CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 22 November 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Quizjam, Salesforce, Crayon, Yellowfin, Samanage, indaHash, Sojern, Zoho and Brandwatch

Gamified martech platform secures influential stakeholders

Gamified marketing technology and engagement platform, QuizJam, is setting its sights on growth after securing backing from a high-profile Australian investor.

The family company of West Australian, Ian Green, a former owner and director of Gull Petroleum, has taken up a 10 per cent stake in QuizJam, investing $590,000 based on a pre-money company valuation of $5 million. The capital raising was managed by Platform Advisory Partners, which looked to raise $700,000 but was oversubscribed with $810,000 raised.

Perth-based QuizJam founder, Joel Steel, said the funds will be used to hire additional staff, mainly account management, sales and business development staff.

QuizJam was established in December 2014 as an app targeting multi-player trivia gaming. While successful, Steel said it wasn’t until he and his fellow executives pivoted and moved to Web-based technology with a focus on audience engagement that it really started to take off.

QuizJam aims to unite a passion for content with gamification techniques to drive a deeper engagement between brands and their audiences. It’s already working with Havas Worldwide, The Zoo Republic, Sportsbet, Suncorp and H&M Kids as well as media players and native applications. 

Zoho launches CRM Plus

Zoho has unveiled the next generation of Zoho CRM Plus, its all-in-one customer experience suite aimed at empowering sales, marketing, customer support and operations to work as one. The ambition is to give Zoho customers complete visibility of their customers across departments in one platform, rather than partial views.

Fuelled by Zia, Zoho's Intelligent Assistant, and the enhanced Zoho Analytics, Zoho's business intelligence and reporting engine, Zoho CRM Plus, aims to help businesses deliver superior customer experiences, by allowing users to deeply understand customer sentiments, delight customers across channels, and prescribe actions to keep customers content throughout their journey via one software solution.

CRM Plus allows Zia to access data across all of its applications, automatically providing teams with insights enabling them to deliver better customer experiences across all channels.

Customer sentiments are automatically available to service agents on Zoho Desk while Zia suggests next steps based on results from previous and similar interactions with other customers. Zia also suggests responses to customers on behalf of service agents and sales representative.

Brandwatch launches Iris

Social intelligence company, Brandwatch, has launched Iris, an in-app AI-analyst that aims to reduce the time it takes to answer a question by providing users with complex data science solutions at the click of a button.

Iris automatically analyses large conversations happening online and explains what caused them.

Once detected, Iris analyses historical data to see if those drivers are new. In doing so, Iris recognises what demands online attention and how certain social audiences rally around particular messages and content. It analyses different data types and provides a simple analysis of viral online moments.

This innovation, built into Brandwatch Analytics, is the first feature to come from the newly merged Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon product team, receiving its collective input and perspective.

“Iris can help anyone discover insights in their data quickly. It automatically detects any significant changes in online conversation, then uses AI to find the underlying root cause of the trend and surfaces it to you in seconds. Iris will help novice users get up to speed quickly and help our expert users improve their analysis, discovering new trends and issues that would previously have been undetectable to the human eye. We can’t wait to see how our customers use Iris, and learn from this to make it smarter and smarter over time,” said  Brandwatch chief product officer, Rebecca Carso .

Market intelligence player integrates with Salesforce 

Market and competitive intelligence platform provider, Crayon, has launched a new integration with Salesforce CRM. 

The company said its new dynamic Battlecards, which are based on real-time tracking and analysis data of global market movements, have been integrated with Salesforce CRM in order to keep sales teams up to date with competitive intelligence. Crayon monitors more than 300 million pages across 7.6 million domains and 2.4 million companies, using machine learning to generate competitive intelligence insights for its customers.   

Crayon’s Battlecards are available via desktop viewing, mobile, or and now from within Salesforce CRM. These include built-in measurement tools to evaluate usage and sales feedback.

“The number one problem with today’s battlecards is that they’re perpetually out of date,” Crayon CEO and co-founder, Jonah Lopin, said. “Your competitive set doesn’t sit still, and you’ve got to stay in sync. That’s why Crayon is wiring battlecards directly to our real-time market intelligence engine, so that sales teams always have up-to-date, reliable competitive insights that win business.”

Yellowfin introduces automated analysis and cross-vendor storytelling

Enterprise analytics company, Yellowfin BI, has taken the wrappers off Yellowfin Signals and Yellowfin Stories to help customers discover, understand and act on real business opportunities faster.

Yellowfin Signals aims to provide the industry’s first automated analysis of business information, and Yellowfin Stories aims to provide the first cross-platform storytelling solution.

Yellowfin Signals automatically discovers and surfaces critical changes in business data, such as sudden spikes and changes in trends. Yellowfin Signals alerts business users immediately as these changes occur. It runs on a continuous basis, where it routinely analyses available data looking for trends, patterns, or other changes.

Yellowfin Stories aims to improve knowledge sharing, collaboration, and communication within organisations and in turn, become more data-driven in their decisions. 

Samanage raises US$30 million

Employee service management solutions company, Samanage, has secured US$30 million in investment from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Samanage seeks to accelerate year-over-year growth and expand its global market share in the IT service management (ITSM) industry.

This Series D funding comes after several years of sustained growth for Samanage, which serves over two million users worldwide and helps them to rapidly and consistently deliver a superior service experience across departments, including IT, HR, finance, facilities, marketing, and any other team.

“Samanage has a clear vision for improving the employee service experience for its customers by leveraging the principles of ITSM in every department to create smart and meaningful service experiences across the organisation,” said Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital head, Pete Chung. “Employee service is a large and growing industry and Samanage’s leadership and market position is very promising. We are excited to partner with Samanage and support its continued success.”

Influencer marketing platform, indaHash, expands

Influencer marketing platform, indaHash, has expanded its global footprint with the addition of digital consultancy firm Iconomy as a direct reseller of indaHash’s influencer marketing services in Australia and New Zealand.

indaHash operates in over 80 markets worldwide and has more than 13 offices across markets such as London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Warsaw, Dusseldorf and Dubai.

This partnership will leverage the current market momentum to continue the growth in the region. The ICONOMY partnership represents a major next step in indaHash’s go-to-market-strategy.

Travel martech specialist raises US$120 million

Travel tech data and marketing optimisation company, Sojern, has raised US$120 million in its latest fundraising round. 

The company pitches itself as a tech company that provides traveller path-to-purchase data and travel marketing and distribution solutions that help lift travel bookings. It does this through a blend of programmatic display, video, social, mobile and native advertising tailored to travel audiences.  

As well as claiming 13 consecutive quarters of profitability, the company has a growing number of high-profile travel companies, hotel property owners and local tourism providers on its client list, and said it’s driving $13 billion in bookings to date. The group expanded its capabilities by acquiring Facebook and Instagram marketing partner, Adphorus, last year, and said it’s also been testing connected TV while making real-time audiences available via a programmatic in-house offering. 

As part of the fundraising round, the general partner of major investor TCV, Woody Marshall, joins Sojern’s board of directors.

“With this new partnership with TCV, we’re excited to continue driving efficiency into the more than $100 billion being spent by travel brands around the world,” Sojern CEO, Mark Rabe, said. 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu  

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