Robin Langford Robin Langford Premium Content Editor, Performance Marketing World

The performance marketing world this week: latest tools, best campaigns and new faces

From Boohoo’s latest SEO drive to AI-powered Facebook ad audits, it’s been another packed week for the performance marketing industry. Catch up on this week’s product launches, biggest campaigns, partnerships and people moves, all in one place...

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

Stuck for inspiration for your Facebook strategy? Creative AI company Pencil has released a free creative AI dashboard and also an Instant Predictive Audit (IPA) which can analyse thousands of Facebook and Instagram ads to generate new ideas and predictions. The new creative dashboard will be free forever, and automatically analyses a Facebook account, and then groups all of a brand’s previous ads into “winners” and “losers.”  The company said that 3 out of 4 Pencil users successfully find ad “winners” which outperform their average performance benchmark.

Chatbots are becoming more useful for CRM - and so is chatbot analytics. Conversational AI software provider Cognigy has launched Cognigy Insights, its new analytics suite designed to help businesses better understand how their customers interact with their conversational AI web support. The tool identifies exact pain points within a conversation to improve customer experience. It also extracts data from human-to-human interactions to improve virtual agent performance and the full contact centre process.

Instagram launched its first Small Business Mentorship programme in the UK, in partnership with Small Business Britain. The mentorship programme will offer five UK based small businesses a content workshop afternoon, and coaching sessions with a business mentor and three monthly hour-long sessions with an Instagram product expert, to discuss how to best use Instagram for Business. What's more, they get £1,000 worth of ad credits donated by Instagram - to support your growth ambitions. 

For marketers looking to tap into 2021’s biggest success story Clubhouse, the audio chat app has launched ‘spatial audio’. The tool replicates how we hear and process voices in the same physical room, spacing individual speakers in the listener’s headphones or stereo system. The feature opens opportunities for Clubhouse creators to experiment with the power of audio, making community members feel more immersed in the conversation they’re listening to. As brands and performance marketers move into the podcasting and audio ads space, new sonic branding tools like this will grow in importance.  

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

Online fashion shopping has been one of the biggest success stories of the year, with Boohoo emerging as a major player onto the scene, buying up high street chains and rapidly expanding globally, and now focussing on an SEO drive in the US and UK. The retailer has appointed Rise At Seven to drive SEO and digital PR growth, to help accelerate across the UK and US markets. Recent reports show that Boohoo’s revenue increased by 91% over the past two years. Boohoo are expected to see a revenue growth of 25% in the next year, and have onboarded Rise At Seven to support their ambitious development plans. Rise has also recently announced it is opening new offices in Manchester and Chicago. The agency also operates in Germany, Spain and The Netherlands. 

WhatsApp is a notoriously ‘dark social’ channel, which is hard for performance marketers to truly measure engagement. But a partnership with Sky Media showcases an innovative way to boost engagement from behind this lucrative walled garden, tapping into one of the most engaged and passionate audiences of all: football fans. The messaging service has become the official sponsor of Sky Sports’ Transfer Deadline Day. WhatsApp will be the first brand to embark on a commercial partnership that reacts to real-world environments and real-time news within editorial content. Social influencer Harry Pinero embarks on a Transfer Deadline treasure hunt looking for clues, leads, predictions, opinions and exclusive behind the scenes news. His search is broadcast live from the heart of the action - near football stadiums in London and in studio - with hints and tips from Sky Sports News delivered to his phone with View Once photos and videos on WhatsApp. Broader social media ads are also used to support the campaign, brokered and developed by Mindshare Invention.

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

With in-game ads becoming ever-more lucrative, Adverty has partnered with Azerion to boost its in-game advertising’s programmatic reach. Adverty delivers unobtrusive advertising which connects brands and audiences through its patented technology, built specifically for gaming. The partnership with Azerion and its platform integration with Improve Digital will allow buy-side clients to access Adverty’s innovative In-Play and In-Menu ad formats in mobile games at scale. The partnership has already activated in-game advertising campaigns with brands such as Calvin Klein, and will launch in full during October 2021, once the technical integration of platforms is complete.

Infectious Media completed its integration with Kepler to create a global innovation leader in data-driven marketing. The move follows Kepler’s acquisition of Infectious Media last December, and caps nine months of effort to fuse the two companies’ resources, processes and technology. With this integration, Kepler has further cemented its position as a global innovation leader in data-driven marketing and strengthens its ability to offer clients regional expertise across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Since Infectious Media and Kepler joined forces, the model has supported multinational expansions on such Kepler clients as PayPal, Chubb and Hasbro. Andy Cocker, the digital media veteran who co-founded Infectious Media with Kelly in 2008, will now become COO of Kepler UK & APAC.

Native ad firm Taboola and DoubleVerify teamed up to supply brand safety controls for 13,000 global advertisers. The partnership will allow Taboola’s advertiser partners, including performance marketers, brands and media agencies access to DoubleVerify’s customisable brand safety and suitability targeting technology, which is now available directly within the Taboola Ads console for use when planning and executing campaigns on Taboola’s vast network of more than 9,000 premium digital properties.

Marketing company TabMo is to adopt the name of its proprietary technology Hawk to signify the influence of its cross-channel demand side platform (DSP).  The rebrand to Hawk, Platform for Media & Insights aimss to reflect growth into cross-channel specialist for media and insights. As the market has developed, Hawk Platform has built extensive scale through integration partnerships with every major source of premium supply in the industry. These include supply side platforms (SSPs) such as Adswizz, Broadsign, DAX, Magnite, SpotX, Ströer, Triton Digital, VIOOH and Xandr, which allow Hawk Platform to access publishers including ACAST, Clear Channel, Deezer, Exterion, JC Decaux, Octave, RMS, Spotify and TF1. 

Digital experience analytics firm Contentsquare is joining forces with Hotjar, a product experience insights platform in the SMB market. Together the companies now serve the global market end-to-end, enabling businesses of every size to deliver digital experiences to their customers. With a combined team of over 1,000 people, both companies will work closely together to make the most of their joint expertise, but will continue to operate independently for the foreseeable future. Together, Contentsquare and Hotjar provide insights to close to 1 million websites in 180+ countries, analyzing trillions of web and mobile app behaviors and micro-gestures on sites that process billions of dollars in transactions daily, using AI to turn this data into recommendations. 

APAC-based media intelligence firm Isentia Group has been bought by SaaS technology firm Access Intelligence. The acquisition will create a global media monitoring business that will benefit from greater scale, a diverse and competitive product offering and greater geographic reach. The combined company will operate on four continents and 10 markets, serving more than 6,000 clients. The acquisition will see an integration of Isentia’s media intelligence capabilities with Access Intelligence’s flagship product Pulsar. Pulsar provides real-time data analysis of social media, search data and online conversations globally, providing PR and marketing professionals with actionable consumer and stakeholder insights.

Ones to watch: Movers and shakers in performance marketing

Mathilde Lelièvre has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer at Toluna, where she will oversee the consumer insight provider’s global business operations.  In this role, Lelièvre will direct Toluna’s global business operations to meet client needs, ensure exceptional customer service delivery, and continue to scale the business during a period of ongoing innovation.  In her role, Mathilde fosters a culture focused on people, diversity and inclusion. Lelièvre joined Toluna in 2005 as a Vice President of Operations, responsible for managing Toluna’s client services team. Over the past 15+ years, she has been instrumental in driving Toluna’s rapid growth and implementing the company’s global operations strategy. Her team, which began with only three members in a single location, now spans more than 10 markets and includes approximately 650 team members worldwide.

Deepcrawl, an SaaS technical SEO platform, has today announced the appointment of Craig Dunham as its new Chief Executive Officer. Dunham, who joined the business as Chief Operating Officer earlier this year with a track record of growing SaaS companies at scale, will assume responsibilities from co-founder Michal Magdziarz, who will step into a new role as President and Chief Architect to apply his technical expertise and drive further product innovation for the business. Founded in 2010, Deepcrawl successfully closed a $19M Series B funding round last year led by Five Elms Capital and Beringea, taking its total funding to $25.8M. In the last 12 months alone the business launched its automated SEO testing tool, SEO Automation Hub and undertook a brand and product refresh, and established a foothold in the global MarTech landscape with significant US market penetration.

Commerce data integration company Productsup announced that CEO and Co-Founder Johannis Hatt will be moving into an advisory role as the company promotes Chief Revenue Officer and industry veteran Vincent Peters to Chief Executive Officer. The change will be effective October 1st. Productsup was founded in 2010 and built partnerships with key players in the retail tech space, such as SAP, Salesforce, Sitecore, Facebook, and Pinterest. 

Digital agency Rawnet has announced its expansion with new appointments to its team, to continue delivering exceptional results for its growing client base. Following its recent acquisition by Castelnau Group. Joining the team is Luke Tibbets, Rawnet’s new specialist Marketing Strategist. In this role, he will be responsible for optimising and enhancing email marketing, plus marketing automation amongst clients and new business leads. Kathleen Wilson has also been appointed as Senior Project Manager, bringing over a decade of experience in delivering projects against scope and budget. 

Jamie Evawin has joined digital product studio Code Computerlove as Head of Experimentation to support its continued growth as popularity for experiment-led product innovation continues to soar.  Jamie, who worked at Code for four years before moving to musicMagpie 18 months ago, returns to the Manchester-based digital studio to advance Code’s culture of experimentation and drive growth of the agency’s performance function. As Head of Experimentation Jamie will embed more experimentation tools and practices into its cross-discipline product teams, as well as expand Code’s range of services that sit under performance and user experience, including CRO, analytics and user testing.