Robin Langford Robin Langford Premium Content Editor, Performance Marketing World

The performance marketing world this week: Nike’s new app and Pepsi’s latest data tool

How is Nike using its first-ever free brand app to boost sales in Asia? And how is Pepsi bridging local in-store sales with a global AI merchandising tool? Catch up on this week’s product launches, biggest campaigns and industry shake-ups in our packed weekly round-up below...

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

Pepsi is making a huge leap across the divide between in-store purchases and online measurement, with a hyper-local AI merchandising tool. 'Pepviz' combines real-time insights, advanced analytics, data science and industry insights to help PepsiCo’s retail partners reach shoppers in a personalised, omnichannel way. For example, Mtn Dew Rise Energy was traditionally advertised to a vast audience, but Pepviz lets the brand identify who in the consumer set is interested in energy, functional benefits and morning beverages. They can be viewed on a map then prioritise stores based on importance and where they’re most likely to shop for this product. Then the team leans in with marketing and merchandising for those locations, using AI to ensure people are engaging with the content and machine learning to make sure they are merchandising properly.  Retail partners can also see which stores shoppers are visiting and what food and beverage products people are buying from other stores. 

Publishing and media firm Future has launched an audience data platform, Aperture. The intelligent platform allows advertisers to access Future’s rich first-party audience data captured across its portfolio of 180 brands, helping them reach high-intent target audiences. Future has also built proprietary price comparison technology for products and services, helping surface the best price for consumers on their path to purchase. In addition, Aperture intakes thousands of demographic signals from across the Future ecosystem each day and combines them with a robust email subscriber database to further identify and target audiences. Brands include Techradar, Gamesradar+, Country Life, woman&home, Marie Claire UK, Classic Rock, Guitar Player, FourFourTwo, TV Times and Total Film. 

Wunderkind has integrated its engagement platform with Salesforce to help e-commerce brands scale personalised experiences for customers across their purchase journey. This integration was designed to help its client better identify when consumers land on their website, increase volume of triggered emails, and allow brands to prioritise personalized messages with frequency capping and suppression rules.

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

Nike has launched its first-ever free brand app in Southeast Asia offering exclusive and personalised content. The app, free upon registration, will give members personalised access to Nike offers, rewards and experiences, all tailored to their individual preferences. Members will receive product recommendations based on what they love with fast and secure checkout experiences The app is available for download in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and India.

Retail and commercial bank NatWest is partnering with influencer marketing agency, Takumi, to shine a light on the issue of scams and online fraud threats for young people through its new campaign, NatWest x Gaming Creator Collective. The campaign began with a one-hour panel and featured two female social media gaming creators. To reach the key audience, Takumi connected NatWest with two female social media gaming creators. The creators – Jay Ann-Lopez, CEO and Founder of Black Girl Gamers, and Dani or Ebonix, a creator specialising in Sims4 – have a combined following of over 600,000 users across Instagram, Twitch and TikTok, and have been lauded for making gaming more inclusive and a safer space for women. 

The Super Bowl is still five months away, but it is already breaking records. The event is often seen as the biggest global advertising event of the year and increasingly TV brand commercials are spilling over into performance based marketing campaigns. Comcast-owned NBCUniversal has announced that it has  sold 30-second ads for Super Bowl LVI for a record $6.5million, and has nearly sold out advertising slots for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, showing how fast advertising is bouncing back from the pandemic.

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

Native content platform Taboola has completed its acquisition of e-commerce media platforms Connexity.  The  transaction brings Connexity’s 6,000 publishers and 1,600 direct merchant relationships to Taboola, pitched as a way for publishers, advertisers and merchants to effectively scale outside of walled gardens such as Amazon. Moving forward, Taboola will be offering Connexity e-commerce solutions across its network of more than 9,000 digital properties that reach 500 million daily active users. 

Commerce data integration company Productsup is helping online businesses radically rethink the entire global value chain with the launch of a new platform designed to combat “commerce anarchy”. This term was coined by Productsup to describe the struggles e-commerce companies face when managing the increasingly complex paths between products, services, and consumers. The platform allows senior ecommerce figures and their teams to take back control of purchase paths without the need for coding, but with full data transparency and compliance across all value chains. 

Hawk Platform (formerly TabMo) is partnering with audience planning tool Skyrise Intelligence, a platform that accesses telecommunications data from mobile network providers for over 20 million users. Data is anonymised and aggregated so that analysis is privacy compliant.  The output is rich, cookie-less insight, with value derived from the volume of the data and customisation of each data set. Used at scale, it strengthens Hawk Platform’s pre-campaign ability to deliver bespoke advice to brands and agencies on the most effective way to reach their specific target audiences.  

Partnership management platform Impact has announced the opening of an office in Denmark. Nicolai Mariegaard will be appointed Country Manager for Impact in Denmark. As Nordics is seeing a significant growth in adtech and martech, and Impact swift expansion in the Nordics will help it serve an ever increasing amount of clients in the region. The company enables companies to manage and optimise partnership channels.

Content assets firm Shutterstock has acquired creative design platform PicMonkey. The acquisition of PicMonkey is an important element of Shutterstock’s workflow solutions, empowering and builds upon the firm’s strategy to expand its offering to small businesses, by providing additional tools to non-professionals for elevating their visual content across a variety of platforms. It also expands Shutterstock’s audience reach and addressable market by extending into the rapidly growing $8 billion market opportunity for creative software and design tools. Consideration for the transaction consists of $110 million of cash paid at closing and the acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income.

Data platform Audiencerate has partnered with sell side programmatic platform PubMatic. Under the deal, Audiencerate data will now be available via PubMatic’s Audience Encore audience data platform across the UK, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain and Nordics.  Across Europe, private marketplaces (PMPs) are commanding an increasing share of ad spend. The partnership also sees Audiencerate becoming an official PubMatic data channel partner, using their proprietary technology to provide PubMatic with access to vast privacy-compliant data sets – including AdForm and Google – across all channels, including connected TV (CTV). 

Customer data platform Zeotap has closed an $11m extension to its Series C round. The extension follows the company raising $42m in July 2020, which was followed by an initial extension of $18.5m in November from SignalFire’s Breakout Fund. The new round brings the company’s total funding raised to $90M, fueling Zeotap’s drive to provide solutions for marketers facing a privacy-first future. The company has signed several new clients, including Virgin Media, DER Touristik and Nestlé, and partnered with over 60 leading European publishers on ID+.

Adtech firm Smart has announced its integration with Oracle Contextual Intelligence (formerly Grapeshot). The solution, which provides real-time content review and pre-bid classification is now fully available within Smart’s platform, allowing advertisers, agencies and publishers to ensure inventory quality and avoid unsafe content across industry-standard brand safety categories.

AI firm Peak has announced it is partnering with digital marketing agency First Internet, as the Manchester-based firm looks to expand in the US and India. The agency will look after Peak’s website on an on-going basis, focusing on localised versions of the site, building multilingual versions, and a focus on CRO (conversion rate optimisation). It will also oversee UX/ performance reviews, features and updates, and project work. The appointment follows a three-phase project, which has seen First Internet update the existing Peak website, develop the content hub and create new templates, designs, development and animations. Peak, founded in 2014 by Richard Potter, David Leitch and Atul Sharma, works with clients across retail, manufacturing, and consumer packaged goods, to embed AI to improve decision making. It recently secured $75 million in Series C funding, led by the SoftBank Vision Fund II.

Sports, music and marketing agency Wasserman has  expanded its pan-European network with the opening of a new full-service office in Düsseldorf. The opening is the latest in two years of European growth, mainly by acquisition. The new office, headed up by industry veterans Kai Burkard and Sebastian Birwe, is the latest strategic hub in Wasserman’s expanding network. Wasserman’s European footprint now covers the UK, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Finland, Switzerland and Eastern Europe. The move is just the latest in the company’s growth plan, with acquisitions across football, hockey and boxing throughout 2020/1 despite the ongoing global pandemic.

Ones to watch: Movers and shakers in performance marketing

Jake Steadman, previously Deliveroo’s Global Vice President of Customer Insight & User Research, has joined martech firm Access Intelligence as Global VP of Insights. The hire follows the announcement that the business is merging operations with media monitoring, intelligence and insights solution provider, Isentia. This acquisition will see an integration of Isentia’s award winning media insight capabilities with Access Intelligence’s flagship product Pulsar, and overseeing its integration will be a core part of Jake’s role. 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. Jake will lead the global research team, ensuring the actionability of social analytics and insights and the translation of insight into the wider market context.

Marketing and monetisation adtech firm InMobi has appointed Philip Gale as Head of Agency Development for Europe. Most recently at Publicis Media, Gale was the Director of Programmatic Partnerships; he will report to Andy Powell, InMobi’s Vice President and Managing Director for EMEA. His new role will involve developing deeper relationships and longer-term strategic partnership opportunities and collaborations between InMobi and media agencies.  

Global technology company Criteo has announced the appointment of Manuela Montagnana as Chief People Officer. Montagnana’s appointment will see her lead Criteo’s global people team, ensuring equitable, transparent and inclusive initiatives and practices for over 2,500 employees. Similarly, she will drive the strategy and execution of development and talent retention for Criteo. Prior to Criteo, Montagnana has over 20 years of experience in similar roles and most recently served as Vice President, Head of Human Resources for Product and Engineering at Compass. The appointment comes at a transformative time for Criteo, especially as the workforce has undergone a seismic shift and Montagnana will help ensure the evolution of a flexible and hybrid workplace which cultivates inclusivity, innovation and collaboration.

E-commerce search and personalisation adtech firm Attraqt Group has appointed Tom Crawford as Non-Executive Chairman with immediate effect. Tom takes over from Nick Habgood who has stepped down from his role as Non-Executive Chairman but will remain available for a number of months to support Tom and the Board in order to facilitate a smooth transition. Crawford is currently Non-Executive Chairman of K3 Business Technology Group plc, and was, until January 2020, Chief Executive Officer of Aptitude Software Group Plc, the global financial management software company. Before that, he led the expansion of a number of the Group's divisions.

Mercaux, a platform for digitising retail stores by turning them into multi-purpose centres, has appointed Shaun Britton as Vice President of Sales, EMEA. The hire of the former Aptos Solutions sales executive comes on the back of a busy quarter for the business which saw it launch Digital Fitting Room, a solution that is helping retailers to improve in-store conversions. With two decades of experience in sales – most recently at Aptos Solutions, Britton’s responsibilities at Mercaux will include building and maintaining a healthy pipeline of new business opportunities, sales team leadership and contract negotiation.

Belgian adtech firm Qualifo has appointed Quentin Paquot, as the organisation’s new CEO. Olivier Simonis, co-founder and CEO of Qualifio since it was launched in 2011, is stepping down from his position, but remains active within the company as Chairman of the Board. At 35, Quentin Paquot has spent the majority of his career at Qualifio. He joined the company in 2014 as an Account Manager, before becoming Sales Director, COO, Co-CEO and now CEO. In his new role, Paquot will be responsible for consolidating the strong growth and diversifying its technological offering.

Commerce integration company Productsup has 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.