Weekly martech review: BrandTotal $6m funding, Salesforce’s Customer 360, AT&T ad business Xandr.

In our review of last week’s martech news, we highlight BrandTotal closing $6m Series A funding, Salesforce launching Customer 360, and AT&T launching new advertising business Xandr.

BrandTotal closed $6m Series A funding

What it is

BrandTotal is an agile marketing platform that uses AI, cyber security techniques, and data science to — get this — reveal to brand marketers the digital marketing activities of their top competitors. They’re originally based in Tel Aviv, with a second office in New York.

Why it matters

This brings their total funding amount to $8m. BrandTotal has a partnership with Microsoft via Microsoft’s Dynamics 365, they’ve been selected to Oracle’s Startup Cloud Accelerator, and have presented at Morgan Stanley’s prestigious Innovation Summit.

Their technology collects both public and targeted “dark” posts from paid media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, display banners, etc), in order to give a more transparent view of what’s happening, and reveal a brand’s opportunities and threats in real time. They report that 85% of sponsored posts on Facebook are ‘dark posts,’ i.e. targeted to specific users. They’re trying to shed some light on that “dark marketing.”

Salesforce launches Customer 360 to provide a whole view of the customer

What it is

The new Customer 360 aims to provide a 360-degree view of the customer. It will unify data for both admins and customers themselves, featuring an admin interface to manage customer data across Salesforce apps, as well as a Customer 360 ID to give customers up-to-date, relevant profiles across apps.

Why it matters

This is yet another step to cross-channel / omnichannel customer experiences. More and more businesses are waking up to the fact that just because consumers interact with a brand across a dozen different channels and platforms doesn’t change the fact that the end consumer is one unified person. PSA: they generally like to be treated as such. But as with everything, “omnichannel” is much easier talked about than done, so Salesforce’s announcement is worth paying attention to.

AT&T launches new advertising company Xandr

What it is

Xandr will basically be existing components of AT&T advertising & analytics businesses, but under one name and one centralized place. It will include AT&T AdWorks (advanced TV business), ATT.net (data and analytics business), and AppNexus, and will continue to support its US and global customers under the Xandr umbrella.

Why it matters

This is another example of how big brands — even ones who aren’t fundamentally advertising agencies — are needing to create uniquely advertising arms. Advertising and adtech are becoming more complex, combining data, technology, premium content, and distribution, as well as more necessary to stay competitive.

Before you go

  • Instagram cofounders jointly resigning from Facebook, in yet another in quite the line of PR blows to the company this year. Reasons for leaving are up for speculation in the coming weeks.
  • HubSpot plans to open an office in Paris in Q1 2019 — mental note to request any future meetings with them to be there.
  • Xactly (cloud-based sales performance management) acquired OpsPanda, AI-based sales resource and capacity planning application provider.
  • Wunderman bought a controlling stake in European martech company Emark.
  • IBM launches Watson Assistant, powered by AI and IoT. You can talk or type at it for help — or wait for it to *smartly* anticipate your needs.
  • Facebook Stories Ads are now available for all advertisers. Like Instagram ads, they include full ad targeting and measurement capabilities, and are also available in Messenger.
  • Adobe unveils Data Explorer tools to help marketers better understand audiences.

See something we missed? Leave us a comment below!

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