Tech tracker: Meta gives SMEs an AI power-up as WeChat monetises video ‘Channels’

How is Twitter boosting audience measurement amid Musk’s ‘bot’ claims? Why is Tencent monetising its new WeChat videos so soon? And how is taking on Salesforce? Here’s all the latest adtech news in one place…

Each week, PMW looks into the latest technology and platforms available to performance marketers, with an at-a-glance guide to help you turbo-change your tech stack. 

This week we look at big platforms including Facebook and WeChat and significant moves in the automated creative space as brands look to measure more than just clicks and conversions.

Companies covered this week:  

  • Meta
  • Tencent (WeChat)
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • Cavai
  • MediaMath
  • Anzu + StackAdapt
  • Veridooh
  • ShowHeroes + Skyrise
  • Theorem
  • Jiminny
  • Reach + LIveRamp
  • Verasity
  • Team ITG + Brand Machine
  • Imposium + Mediaocean
  • Vidmob

Entravision MediaDonuts + Anzu

Meta offers its most advanced automated ad tools to SMEs

When creating an ad through a Facebook page, small businesses can now use Meta’s Advantage+, its most advanced AI and automation offering for advertisers. Previously only available to larger campaigns,  it can now be used when running single ads. In addition, Meta is upgrading Advantage+ with new capabilities for shopping campaigns, app campaigns and more.

How it works:

  • Meta Advantage+ can now help advertisers running shopping campaigns learn what’s working faster. 
  • Using AI and automation technologies, Meta Advantage+ can generate up to 150 creative combinations at once. 
  • Small businesses can create ads through their Facebook page, which will automatically adjust for each person who views them. 
  • Meta will show individual users the version of the ad they’re most likely to respond to.

Tencent turns WeChat video service ‘Channels’ into ad and e-commerce tools

encent is stepping up efforts to earn money from WeChat’s fast-growing video function, which is challenging popular short video platforms such as ByteDance’s Douyin and Kuaishou Technology, as the Chinese internet giant seeks new ways to expand sales and profits.

How it works: 

  • The e-commerce tool lets users create online stores on its ‘Channels’ video service within multipurpose ‘super-app’ WeChat.
  • The tool streamlines the process for merchants to list products, sell and receive payments. 
  • The announcement comes after Tencent added video ads to its Channels feeds which allow users to shop directly through an advert and share with friends on WeChat.

Twitter ramps up visitor tracking 

Twitter has updated its Twitter Pixel for website visitor tracking and itsConversion API, and has released a new App Purchase Optimisation process to help improve ads campaigns.

How it works: 

  • The updated Pixel lets advertisers track more actions, like when someone adds an item to their shopping cart. Twitter has also simplified the pixel integration and activation process. This will help advertisers better understand the impact of their web campaigns and provide clearer support when checking to see if the Pixel is implemented properly.
  • Conversion API lets advertisers feed conversion data back to their Twitter account, without the use of third-party cookies. This is the first time an advertiser can finally connect data to see conversions without placing a tag on their site.
  • App Purchase Optimization lets advertisers deliver ads to the Twitter users that are most likely to install an app or make a purchase by using machine learning to identify audiences that are more likely to take an action. Twitter says that in early testing, 89% of advertisers saw a reduction in cost-per-purchase.

TikTok launches Shopping Ads

TikTok for Business has launched Shopping Ads, letting advertisers build shopping experiences based on TikTok’s loop of discovery, consideration, purchase, review and participation – including community fuelled shopping trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt which has hit more than 19 billion views.

How it works:

  • Video Shopping Ads let advertisers highlight one or multiple products in their in-feed video ads. They take features from TikTok’s existing offers like Collection Ads and Dynamic Showcase Ads, combined with new features and tools into one simplified solution. 
  • Catalog Listing Ads are only available for testing in the US, but enable advertisers to scale their product catalogues across TikTok and expand advertising reach beyond the For You Page. Catalog Listing Ads are powered by the product details from a brand’s catalogue and showcase products across shoppable experiences. They are designed to drive users with relevant interest and higher purchase intent to shoppable experiences.
  • LIVE Shopping Ads are available for testing where TikTok Shop is live, including the UK, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and with ‘allowlisted’ accounts in the US, to help brands drive people from their For You Feed to the brand’s TikTok Shop LIVE event.

A new way to buy conversational ads at scale

Cavai and MediaMath are delivering conversational advertising programmatically. The solution lets brands and advertisers connect with potential customers and engage them in curated conversations; enhancing engagement, consideration and ROI and generating insights. 

How it works:

  • Advertising partners can select Cavai as a creative vendor within the drop down menu within the MediaMath user interface; bringing programmatic scale and targeting opportunities to conversational buys and eliminating inefficiencies. 
  • Partners will also have access to Cavai’s global team of designers and copywriters to build conversational creative.
  • Conversational ads can run on display, native, mobile and video, across devices; helping advertisers reach consumers in environments they have deemed compliant, brand safe and suitable – enabling them to achieve KPIs and dramatically increase ROI.

More automated buying tools for games ads (on the big and small screen)

Demand side platform (DSP) StackAdapt has partnered with global gaming ad platform Anzu already works with many of the globe’s leading brands and agencies including WPP, Publicis, NBCUniversal, Samsung, Vodafone, and PepsiCo. StackAdapt joins Anzu at a pivotal moment, having recently launched first-to-market viewability measurement for in-game ads with Oracle Moat. 

How it works:

  • Advertisers in North America and EMEA using StackAdapt’s DSP can now reach gamers programmatically across mobile, PC and console via blended in-game banners and video ads that complement the gameplay.

Australian out-of-home verification solution comes to UK 

Australian adtech leader Veridooh, known for its out-of-home (OOH) verification solution, has expanded into the UK as part of global growth plans. The UK launch follows Veridooh securing AU$5 million in Series A funding, the first external capital raise for the business.

Founded in 2019 by Mo Moubayed and Jeremy Yang, Veridooh is already the preferred verification partner for GroupM, Omnicom Media Group, and IPG Mediabrands in Australia and its clients include some of the biggest global brands like Unilever, McDonald’s, Google, Amazon, Mercedes, Pepsi, and Sony. 

How it works:

  • Its patent-pending, proprietary solution, SmartCreative, independently collects all the data needed to track, measure, and verify the performance of digital out-of-home campaigns. 
  • Using the Veridooh dashboard, clients have full visibility over their campaigns with access to more than 300 metrics. 
  • This includes location, plays, exposure time, and share of time, which clients can use to analyse and optimise their campaigns. It verifies digital, programmatic, and static OOH.

Work management tool expands into CRM

Work operating system has launched a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, monday sales CRM, built for the next generation of work. It’s the first of five new product solutions built to support a variety of teams working in sales, marketing, software development, project management, and more. 

How it works: 

  • The offering will enable companies to manage every aspect of their sales cycle and customer data in one centralised place.
  • Automating tasks will save time and close deals faster.
  • Email sync with Gmail/Outlook to send and receive emails or automatically. 
  • Email tracking so the team is automatically notified of a new lead.
  • Managing a team’s quota attainment over time, track wins, and view goals.
  • Managing post-sale activities in one place to stay on top of client onboarding, projects, and collection tracking.
  • Planning and fast-tracking the sales hiring process.

Upgraded cookie-less audience targeting 

Video adtech provider, ShowHeroes, has partnered with mobile data company, Skyrise, bringing together both their semantic and geolocation audience targeting capabilities.

ShowHeroes can now build and activate detailed user profiles based on demographics, interests and time spent engaging with specific brands and their competitors, bringing a deeper understanding of the consumer and their broader behaviour.

How it works:

  • Skyrise extracts insights from its datasets of 20 million UK mobiles users and then allows clients to activate these at a postcode level, buying advertising that is relevant and efficient, without the need for cookies.
  • The mobile intelligence company’s multi-channel data will be activated across ShowHeroes’ online video and CTV campaigns. ShowHeroes’ semantic-based contextual targeting will be enhanced with precise and efficient audience targeting, powered by vast pools of anonymised and aggregated browsing and location data.

More ad automation tools for entertainment brands 

Theorem is expanding its automation services for media and entertainment brands including streaming companies, TV and radio broadcast organisationss. The tool is designed to address the gap in the market whereby companies use generic automation tools that are not integrated with their digital marketing workflow. The company works with top media and entertainment companies including Turner, News Corp, Hearst, Pandora, and 30+ brands that span the streaming, audio, OTT and publishing sectors.

How it works:

  • The AdOps automation and order-to-cash (OTC) tech allows brands to grow their revenue by integrating external automation tools more easily with their own systems. 
  • Uses a mix of human intelligence, machine learning, digital marketing workflows and automation technologies.

Conversation intelligence provider gets $16.5m funding boost

Jiminny, a conversation intelligence provider supporting sales teams across the world, has closed a $16.5m Series A funding round. The round was led by Kennet Partners, a transatlantic growth equity firm, adding to its targeted portfolio of technology growth stage investments. Demand for conversation intelligence solutions has increased in recent years, with more sales teams looking to utilise tools suited to hybrid working, scale up operations and professionalise sales team coaching.

How it works:

  • Sales teams use Jiminny’s platform to record and analyse new and existing customer conversations in real time. 
  • These insights are used by the business to improve performance and ultimately drive revenue and growth. 
  • A range of organisations, from FTSE 100 constituent Informa to Europe’s leading expense management solution, Pleo, are using the platform.

Major UK publisher adopts cookieless audience tool to boost advertisers

Reach has announced its partnership with LiveRamp to adopt the latter’s Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS). The strategic partnership will enable the purchase of authenticated inventory from Reach by the world’s top marketers, without relying on third-party identifiers such as third-party cookies, mobile ad IDs or IP addresses.

How it works:

  • By increasing addressability available to advertisers and brands, publishers can increase inventory yield due to the higher value of their authenticated audiences. 
  • ATS’s neutrality and interoperability gives both publishers and marketers choice and control in terms of how they want to buy and measure media and connect their data across the open internet.
  • Publishers and their marketers are able to leverage first-party data in a safe and privacy-centric manner and develop transparent relationships with consumers, without the risks of data leakage.

Video player uses blockchain-powered adtech to verify ad views

VeraViews adtech stack has delivered the first third-party developed ad-support plugin for the Brightcove Web Player. The tool, owned by blockchain based adtech Verasity, is an open ledger advertising ecosystem built around patented ‘Proof of View’ fraud identification technology.  

How it works:

  • VeraViews offers fraud-free and transparent video monetisation.
  • It provides transparent invalid traffic tracking for publishers.
  • Also provides auditable campaign statistics for brands. 

Creative automation solution expands to APAC via acquisition

Tech-based agency Team ITG have bought New Zealand-based Brand Machine to accelerate their growth in the APAC region. In under 10 years, Brand Machine has gained a large roster of clients including the likes of Hyundai, Kiwi Bank and ABS. Headquartered in Birmingham and with over 1,000 employees across multiple offices in Europe and America, Team ITG serves household name brands like GSK, Jaguar Land Rover, Heineken, PUMA and Currys.

How it works:

  • Team ITG is a technology and multichannel marketing activation business. Its disruptive, proprietary technology platform, CanopyCloud, and integrated marketing services drive high levels of efficiency and effectiveness for multichannel marketing within global brands. 
  • Brand Machine helps the marketing teams of multi-location and franchise brands run with precision and efficiency, using local area marketing automation, digital asset management, proposal solutions and more.

Adtech firm buys up creative personalisation tech platform

Adtech firm Mediaocean has brought Imposium. The video technology will bring new personalisation capabilities for CTV and digital video to the Mediaocean omnichannel platform. This acquisition of Imposium follows the recent purchase of Drishyam AI and Mediaocean becoming a badged marketing partner for TikTok to enable the creation and management of immersive video ad experiences at scale.

How it works: 

  • Imposium lets marketers create personalised videos that meet consumers in the moment with tailored messages. 
  • It enables automated generation of content metadata, real-time rendering from data points, A/B testing, and other advanced capabilities that enable marketers to more successfully understand the impact of specific video creative elements and automate iterative changes to drive performance.
  • Flashtalking by Mediaocean’s digital ad serving and creative personalisation technology has already integrated Imposium to support Flashtalking’s Lightning Renderer, a high-speed video rendering engine optimised to create personalised videos from data for delivery to CTV and other digital video channels, including social video. 
  • Future development will further incorporate Imposium’s advanced video creative tools to enhance Flashtalking’s video personalisation capabilities and make them available to linear TV advertisers as well. 

Video creative optimisation software gets $110m funding boost

VidMob has raised $110 million in a Series D investment round led by Shamrock Capital. The company’s revenue has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 110%, having experienced accelerated growth every year for the past four years. The group joins a strong list of existing investors, including Adobe, Shutterstock, BuildGroup and Spruce House.

How it works: 

  • The Intelligent Creative platform provides an end-to-end solution to help brands optimise the performance of their creative advertising assets. 
  • Unifying data and analytics with creative production,improved marketing performance and business results across all platforms and creative formats.

In-game advertising platform comes to lucrative Southeast Asia market

Digital marketing performance and branding solutions platform Entravision MediaDonuts has entered into a partnership with to bring its in-game advertising platform to advertisers, developers, and players in Southeast Asia. Entravision MediaDonuts will now represent Anzu in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, enabling advertisers in these markets to tap into real-world ads inside gaming platforms.

How it works:

  • The partnership will provide brands with a channel to run campaigns in some of the most popular games titles by Ubisoft, Saber Interactive, Amanotes, and other developers. 
  • These video and banner ads via blended but highly viewable IAB-compliant formats can appear as stadium banners, billboards, buildings, or other 3D renditions to complement the gameplay and make the user experience more realistic.

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