This week on PMW: Roblox goes programmatic, InMobi buys AppSumer

What new Facebook tools can overcome Apple’s ad privacy clampdown? And how is gaming phenomenon Roblox opening up to programmatic ads? We look back at the biggest news, campaigns and moves in performance marketing this week...

Power up: new tools for performance marketers

As Facebook grapples with the damaging ripple effect of Apple’s latest data restrictions, advertisers who relied on attribution reporting from the platform have found themselves flying blind. In response, marketing analytics firm Measured has released incrementality testing solutions for Facebook advertising measurement in a post-iOS world. The firm developed a suite of experiment designs and actionable reporting tools that identify the causality between Facebook investments and actual business transactions reported by the brand, helping  marketers make decisions about advertising on the platform. These tools include ‘Audience split experiments’, ‘Geo-matched market experiments’ and ‘Scale testing experiments’. DTC brands like ButcherBox, Crocs, Ruggable, and Yeti are already signed up as clients. 

CRM platform HubSpot has launched Operations Hub Enterprise, alongside several new enterprise-grade features and updates to help businesses  align their data, channels, and teams and easily adapt to every phase of growth. The tool has been designed to help operations and marketing professionals play a key role in the scaling of their business. The platform allows users to unify customer data in a connected CRM platform, automate a host of time-consuming tasks, maintain a clean database with ease, and ultimately, play an active role in shaping their company's strategy. Operations Hub Enterprise will also provide a more connected experience for teams who are looking to keep their existing business intelligence solution with Snowflake Data Share, a new feature that provides an automated, turnkey way to connect HubSpot data to the industry’s leading data warehouse.

Workflow management firm Yangaroo has announced a partnership with ad measurement platform Innovid to extend its digital media distribution capabilities, automating and optimising the distribution of traditional media assets across digital publishers and devices - (including CTV) for advertisers of all sizes. Available to joint clients, advertisers and agencies can now extend their insertion orders to include Innovid, when preparing media assets automatically meeting technical specifications for all devices and media destinations. This then allows for rapid delivery of content across linear TV, radio, OTT, CTV, VOD, desktop, and mobile. 

In-game ad platform has launched a new programmatic offering for crafting game Roblox. The initiative brings Anzu’s dynamic in-game advertising solution, which runs across mobile, PC and console to one of Gen Z’s most popular gaming platforms. The new initiative will open up Roblox’s 202million monthly active users to brands and agencies across the globe in a scalable way through multiple exclusive partnerships with Roblox game developers.

A new app, called MySizeID, is offering ways for retailers and shoppers to help online shoppers find the right fit, across brands and size charts, conveniently and privately. The app uses a patented algorithm to take measurements using the technology already available in mobile phones without accessing the camera. MySizeID lets consumers create a secure, online profile of their personal measurements, which can then be used with partnered online retailers to ensure that no matter the manufacturer or size chart, the consumer will always get the right fit. boosting loyalty. 

Digital content management firm Seismic has announced its autumn product update, which includes an entirely new way for sales teams to collaborate with buyers, and a new integration for greater CRM capabilities enabling unique personalised interactions throughout the customer buying journey. Seismic showcased the new capability this week at INBOUND 2021, where the company also featured its integration with HubSpot, a leading CRM for scaling companies. Seismic’s Fall Release arrives as the B2B selling environment continues to become more complex. On average, there are 27 interactions between the seller and buyer, with 11 people influencing the buying decision, according to Forrester. Seismic’s latest platform enhancements focus on helping sellers accelerate deals in spite of this increased complexity.

Get inspired: latest campaigns and brand wins

Microsoft has launched the first-ever national digital billboard campaign to feature British Sign Language (BSL) across the UK, featured at major railway stations across the UK including Reading, Brighton, Waterloo, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly. Each billboard will show 10 second films featuring a female BSL interpreter who is signing the words next to her. The campaign has been launched as part of Microsoft’s five-year commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. The campaign has launched alongside Microsoft’s new accessibility website that contains resources for companies to help them become more inclusive. It includes information on inclusive hiring practices, digital skills, growing a diverse culture, create accessible solutions, accessibility tools, case studies and tips and tricks. Created in partnership with Signly, the website also features a BSL interpreter, who can sign the information with just a click. According to the British Deaf Association, BSL is the preferred language of more than 87,000 Deaf people in the UK for whom English may be a second or third language.

Lobbying organisation Construction Alliance North East (CAN) has partnered with Mediaworks to deliver a digital-first approach to drive the region’s construction sector forward. CAN launched its new website this week to provide a platform that is fit for purpose and more accessible for its audience. While digital transformation is a priority for 72% of construction firms globally, just one in three businesses in the sector spend less than three per cent of their turnover on digital technologies. 

UM, IPG’s global marketing and media agency network, has been appointed as the global media planning and buying partner for multinational takeaway food ordering marketplace Just Eat, following a competitive pitch. UM will manage the group’s media accounts across 21 countries globally including above the line media campaigns designed to build top-of-mind awareness. This consolidation constitutes a win of 9 additional markets for UM to include sizable key European countries like Germany and well established territories like the Netherlands where the company has its global headquarters. UM already has the planning and buying business in the UK, Australia and Canada as well as a number of European markets. As Just Eat’s global media partner since 2019, UM has already developed market-leading media campaigns such as developing innovative media approaches to surround the brand’s sponsorships of Euro 2020.

In another example of influencer marketing and brand partnerships, Liquid Diamond, a premium wine brand that launched the first Proseccos to use emoji tasting notes, is collaborating with The Only Way is Essex star, Amy Childs. The Amy x Liquid Diamond bottles of white Prosecco will be available from December to consumers through Liquid Diamond’s ecommerce site, Amazon and selected retailers.  This is the latest move from Beyond Wines the brains behind Liquid Diamond, to broaden the appeal of wines and encourage wine shoppers, who don’t know too much about wine, to enjoy a more premium experience. The development of the brand will be covered on upcoming episodes of The Only Way is Essex, with Liquid Diamond’s co-founder Alex Green appearing alongside Amy. 

A digital transformation project for Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust has enhanced the lives of the affordable housing provider’s residents. Back in January 2020, Johnnie Johnson Housing - which houses residents in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, and Derbyshire - acknowledged a need to innovate its service provision. After appointing digital marketing agency Mediaworks to develop a new website, portal, and app, the new digital platforms were launched in July 2021. Three months on, the transformation continues to improve the lives of Johnnie Johnson Housing's residents.

The UK’s MInistry of Defence has worked with Norwegian software provider FotoWare to launch a new website with a library of over 5,000 videos and 10,000 images available for the public to access. Following improvements to its former site, which was customised by a third party company, the MOD needed a new site that retained all of the customised features, but also ensured compliance with the strict requirements laid out by the UK Government for all of its websites. FotoWare had worked on a similar website for the Australian Government’s Department of Defence, where a custom front end was developed using the FotoWare solution and API (Application Programming Interface). That same front end was what the UK’s MOD wanted for its own new public-facing site, so FotoWare was employed to customise it. FotoWare implemented a solution to take the new site forward, adding more keyboard controls and a cookie banner, which is a requirement of the UK Government for all of its websites, to ensure they are fully WCAG compliant.

The changing marketing landscape: partnerships, mergers and rebrands

Optimisation in programmatic advertising requires huge amounts of data relating to bids (the bidstream) to be processed and analysed, which is demanding from a technology and hardware perspective, driving up costs while reducing the effectiveness of media spend. DSP Bidtellect has reduced these costs by 35% through working with IPONWEB’s BidSwitch and using its SmartSwitch intelligent traffic routing system. Bidtellect is a buy-side platform that helps brand advertisers reach targeted audiences in contextually relevant environments at scale across the web.  Its intelligent traffic routing system, SmartSwitch, saved Bidtellect 35% on these costs for one connected supply partner, and helped achieve a 2.7 times increase in auction win rate (meaning that they are almost three times as likely to win the programmatic advertising auction), ultimately improving performance.

UK-based intelligence platform Appsumer has been acquired by global adtech giant, InMobi. Since being founded in 2015 by young entrepreneur Shumel Lais, Appsumer has grown as an intelligence platform for user acquisition teams used by some of the world’s top-grossing consumer mobile apps, including Miniclip, Picsart and Viber. The business was recently named one of the UK’s top 100 startups, ranking 28th. InMobi is ramping up to a major growth milestone of its own, and building Appsumer’s unique technology and expertise into its market offering is a strategic value-adding move. 

Instagram has announced the five winning businesses from its inaugural Small Business Mentorship Programme, in partnership with Small Business Britain.  The winners– boki, Philly & Friends, Blacksmith London, Wakuda and Cucumber Clothing – span numerous industries, from sustainable homeware to inspirational children’s literature  and will now join a three-month programme. The mentorship will comprise of a content workshop afternoon, covering creative tips and a three-month Instagram content plan with some of the UK’s top Instagram creators, a virtual coaching session with a top business mentor, sessions with an Instagram product expert to discuss how to best use Instagram for Business, and £1,000 worth of ad credits – to support their growth ambitions.

Ones to watch: movers and shakers in performance marketing

Global technology company Criteo, which powers an open media retail ecosystem outside of the walled gardens, has announced the appointment of Nicolas Rieul as MD, Western Europe. The newly created role adds to his existing responsibilities as Managing Director France. Rieul’s appointment will see him lead Criteo’s senior leadership team across Europe, driving the commercial strategy and sustaining business growth for over 2,500 employees. He will also be increasing the awareness of Criteo’s Commerce Media Platform that marketers and media owners around the world use. Outside of Criteo, Rieul is currently the president at IAB France, Vice President at Mobile Marketing Association France and part of the executive committee at IAB Europe. He previously held the role as Head of Mobile at media agency, Dentsu.

Brand Metrics has appointed Taylor Sturtevant as the head of the US Customer Success team. Having worked previously as the Director, Entertainment Customer Success at Marketing Evolution, a New York-based company, Taylor brings along her experience in market research, team leadership, customer service and strategic planning. Not to mention, the immense growth that Taylor's career has taken as she started as an intern in the industry and worked her way to the director level in a short amount of time. This news comes off the back of their groundbreaking global expansion and establishing strong roots in the US.

Retail innovation agency Outform is ramping up its digital and creative capability with the appointment of ex-Cheil creative director James Dotchin. Dotchin will lead the UK-based creative team and report to Simon Hathaway, Outform’s Group MD, EMEA. He will work across all Outform key clients, with a focus on building digital capability as clients increasingly seek innovation driven by interaction in store. Dotchin will also oversee creative output at Outform’s sister shop, The Shopper Agency, working in close collaboration with Clare Cryer, business unit director, digital commerce there. His appointment comes hot on the heels of major new wins including Amazon, Intel and PVH, as well as Zound Industries, which is being led by the team recently established in Stockholm.  Prior to joining Outform, Dotchin spent a decade at Cheil Worldwide as creative director, delivering multichannel ideas for household names including Samsung, NIVEA and Absolut. His experience also includes senior creative roles at Momentum Worldwide and Bezier, as well as strategic group head at Coutts Creative Shopper Marketing. Outform’s growth in the UK also sees Thembi Hwalima join as account manager for the agency’s Samsung team, while Kal Stark has been recruited as technology project manager.