Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: The Independent, Optimizely, Omnicom Group inc. and more

The Independent has announced that it is supporting the charity Zarach in an urgent appeal to buy beds for children this Christmas. It is a crisis that has escalated significantly over the past six years, with the number of children without beds in the UK more than doubling, from 400,00 in 2017 to 894,000 in September 2023. With children having to share with multiple family members or sleep on the sofa or the floor, The Independent is seeking to provide as many beds as possible in time for Christmas. Zarach, a national charity based in Leeds with hubs across the country, delivers beds and basics to children. Set up by a primary school teacher, its mission is to end child bed poverty, giving children the opportunity to engage in their education and the chance to break the cycle of deprivation. Each of Zarach’s bed bundles costs £180, which includes a child’s bed and mattress, a duvet and pillow, bed linen, a hygiene kit, pyjamas, a reading book and a £30 supermarket voucher for a family Christmas meal. Once a donation has been received, Zarach can have the bed bundle with a child in need within just seven days, immediately changing lives. The Independent will tell Zarach’s story and highlight the campaign to its readers and social media followers, as well as donating advertising inventory on The Independent, which attracts more than 20 million people in the UK each month. Donations can be made by visiting the appeal page here.

Despite Google’s announcement that it will begin phasing out support for third-party cookies in Chrome at the beginning of 2024, 63% of marketers still have no clear strategy for cookieless personalisation. That’s according to a survey from Optimizely that highlights the urgent need for marketers to reassess their personalisation strategies for 2024. The research, which surveyed 100 UK marketing professionals across the UK, found that more than half (54%) also lack a clearly defined strategy for personalisation using first-party data. This indicates a critical gap in preparation for the post-cookie era, where personalised experiences will rely heavily on direct user interactions.

Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc., has announced the launch of a new location in Newcastle. The launch will further strengthen OMG’s presence across the UK, accelerate the group’s market-leading digital, data and tech offering, and create up to 170 jobs over the next three years. It will be led by newly appointed Managing Director, Pete Coates, who joins from iProspect UK. OMG Newcastle, building on the group’s presence in Manchester and London, will enable clients to connect with OMG’s industry leading capabilities across the UK. Alongside core media planning and buying services, the office will focus on further accelerating OMG’s future-fit offering across digital, data and analytics, and commerce – recognising the significant expertise of the digital professionals living, working and studying in the city. Coates’ appointment is a clear indication of this commitment. Formerly Managing Director at iProspect UK, Coates brings over 15 years’ worth of experience delivering brand value and significant business growth to clients through strategic, customer-centric, performance-driven solutions. Coates will report into Laura Fenton, CEO, Omnicom Media Group UK. The office will see up to 170 jobs created for local residents, with a range of entry level roles available as well as more senior positions. OMG UK is forming partnerships with the city’s universities and college groups to help nurture local talent and create new opportunities for graduates and entry level talent.

GetGloby, an AI & localization startup built by former Googlers to empower businesses to expand into new markets, has announced a partnership with Aleph Group, Inc, an ecosystem of global digital experts and technology-driven solutions that connects thousands of advertisers with billions of consumers worldwide. GetGloby is an AI-powered platform that leverages JAGA – GetGloby’s proprietary technology which is capable of understanding specific nuances in local markets – to instantly translate ads and marketing assets into more than 100 languages with high-performing results. As part of the partnership, Aleph will leverage GetGloby’s technology – including JAGA –  to efficiently and cost-effectively localize its partners’ ads and marketing content to resonate with any given market, region, country, or audience. GetGloby’s technology will work alongside Aleph’s scalable technology platform to enable advertisers to reach segmented audiences and deliver meaningful results. Globally, Aleph supports more than 22,000 advertisers and services more than 45 of the world’s largest platforms.

The Flywheelers is launching its brand narrative consultancy services designed to help new and evolving companies better communicate their value proposition. The brand narrative consultancy services support organisations that need to develop new messaging or reposition their brand to align with changing business and marketing priorities, such as a change in product or services, a shift in primary buyer personas, or when launching as a new company or business unit. The services include brand narrative development, devised through a series of strategic messaging workshops, as well as consultancy on and the delivery of this messaging across key marketing and communication channels, including website copy, content marketing, social media, video and PR. The launch of the dedicated services follows The Flywheelers’ delivery of a series of successful brand narrative and strategy programmes, including the repositioning of a consultancy transitioning towards a self-service platform model, and a new security startup launching out of stealth.

MikMak, the global software company that helps brands grow commerce-first, has unveiled the latest innovations to MikMak 3.0, the most advanced eCommerce enablement and analytics platform worldwide. These product enhancements, coupled with MikMak’s new partnership with the global advisor on consumer behaviour, Circana, who will offer brands insights on how digital marketing influences their offline sales lift, prevent cart abandonment, and implement strategies to convert shoppers in a turbulent and highly competitive economic context.

Global direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce company, ESW, has announced its official technology partnership with Shopware, an open source ecommerce platform, enabling Shopware’s retailer ecosystem to rapidly activate DTC and cross-border commerce experiences in more than 200 global markets. The partnership gives ecommerce brands built on Shopware access to ESW’s suite of solutions to enable all aspects of DTC cross-border expansion, including compliance, data security, fraud protection, taxes and tariffs to checkout, delivery, returns, customer service and demand generation, in as little as four weeks. Already the leading ecommerce platform in the DACH region, Shopware is continuing to expand internationally following funding from investment firm, Carlyle, and PayPal. It is trusted by the largest mid-to-enterprise brands and multinational market leaders including Philips, Jägermeister and Aston Martin. Every Shopware partner undergoes a rigorous evaluation process, investing significant time and effort to meet Shopware’s rigorous standards. This guarantees that merchants can confidently select a partner who meets the highest quality criteria.

Cloudflare, Inc., the connectivity cloud company, has published its fourth annual Year in Review, exploring global Internet insights and security trends, accompanied by a deeper dive on the most popular Internet services in 2023. The Internet is one of, if not, the most ubiquitous aspect of modern life. Cloudflare’s Year in Review revealed that in 2023 alone, there was a 25% increase in global traffic, with no signs of slowing. This growth underscores the dependency on Internet services to facilitate and underpin vital systems and tasks such as supporting global digital economies, enabling the operations of healthcare networks, maintaining business continuity for enterprises, and ultimately connecting people with their communities. This data comes from Cloudflare Radar, a free tool that lets anyone view global trends and insights across the Internet. Radar is powered by data from Cloudflare’s global network (one of the world’s largest, spanning 300+ cities in 100+ countries), and aggregated and anonymised data from Cloudflare’s public DNS Resolver, widely used as a fast and private way to browse the Internet.