CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 5 April 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, Conversocial, OneTrust, Lytics, Gather Online, Zoho, Helpshift and SpotX.

Salesforce launches Integration Cloud

Salesforce has launched Integration Cloud, a set of services and tools that aim to make it easy for customers to surface their data, regardless of where it resides, and deliver intelligent, connected customer experiences across all channels and touchpoints.

Integration Cloud offers three layers: An Integration Platform, courtesy of Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft, a platform for building application networks that connect enterprise apps, data and devices across cloud and on-premise; Integration Builder to build a single view of the customer across all of Salesforce deployments; and Integration Experiences, to automatically bring together Salesforce customer data. 

Salesforce has also introduced Lightning Flow, a CRM Process Automation function to build apps and components via clicks or code, along with Einstein Analytics and Quip Live Apps. Einstein Analytics Developer Experience allows developers to use Lightning components to embed Einstein Analytics and live updates within custom apps to make smarter decisions, all with clicks, not code.

Third-party Quip Live Apps are interactive, customisable apps.

OneTrust Announces Adobe Cloud Platform Launch extension

OneTrust has announced a new extension for Adobe Cloud Platform Launch to help European Union marketers better comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and ePrivacy.

The OneTrust Marketing and Web Compliance tools include data subject rights (DSAR) portal, consent and preference management, cookie consent, and website scanning. This extension for Launch by Adobe will help OneTrust customers better address consent obligations across their data pools.

“Our Adobe Cloud Platform integration makes it easier for large enterprise customers to deploy at scale, as well as small and medium organisations to have simple plugin interfaces to their most common technology providers. Brands need to build experiences with privacy in mind,” said Adobe head of platform partners and strategy, Cody Crnkovich.

OneTrust, together with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), has also launched a Consent and Data Subject Rights 2.0 Platform for IAPP members. Available in the IAPP Resource Center, the updated IAPP-OneTrust Consent and Data Subject Rights Platform features solutions to support compliance with data protection regulations, including the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.

The IAPP-OneTrust Platform aims to simplify regulatory challenges and help organisations embed privacy management within their business structure. The platform provides website owners with a transparent mechanism for obtaining and managing consent, as well as a method to capture, manage, and communicate responses to data subject requests.

Lytics raises US$14m for customer data marketing platform

Customer data platform vendor, Lytics, has scooped up US$14 million in Series B funding to ramp up product development and marketing and sales capability.

The latest funding round was led by Two Sigma Ventures with EPIC Ventures, and supported by returning backers including Comcast Ventures, Rembrandt Ventures and Voyager Capital. The US-based company recently launched its Lytics Orchestrate product for coordinating and automating cross-channel campaigns across different execution tools, and includes Nestle, General Mills, Heineken and The Economist Group among its customers.

“This new funding round confirms our position as the leading customer data platform and will accelerate our growth and continued support of leading enterprise customers,” said Lytics CEO and co-founder, James McDermott. “We’re working with the next generation of marketers who want to orchestrate campaigns that are always on and always relevant, build trust with their customers and consistently deliver revenue growth.”

Aussie social discovery startup scores $1m funding

Australian-based social discovery and messaging platform, Gather Online, has secured $1 million in funding from former Dimension Data chief executive, Brett Dawson, to support ambitious expansion plans.

The company offers an online communication service aimed at bringing together like-minded communities for time-limited engagement around specific topics, such as careers, travel and health. The platform has 40,000 daily active users with dwell times of more than 20 minutes, and has operations both locally and in South Africa.

Founder and CEO, David Price, said the latest cash injection will support plans to grow and target users across Europe, the US and Asia. The funding is part of a third seed funding round which has been oversubscribed, with a further $200,000 out of $1.4 million now available for investment.

Conversocial integrates WeChat Messaging

Conversocial has debuted WeChat support to power digital customer service capabilities for the Chinese social messaging network.

The integration enables digital customer care teams to leverage intelligent agent routing, conversational filtering and prioritisation, robust workflows, and real-time analytics to deliver digital care over WeChat. With this integration, Western brands can now leverage WeChat as a digital customer service channel directly into China.

"Conversocial's addition of WeChat has been imperative for a large brand like us to engage with our massive foreign customer base, ultimately enhancing their overall experience with us," Cathay Pacific social media manager, Priscilla Chok, said. "For the first time, our social customer care team can filter through the noise and prioritise conversations that truly need a response from a live agent, allowing our agents and managers to engage in WeChat messaging conversations at scale."

Zoho revamps Creator, adds Mobile App Creation

CRM vendor, Zoho, has updated its building platform, Zoho Creator.

The latest version, Creator 5, claims to enhance and refine the core functionality of the platform, including its Mobile App Creator, Page Creator, Form Creator, Report Creator, and Workflow Creator modules. This launch also introduces the ability to design and develop native custom mobile apps alongside web applications. Apps built on Zoho Creator can now also be managed through the Zoho One Admin Panel.

Zoho Creator has become the app builder for those of us with no formal programming and deployment experience. With this update, we are raising the bar yet again by enabling mobile app creation for both smartphones and tablets, no programming skills required,” said Zoho chief evangelist, Raju Vegesna. “On top of this, all two million existing Zoho Creator applications are now automatically mobile enabled.”

Helpshift launches SensAI

Helpshift has released SensAI, an artificial intelligence solution natively built for customer service.

SensAI aims to help brands automate the support process to make service interactions more human, while reducing time to resolution, optimising operations, lowering overhead in the contact centre, and improve day-to-day life for agents.

“Customers expect instant, personalised, in-channel support, and brands must be able to deliver it at scale. Helpshift’s chatbots and AI have been thoughtfully developed for carefully-tailored use cases that will meet those needs by simultaneously improving the customer experience and boosting operational efficiency,” said Helpshift CEO, Linda Crawford.

SensAI uses AI to automate parts of the customer service experience, making it possible for brands to deliver messaging-based support to their customers at scale. Routine, time-consuming inquiries can be fully automated or handed off to humans when necessary. Real-time classification and routing automatically classifies issues and routes them accordingly, and actionable insights addresses support issues before they occur.

SpotX partners with Switch Media

SpotX, a video advertising and monetisation platform, has joined forces with Switch Media to power server-side ad insertion (SSAI) for personalised advertising across live, sports, events and video on demand (VOD). 

The solution is part of AdEase, Switch Media’s multi-screen, digital product offering.

The SpotX and AdEase compatibility allows broadcasters working with SpotX to take advantage of Switch Media’s AdEase, which increases engagement by providing one continuous video stream without any buffering during live TV and VOD for uninterrupted viewing. AdEase also claims to protect ad revenue by surpassing most ad blockers.

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