CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 31 January 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, Microsoft, Cision, Qlik, Zeta Global, Blippar and PubMatic

Salesforce launches new Datorama connectors

Salesforce is introducing two new Datorama Marketing Cloud connectors to help marketers better visualise how their Salesforce-powered social media and email marketing campaigns are performing.

Alongside this, the customer technology vendor is introducing the Datorama Developer Portal so developers can build custom integrations for unique marketing needs. Datorama is also introducing fresh activation capabilities for marketers to instantaneously take action on the rich insights surfaced via its toolkit. 

Salesforce said the new Datorama activation capabilities allow marketers to act on their unified and analysed data. With new Datorama Marketing Cloud connectors, for example, marketers can more easily import data from Marketing Cloud with a click of a button.

This allows users to instantaneously view how organic social media conversations captured in Social Studio, Marketing Cloud’s social media marketing solution, are impacting overall marketing performance within Datorama alongside other marketing metrics. The features can also be used to better understand the performance of email marketing campaigns.

With the new Datorama Developer Portal, developers also have a suite of tools available to them in one portal so that they can build upon and customise data integrations and tasks for their marketing teams. 

In addition, Salesforce said marketers can designate actions, trigger alerts or communicate pieces of data, goals or KPIs off the back of insights surfaced

Freshworks aims for Proximity

Customer engagement software provider, Freshworks, has launched Proximity, a new suite of updates to the messaging software Freshchat aimed at enabling businesses to build better relationships with prospects and customers by combining the power of text, audio, video and social messaging.

Proximity is designed to make communication more personalised, proactive and contextual – fulfilling the promise of messaging as an acquisition and engagement channel. Businesses can use the features within the customer engagement platform to better build and maintain relationships with customers across touchpoints and gain a 360-degree view.

The first phase of Proximity includes CoBrowsing, Facebook Messenger integration and OmniChat. Several more enhancements and features will be released in the coming weeks, including live video recordings and automated translations, which will remove language differences as a barrier in real-time conversations.

Microsoft launches airline AI solution 

Microsoft and LiveTiles are targeting the global commercial airline industry with a tailored Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot solution, LiveTiles’ Gate Agent Assistant Bot. 

The solution aims to improve the airline customer experience by reducing wait times in the high volume, high stress, environment at airport gates. To do this, LiveTiles’ Gate Agent Assistant Bot uses AI to provide automated responses and retrieve the information required to allow airline staff to more quickly respond to customer demands at the gate.

The bot automates key processes, such as issue escalation and the prefilling of customer data and immediately provides gate agents with the information needed to deliver a faster service in line with airline policies and procedures. The solution is designed to improve customer service by increasing staff efficiency and reducing wait times.

LiveTiles and Microsoft will jointly market the Gate Agent Assistant Bot to new and existing airline customers globally.

Cision Acquires TrendKite 

Cision has acquired digital PR platform provider, TrendKite, for an undisclsoed sum.

Based in Austin, Texas, TrendKite harnesses artificial intelligence and analytics to help brands understand the effect communications programs have on corporate reputation, website traffic, and business outcomes. TrendKite CEO, Erik Huddleston, will become president of Cision following the transaction.

The companies said the addition of TrendKite extends Cision's vision for earned media management and giving brands the ability to unify technology, data, measurement, and analysis to modernise the communications function from an expense into a business driver.

The digital PR platform will continue to be offered as a stand-alone application. In the long-term, TrendKite will become part of the Cision Communications Cloud product offering.

Qlik acquires CrunchBot and Crunch Data 

Qlik has acquired the CrunchBot AI-powered analytics bot along with Crunch Data’s team of AI and solution development professionals. 

Users can now interact with and understand their data using natural language through Qlik Sense and within leading collaboration tools such as Slack, Skype, Salesforce Chat, and Microsoft Teams.

This expands Qlik’s existing augmented intelligence and cognitive capabilities by delivering additional conversational analytics leveraging Qlik’s platform and open APIs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Bringing CrunchBot and Crunch Data into Qlik will help users more easily inject data regularly into workflows, making analytics an essential element in daily collaboration and decision making,” said Mike Capone, Qlik CEO.

“Qlik continually looks for new ways to deliver augmented intelligence to users and improve data literacy. These acquisitions help expand the ability of our customers and partners to leverage data and insights where work happens, increasing the value of both data and the organisation.”

Zeta Global acquires Temnos

Also making an acquisition this week is martech firm, Zeta Global, which acquired Silicon Valley AI company, Temnos.

Temnos, which was established in 2013 in the US,  has created a proprietary semantic technology claims to analyse language and detect patterns for online publishers on the open Web.

In a statement to Forbes, Zeta said the acquisition will sharpen its focus on customers’ purchasing intent and lifecycle. According to Zeta Global CEO, David Steinberg, the technology catalogues the Internet, showing what people are reading globally and what is trending.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Temnos' five employees will now relocate to Zeta's San Francisco headquarters.

Blippar finds buyer for IP assets

Augmented Reality (AR) company, Blippar, has reportedly found a buyer for its IP assets, following its announcement it was going to administration in December.

According to various reports, Candy Ventures, the investment arm of Candy Enterprises based in the UK, has purchased the company’s IP and plans to relaunch it. The company will reportedly continue to trade under the Blippar name and retain CEO and co-founder, Ambarish Mitra.

In a blog post in December, the company said it was going into administration after a shareholder dispute saw a fresh profitablity strategy and planned funding round abandoned. The company once had a valuation of US$1.5 billion.

Candy Ventures was a previous investor in Blippar, providing $37 million to the AR player back in September 2018.

PubMatic doubles down on Mobile and In-App Video for Publishers

Publisher-focused sell-side platform (SSP), PubMatic, is planning to increase global headcount by over 20 per cent this year.

The announcement came as the adtech player released key growth figures for 2018 which showed significant growth in several key areas, particularly mobile app and video monetisation. In 2018, PubMatic’s mobile business growth was driven by in-app video, which increased by more than 200 per cent year-over-year based on platform spend. Additionally, the company’s direct publisher partnerships more than doubled year-over-year in 2018.

PubMatic has also announced John Sabella as its new chief technology officer.

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