RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Omnichannel’ Category

New Cross-Device Messaging Tool Is Big For Kahuna

KahunaThere’s nothing more cliché in the ad world than the phrase “right message, right time.” But as the cross-device game heats up, it’s a platitude that’s gaining a new lease on life.

Kahuna, a Sequoia Capital-backed mobile marketing startup which raised $11 million in Series A funding in February, aims to tackle the cross-device messaging problem via a tool released Thursday called RevIQ. The tool is designed to send strategically timed automated messages that hit consumers on the device on which they’re most likely to convert.

Clients using RevIQ include, and Hotels Tonight. According to company CEO Adam Marchick, Kahuna customers tapping into RevIQ have seen between a 30% and 60% conversion lift in their engagement campaigns, and a roughly 10X increase in push notification response rates from 2% to anywhere between 21% and 30%.

Clients log into Kahuna’s platform to create trigger-based campaigns and a series of message variations. After establishing the most ideal timing by sending one message to a group of users at different intervals, the system starts testing the messages to find which one performs best for specific users. All the while, Kahuna’s algorithm ingests customer data points, including order history, brand affinity and device and messaging format preference.

“Timing matters,” Marchick said. “Take something like Yahoo Sports. You might look at it on your phone at 9 a.m. during your commute, on your MacBook at noon while you’re taking a break at work and at 10 p.m. on your iPad when you’re sitting on your couch. If you don’t understand omnichannel, you’re probably sending an email at 9 a.m. instead of a push notification and just hoping it works.”


Digital OOH Sellers Automate, But Resist RTB

auto oohDigital out-of-home (OOH) ad sellers are looking for a boost from ad tech, but obstacles remain if the marketplace is to ever resemble online advertising.

Digital billboard advertising today is reminiscent of the early days of ad tech in online advertising, according to industry veterans, with ad tech vendors making inroads with sellers such as Lamar Advertising and the New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), who are looking to partner with vendors to sell their digital OOH ads.

Lamar Advertising is a century-old firm that claimed during a June investor presentation that it controls 18% of out-of-home ads in the United States, second behind Clear Channel Outdoor (19%) and just ahead of CBS Outdoor (16%), which altogether control more than half the OOH ads.

ADstruc, a workflow management platform for planning campaigns and buying and selling OOH ads, has partnered with all three, providing a well-supplied platform for marketers.

“We’ve created a workflow tool that automates a lot of the mundane tasks behind planning and buying (OOH) media,” said John Laramie, CEO of ADstruc. Buying and selling OOH ads traditionally has required direct sales with individual advertisers, and all of the back-and-forth communication that implies.

Oracle’s Kevin Akeroyd: Without Data, You're Chasing Unicorns

oracleKevin Akeroyd, SVP and GM of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, warned a crowd of 1,500 marketers Wednesday to “beware false marketing clouds.”

All jokes aside, Akeroyd did not mince words about competitors’ perceived strengths at the Oracle Marketing Cloud Interact 2014 event in San Francisco.

“It’s not just web analytics and it’s not going to come from cutting a list from a data warehouse,” he said. “It’s certainly not sales force automation.” Akeroyd’s statement was simple: Oracle will supply your marketing, media, audience-based and customer data needs.

It’s a bold statement, considering Akeroyd acknowledged in an interview earlier that day that “two years ago, when you picked up the phone and said, ‘I’m going to go get me some Marketing Cloud,' Oracle was not necessarily the name that would come to mind.”

Oracle’s top inhibitor, Akeroyd said, are perceptions around Oracle’s level of openness. “People give us credit for acquiring best-of-breed brands, but they’re not so sure what Oracle will do with them,” he explained. “Which is why we’re trying to overcome that perception.”

Oracle has busily integrated the many marketing systems and technologies it acquired in the last year, including data-services company and data-management platform BlueKai, content-marketing company Compendium and cross-channel campaign tool Responsys.

One key area of integration for the Oracle Marketing Cloud is mobile, particularly Push IO, an enterprise mobile services and push notification provider Oracle acquired through its Responsys buy.

“It’s a channel and another data point where the marketer can send tailored messages in-app,” Akeroyd explained. “If I stitch BlueKai into that, it will tell the marketer Kevin doesn’t open emails anymore, but is consistently on mobile. The more you tie in, the more value there is to the consumer.”

Akeroyd separately spoke with reporters and answered a few questions for AdExchanger.


TellApart, Freshplum And The Media-Marketing Tech Mergers That Just Won’t Stop

JoshMcFarlandAd tech company TellApart’s acquisition of ecommerce startup Freshplum Wednesday is yet another notch in the book of ad tech-marketing tech mergers.

This isn’t even the first marketing tech acquisition for TellApart. Last September, it acquired AdStack, a company that produces email optimization software.

Grabbing Freshplum is an ecommerce play, a bid to inherit technology designed to personalize retail offers and discounts at the point of purchase.

“For TellApart, it’s never been about being a retargeting company,” Josh McFarland, TellApart’s cofounder and CEO told AdExchanger. “We’ve always seen ourselves as curating customer data and finding really smart things to do in a personalized way with that data.”

The 5-year-old TellApart originated to help companies distinguish high-value customers and prospects and act on that data onsite or across exchanges. TellApart’s technology could also identify individuals who likely wouldn’t spend a lot (if at all) and send them optimized offers designed to unclasp their wallets.

How AdTruth Adds Truth To Cross-Device Connections

adtruth martinWant to see a marketer rip out her hair? Ask her to begin identifying consumers across devices.

It’s not an easy thing to do, but vendors have been building tools to help. When Experian Marketing Services acquired 41st Parameter last October, it also got the latter’s subsidiary, AdTruth. AdTruth’s core product is the AdTruth ID, an identifier that enables its clients (both brands and tech players) to link consumers across devices.

“On mobile, there needs to be something that’s more consistent (than cookies),” said Martin Gilliard, who two months ago ascended to the role of AdTruth's GM in North America. (Gilliard has spent the past 15 years in the data media tech space, working at Microsoft, 24/7 [which eventually became Xaxis] and building his own analytics company, DATAMYZE.)

AdTruth's "technology looks at multiple variables to determine what device that is and if that device belongs to a particular person,” he explained. “Device recognition is so important because that’s where the most anonymous data exists, and everyone has the least amount of visibility into it. We let them create more clarity into that channel.”

To be clear, AdTruth doesn’t provide the analytics or linkage capabilities – at least, not yet. It provides the identifier and it’s up to its clients to make the connections. In other words, AdTruth provides the eyes and its clients need to provide the brain.

This might soon change, as the company’s future product plans includes a platform that manages multiple datasets (though Gilliard insists this isn't a data-management platform).

Gilliard spoke with AdExchanger.


Amobee Begins Its Journey To Expand From Mobile To All Things Digital

mark streckerWhy did Singapore Telecommunications’ ad tech subsidiary Amobee buy Adconion and Kontera for a combined $385 million?

For Amobee CEO Mark Strecker, it was a matter of moving Amobee’s focus from mobile advertising to digital advertising. And the company needed Kontera’s technological assets and Adconion's business organization to accomplish that. Once integrated, Amobee will have a combined headcount of more than 600 people in 21 offices around the world.

“We’re looking forward to the next stage of the company,” he told AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: Since you brought it up, what is the next stage of Amobee?

MARK STRECKER: The plan is to integrate both Adconion and Kontera. We want to grow the business to become an independent digital advertising company. I’ve been talking to a lot of chief marketing officers and various advertisers and their agencies. They’re looking for someone completely independent for their ad spend, rather than to connect all their marketing dollars to the Google and the Facebooks of the world.

We want to give them a one-stop shop for their ad units. Obviously Amobee’s core strength is in mobile advertising, which is really growing in Asia. But now we can bring social and email and video as a part of that. We have a very unique technology with the Kontera deal, and the idea is to integrate all of that in the next six months. We’ll have one brand and we’ll go to market.


Placed Lands $10M In Series B Round

David Shim, PlacedLocation analytics startup Placed announced today $10 million in a Series B funding round led by Two Sigma Ventures, bringing its total to $13.4 million.

Seattle-based Placed’s founder and CEO, David Shim, said the investment will go toward hiring data scientists and engineers over the next year to enhance Placed Attribution, a feature launched last August designed to draw connections between mobile advertising and brick-and-mortar foot traffic.

Among changes to Placed Attribution that can be expected soon, Shim said the company is working on deploying a web interface where clients can track campaign data. Currently, data is delivered in a post-campaign report.

Placed Attribution works by collecting location data from mobile apps and matching where users go with the ads they’ve been exposed to on screen. A Placed client, such as a retailer, can use this data to track the effectiveness of their display ads in bringing customers in the door.

Users must opt in to tracking with Placed Attribution, and there remains some guesswork around which store visits actually lead to conversions and how much a given sale is influenced by an ad. Still, Shim said he believes location data is far more valuable than click-through rates to marketers looking to drive consumers to a store with their campaigns.


ExactTarget’s Future After Scott Dorsey: CEO To Step Down

scott mccorkle

Story updated with comments from Jay MacDonald of Digital Capital Investors’s ExactTarget Marketing Cloud has lost its fourth C-level exec since the CRM giant acquired the marketing tech company last June.

ExactTarget CEO and co-founder Scott Dorsey is exiting the company this summer (following former CMO Tim Kopp, CFO Steve Collins and Chief Administrative Officer Traci Dolan).

Scott McCorkle, ExactTarget’s president of technology and strategy, is stepping up as head honcho amid insider rumblings that the $2.5 billion acquisition isn’t well-integrated into’s marketing cloud.

“ExactTarget co-founder and CEO Scott Dorsey has decided this is the right time to transition out of the business and Scott McCorkle, president of Technology and Strategy, will take over as CEO of the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud," said in a statement. "McCorkle led the technology team at ExactTarget for nearly 9 years and was instrumental in every stage of their growth – from the IPO to's acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013."

Dorsey acknowledged his intent to leave in an internal employee message, picked up by the Indianapolis Business Journal. “We have made enormous strides integrating our business with Salesforce over the last year—and Scott McCorkle ... is absolutely the best leader on the planet to become our next CEO,” wrote Dorsey by way of the memo. confirmed the memo was legitimate.


Checking In On Oracle's Marketing Cloud Integration


Oracle hosted a "launch event" Wednesday to introduce its Marketing Cloud, though the fact that Oracle has a suite is about as newsworthy as the world’s roundness. The enterprise software giant has been using that particular nomenclature since it acquired marketing automation solution Eloqua in December 2012.

Oracle’s Marketing Cloud has several components. In addition to Eloqua, there's social marketing software Vitrue, the cross-channel campaign management suite Responsys, the content marketing platform Compendium and the data exchange/data-management platform (DMP) BlueKai. All told, Oracle has spent north of $3 billion to assemble a marketing stack in competition with those fielded by and Adobe (and to a lesser extent IBM).


MediaMath Acquires Another Piece Of Its Cross-Device Puzzle: Tactads

mediamath ariThere are two general methods for targeting consumers as they flit across desktops and devices: match various online log-ins and/or make educated guesses about an identity based on aggregated device characteristics.

Many data-focused ad tech companies can do the former; fewer can do the latter as well. MediaMath, through its acquisition Thursday of French cross-device targeting company Tactads for an undisclosed sum, hopes to solidify its position in that second category.

Tactads is another piece of the puzzle for MediaMath’s ConnectedID, a technology the company has been developing since 2013. ConnectedID is designed to bridge the various signals MediaMath uses to target – gleaned from peoples' online and mobile activities – with the signals media companies, ad exchanges and advertisers use to reach consumers.

“The acquisition of Tactads provides one of the key inputs into ConnectedID – specifically powering MediaMath’s ability to recognize devices in cookieless environments – and also augments our cross-device association capabilities,” said MediaMath COO Ari Buchalter.

The Tactads technology is designed to perform probablistic matching across devices (i.e., it looks at clues coming from various devices, like mobile operating system, handset or tablet configuration and location, and determines which set of devices is used by the same individual).