This week in martech
News from Merkle and Madison Logic, Criteo, HubSpot, Bazaarvoice, Taboola and Wunderman Thompson.
Merkle partners with B2B marketing solutions
Performance marketing agency Merkle has announced enhanced partnerships to enhance its B2B services. It will be collaborating with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and ABM platform Madison Logic.
The collaboration will help Merkle B2B drive client strategy using Madison Logic insights. Madison Logic has an integration with LinkedIn that supports the orchestration of paid media campaigns targeting buying teams at priority accounts.
Why we care. Merkle is a global agency which has extended its capabilities into tech consultancy and implementation, but it’s not trying to build everything in house. This partnership aims to benefit mutual customers of Merkle and Madison Logic by tightly integrating LinkedIn focused ABM capabilities with Merkle’s B2B agency services.
Criteo releases digital advertising report
Digital advertising platform Criteo this week released its “State of Digital Advertising: 2021” report, based on an international survey of 1,000 senior marketing executives. The main takeaway is that, although there was an overall drop in sales, ecommerce sales have risen, up 14% YoY in December 2020.
- Website sales are the number one influence on marketing planning;
- Omnichannel strategies are critical; and
- There’s concern about over-reliance on walled gardens.
With digital marketing driving success comes increased burden and responsibility for marketing teams. “Seven out of 10 respondents in our study agreed that the marketing function in their
organization became more important during the pandemic.” Marketing now has a role in the customer journey from acquisition all the way through to sales and retention.
Why we care. There’s an important message here, which we’re hearing from other sources too. With the entire customer journey leaning towards all-digital, marketers are going to own more and more of it, including the technology and operations which support it.
HubSpot establishes Black Advisory Board
Continuing its commitment to taking tangible action to combat racial injustice, HubSpot this week announced the establishment of a Black Advisory Board. The Board will provide advice on diversity andinclusion, including ways to improve the HubSpot experience for Black job candidates, employees, customers, and partners.
This follows on CEO Brian Halligan’s public support for Black Lives Matter, a partnership to establish a Center for Digital Business at HBCU Howard University, and a pledge of $20 million to social impact investing.
Why we care. A lot of technology and marketing technology vendors are saying the right things about diversity and inclusion. Some are taking action. HubSpot is setting the pace.
Visual UGC drives online retail purchases
Online retail shopping broke all records in the 2020 holiday season, and Bazaarvoice, the user-generated content (UGC) platform, has research findings suggesting that visual UGC is a powerful driver of conversions. “How visual and social content increase online sales,” published yesterday, is based on surveys of over 8,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany and Australia.
Here are some highlights:
- 73% of the 18-34 demographic prefer visual UGC on social media — a result which holds strong across all age groups at 64%;
- Two-thirds of shoppers prefer customer-generated images to images created professionally for brands;
- Over half agree that social media influences purchases;
- 45% place weight on the quality of customer reviews of products rather than the number of reviews or how recently they were posted.
Why we care. Let’s be clear, as a platform used by brands to manage UGC, Bazaarvoice has skin in the game. Nevertheless, brands should be thinking hard about differentiation in the online retail space: this data is worth a look.
Content discovery platform Taboola announces NYSE listing
Taboola, the content discovery and native advertising platform which uses machine learning to deliver native ads alongside related web content, announced yesterday that plans to go public with an implied valuation of $2.6 billion.
Unlike ON24, which filed for an initial public offering earlier this month, Taboola will not be using the IPO mechanism. Instead, it will go public by being acquired by ION Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. After the transaction closes (anticipated in Q2 2021), Taboola will trade on the NYSE as “TBLA.”
Taboola was founded in 2007 by Adam Singolda, who remains CEO today.
Why we care. It’s possible to have mixed feelings about native advertising as a reader, but relevant native ads are surely better than irrelevant, and Taboola stands to be rewarded for its ability to deliver them at scale.
100 trend predictions for 2021
Global agency Wunderman Thompson has released “The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2021,” featuring 100 predictions for the coming 12 months. “Cautious optimism,” the agency says, is setting the pace so far.
Here are some of the trends:
- Brands will favor collaboration over competition to promote positive change;
- Expect live commerce, as digital entertainment is paired with tailored digital shopping experiences;
- In beauty, women-led brands are setting new standards for diversity and inclusion;
- In tech, the volume of data stored at data-centers will mean big data discussions will become climate change discussions too.
Why we care. The report is a substantial (and well-illustrated) piece of work. Also, we can stand some positive energy right now.