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16 Vendors Under The Glass, As Gartner Releases First Digital Marketing Hub Quadrant

KihnGartner Research’s first-ever Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, released Wednesday, assumes that ad tech, marketing tech and CRM will naturally converge. As such, it pits enterprise platforms like against ad tech regulars like Rocket Fuel [x+1] and Turn.

No doubt many in the industry will debate whether or not this is fair, or whether Gartner might be jumping the gun using the same criteria to evaluate these very different vendors.

Given Gartner’s parameters, the vendors most commonly associated with marketing clouds – Adobe, and Oracle – led the pack as “Leaders," gauged in terms of “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute.”

The “Visionaries”  include ad tech regulars including Rocket Fuel/[x+1], IgnitionOne, Turn, Sitecore and Neustar.

The “Challengers” – vendors that need to match lip service with execution – include IBM and Marketo.

Finally the “Niche Players” – vendors expanding beyond their core backgrounds – include Alliance Data’s Conversant, MediaMath, DataXu, Teradata, HP and Infor.

Martin Kihn, research director at Gartner who co-authored the report alongside fellow analysts Andrew Frank and Jake Sorofman, is aware of the risk comparing apples and oranges.

“Gartner’s putting a stake in the ground and we feel the world of CRM and advertising are no longer separate from a marketer’s point of view,” he explained.


Merkle’s CMTO On The Digital Marketing Database Of Tomorrow

MattMerkMatt Mobley has spent more than 14 years tinkering with databases.

He served as Acxiom’s VP of European consulting, followed by a stint as SVP of solutions consulting at Epsilon, and is now chief marketing technology officer (CMTO) for CRM and database marketing agency Merkle. Under CEO David Williams, Merkle has moved in on search, mobile and data exchange technologies through its acquisitions of RKG and IMPAQT, 5th Finger and Brilig in recent years.

Mobley’s responsibility is bringing together techies and digital marketing teams in client organizations. One of the things that can stymie a media and marketing deployment, according to Mobley, is the clash between the CIO and the CMO. Mobley said he’s seen first hand a prospective CPG client project grind to a halt because of a CIO's lack of familiarity with ad servers and demand-side platforms.

Mobley spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: What does the chief marketing technology officer at Merkle do?

MATT MOBLEY: The classic problem with the technology side in organizations is proper alignment to what the CMO gets measured on. It’s not necessarily something measured by uptime, but more about alignment. It’s a big miss in CIO organizations if they haven’t built marketing skills. If the CMO could go in there and feel like they’re talking to someone who understands ad tech or a DMP, [it would benefit] both sides.


Jiffy Lube Greases The Digital Wheels With Location-Based Advertising

JiffyLubeJiffy Lube CMO Jeffrey Lack admits the company had no more than a standard digital strategy back in 2011.

“Our digital presence was basically isolated to a national website, a mobile site and a very small pay-per-click program,” Lack said.

And as a national oil change chain with thousands of franchisees, that wasn’t doing the trick, especially in local markets.

“We wanted to be able to serve ads to customers related to where they live – and that was a relatively new thing for us,” Lack told AdExchanger during a chat at the ad:tech show in New York City on Wednesday. “Historically, we had one program that we would run nationally and all of the offers were aligned to the lowest common denominator in the system. They were single standard offers.”

That’s when Jiffy Lube encountered Sq1, the digital agency which has since become the brand’s AOR. Sq1 acts as a kind of technology clearinghouse for its clients. The agency vets technology and data providers, aggregates the good stuff into a single platform and activates it on a case by case basis depending on a brand’s particular needs. The agency maintains relationships with a host of tech partners, including LiveRamp, eXelate, Monetate, Turn, MediaMath, Datalogix and others.

When Lack and his team met with Sq1, they had several acute pain points they needed addressed. For one, Jiffy Lube had trouble disseminating locally relevant offers to its franchise owners, both logistically and from a branding perspective. JIffy Lube was also experiencing stagnant growth. Consumers simply weren’t redeeming the brand’s coupons.

“Volume had been in steady decline for a while, and when I say a while, I mean 10 years or more,” Lack said. “That’s why we needed to identify a marketing growth platform that would allow us to drive traffic to franchisees. That was the number one objective of our marketing team.”


Could LinkedIn Steal’s CRM Share?

CRMLILinkedIn has plans to make marketing leads “more quantifiable, and attributable” across the Web and through a company’s own sales channels, and in a year’s time will enable a much deeper view of conversions.

“If you have a tool that can import all of your prospects to a LinkedIn tool, why wouldn’t you want to market to individuals and prospects rather than rely on proxies?” said Penry Price, VP of global sales and marketing solutions at LinkedIn, speaking Tuesday at GroupM’s What’s Next conference in New York City.

Following LinkedIn's launch last quarter of an all-new SaaS platform Sales Navigator for enterprise (previously, sales prospecting was more of a feature-function) and acquisition of B2B marketing platform Bizo, it started to look like LinkedIn could usurp the dominant claim has over the contact record and SFA.

Although LinkedIn integrates with the ubiquitous CRM system,, could LinkedIn itself become a CRM database of record? After all, the company has access to a business user audience of 300 million-plus. In an interview with AdExchanger, Price acknowledged LinkedIn wants to do a “better job of lead generation than anywhere else online.”

And at the GroupM conference, he referenced  messaging tools coming down the pike designed to do just that by enabling marketers to “sequentially deliver relevant creative as someone moves through the funnel, and understand [the nature of a] conversion through CRM matches.”


Marketing Automation For Mobile Apps:’s Next Main Squeeze

LazerowBesides its analytics announcement, turned up the volume on mobility and its future in the wearables market during the Dreamforce conference.

As if on cue, rapper paraded onstage Wednesday evening with a group of engineers where he revealed “PULS,” a smart wrist band he developed via fashion and technology firm, a business he runs in between tours. (Salesforce Ventures is an investor in, a spokesman says.)

What does this have to do with from a business standpoint? Very little, though it underscores the CRM giant’s focus on mobile development. The company rolled out “mobile-first” platform Salesforce1 last year and followed it up this year with app developer tool Salesforce1 Lightning.

Michael Lazerow, chief strategy officer for the Marketing Cloud, said the company builds in an “API-first” manner, and that many platforms were subsequently rewritten to account for this mobile shift.

He spoke with AdExchanger about the company’s mobile efforts, the recent rebrand of the Marketing Cloud, and the integration status of various Marketing Cloud components.

AdExchanger: First, why did you lose the ExactTarget name?

MIKE LAZEROW: It was strategic. We came to a realization that we had spent two years replatforming a social product. It’s always been doing well, but it wasn’t one product.


How Good Is Google At Digital Marketing?

HolesWhile Google has gotten really good at display – more than $4 billion in display ad revenue good – how about the rest of Google’s digital marketing stack?

Like enterprise platform players Oracle, IBM, Adobe and, Google’s ad and marketing tech offering is a sum of many acquired parts.

Google followed its $3.1 billion acquisition of ad server DoubleClick in 2007 with two key ingredients that would pad out its exchange: Invite Media on the buy side and Admeld on the sell side. Then there was mobile ad network AdMob, enterprise social marketing with Wildfire Interactive, creative with Teracent, online ad fraud detection via and Adometry for marketing attribution.

By no means is the list exhaustive when one considers the rest of Google’s mix, like the billion-dollar-plus Product Listing ads (PLAs) business, Google Tag Manager and, of course, its near-ubiquitous Google Analytics business.

But as programmatic media and marketing technology continue to merge, will Google get into the enterprise racket – a world characterized by databases and customer relationships?

“Google is reliant on the journey of the cookie,” said one source who asked to remain anonymous due to their company’s relationship with Google. “They don’t dig in to the CRM when that consumer goes from a cookie stored in a browser session to lead-info that’s transferred to a company. There is a big hole and a gap there with the customer acquisition charter.”


Experian Marketing Services Jumps Into The Clouds

MattSeeleyExperian Marketing Services is getting in the Marketing Cloud game. Or, at least the Marketing Suite game. The company will roll out an end-to-end marketing platform designed to tackle marketer pain points around multi-device identity linkage, cross-channel campaign management and business intelligence. Experian Marketing Services will announce this development during its annual Client Services Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Although this unifies acquired assets like Conversen and AdTruth – Experian Marketing Services group president Matt Seeley said individual point solutions such as Email Insights or campaign management are still available as standalone tools.

“Over the last year, we’ve been doing a lot to try to bring all of those elements together,” Seeley said. “Some are newer, such as the ability to do email validation, but some are older like the ability to use referential data to increase the accuracy of your record before it gets into any kind of data repository.”

AdExchanger: Is this Experian’s entry into the Marketing Cloud space?

MATT SEELEY: Sort of, yes. The word “cloud” might be the most overused vernacular ever. I always think about how we view what’s needed in the marketplace and as we launch our Marketing Suite, the easiest way to explain it is we find there’s vast amounts of information out there and everybody’s been very channel-focused for many years. There’s not enough persistency in saying, “Can I, with very real clarity, say this is [the same person] cross-channel.”


Data-Driven Marketers Are Farmers

MarketersDataAn underlying sentiment among the marketers at the Oracle Marketing Cloud Interact show in San Francisco this week was how to move away from “channel optimization” to maximizing customer lifecycle value.

Many agreed change management is essential to avoid thinking of channels in isolation – from search to social to display.

“When I think about what marketing used to be, it was like being a movie producer (making executive decisions) and now it’s like being a farmer," Luanne Calvert, VP and CMO of airline Virgin America said. "We have to plant seeds – conversations between our guests and our brands” to nurture the individual at every stage of the lifecycle.

Orchestrating data throughout the purchase funnel is a familiar challenge to Shannon Smith, VP of loyalty and retention marketing at J. Crew. In her previous role as a senior marketer with Sephora, Smith deployed customer analytics and developed the brand’s loyalty program Beauty Insider. Before Beauty Insider, Sephora had virtually no customer database.

“The loyalty program was designed to be a customer data capture tool, which would help us understand who a high value customer was, decipher different tiers and segment based off that,” Smith said in a Thursday session.

Except it wasn’t enough to construct a massive customer warehouse that consisted primarily of offline transactional data and purchase history. Sephora needed more insight into behavioral data to distinguish loyal from disloyal customers.


In The World Cup (And Any Other Big Event), Actionable Data Requires Constant Calibration

programmticforthewinIf you want user consumption and engagement data, look no further than the World Cup. You’ve got tweets, likes, shares, traffic, comments — take your pick.

Mobile traffic spiked significantly in Q2 2014, according to a report from mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks, with football-related sites and apps seeing particularly high levels of engagement in certain countries. At 35.6 million, the number of tweets around the July 8 Brazil vs. Germany game, in which the host country was eviscerated by its German rival, trumped the number of tweets around the entire Super Bowl by more than 10 million.

Tantalizing. But media buyers that want to capitalize on this flurry of activity requires a lot of oversight on a bevy of technological tools and platforms, said Jon Hook, head of mobile at media agency MediaCom.

“To capitalize on this data, brands and agencies require smart data solutions that can tie together multiple data points in a transparent way; a platform that can connect online cookie data with device IDs and ingest other data points across social, brand CRM data, household demographic data, etcetera,” Hook said. “With adaptive platforms underpinning and informing our buying decisions we’re in a position to get creative around live events and deliver value for our brands."


Checking In On Adobe's Neolane Acquisition, One Year Later

StephanDietrichWhen Adobe Systems acquired French cross-channel campaign management company Neolane last summer for $600 million, it gained the ability to manage customer data at scale.

Stephan Dietrich, cofounder of Neolane and now VP Americas for Adobe Campaign, one of six products that comprise the Adobe Marketing Cloud stack, said one of the drivers for joining Adobe was the creative value proposition it presented. As marketing has moved from manual spreadsheets to a “NASDAQ trading floor” of real-time bidded media, one of the most critical components of real-time campaign delivery is ensuring digital assets are actually accessible.

Dietrich spoke with AdExchanger about why Neolane sold to Adobe and what its integration status is.

AdExchanger: One year later, what were the benefits of being part of Adobe's cloud vs. going it alone as a standalone point solution?

STEPHAN DIETRICH: Adobe quickly understood that within their Marketing Cloud, there was a need to have a system of engagement. You had a relationship marketing platform that was able to do email marketing, direct mail, inbound/outbound channels and a way to manage direct relationships with identified profiles. They presented the vision they had from the Creative Cloud to the Marketing Cloud to bring the right and left brain together all the way from Photoshop to delivering all the offers in real time, whether it’s a display ad, an experience on the website or a mobile tablet, or an email or direct mail piece.

(We were not willing to sell the company) in 2012 because we were making $60 million in revenue, growing at 45% a year. When we saw the vision of Adobe, we were blown away.