vendor, InMobi, has taken the wrappers off Curated, by InMobi, a series of privacy-compliance customised private marketplaces (PMPs) on its Exchange for mobile advertisers.

The latest offering is design to help mobile advertisers in Australia and New Zealand engage with niche audiences, from gaming, crypto and premium sports to those who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

Each private marketplace (PMP) leverages audience data and contextually relevant supply to deliver brand safe marketplace for advertisers to reach target consumers. Plug-and-play, they’re oriented around reaching audiences who are often harder to get to because of issues such as specialist supply, regulation and seasonality.

Additional verticals are expected to be added to Curated, by InMobi marketplaces in coming months. The PMPs are complemented by custom creative support, pre-built supply packages and a managed service for optimising campaign performance.

“Our specialist supply-side expertise enables us to deliver the type of vertical-sector audiences that can be difficult to reach in the open marketplace, whilst the combination of audience and contextually relevant supply ensures privacy compliance to each sectors’ requirements,” InMobi A/NZ VP and general manager, Richard O’Sullivan, said.

Integrate aims for better cross-channel precision

B2B precision demand marketing vendor, Integrate, has announced additional cross-channel capabilities through its new offering, Precision Social. It’s being supported by fresh cross-channel Insights in the Demand Acceleration Platform.

Precision Social aims to give B2B marketers the ability to activate target account lists in social, sitting alongside Integrate’s other cross-channel activation offerings (Precision Syndication, Precision Digital and Precision Events). Key features include the ability to upload target account lists and prioritise these using buyer intent data for social campaigns, plus integration with LinkedIn lead forms. Marketers can also use Precision Social to activate LinkedIn ad campaigns and route leads generated by LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, and there are also integrations with Facebook Messenger and Lead Ads.

Data from these solutions are funnelled into a new cross-channel Insights experience in Integrate’s Demand Acceleration Platform, giving B2B marketers a centralised platform bringing together data from social, content syndication, digital ads and in-person and virtual events to illuminate channel performance.

The Insights enhancements, meanwhile, includes an interactive insights dashboards, campaign creation and workflow tools, as well as new features for ABM and target account list optimisation.

Xandr claims first with GumGum

Adtech player, Xander, is about to become the first major DSP to offer Verity, GumGum’s accredited contextual targeting and brand safety technology.

GumGum offers a contextual-based global digital advertising platform that places ads based on its analysis of the text, audio and visual content on Web pages. It does this using natural language processing and computer vision to assess signals.

The newly struck partnership with Xandr and combination of Verity with Xandr’s marketplace for premium advertising will give advertisers an accredited cookie-less solution based on contextual programmatic targeting. US-specific initially, GumGum will become available through Xandr’s Invest DSP and Curate for pre-bid targeting. Advertisers will also be able to activate Verity on Monetize SSP on most DSPs. GumGum claims to be processing more than 100 million pages daily and 9 billion requests from Xandr alone.

“Many advertisers are integrating contextual targeting into their campaigns as they look to the future of digital advertising. Our integration of Verity further enhances Xandr’s holistic identity offering by giving our buyers the ability to target their key audience with a sophisticated pre-bid solution that allows for multi-purpose use cases including brand safety, IAB categorization, threat classification, and sentiments expressed,” said Xandr global head of partnerships, Dylan McBride.

Upwave debuts new Brand Effects Analytics Module

Brand analytics platform provider, Upwave, has debuted a new Brand Effects module aimed at helping marketers better measure long-term lasting impact of brand advertising investments.

To do this, Upwave's Brand Effects longitudinal metrics measure long-term brand health impact in the marketplace and connect it to campaign performance. The company has contrasted its approach with other longitudinal metrics of brand health that focus on custom research by accounting for longitudinal brand health metrics in its overall approach.

Key measures incorporated into the offering include maximising brand outcomes, verifying brand reach and optimisation to make changes in real time. Brand Effects allows brands to see how top-of-funnel KPIs like awareness and consideration are impacted over time, from a longitudinal view projecting to the larger population and outside of the targeted campaign range. The new module is now in beta.

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