Intercom Raises $23M; Rocket Fuel’s Revenue Prediction

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Rising Social CRM

Social CRM startup Intercom has raised $23 million, according to TechCrunch, as CRM evolves into a one-to-one marketing opportunity. “CRM companies haven’t innovated in over ten years. Many of them are just ticketing systems. But what’s happening is that customer service is at the leading edge of great competitive online businesses,” CEO Eoghan McCabe said. The company has also hired a former PayPal and Yammer executive as its COO. Read more.

Rocket Fuel’s Q4

Programmatic network play Rocket Fuel reported “preliminary” Q4 revenue of $84 million. That’s well above guidance and represents growth of around 110% over Q4 2012. Margins came in above 50%. Press release. In case you missed it, a few weeks ago the company announced a renewed and increased credit line of $100 million.

Promoting Pinterest

This will be the year photo-centric social platform Pinterest paves roads to monetization or, at least, that’s what CEO Ben Silbermann is indicating. In a Q&A with the Wall Street Journal’s Douglas MacMillan, the ex-Googler said “at a very high level, [advertisers are looking] to have their products or services discovered. We’re still learning about the actual creative production process. Different advertisers have different abilities to actually create an ad that works well for this medium.” The future of Pinterest, he predicts, is not purely transactional. Read more.

Programmatic Driving Diversity

A lack of diversity with ad creative is leading to higher costs and poor performance, according to a CPXi and AppNexus study. In some cases advertisers are paying more than four times what is necessary to achieve performance goals. The solution, according to the study, is leveraging diverse ad units and creative programmatically. “Programmatic creative can deliver higher engagement rates, lower cost and better overall performance. Further, it opens up the display market to smaller advertisers who have previously been limited by budget, as programmatic creative does not limit scale or accuracy only to those who can afford to develop a larger variety of creative assets,” said Jeff Hirsch, CMO, CPXi. Read the release.

Acquiring Analytics

HootSuite is taking its social communication platform one step further and adding analytics through its acquisition of uberVU. According to the press release, uberVU’s client roster includes 3M, NBC, SC Johnson, Getty Images and more. “By joining HootSuite we are realizing our vision to bring analytics to the front and center of the social business,” says Mark Pascarella, CEO of uberVU. Read the release.

Death of Brand Relationships?

The ultimate CMO of the future is the “ultimate customer relationship holder,” writes Forrester’s James McQuivey in a blog post.  According to McQuivey, “brand” relationships will become secondary — or a byproduct of — the digital customer relationship. He cites Starbucks’ My Starbucks Reward program as an example, which, on the consumer end, equals points and cash rewards, but on the marketer’s side, provides measurability.

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