CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 September 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Lithium Technologies, Thunder Experience Cloud, LogMeIn, Slack, Seven Stars and Aircall.

Spredfast and Lithium Technologies announce merger

Lithium Technologies and Spredfast have struck an agreement to merge under a deal that sees Lithium owner, Vista Equity Partners, acquiring Spredfast for an undisclosed sum.

With a combined customer base of more than 2,000 brands spanning 100 countries, Lithium and Spredfast together manage over 500 million consumer touch points every day across social media, messaging, and owned digital channels.  Lithium’s heritage is in social community management, while Spredfast has been about social media marketing management.

The companies said by combining their capabilities, they’ll be able to provide A single platform to connect, manage and interact across all of a company's owned brand channels, including brand communities and social media, and insights and analytics across the wider customer journey.

“We are thrilled to welcome Spredfast to our portfolio of high-performing software companies,” said Vista Equity Partners principal, Alan Cline. “We see an incredible opportunity to unify consumer engagement in the highly fractured marketing and care industries, bringing together the power of two best-of-breed offerings into a game-changing platform for growth.”

The combined company will be led by current Lithium CEO, Pete Hess, while Spredfast chief, Rod Favaron, will work closely with the management team then exit transition.

Thunder Experience Cloud and Neustar Marketing Solutions partner up

Thunder Experience Cloud has integrated its people-based ad server with the Neustar Identity Data Management Platform (IDMP) and the Neustar MarketShare solution.

The partnership between the two vendors aims to enable brands and agencies to quickly customise ad creatives to each customer, as well as measure performance for real-time optimisation.

Thunder's dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) solution is a people-based, dynamic ad server that enables advertisers optimise content based on data signals from CRM, weather, device type, time and media exposure. It’ll now be extended to include audience data from large Data Management Platforms (DMP) like Neustar.

The company said customers of Neustar and Thunder will be able to target creative messaging for individual, real people and audience segments across digital channels such as display, video and mobile. In addition, Thunder's people-based Experience Measurement solution tracks the performance of ads from exposure to viewer to conversion to allow for a high level of optimisation.

Confirmit launches new AI-driven solutions

Confirmit has introduced a range of fresh new functions to its platform. Launched as part of the rollout of Version 24 of Confirmit Horizons, the new features are designed to support global multi-channel feedback and research programs. 

Following the launch of two new solutions earlier in 2018, the new capabilities focus on ease of use and market-leading innovation, driven by AI and machine learning techniques.

Confirmit has also addressed the latest international compliance considerations in Confirmit Horizons Version 24. 

GS1 announces mobile ready hero images guideline

GS1 has ratified the new Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline in a bid to address the importance of imagery and authorised product information for the mobile shopping experience.

The guideline addresses the challenges of providing the information consumers need when making rapid purchase decision to replenish everyday items while shopping from their mobile phone.

The GS1 Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline claims to standardise the combination of product images and information viewed on mobile devices, and help brand owners clearly communicate product information to enhance the consumer shopping experience, including the brand, the product offering, the variety of the product and the size.  

The GS1 Mobile Ready Hero Images Guideline links directly to existing GS1 standards, including Smart Search and other image standards, but does not affect them directly. By adopting the guidelines, brand owners and retailers will be able to minimise internal investments, while achieving greater consistency across their websites.

LogMeIn launches next generation of GoToWebinar

LogMeIn  has launched a completely redesigned user interface for webinar organisers through the next generation of its GoToWebinar platform.

The new experience gives customers creating content on GoToWebinar improved usability, including a fully mobile-responsive layout, easier onboarding and in-product tips and tricks, an all-in-one webinar dashboard, additional analytics and more. 

Beginning from September, all customers using GoToWebinar will have the option to use the newly-designed interface. New and improved features include: New analytics dashboard; intuitive dashboard for simple webinar planning and set-up; fully mobile-responsive user experience; and a full suite of integrations to streamline workflows. 

Slack and Incites app integration

Incites.com has inked an integration with Slack to enable deep insights to feed directly into its workforce collaboration tool.

Using proprietary algorithms and natural language generation, incites.com is looking to provide easy-to-read insights with words and straightforward visualisations. These are posted to a live feed for users to see, share and discuss with teammates.

The vendor said the extension into Slack moves incites.com into delivering an automated SaaS platform that can mine data for interesting patterns, articulate the findings as simple sentences, provide clear-cut visuals, and make recommendations for future content development.

Through this integration, Slack customers will start receiving insights in their team channels immediately, while current incites.com customers will benefit from the amplified reach of having insights posted to their existing Slack channels.

Seven Stars acquires Gravepine

Seven Stars, a global fintech and asset digitisation services company, has scooped up influencer marketing player, Grapevine Logic, for an undisclosed sum.

Seven Stars, which is being rebranded to Ideanomic, said the decision to buy the end-to-end influencer marketing platform was about ramping up the capabilities of its consumer asset digitisation strategy. It’s part of a wider push to drive growth across core product areas including Consumer Tech digital assets, Commodity and Energy digital assets, TradeTech digital assets and Fixed Income-based financial digital assets.

Grapevine’s platform allows advertisers and brands to collaborate with video-based social influencers. Its reach now include 177,000 social influencers reaching 3.2 billion followers.

Together, the two companies plan to transform these relationships using blockchain and smart contracts technology, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that will help “tokenise assets” across Grapevine’s existing ecosystem. It’ll also help Seven Stars to penetrate the customer loyalty programs space, consumer financing and asset securisation, the company stated.

Seven Stars added the ability to provide influencers with new monetisation paths, as well as fans and brands with exclusive access to these influencers and their services, is a massive opportunity.

“We believe Grapevine's existing global ecosystem will be the foundation for a broad application of blockchain technologies throughout the media and entertainment industry and be the cornerstone of our consumer digital asset business line,” said executive chairman and CEO of SSC, Bruno Wu. “We look forward to working closely with Grapevine's team to expand the platform, enhance the interactions between the participants and help identify and compensate major up-and-coming stars.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aircall adds new functionality

Aircall has taken the wrappers off new functionality that enables Salesforce Service Cloud customers to add Aircall voice components to their Omni-Channel Routing System.

The new feature aims to enable support agents to better serve customers by letting them easily switch between communication channels.

An omni-channel routing system aims to make it simple for agents to switch channels. When an agent picks up a call, their Omni-Channel status is automatically switched to 'in call' and will pause requests on other channels such as Live Agent chat.

Similarly, when an agent is assisting a customer on Live Agent Chat, Aircall will switch to unavailable, and the call will be pushed to the next available agent. All rules within the system are customisable for the user organization directly from the Aircall dashboard, and with the Aircall integration, calls and call recordings are automatically logged directly into Salesforce.

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