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The Wednesday Stack: Ads, Blockchain, ABM, and More

Facebook is being slammed with another lawsuit this time, focused on political advertising. Washington State has filed a suit claiming the social media platform allegedly violated state campaign finance laws with their failure to properly inform voters about political ad buyers. Google was also named in the suit.

Matt Hedberg, GM, professional services division, Semcasting, weighed in on the case, and the potential impact it could have on political advertising:

“Currently, most of Facebook and Google’s respective changes to privacy and retention policies should allow them to satisfy Washington state law with minor changes, so I imagine these cases will be settled out of court. My main fear is that with federal legislation stalled, other states will use this example and seek to regulate their own markets. While Facebook and Google are the defendants in this particular case, a future of patchwork laws will only serve to benefit large incumbents who possess the necessary resources to navigate a broken system.

“We all can and should strive to be more transparent, but that task only becomes more difficult if the rules are not clearly established. Washington state is not known as a focus of national political attention, and the almost minimal spend on these two platforms since 2008 bears that out. Who is truly being harmed if Facebook decides to place more stringent rules on advertising in the state? A higher barrier to entry will benefit incumbent politicians at the expense of small outside challengers.”


I don’t know how many Forrester waves there are altogether — seems like an oceanful — but now there’s a new one: “The Forrester New Wave: ABM Platforms.” And as of Q2 2018, Demandbase is ahead of the pack, almost alone in the leader category (with MRP and Jabmo — the latter with a very small market presence — just tiptoeing across the line which divides leaders from strong performers). 

Among the strong performers, Lattice Engines and Engagio, both written about here at DMN, with TechTarget, despite significant market presence, slipping into the contender category. “Demandbase leads the pack with robust complementary capabilities. The company covers most of the critical steps of the ABM process and has strong partnerships with leading marketing cloud vendors, a compelling vision of AI-powered ABM, and an aggressive and comprehensive road map.” But, “Demandbase still has a few gaps to fill, even where commodity solutions already exist. Adding table-stakes functionality such as lead-to-account matching or corporate hierarchies would strengthen its appeal as the platform for all-things ABM and reduce the integration burden a small but meaningful amount for Demandbase users.”

14 vendors were evaluated for the report.


Also tumbling into the inbox recently:

  • If voice is going to be a major channel, with YOY growth of the global smart speaker market topping 200% in Q1, then it follows that voice search is going to be important. The digital experience mavens at Acquia (and what a cute chatbot pops up on their site) are expanding their efforts to roll out voice search capabilities to government authorities and big brands. The state of Georgia was the first government body to roll out Acquia-enabled voice search last fall (here’s the Alexa interface). Almost 80% of voice searches for information about topics like vehicle registration and state sales tax were successfully completed in the first eight months of the program
  • Blockchain is moving slowly but relentlessly, it seems, from being some buzz about fake money (joke) to being a technology with some persuasive use cases (see Pega’s investment in blockchain for corporate customer onboarding). Here comes programmatic leader, MediaMath, and its VC fund, MathCapital, with news of a new incubating company, Underscore CLT, led by adtech veteran Isaac Lidsky. The aim is to create “a new, foundational technology for digital marketing” based on blockchain. The first step, creating an alliance of marketers, publishers, demand- and supply-side platforms, agencies, industry associations, and tech vendors
  • And finally, move over acquisition, here comes loyalty, with the release today of the Loyalty Outlook 2018 report from Merkle covering the gamut of emotional loyalty, loyalty strategy, data and privacy.

Where will DMN be next? We’re looking at Salesforce Connections 2018 in the Windy City.  Say hi if you see us.

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