Mobile engagement company Leanplum gains lead gen expertise with Connecto acquisition

Leanplum, vendor of mobile engagement tools, has acquired Connecto, a provider Of lead generation widgets for brands. The acquisition will combine Connecto’s AI-driven automation with Leanplum’s mobile engagement tools, to offer brands real-time engagement across a wide range of connected experiences.

From the release: “Emerging real-time interaction technologies like voice assistants and bots are championing a marketing shift from one-way broadcasts to two-way conversations,” said Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder and CEO of Leanplum. “Meaningful relationships between brands and their customers require real-time engagement, across multiple channels, and at different stages of the user journey — all in an automated fashion. With this acquisition, we are excited to strengthen Leanplum’s leadership as the real-time engagement platform for forward-looking brands.”

Link: PR Newswire

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Google Adwords adds features for YouTube storytelling

Google Adwords is leveraging the capabilities of YouTube to offer storytelling tools for advertisers. Among the new features are Video Experiments, allowing head-to-head testing in Adwords for tests of awareness, consideration and purchase intent. Video Creative Analytics launches with audience segmentation for retention reports, with more capabilities to come. Two features in alpha, YouTube Director Mix and Video Ad Sequencing, will use swappable elements of video to get the right audience and context and ads run in a specific order to form a story.

From the release: “Kellogg’s is already tapping into tools like YouTube Director Mix to harness the power of personalization, while 20th Century Fox is pairing experimentation with Video Ad Sequencing to give viewers story-driven introductions to new films,” wrote Ali Miller, Group Product Manager, Video Ads in the Inside Google Adwords blog.

Link: Inside Google Adwords

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Instagram adds shopping bag icon on Stories

Instagram Stories are now getting shoppable. Brands may now add a shopping bag icon to Instagram Stories, linking brand stories on the social media platform to brand websites. Tapping the shopping bag icon “sticker” brings users out of the mobile experience directly to the advertisers’s web page.  The ads on stories are available within the Instagram for Business .

Link: AdWeek

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Experian launches targeting tool for the automotive industry

Experian has launched Experian Marketing Engine, a new tool to target potential buyers with a combination of consumer and vehicle purchase behaviors, ownership data, credit statistics and digital identity. Among its features are capabilities for targeting audience based on most likely to buy, and the ability to measure effectiveness by tracking what dealers sold the vehicle and which lender funded the loan.

From the release: “With continued fluctuations in new vehicle sales attributed to a host of reasons, such as increased gas prices and high vehicle costs, automotive brands need to find ways to make vehicle ownership more appealing to consumers,” said John Gray, Experian’s president of Automotive. “Experian Marketing Engine helps automotive marketers use data and technology to make better decisions, find potential car buyers and deliver relevant advertisements — ultimately leading to more consumers heading into dealerships.”

Link: PR Newswire

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Viant TV tracks customers through buying journey

Meredith Corporation AdTech company Viant has launched ViantTV, with tools to track customers through the entire buying journey. The Viant TV platform provides advertisers the tools to retarget consumers across their smartphone, laptop or tablet immediately after exposure to an ad on TV, driving additional message frequency or enabling timely competitive conquesting. Rather than retargeting an ad hours or days after it was seen on TV, Viant’s low latency retargeting solution generates stronger brand recall, conversion and return on ad spend.

From the release: “By incorporating a wealth of real-time TV data linked to addressable audiences that outlines exactly which ad, channel or network a viewer was watching, when, and for how long, advertisers can re-message across a viewer’s connected devices in high-quality inventory, ultimately extending the reach and impact of their television campaigns cross-channel,” said Viant CRO Jeff Collins.

Link: Viant Newsroom

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Instagram launches IGTV to directly compete against YouTube

Instagram has launched a product directly competing against YouTube. IGTV is the new vertical-video platform for user-generated content that is up to one hour long. There are no ads on the IGTV product within Instagram Business at launch. IGTV is launching as both an in-Instagram experience and as an independent app, and any creator will be able to upload via the app or the web.

From the release: “It’s mobile first, it’s simple and it’s high quality,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said.

Link: Variety

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Almond App launches with tools to reward customers who engage

Almond App has launched in the UK, digitizing consumer goods by scanning the unique hidden codes printed directly onto product packaging. Consumers can use the Almond app to learn more about where each ingredient has come from, the journey the product has taken and its carbon footprint via a trail secured with blockchain technology. Brands can reward customers who engage with crytocurrency available through the Almond App.

From the release: “Almond finally gives retail brands a way to digitise their products. It enables them to build deeper relationships with their customers by building trust through product & supply chain transparency whilst providing a platform to reward customers with brand tokens they can redeem for cash,” explained Oliver Bolton, Founder of Almond. “Consumer demand for transparency is increasing. The Almond platform makes it easy for brands to meet this demand and educate consumers about their product journey. In doing so, they are making a statement about themselves as a brand whilst giving themselves a new edge with more detailed consumer data.”

Link: Sustainable Brands

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Facebook adds transparency requirements to Custom Audience

Facebook is changing the way its users may update its Custom Audience lists to create greater ad transparency. Advertisers will have to specify the origin of the audience’s information when uploading a list of prospects to target with ads on the platform, noting whether the data was collected directly from people, provided by partners, or a combination of the two. This new requirement will allow users to view more specific information around why an ad is displayed in their News Feed.

Link: MarketingLand

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Microsoft acquires social learning platform Flipgrid

Microsoft has acquired the learning platform Flipgrid, a social learning tool leveraging video to enable learning. Flipgrid will remain a free tool and will operate as an independent unit, much like LinkedIn. The acquisition gives Microsoft capabilities to move into the education space now dominated by Google and Apple.

From the release: “We’re thrilled to see the impact Flipgrid has had in social learning thus far and look forward to helping them continue to thrive as part of the Microsoft family,” Microsoft VP Eran Megiddo, said in a release tied to the announcement. “We’re diligently committed to making sure their platform and products continue to work across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems to benefit students and teachers everywhere.”

Link: TechCrunch

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Facebook Watch opens to creators for a YouTube-like experience

Initially launched to feature original content and programming, Facebook’s Watch will now begin to include videos from Pages. Facebook is broadening its video options by designing a more YouTube-like landscape for creators as it tries to build out Facebook Watch, the video hub launched last year that features original video content and programming.

From the release: “In our testing, we’ve found that people enjoy discovering and watching a combination of shows and videos in Watch — and for creators this means their videos may be eligible to show up in Watch to be discovered by a broader audience,” says Facebook.

Link: MarketingLand

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