SOURCE: Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing

February 25, 2016 08:00 ET

Rakuten Marketing Makes Its Foray Into Social Advertising With Acquisition of Product-Intelligence Company Manifest

Automated Technology Predicts and Tests Highest-Performing Products to Maximize ROI for Prospecting and Retargeting

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 25, 2016) - Rakuten Marketing, the global leader in omnichannel marketing, today announced a major advancement of its social advertising and ad optimization capabilities for retailers through the acquisition of Manifest Commerce, a product intelligence company with a unique solution for automated social advertising. The acquisition catapults Rakuten Marketing into a leading position to drive incremental revenue through prospecting and retargeting campaigns by collecting, testing and optimizing product-performance data in real-time.

With industry-leading post-click conversion rates over eight percent, the technology created by San Francisco-based Manifest significantly improves the performance of product ads across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and has broad applications across Rakuten Marketing omnichannel offerings for improving ad performance and return on investment. Integrating product discovery and optimization with its existing technology and consumer intelligence will uncover new revenue opportunities within display, search and affiliate programs and across ad platforms and devices.

"Rakuten Marketing offers some of the best advertising solutions in the market. We're thrilled to combine our team and technology with their scale to help power the future of e-commerce marketing," said Bob Buch, CEO of Manifest. "The new offering will drive incremental value to clients' social campaigns through our combined capabilities and insights, and our strong integration into the social space."

Manifest encourages product discovery by introducing new products to relevant audience segments using its predictive marketing and optimization engines. The automated process selects likely-to-perform products from a brand's catalog, tests those products within various market segments, and uses the data to dynamically optimize ads with the highest-performing products for a much larger group of similar shoppers. Rakuten Marketing has seen dramatic improvement in new customer acquisition and return on ad spend through its partnership with Manifest.

"The proportion of marketing investment into social continues to grow rapidly, yet the role consumer behavior and insights play in the purchase journey is still in its infancy, and there are huge opportunities in optimizing with product intelligence," said Tony Zito, CEO of Rakuten Marketing. "As this acquisition shows, Rakuten Marketing is at the forefront of dynamic ad technology and committed to offering native solutions that maximize performance for our customers."

The programmatic marketplace is segmenting into two ways to buy inventory: through demand-side-platforms (DSPs) and, increasingly, application programming interfaces (APIs). Manifest's API-based technology combined with RTB technology from recently acquired Deep Forest Media enables Rakuten Marketing to programmatically advertise on both types of inventory, providing clients the maximum audience reach.

Learn more about Rakuten Marketing at www.rakutenmarketing.com.

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About Rakuten Marketing
Rakuten Marketing is the global leader in omnichannel marketing, delivering its vision of driving the omni experience -- marketing designed for a streamlined customer experience. Offering an integrated strategy that combines consumer centric insights with e-commerce expertise, Rakuten Marketing's omnichannel services include Rakuten Affiliate Network (formerly LinkShare), Rakuten Display, Rakuten Search and Rakuten Attribution.

Operating as a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world's leading Internet service companies, Rakuten Marketing is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Australia, Brazil, Japan, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. Follow us on Twitter or learn more at http://rakutenmarketing.com.

About Manifest
Manifest, based in San Francisco, offers a multi-channel, automated ad platform for retailers with diverse product catalogs. Investors include First Round Capital, SoftTech VC and Cowboy Ventures. For more information please visit: www.manifestcommerce.com

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