Invoca Raised $20M; Programmatic Execs Emerge

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Ringing Analytics

Phone calls can be an important tactic in marketing, but CMOs may not be aware of the opportunity to measure and optimize that channel. That’s the premise with Invoca, a call marketing company, which just raised $20 million in a round led by Accel Partners. The company focuses on tracking and analytics and integrates with major CRM companies. Read more in TechCrunch. The “programmatic call center?” For now, Invoca says it’s on the marketing automation side of the house.

Programmatic Publishers

A new role has emerged for publisher ad teams centered around the exploding growth of programmatic buying and selling. As Digiday points out, the roles typically revolve around training sales staff, managing a tech stack and working with new advertisers. “You have to prep your team to understand how to integrate it [i.e., programmatic] into any sale,” Chip Schneck, Meredith’s VP of programmatic sales and strategy, told Digiday. “A key part of my role is scaling, which is getting people talking about it with clients and understanding how it can support a deal.” Read more.

About That Email

Experian Marketing Services said a release yesterday that it had a record-breaking year for “Holiday Email Volume, Transactions And Revenue.” EMS GM Peter DeNunzio noted, “Traditionally, as email volume increases, performance decreases, but in the 2013 holiday season we saw the opposite. An increase in total transactions and revenue tells us that leading marketers have found their stride, sending more relevant emails to each customer based on his or her unique needs.” Read the release and see the stats.

The Digital Future

The outlook on agencies isn’t too bright, according to a survey conducted by RSW/US, which polled 320 marketing and agency leaders. As Adweek points out, a lot of participants felt the future of agencies hinged on their ability to go digital and more flexible. Read more.

Agency Refresh

XL Marketing has been rebranded intro Zeta Interactive, which co-founder and chairman David Steinberg says points to the marketing solutions and services company’s evolving CRM business. After acquiring Adchemy’s Actions division and performance marketing company Intela, “we realized our brand needs to better reflect who we are and how our clients view us,” Steinberg stated. Read the press release.

Programmatic Brands

It’s not just the year of programmatic, it’s the year of programmatic branding, according to RocketFuel’s Richard Frankel and Martini Media’s Skip Brand. As Brand points out in a column on MediaPost, scale is crucial to the adoption of programmatic, and so is a transition from belief-driven to data-driven. Frankel also predicts that pre-roll video will gain a little steam this year. Read more.

Social Changes

Facebook is changing up its newsfeed algorithm to focus more on outside link and news items, according to new Blinq Media CEO Luis Caballero in Ad Age. He says this will inevitably change the way marketers interact with consumers on the platform as organic reach continues its decline. Read more.

Location Panel

The WSJ profiles Turnstyle Solutions, a year-old “local” company that installs device-tracking sensors in about 200 Toronto businesses. “The sensors, each about the size of a deck of cards, follow signals emitted from Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones. That allows them to create portraits of roughly 2 million people’s habits as they have gone about their daily lives, traveling from yoga studios to restaurants, to coffee shops, sports stadiums, hotels and nightclubs.” This location data can be molded into anonymized profiles of a participating shop’s customers and their shopping patterns. More.

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