RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Platforms’ Category


Q3: Neustar’s Marketing Services Rockets Ahead – Just Not Fast Enough

neustar q3If Neustar were only a marketing services provider – that is, if it weren't at risk of losing a contract that brought in 49% of its 2013 revenue – then the company would be on solid ground.

Its Q3 revenue increased 7% YoY to $243.9 million and its marketing services division – an area of growing investment for the company – popped at 21% YoY to $37.5 million.

Q3 highlights for Neustar’s marketing services unit include Facebook’s September relaunch of the Atlas ad server, which uses Neustar’s Measurement Insights platform – “the only one of its kind to be integrated,” said Neustar CEO Lisa Hook during the earnings call.

Neustar also partnered with three mobile ad tech companies in September – Adelphic, NinthDecimal, and Voltari – which Hook said provides Neustar with “a comprehensive look at mobile consumers.”

Finally, Neustar partnered with comScore to give its marketing stack PlatformOne the ability to determine how long audiences engaged with ads and whether those ads were viewable.

Thus far, Neustar’s business as an end-to-end marketing services provider seems to be in good shape, with growth coming “across the board,” according to CFO Paul Lalljie.
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Facebook's Q3: Sustaining Ad Revenue Growth, And Seizing On Ad Tech

facebook-earnings-q3-2014Facebook's Q3 ad revenue grew 64% in the third quarter, beating Wall Street expectations during a period when the company rapidly pressed its advantage in advertising technology.

Between July 1 and September 30, Facebook announced plans to acquire video sell-side platform LiveRail, ramped up volume on its Facebook Audience Network,  and rolled out a cross-device identity solution baked into its rebuilt Atlas ad server.

None of those investments, with the possible exception of FAN, had a major impact on Facebook's revenue during the period. Similarly, Facebook has yet to scale auto-play video ads in the News Feed. So it would seem the company has considerable room to run from an ad revenue standpoint.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg emphasized that Facebook is playing a long game in ad tech.

"We recognize that by staffing engineers in these strategic ad tech areas, we forego shorter term product improvements which would generate revenue more quickly. We believe this is the right decision,' she said.

Sandberg said the company's interest in ad tech was driven by a need for better tools in mobile.
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Adobe Injects ‘Real Time’ Into Real-Time Email Remarketing

kerry reilly adobeAbout a year after Adobe nixed CPM-based email pricing models in favor of customer profile fees, Adobe Campaign (formerly Neolane) has rolled out email remarketing designed to predictively recover lost revenue from abandoned shopping carts.

Email remarketing is Campaign’s first integration with Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture and SiteCatalyst) and builds on its first point of entry into Adobe Marketing Cloud – Adobe Experience Manager.

About 120 clients use both Analytics and Campaign, which drove the decision to connect the two.

“We see a lot of replatforming, where companies with legacy ESP [email service provider] and CRM and campaign-management systems all sit in siloed databases and there’s data synchronization issues,” said Kerry Reilly, a director of product marketing for Adobe Campaign. Adobe’s goal is to connect anonymous data from acquisition marketing with CRM data about known users.

Other marketing clouds share this goal. Salesforce.com is trying something similar by integrating ExactTarget and a new Web analytics tool. (See AdExchanger coverage of Adobe and Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud suites.)

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Teradata’s Integrated Marketing Cloud: Not Totally Integrated, But Still A Strong Performer

TeradataIntegratedMarketingCloudWhat do you think of when you hear the words “marketing cloud?” Most likely, your mind conjures up Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle. Maybe even IBM.

Then there’s Teradata.

As noted in the first Forrester Wave evaluating enterprise marketing software suites (aka marketing clouds) released Tuesday, Teradata is more often recognized for its data warehousing solutions.

Over the years, Teradata acquired a handful of companies to build its Integrated Marketing Cloud, including campaign management from Aprimo and email marketing from the German company eCircle.

It more recently bought digital creative agency Ozone Online and several social media monitoring services from Argyle Social with an eye on enabling “personalized messaging and centralized data in one place across platforms,” said Darryl McDonald, president of Teradata Marketing Applications, speaking on stage at the company’s 2014 Partners conference in Nashville this week.

“The goal,” he said, “is to bring together marketing strategy with the process automation and applications” required to integrate customer data and online activity for better return on investment. “That’s what the Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud is all about.”

Of course, that’s what every marketing cloud ostensibly is all about. 

So, how is Teradata marketing cloud different and, more to the point, what’s in there, exactly?

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Facebook Reorgs PMD Program, Adding Agencies And More Partner Categories

bye-bye-badgesFacebook is unraveling its preferred marketing developer (PMD) program, its platform for organizing and referring key partners to prospective advertisers. In its place will be a new classification system, called simply Facebook Marketing Partners (FMP, for the acronym-addicted), with no badges but with a list of nine "specialties" – including ad tech, content marketing, and data providers – designed to highlight specific competencies.

Among the most significant changes: Facebook will dump its strategic marketing partner (sPMD) designation, at one time a recognition of all-around mastery of Facebook's toolset for marketers, as well as an unspoken "pat on the back" for vendors driving significant spend to the Facebook platform.

But over time the sPMD badge became an "opaque signal," in Facebook's words. It came to signify that a partner is "good," without answering "what at?" Companies currently basking in the sPMD spotlight will be relocated to other specialty buckets.

"We felt like the 'S' had served a tremendous purpose for a while," said Blake Chandlee, VP global partnerships at Facebook. "The message was, these people are good at what they do. We could add a whole bunch of people, but then it destroys the original intent, which was to help clients understand who can help them with specific needs."

In the end, getting to "specific needs" required a system of nine specializations. They are: (more…)


Startup Lytics Raises $7M, Wants To Help You Build Your Own Marketing Cloud

james mcdermott lyticsThe value of a marketing cloud, as Forrester Research pointed out Tuesday, is in the level of its integration.

But Portland, Oregon-based startup Lytics takes the position that whatever level of integration the big-name marketing suites offer simply isn’t enough. The company, which started in 2012, made its “marketing activation platform” generally available on Wednesday and revealed $7 million in Series A funding led by Comcast Ventures, bringing its total to $9.2 million.

Lytics provides the glue that lets marketers link their disparate technologies. Its value proposition is that it enables companies to build their own clouds out of various point solutions, merging data from systems likes email, social media, web and point-of-sale quickly and easily.

It accomplishes this heady task via 80 connectors that link to parts of the marketing ecosystem, as well as through API connections, said company CEO and co-founder James McDermott.

“Fundamentally our platform was designed to integrate with different marketing execution tools,” he said.

Lytics’ self-serve platform consists of data-management tools (it’s not a DMP, McDermott insisted) and has a layer of analytics designed to make predictions, such as which customers might churn, and suggestions, such as how and where a company should message those churn risks.

Lytics has 15 beta clients including Intel, Condé Nast and DirecTV.
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Forrester: Adobe Marketing Cloud Makes Big Waves, SAS Is 'Best-Kept Secret'

cory munchbach forresterForrester Research crowned Adobe Marketing Cloud in its first-ever ranking of enterprise marketing software suites – informally called “marketing clouds.”

The report, compiled by analysts Cory Munchbach and Rusty Warner and released Tuesday, encompassed eight vendors (Adobe, Salesforce.com, SAS, Teradata, IBM, Oracle, SAP and Marketo). Munchbach and Warner interviewed three clients from each vendor and tallied 53 client responses to an online survey. The solutions were evaluated in Q2 2014.

Adobe’s top positioning had to do with the strength of its core offering and its product strategy. Salesforce.com was slightly weaker in its offering and strategy, but was still in the top “leader” category, according to Forrester.

IBM and, surprisingly, Oracle and SAS Institute were solidly in the second-tier “strong performers” category.

Independent marketing automation provider Marketo and data analytics company Teradata, which has what it calls an “integrated marketing cloud,” hovered between “strong performers” and the third-tier “contenders” categories.

And SAP, which has the hybris commerce suite and struck a deal in March to resell Adobe Marketing Cloud, had a better product offering than Marketo, but its strategy placed it solidly in the “contender” category.
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Fraud-day With Sizmek: Fraud Has A Bit Of A Nomenclature Problem

fraudThis is the 12th and final installment in a series of interviews with vendors combating the problem of ad fraud. Read previous interviews with comScore, DoubleVerify, Dstillery, Forensiq, Integral Ad Science, Moat, PubChecker, RTB Asia, Telemetry, Videology and White Ops.

Wasted delivery is not necessarily fraud – but all fraud is wasted delivery.

In other words: While the "why" – be it attributable to botnets, unscrupulous publisher, fat fingers or negligence – is most certainly relevant, what really matters is whether or not an impression hits home.

Alex White, VP of product strategy at ad tech company Sizmek, likes to put everything in a single bucket.

“It’s not a healthy conversation to talk about fraud separately from something like poor placement,” White said. “From an advertiser’s perspective, they want the ad they bought to be shown to a prospect. If that ad shows up below the fold, if it’s a video that has no sound or if it's stuffed into a one-by-one pixel – it’s all just wasted delivery.”

And wasted delivery will always exist – as will fraud, White said. That’s not a pessimistic viewpoint, just a realistic one. Fraud, he said, is an area that needs a dose of realism.

“As long as money can be extracted by perpetrating fraud, someone is going to figure out how to do that,” White said. “That’s why it’s simply a matter of educating the constituents within the ecosystem as to what fraud is and how best to deal with whatever flare-up is flaring up at the time.”

White sat down with AdExchanger.

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Sticky Puts The ‘Eye’ In DIY With New Automated Eye-Tracking Tool

StickyWhen it comes to online viewability, there should be more than meets the eye.

That’s the philosophy at Sticky, an eye-tracking tech company launching a DIY version of its online research product, Autogazer, on Thursday. The tool is designed to enable users – primarily agencies, brands and publishers – to run unlimited tracking studies for a set monthly fee.

A single eye-tracking study can often cost in the neighborhood of $50,000 or more, but the Autogazer price tag comes in at roughly one-twentieth that cost.

It would be easy to confuse Sticky for a viewability solution provider, but it’s not exactly that, said Sticky President and CRO Ephraim “Jeff” Bander.

“Viewability is great, it’s a good step, but it’s only a step,” Bander told AdExchanger.

That’s because there’s a nuance between the potential to be seen and actually being seen – and as the IAB standards stand right now, there isn’t much room for nuance between the two. If 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view for one second, that’s counted as a viewable ad. Up that to two seconds and the same goes for in-browser video.

But considering that more than half of ads, about 54%, are not considered viewable, according to data from comScore, that leaves a somewhat diminished landscape from the get-go.

Sticky aims to move beyond viewability with what it’s calling the “SEEN” metric, a data point that calibrates which ads consumers are focusing on and paying attention to with the actual eyeballs in their actual heads. (Speaking of actual eyeballs, the interactive nature of the Sticky tech means that its clients never run into bot-related issues while running test campaigns.)

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Dreamforce: What Salesforce.com’s Analytic Bomb Drop Means For The Marketing Cloud

WhatsWaveSalesforce.com revealed Wave Analytics Cloud this week at its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, the latest patch – alongside marketing, sales and customer service – in the tech giant’s quilt.

Speaking to more than 100,000 registrants (some were virtual), Salesforce.com’s chairman and CEO Marc Benioff called the analytics offering “revolutionary” and swiped at analytics competitors.

“When you look at companies like SAP and Oracle with data products of the past… no wonder they’re turning over their CEOs,” he said onstage. This was an obvious shot at Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison’s recent transition out as CEO of the rival CRM company.

Opinions on Wave were mixed. While the offering fills an important gap in Salesforce.com's portfolio, Ray Wang, chairman of Constellation Research, said “Let’s get some definitions right – Analytics Wave is not analytics nor is it big data. It’s data visualization and reporting.” Wang’s opinion underscores a common Salesforce.com criticism: That its more robust capabilities come from partnerships via its AppExchange program.

But this is also, arguably, Salesforce.com’s strong point. It’s a lightweight platform powering thousands of third-party APIs with consumer-like design elements.

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