The MarTech Minute: Programmatic ad spend, Google recruits PayPal’s COO and Iterable gets $60 million
The martech week in review: News and announcements in marketing technology this week that you might have missed.
MarTech Minute briefs always appear first in our daily newsletter throughout the week. Click here to subscribe. The following is our compilation of the past week’s briefs from those newsletters.
Deloitte Digital launches a first-of-its-kind data program. Deloitte Digital is partnering with Adobe to launch the Lift Acceleration Program, an initiative that brings together the capabilities of Deloitte Digital’s Hux platform with Adobe Experience and Adobe Experience Cloud. The program allows companies to measure customer moments and extract a “single-source-of-truth” via Deloitte and Adobe’s combined products. “With Lift Acceleration Program, we aim to empower organizations to make the right decisions across all stages of the customer journey, by establishing the right operating model, culture, digital foundations and connections,” said Barbara Venneman, global head of Deloitte Digital’s advertising, marketing and commerce practice.
Tremor Video expands automatic content recognition (ACR) solutions. The programmatic video platform Tremor Video has renewed its partnership with Alphonso, a deal that will help the company expand its existing ACR offerings, including solutions that allow brands to target TV audiences across video devices. “We have grown through our recent acquisition of RhythmOne, and now through this evolving partnership, we will be able to offer exclusive solutions for advertisers looking to succeed with TV retargeting,” said Tremor Video Chief Revenue Officer Anthony Flaccavento. Tremor Video offers self-service ACR solutions for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada. The company says it expects the ACR data industry to grow into a $5 billion business by 2021.
Observe.AI gets $26 million to invest in product technologies. Observe.AI, an AI-powered platform that implements natural language and speech processing along with deep learning technology to analyze customer conversations, has raised $26 million in Series A funding. The investment was led by Scale Venture Partners with help from Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, 01 Advisors and Emergent Ventures. This latest round of funding — which will go toward expanding the company’s U.S.-India team and product development — brings the company’s total funding to $34 million. As part of the funding deal, Scale Venture Partner’s Andy Vitus will be joining Observe.AI’s board. “Observe.AI is already disrupting the $300 billion voice customer service market by rethinking how agents are coached and the way top brands provide personalized customer experiences,” said Vitus.
Iterable raises $60 million in funding. The cross-channel marketing platform Iterable has closed on $60 million in Series D funding led by Viking Global Investors. Investments also came from CRV, Index Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Harmony Partners and Stereo Capital — all firms that contributed to the company’s Series C funding earlier this year. “Mainstream companies around the world are adopting highly integrated best-of-breed solutions and leveraging their own data — in real time — to achieve growth and customer engagement never seen before. Iterable is at the core of this stack,” said CEO Justin Zhu. The company plans to use its latest round of funding to expand its core platform, invest in new technology and scale its global offices located in San Francisco, New York City, Denver and London.
ScribbleLive now part of Rock Content. The content marketing services and solutions firm Rock Content has acquired Scribble Technologies (AKA ScribbleLive), bringing ion interactive and Visual.ly into its product offerings. “It was clear that we needed to find a strategic partner, one that shares our values and extends our technology offerings, to join forces and become a global leader in content marketing. ScribbleLive was a natural fit, allowing us to expand globally and evolve our visual, video, and interactive content solutions,” said Rock Content CEO Diego Gomes. Rock Content’s global network of talent is made up of more than 80,000 creative professionals. As part of the acquisition, ScribbleLive’s current Toronto and U.S. offices will now operate under the Rock Content brand in North America.
Sterling Sky acquires LocalU. LocalU, an event series catering to SEOs and managed by Mike Blumenthal has been purchased by the SEO agency Sterling Sky. Blumenthal will remain the host of the podcast, and he and Mary Bowling, a founding member of LocalU, will continue to be involved with the events. Sterling Sky owner Joy Hawkins said she acquired LocalU to offer a single place online where people could discuss local search. “I see it as a place to educate people on what is currently going on in the world of Local SEO and what strategies business owners and agencies should be using to get results from their efforts,” said Hawkins. She plans to move the series to a new platform and introduce a paid/VIP section, as well as increase the number of LocalU Advanced events in the coming year.
Social eats up more than half of programmatic ad spend
A new report from eMarketer predicts that advertisers in the U.S. will spend more than $57 billion on programmatic digital display by the end of 2019, with 56.3% of that going to social platforms. Social’s share of programmatic display spending is expected to increase to 57.6% by 2021, according to the report — that’s up from eMarketer’s April estimate of 52%. In-app targeting that doesn’t rely on third-party cookies has helped social (namely, Facebook) leap over open web programmatic buying.
On the Move
Bill Ready, PayPal’s former COO, has been named the new head of commerce for Google, reports TechCrunch. Ready will start in January and report directly to Google’s SVP of Ads, Commerce and Payments Prabhakar Raghavan. He will focus on bringing “Google’s vision, strategy and delivery” to its commerce products, but will not be involved in payments, according to TechCrunch. “Bill’s exceptional track record building great experiences for consumers and deeply strategic partnerships makes him a powerful addition to our team. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of commerce at Google,” said Raghavan in a statement shared with TechCrunch. Ready had been with PayPal since 2013 when the company acquired his tech startup Braintree.
Marketing performance management (MPM) platform Allocadia has named Rahul Nirula as its new chief product officer. Nirula will work with the company’s CTO to drive innovation and expand growth for the MPM market. “As the former CPO, I’m excited to be handing over the reins to Nirula, whose expansive product expertise and focus on customer success is a strong addition to Allocadia as we continue to grow the executive team,” said Allocadia Co-founder Katherine Berry. Prior to joining Allocadia, Nirula was with the Volaris Group and has been part of the product teams for OpenText, Research in Motion and Polar.
The customer data platform Simon Data has named Diona Harris as its new chief product officer. In her new role, Harris will oversee product development, commercialization, strategy and finance and will work closely with CEO Jason Davis, President Josh Neckes and CTO Matt Walker. Part of Harris’ responsibilities will include advancing the company’s product roadmap and developing greater adoption in the marketplace. “Doina brings to Simon Data a unique and expansive skillset centered around a deep focus on customers and a strategic understanding of overall market trends, that will further define Simon Data’s offering and more broadly shape the CDP space as it evolves,” said Davis. Prior to joining Simon Data, Harris was head of analytics and finance at AppNexus.
Talkdesk, a cloud contact center solution for enterprises, has hired Chad Gaydos to serve as chief customer officer, a newly created C-suite role for the company that will focus on creating and nurturing Talkdesk’s corporate culture. Gaydos will lead strategy and execution for customer experience and report to Talkdesk CEO Tiago Paiva. “Chad Gaydos has a remarkable track record in customer-facing roles across the globe and brings a comprehensive understanding of customer-centricity to the Talkdesk approach. His deep knowledge, vast experience and passion for customer excellence will be instrumental in deploying and aligning resources,” said Paiva. Gaydos has held a number of C-level roles throughout his career, including chief revenue officer for Skillsoft and chief operating officer for SAP’s Regulated Industries business.
Verve’s former Chief Revenue Officer Erin Madorsky has been hired by MiQ to serve as the marketing intelligence firm’s managing director of the Northeast. This is a newly created position that will be tasked with driving further momentum in the U.S. market. Madorsky will report to MiQ U.S. CEO Sean Reardon and work with key brand and media agency clients. “She is a proven leader with a track record of driving stellar results — two things that will undoubtedly factor in ensuring stronger business outcomes for both MiQ and the clients we service,” said Reardon. Before serving as the chief revenue officer for the mobile tech company Verve, Madorsky was the SVP of sales for Viant Inc., a people-based ad tech solution.
Response Media, a CRM and digital media platform, has expanded its executive staff with two new hires: Ryan Tuttle is coming on board as the company’s chief operating officer and Dr. Alvin Glay is returning to Response Media as the VP of growth and data-driven strategy. (Glay had originally worked on the agency side before leaving to earn his Ph.D. in business.) Response Media CEO Josh Perlstein remarked, “How often do you get to work with someone who can speak to both sides of a marketing strategy?” about Glay’s return to the company. Perlstein also commented on Tuttle, saying he has, “An appreciation for talent,” and understands the importance of keeping a consistent company culture that reflects Response Media’s shared values, attitudes and standards. Before taking on the COO role, Tuttle was the COO and co-founder of Dragon Army, a mobile innovation firm.