Two-thirds of organisations plan to up spend on martech, but struggling to keep pace

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketing organisations plan to up their spend on martech in the next year while just 5% intend to curb it, according to Walker Sands State of Martech Report 2018.

Right now, though, they’re struggling to keep up.

According to the report, based on responses from 300 marketers of varying company size, level and experience, martech certainly doesn’t suffer from a lack of interest of...

By Mark Jones, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Marketing Cloud, Personalised Marketing.

Twitch-based influencer marketing platform PowerSpike lands $500K as esports boom

Do the names shroud, tfue, dakotaz and ninja sound familiar?

Probably not, but they are some of the top 10 most-watched gamers on the Amazon-owned live-stream platform Twitch, and together they racked up over 10m in viewing hours in just the first week of this month.  

Ninja in particular - a self-titled “professional Battle Royale player” - accounted for 4.8m of those hours alone, and recently surpassed landmark 10m Twitch followers who currently...

By Mark Jones, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

CRM software giant Salesforce appoints Keith Block as co-CEO

Enterprise software giant Salesforce has promoted its former chief operating officer, Keith Block, to the role of co-CEO.

Reporting directly to the board and working alongside the cloud CRM specialist’s founder and CEO, Marc Benioff, who will remain chairman, Block’s move puts Salesforce in a very small camp of co-led companies which, funnily enough, includes rival Oracle - where the two originally met.

Block has served as the company’s vice chairman, president and director since joining in...

By Mark Jones, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, CRM, Data-driven marketing.

Taipei’s Appier launches AI-driven content marketing platform

A Taipei-headquartered artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider called Appier - which serves brands including Nivea, Carrefour, Audi and Japan’s Softbank - has launched an automated content marketing platform aimed at delivering personalised messages across multiple channels.

Dubbed AIQUA, and following the recent acquisition of Indian content marketing startup for an undisclosed fee, the platform will be available to marketers across the APAC (Asia Pacific) region allowing them to preemptively...

By Mark Jones, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Content Marketing.

YouTube in hot water again as Mars departs over brand safety concerns

Social video sharing site YouTube is once again in hot water over advertising brand safety.

This time, it’s Mars that has suspended marketing on the platform after an advert for Starburst sweets was found to be placed at the start of a rap music video allegedly supporting gang violence in London.

The film by a group called Moscow 17 is part of an emerging genre called ‘drill’ which has been cited as violent “soundtrack” to gang warfare in London, with rival gangs often using the...

By Mark Jones, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

WhatsApp launching pay-to-use tools for brand marketers

WhatsApp is launching a pay-to-use advertising service for brands looking to engage their customers directly on small screens.  

The move opens up a new revenue stream for the Facebook-owned messaging app since removing subscription fees in 2016 and allows businesses to send information or services updates, such as delivery information or tickets.

According to BBC news, the fee will be based on confirmed delivery, on which advertisers will pay between 0.5 cents to 9 cents (0.3p to 7p), depending which...

By Mark Jones, 03 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

80% of marketers don’t trust their martech vendors with GDPR compliance

Approaching three months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across Europe, the update remains a lingering pain point for the digital marketing industry, with some pretty hefty fines delivered to companies in breach.

Concerns aren’t exactly dampened when there’s no guarantee your own marketing technology vendor isn’t wrestling with compliance themselves and, as found in a new study by Demandbase, more than a few marketers have their doubts over the data...

By Mark Jones, 02 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing.

Facebook topples from list of top ten most-innovative brands

Battling fake news, mass data breaches and a stomach-lurching drop in share prices, it’s hardly been a good year for Mark Zuckerberg, and as if to rub salt in the wound, the social network and tech colossus has now fallen out of sight on a rank of the world’s most innovative brands.

The revelation comes as part of Brand Keys’ sixth annual

By Mark Jones, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

12% of UK Instagram influencers are still buying fake followers

Despite surging popularity in the emerging marketing channel, it seems a large chunk of influencers still refuse to play by the book in order to make a quick buck.

A study by independent campaign measurement firm CampaignDeus found 12% of UK influencers to have bought fake Instagram followers in the first six months of 2018. The findings were based on analysis of nearly 700,000 posts, identifying ‘bot-buyers’ by those with low UK followings, inexplicable jumps in follower count and subpar...

By Mark Jones, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

US music-streaming giant Pandora opens programmatic audio marketplace

One of the United States’ most popular music-streaming services, Pandora has joined the programmatic audio arms race, opening up the largest set of ad-supported listeners in the country to targeted, audio-based advertising.

The announcement marks an opportunity for brands to access the largest addressable audience in the streaming audio space - the California-based music recommendation service owns the largest inventory of its kind in the US, while 92% of its audience is ad-supported.

That’s more than double...

By Mark Jones, 31 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Programmatic, Video & Audio Marketing.

Twitter’s fake user 'health' cull sees stocks drop 20%

Twitter saw stocks plummet by over 20% ahead of the weekend, following an announcement that its monthly active users had fallen by one million throughout Q2 against the previous quarter.

Announcing that users had fallen from 336m to 335m was enough to send share prices down to just under $35 (they’ve continued a decline since). That's despite the company reporting record quarterly profit of $100m (£76m) and a 23 percent year-on-year uplift in ad...

By Mark Jones, 30 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Social Media Marketing.

Google now allows ad buyers to exclude publishers without ads.txt

Google announced yesterday that customers of its Display & Video 360 services (formerly DoubleClick Bid Manager) can now select to only run campaigns on publishers with ads.txt authorised inventory, excluding those that aren’t compliant.

Ads.txt is a standard introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab (IAB) to combat ad fraud through domain spoofing. By adding an ads.txt file to their sites, publishers are able to list the exchanges and networks that are authorised to sell...

By Mark Jones, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Publishing.

Amazon hits record $2.5bn quarterly profits driven by online sales and cloud demand

Amazon’s profits hit a record $2.53bn (£1.9bn) in Q2 this year, driven by its dominance in e-commerce and growing demand for its lucrative cloud computing services.

Takings for the last three months amounted to 12 times that of the same period last year, with sales rising 39% to meet $52.9bn (£40.4bn) and its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division raking in $6.1bn (£4.7bn) in sales - a 50% hike year on year.

Amazon’s shares jumped 3% as a result of the financials, casting a further shadow on the...

By Mark Jones, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, E-Commerce, Marketing Cloud.

Instagram ad spend growth trounces Facebook in wake of privacy concerns

Instagram’s year-on-year ad spend grew 177 percent - four times that of Facebook - as its owner failed to live up to Wall Street expectations following its Q2 2018 earnings report.  

Excluding revenue from its hugely popular photo-sharing app, Facebook reported ad spend growth of 42 percent amounting to $13.23bn (£10.13bn) yesterday which, while on paper sounds reasonable, represented its slowest-growing quarter since it went public.

The report saw Facebook’s stock take a 10% plunge,...

By Mark Jones, 26 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Pinterest on track for IPO as ad revenue approaches $1bn waterline

Social media company Pinterest is approaching $1bn in ad revenue, according to sources close to the group, putting in IPO (initial public offering) in arm’s reach for 2019.

The image discovery platform could double its 2017 $500 million sales revenue this year, driven in large part by success with mobile ads according to CNBC, with big fashion and beauty brands turning to the platform to get in front of 200 million monthly...

By Mark Jones, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Native Advertising, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Over a third of banner ads across Europe weren’t seen last quarter

Less than two-thirds (61%) of banner ads were considered viewable in Europe last quarter.

The technical criteria for an ad being viewable is being at least 50% within the visible area of a browser for at least one second, and yet 39% of banners failed to meet this standard across the continent.

The findings from ad verification company Meetrics suggest three things; advertisers need to produce better creative, ad exchanges need to acquire better inventory, and that marketers are wasting a lot of money.

But while the study gives support...

By Mark Jones, 24 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, Personalised Marketing.

Facebook jumps on Crimson Hexagon following data share breach accusations

With another company being accused of breaching Facebook’s data-sharing policy, it’s no surprise that the social network has been quick to act.

Facebook announced the suspension of Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon - a company that reportedly has ties with government agencies around the world, including Russian nonprofits with alleged ties to the Kremlin - last week, following a report by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) questioning whether it uses data from social media for surveillance...

By Mark Jones, 23 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Benefit or buzz: IAB looks to gauge true value of blockchain in digital advertising

Few industries have escaped the hype around the transformational, nay, revolutionary, benefits of blockchain technology, and the digital advertising community is certainly not exempt.

Owed to its fundamental blueprint of distributed ledgers, enabling secure, public and decentralised transaction records data, documents, and of course, currency, blockchain has been widely touted as a transparent and less expensive solution to the “murky” world of...

By Mark Jones, 20 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Programmatic.

E-commerce giant Alibaba makes $1.43bn bid for digital OOH ad tech

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has made a $1.43bn (£1.09bn) bid for a 6.62% share of Focus Media, a Shanghai-based specialist in digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising.

Focus Media’s digital advertising screens can be seen on the street, subways and in elevators across 300 Chinese cities, reaching 200 million “middle class” consumers, according to Alibaba’s own news outlet Alizila.

The investment is part of the company’s wider ‘New Retail’ strategy, which looks to...

By Mark Jones, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Commerce, E-Commerce.

Google has been hit with a record €4.34bn fine for Android antitrust violations

Google has been hit with a record fine of €4.34bn (£3.9bn) by the European Commission, accusing the company of using the Android operating system to illegally “cement its dominant position”.

According to the Commission, the ad tech giant has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators since 2011 in efforts to secure a monopoly on general internet search.

The firm’s parent Alphabet...

By Mark Jones, 18 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Organic Search, Search Marketing.