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Zeta follows Boomtrain acquisition with AppNexus integration
The new alliance will result in AppNexus’ ad management platform becoming a ‘native application’ in Zeta.
Zeta Global — co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley — has taken another step in its quest to become a marketing platform that can challenge the biggest players.
It announced today a strategic partnership today with ad tech firm AppNexus. Zeta’s people-based marketing platform, with over 350 million customer records, will be integrated with AppNexus’ ad management platform and made available to AppNexus clients.
Zeta COO and President Steve Gerber told me that “the AppNexus platform becomes like a native application within Zeta,” although Zeta still offers API integration with other ad platforms.
This adtech alliance follows Zeta’s purchase earlier this month of email/machine learning platform Boomtrain, which the company said will become Zeta’s personalization engine.
Although Zeta’ portfolio of capabilities is still being defined, Gerber points to its people-based customer database as being a key differentiator, now enhanced by new personalization and ad management capabilities.
When asked how Zeta might position itself with a B2C brand that was also considering, say, Adobe’s platform, Gerber noted that Zeta has its own proprietary customer data that can augment a brand’s. He also pointed to Zeta’s extensive professional services, which can help with the self-service platform when a brand is conducting a lot of campaigns, such as in holiday seasons.
Last August, Zeta bought the enterprise marketing division of marketing data provider Acxiom. Called Impact, it offered marketing tools for email, web, social media and display ads, and the purchase included a strategic relationship with Acxiom’s on-boarding and people-based service, LiveRamp.
In late 2015, Zeta — then called Zeta Interactive — announced it had acquired the customer relationship marketing division of eBay Enterprise, which eBay was in the process of spinning off. Included in the purchase was an enterprise-focused email provider, a database management product and an automated attribution solution.
At the time of that purchase, Gerber told me he saw Zeta’s competitors as being the big three marketing cloud platforms — Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce — in addition to marketing data providers Experian and Acxiom.
He acknowledged at the time that Zeta didn’t possess all the capabilities of those major marketing clouds, such as web personalization. Interestingly, the Zeta announcement about its recent Boomtrain purchase noted that the new acquisition will become the platform’s personalization engine.
In 2014, Zeta purchased marketing automation platform ClickSquared, which it merged with its email service provider to create ZetaHub, its central platform.
Founded in 2007, Zeta’s initial mission per Gerber was to manage “customer data on behalf of big brands,” by segmenting brands’ customer info for various kinds of campaigns.