CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 16 September 2021
- 16 September, 2021 11:53
Intuit to acquire Mailchimp for US$12bn
Rumours of Intuit’s acquisition of Mailchimp have come to fruition, with the SMB-oriented financial tech vendor purchasing the martech player for US$12 billion.
Intuit, which produces products such as QuickBooks, Mint and TurboTax, said the acquisition of Mailchimp will accelerate two core business priorities: Becoming the centre of small business growth; and disrupting the small business and mid-market.
The ambition is to create an end-to-end customer growth platform for small and mid-market businesses, from getting their businesses online to marketing them, managing customer relationships, accessing insights and analytics, getting paid, accessing capital, paying employees, optimising cash flow and being complaint. Intuit said users will be able to combine customer data from both platforms to form a single source of truth.
Mailchimp, which was founded in 2001, has more than 13 million users globally and 800,000 paid customers and powers 2.2 million daily artificial intelligence (AI)-powered predictions.
The transaction includes approximately $300 million of assumed Mailchimp employee transaction bonuses that will be issued in the form of restricted stock units, expensed over three years. The remaining consideration involves a mix of cash and Intuit common stock.
“Expanding our platform to be at the centre of small and mid-market business growth helps them overcome their most important financial challenges. Adding Mailchimp furthers our vision to provide an end-to-end customer growth platform to help our customers grow and run their businesses, putting the power of data in their hands to thrive,” Intuit CEO, Sasan Goodarzi, said.
InMoment purchases Lexalytics
Our second acquisition news item this week is about InMoment, which completed its purchase of structured and unstructured data analytics vendor, Lexalytics, for an undisclosed sum.
Lexalytics provides cloud and on-premise natural language processing technology and machine learning tools for interpreting structured data, text and unstructured data from various sources including chat logs, call centre, voice, reviews, social and support tickets. It’s yet another example of a customer experience technology player picking up text and conversational analytics capabilities to help brands improve customer management.
The deal will see InMoment combine Lexalytics with its XI Platform to help companies mine feedback around activities such as social media monitoring, reputation management, voice of customer and employee management and analytics. The vendor claimed the deal gives it the most industry data sets of any other provider, with native text analytics across 24 languages.
Lexalytics clients include Hootsuite, Transcom Worldwide, Altair, Kaplan and Biogen. Under terms of the deal, Lexalytics employees, including founder, Jeff Catlin, will continue in their roles.
Zeotap extends Series C funding round by US$11m
Customer data platform (CDP) vendor, Zeotap, has announced an $11m extension to its Series C round. The decision comes after the company raised $42m in July 2020, followed by an initial extension of $18.5m in November from SignalFire’s Breakout Fund.
This new extension is aimed at allowing new investors such as Liberty Global Ventures and Richard Pennycook CBE to come onboard, following oversubscription to previous rounds. It brings total funding in Zeotap so far to $90m less than two years after the platform was launched. It also comes after the company reported 126 per cent ARR growth in 2020, a 201 per cent increase year-on-year in subscription revenue.
Zeotap’s claim to fame is a CDP designed to deliver on more challenging compliance requirements across the European market. Its Universal ID solution, ID+, was launched last year as a tool for brands and publishers looking at a cookie-less future. The vendor also recently launched Predictive Audiences to create and activate segments without specialised data science expertise.
Zeotap clients include Virgin Media, DER Touristik and Nestlé, and it’s partnering with more than 60 leading European publishers on ID+.
Salesforce debuts fresh Marketing Cloud innovations
Salesforce has introduced new enhancements to its Marketing Cloud offering aimed at assisting brands personalise digital and human interactions in real time and optimise marketing impact with unified analytics. The latest additions include AI-powered segmentation and content generation, real-time personalisation again using AI to create one-to-one moments at scale, and further tools for optimising first-party data in marketing and advertising activities.
For example, there is now Einstein engagement scoring in Salesforce CDP, which marketers can use to omit users unlikely to engage with emails or mobile and utilise other channels like advertising or social media to engage with them instead. Einstein Designer, first announced over 12 months ago, is also available within the platform for content creation, along with new Interaction Studio templates for use across ATMs, point-of-sale and call centres.
In addition, Salesforce has completed fresh integration between Interaction Studio and Salesforce CRM for real-time visibility into customer behaviour, segmentation and next-best actions, and brought Datorama Connectors into its CDP and Interaction Studio toolkit.
Nielsen and PubMatic team up on audience data
Nielsen’s audience data is now available through PubMatic’s Audience Encore under a new partnership allowing advertisers to buy premium omnichannel inventory layered with Nielsen data for more precise media targeting.
Through this collaboration, brands can access Nielsen’s premium audience data, along with insights into consumer behaviour, preferences and purchasing decisions. Nielsen’s data sets incorporate FMCG data, credit card transaction data, psychographic data, intent and interest data. These data sets can be layered over PubMatic’s auction packages or private marketplaces and used to trade through PubMatic’s Audience Encore platform to target advertising across premium omnichannel inventory.
PubMatic said the Nielsen partnership builds on its strategy to offer advertisers a holistic, privacy forward approach to leveraging premium audience data for effective targeting in a future without third-party cookies.
“With the widespread adoption of premium programmatic deals, the need to package high-quality datasets with premium inventory is bigger than ever. The partnership between Nielsen and PubMatic provides marketers with a high level of consumer intelligence while optimising their advertising investments across all the touchpoints on the consumer journey,” said Nielsen Australia associate director for Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Daisy Smith.
Contxtful debuts new metric for advertising
Canada-based adtech startup, Contxtful, has taken the wrappers off Receptivity, a new metric for the advertising industry it’s hoping will improve understanding of ad impact.
Receptivity analyses every user on a website or app in real-time to determine how receptive they are to see an ad in their context. Using data provided by smartphone sensors in combination with patented algorithms and advanced machine learning, this can be used to determine the exact situations in which consumers view a given ad, such as whether are they lying down, holding their phone or focused on their screen. The company said it’s a response to the big question: Is the human in a context that can predict a higher level of attention?
The objective is to help advertisers target prime audiences and enable publishers to promote their premium readership for programmatic and non-programmatic mobile ad inventory. In recent business cases, Contxtful claimed Receptivity saved advertisers between 15 per cent and 25 per cent on their programmatic media spend by allowing them to target their advertising investments to the most receptive audiences.
“We believe our solution has the potential to redefine how companies interact with their online consumers by adding the human context to the equation,” said Contxtful CEO, Guillaume Bouchard. “Understanding the real-time behaviours of users interacting with their mobile devices is paramount to build better ads, improve user experience, adapt content and encourage healthier advertising practices.”
Neustar to be acquired by TransUnion
Yet another acquisition this week is by TransUnion, which signed an agreement to purchase identity resolution company, Neustar, for US$3.1 billion in cash.
It’s the largest transaction by TransUnion in its history and is expected to expand its digital identity capabilities, currently focused on credit solutions, through fresh data and analytics tools into digital marketing and fraud mitigation. The company said these would help identify behaviour insights, safeguard transactions across a wide range of channels and deliver better consumer experiences.
For example, Neustar’s OneID platform will be integrated with the digital identity capability TransUnion has built and acquired in recent years through the TLO data assets and fusion platform, the iovation device reputation network and the digital marketing capabilities of Tru Optik.
TransUnion is picking up Neustar from a private investment group led by Golden Gate Capital and with minority participation by GIC. It’s expected to add US$575m in revenue and $115m in adjusted EBITDA in 2021.
“The credit information and analytics that TransUnion provides make trust possible between consumers and businesses. As digital commerce continues to grow globally, TransUnion’s powerful digital identity assets, enhanced by Neustar’s distinctive data and digital resolution capabilities, will enable safer and more personalised online experiences for consumers and businesses,” said TransUnion president and CEO, Chris Cartwright.
MessageMedia buys Salesforce native SMS platform
The fourth acquisition in our round-up this week is by MessageMedia, which has acquired Mercury SMS, a Salesforce native SMS platform from Aprika.
The business messaging vendor said the purchase gives Salesforce users access to MessageMedia's SMS expertise and sending and receiving two-way text messages with their clients and deliver SMS campaigns to any size contact group, managing efforts via a single hub. Mercury SMS’s messaging solution integrates with the Salesforce platform so users can receive and respond to messages in real-time via the Salesforce Message Feed, built-in automations, or in the Salesforce Mobile App.
MessageMedia has been the sole messaging solutions provider for Mercury SMS since 2014. Acquiring the platform allows better service and functionality to existing Mercury SMS customers, the vendor said.
“The team’s [Mercury SMS] services complement our platform and extend our commitment to delivering exceptional mobile customer engagement for SMBs worldwide,” MessageMedia CEO, Paul Perrett, said. “Mercury SMS has a solid reputation and strong standing with its customers, and we are excited to deliver a cutting-edge text message solution to MessageMedia’s 65,000 customers and Salesforce users worldwide.”