Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Criteo, BrandMetrics, PubMatic and much more

Criteo, the commerce media company, together with Brandcrush, a Criteo company, has announced a new partnership with UK-based Phuzion Media to give retailers deeper levels of access to commerce data gathered from traditional offline media.  Following Criteo’s acquisition of Brandcrush, the partnership with Phuzion Media will further enable retailer clients to connect customers directly to the exact product they want to explore or purchase by using the lens on their mobile phone camera. The technology eliminates the need for QR codes, watermarking, or any changes to the creative. Image recognition opens up valuable and accurate first-party shopper data from retailers’ in-store and at-home retail media; a step-change for the industry which has previously relied on inferred metrics, panel groups, lift studies and qualitative research to measure impact.   

Global ad tech company, Brand Metrics, which helps publishers measure the effectiveness of digital advertising, has developed a pioneering partnership with leading lifestyle publisher, mindbodygreen, highlighting the importance of context in advertising, and how this can help to build brands, sometimes in unexpected ways. Brand Metrics empowers a growing number of publishers to gather independent data on their digital ad campaigns, enabling them to measure uplift in awareness, consideration, preference and action intent. Its technology allowed mindbodygreen to measure brand lift across a range of campaigns among its brand advertisers, and to compare results against a 20,000 strong campaign database, benchmarking advertiser results against 122 different industry categories. Due to the versatility of the platform, the publisher was able to accurately measure even the smallest of campaigns.

PubMatic, an independent technology company delivering digital advertising’s supply chain of the future, has announced Convert, a unified self-service advertising platform for commerce media. Built on PubMatic’s global cloud infrastructure, Convert is tailored for commerce media networks and their advertisers, enabling both onsite and offsite monetization, including sponsored listing ads and CTV. Convert helps commerce media networks leverage their valuable first-party data for audience extension at scale across the open internet. The new offering is built for both traditional retailers as well as a wide variety of transaction-based businesses such as transportation or food delivery providers, travel companies, or any scaled Internet company that processes transactions. Convert empowers commerce media networks with a single, self-service platform that streamlines the complex and fragmented commerce media marketplace. It brings together essential monetization and optimization capabilities across sponsored listings, CTV, video, and display ad formats. An unbiased, privacy-centric full-stack solution, Convert ensures transparency in fee and pricing structures along with automation and scalability for commerce media networks and advertisers.

Liftoff, the growth acceleration platform for the mobile industry, and AppsFlyer, a mobile marketing measurement platform, have published a new report revealing the key trends in subscription app spending. The 2023 State of App Marketing for Subscription Apps report finds that while user acquisition (UA) spending and non-organic installs (NOI) have decreased, consumer spending has increased considerably in 2023. Many users are now either subscribing to more services or absorbing the price of hikes to their existing subscriptions, providing app developers with a predictable monetization and revenue stream. The report is based on data from 5.2 billion installs of apps offering a subscription, and an analysis of over 6,000 subscription apps with at least 3,000 installs per month, between January 2022 and April 2023.

Global business transformation agency Valtech has collaborated with multi-brand FMCG organisation Mars to create the world’s most comprehensive example of composable commerce in play for multi-brand enterprises going direct-to-consumer (D2C). By transitioning to a composable commerce architecture, Mars has increased revenue by taking advantage of the solution’s fast time-to-market, flexibility, and scalability. As a result of this solution, delivered by Valtech in collaboration with the composable commerce platform commercetools, it has boosted incremental in-year revenue for a leading Mars Snacking D2C proposition by 20% YoY, proving how a composable approach can facilitate commerce innovation and deliver unique customer experiences across brands and channels. 

Theorem Inc., a full-service flexible digital marketing and tech solutions provider with over 20 years of experience successfully streamlining ad operations, conducted research exploring the experience and sentiment ad operations and sales professionals have with the automation process and the impact automation has on business imperatives for media companies in categories such as streaming, audio, retail media and publishing. The research – conducted in partnership with global insights and strategy agency Hypothesis Group – uncovers key findings around time savings that automation affords and cites improvements with common pain points such as human errors and make-goods. The findings suggest that automation speeds up revenue cycles, allowing companies to realize revenue faster by processing higher volumes of work more efficiently. 

Onfido, a specialist in automated identity verification, has announced a partnership with Magic, an innovative Know Your Customer (KYC) marketplace company, to provide document and biometric verification to streamline KYC process and mitigate fraud. Magic is building “Sign-up with Google” for regulated services. Its mission is to empower companies and individuals with a privacy-first ecosystem that drives new revenue, boosts engagement, and fortifies sensitive data control. The partnership is central to Magic’s forthcoming Beta programme, and will actively redefine how businesses verify and manage customer identities. It will empower companies to see KYC as more than just a compliance exercise, but a tool for transformation and growth. At the same time, Onfido will support Magic to securely elevate the identity data associated with any user profile, enabling individuals to swiftly access essential services that enrich their lives. By integrating Onfido’s AI-powered Real Identity Platform, Magic users can sign up by simply taking a photo of their government-issued identity document (ID) and capturing a selfie. Onfido first checks that the ID is genuine and not fraudulent, and then checks the liveness of the selfie or selfie video and matches it to the photo in the ID. This ensures the person presenting the identity is its legitimate owner and is physically present. Users can start their digital journey anywhere, anytime, through a simple and user-friendly online experience that meets regulatory requirements.

Schwarz Media, the retail media unit of Schwarz Group, Europe’s largest retail group, and global advertising technology leader The Trade Desk have announced that they have entered a strategic partnership. The partnership will use the Lidl online shop and Kaufland Marktplatz to reach consumers and measure the success of digital advertising campaigns on the open internet. Through the extensive reach of Schwarz Media on The Trade Desk platform, advertisers can better reach their audiences across channels on the open internet, leveraging deterministic targeting. According to forecasts by IAB Europe, retail media is becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors within the digital advertising industry with a revenue potential of €25 billion by 2026. Through this new partnership, advertisers will be able to measure the influence of digital ads on direct sales and thereby optimise campaigns in near real-time. In fact, the advertising impact on the fast-growing connected TV and digital out-of-home channels can also be measured and optimised more effectively. 

Independent global media consultants ECI Media Management announces that it is incorporating British firm Eley Consulting into its European business. Established in 2015 by Mike Eley and Richard Edwards, Eley Consulting supports leading advertisers with market intelligence and expertise in strategic and digital planning, intermediary services, media accountability and financial transparency. The move marks the next phase in ECI Media Management’s international growth plans and follows the expansion of its business in the US. The deal will see Eley Consulting’s talent and client portfolio of UK and European advertisers consolidated into ECI Media Management, boosting the company’s presence and capabilities in the UK and across Europe. Richard Edwards will join the UK team in a senior client management and new business capacity, while Mike Eley will take on an advisory role.

In a survey of 250 marketing and comms professionals, fifty-five percent are more stressed than the same time last year, and sixty-three percent are expected to deliver more for less. The study, commissioned by CommsCo PR, explored opinions from marketing and PR industry professionals on the state of industry, their roles, budgets and artificial intelligence. While stress has and expectations have increased, fifty-eight percent cited budget increases (versus 26% with less). The news is fairly positive when it comes to marketing and AI. According to forty-five percent of respondents, the adoption of AI will drive more investment in marketing, while thirty-four percent believe it will see budgets cut (21% think it will remain the same). Sixty-six percent believe AI will drive a wave of productivity, with only thirteen percent are nervous about AI. Describing the overall market, sixty-five percent claim to be ‘ticking over but could use more investment or new business’. Eighteen percent are finding times difficult, while the remaining seventeen percent are ‘in boom mode’. Although inflation has the greatest negative impact right now (53%), the majority (69%) think business will pick up in 2024. An overwhelming ninety-eight percent of respondents feel overall optimistic about 2024.

A new PR coverage reporting tool, Coveragely, has officially launched. It aims to streamline coverage reporting, improve productivity and cut admin time for Digital PR and SEO professionals. From as little as £49 per month and with no minimum contract length, users will be able to use the tool to create visual, professional and customisable coverage books to share with clients and stakeholders. Reports can be viewed easily on any device or screen size, without impacting the overall quality of the report. For those who want to road-test the tool first there is the option of a free two-week trial, without the need to provide billing or credit card data. The new tool allows users to visualise and showcase their PR campaign coverage accompanied with domain metrics from multiple data sources, with Majestic and Moz included as standard. The software also allows customers to connect Coveragely to their own Ahrefs and SEMrush API accounts for even more detailed insights. In addition, users can turn on a link monitoring feature to keep track of acquired links over time, ensuring all coverage reports remain fully up-to-date.

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. has announced a partnership with NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), the leading provider of corporate services to the NHS in England. The agreement builds on SS&C’s relationship with select NHS organizations to use intelligent automation within back-office processes. Through the extended agreement with NHS SBS, more NHS organizations can leverage automation to deliver better care, cut down patient waiting lists and improve the healthcare worker experience. With SS&C Blue Prism’s intelligent automation platform, NHS organizations can improve patient care with new patient engagement models, expedited patient processing, standardized services and contact center communications. Intelligent automation will also be implemented in HR, procurement, and finance, freeing professionals to focus on more value-adding work. Over 130 digital workers are deployed with NHS SBS to drive efficiency and enable staff to focus on more valuable, patient-centered work.