CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 7 March 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Usabilla, Salesforce, Nuance, Spredfast, Lithium, Taboola, Integrate, InMoment, Bluecore, and more.

SurveyMonkey to acquire Usabilla

SurveyMonkey, a global survey software company, has entered into an agreement to acquire Usabilla, a global voice-of-customer (VoC) technology provider.

Usabilla empowers over 450 enterprises in 35 countries including global brands like Lufthansa, Philips and Vodafone, to collect, analyse, and act on real-time user feedback to improve their products and customer experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Usabilla employs over 130 people in Europe, the United States and Australia.

Under the terms of the agreement, SurveyMonkey will acquire Usabilla for approximately US$80 million, comprised of a mix of cash and equity, and subject to certain purchase price adjustments and customary closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 2019.

Salesforce Ventures introduces $50 million Australia Trailblazer Fund 

Salesforce has debuted Salesforce Ventures, the company's global corporate investment group, has launched the Australia Trailblazer Fund, a new $50 million fund to empower Australian startups in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Salesforce Ventures will invest in local innovation and inspiring Australian entrepreneurs to create next generation technology that drives customer success across industries. 

Since 2012, Salesforce Ventures has been investing in innovative startups in Australia, such as Arxxus, Autopilot, Bugcrowd, Practifi, Socialsuite and Sqware Peg.

InMoment unveils Market Experience (MX) Cloud, Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform

InMoment has introduced its Market Experience (MX) Cloud, an integral component in the company’s Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform. 

The InMoment Market Experience (MX) Cloud allows brands to gain this intelligence through distinct features including market surveys, panel and experience benchmarking.

It aims to connect the intelligence gathered to customer experience and employee experience leaders, making it simple to share and socialise findings

The Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform aims to blend applications with underlying science and technology to enable brands to more fully understand the complex and dynamic nature of experiences across all their businesses and channels.

As part of the launch of its new Experience Intelligence (XI) Platform, inMoment announced the next generation of its Customer Experience (CX) Cloud, reimagined to leverage the XI Platform’s big data architecture to create a more engaging, flexible and personalised experience for CX teams, while connecting them to other critical streams of intelligence.

The CX Cloud features: Survey Experience Optimisation, A/B Testing, Integrations, Multimedia Feedback, Active Listening, Digital Intercept, Reporting, Anomaly Detection and Impact Analysis, and more.

Nuance reinvents Agent AI for the contact centre

Nuance Communications has taken the wrappers off a new technology bundle to help enterprises with Agent AI – uniting human agents and artificial intelligence to enhance customer experiences.

Nuance’s approach to Agent AI aims to enable contact centre agents to be more productive by giving them easier access to information with relevant, real-time insights, visibility into active conversations, and proactive recommendations.

Nuance gives agents access to its biometric, analytics and intelligent customer engagement technologies to help solve this problem, empowering them with real-time insights to not only more efficiently validate a given customer’s identity and understand past interactions the organisation has had with that person, but also more quickly get to a resolution by having access to their company’s latest information and programs.

Spredfast and Lithium join forces as “Khoros”

The combined company of Spredfast and Lithium has revealed its new name: Khoros.

Khoros serves more than 2000 of the world’s leading brands including Pizza Hut, Sprint, and HomeAway, and manages more than 500 million consumer touch points every day across social media, messaging and owned channels.

“People crave connection, and companies that create authentic connections with customers will thrive, but it’s harder than ever,” Khoros CEO, Pete Hess, said. “This challenge doesn’t just require new technology, but also a new way of thinking. Since bringing together Spredfast and Lithium, we’ve been hard at work to deliver on our promise to make truly comprehensive engagement possible.

"We’re honoured by the amazing reception we’ve had since the merger was announced, adding more than 40 brand new customers in the last three months to our incredible roster of leading brands.”

Taboola to acquire start division of Celltick

Taboola is executing an agreement to acquire the Start Division of Celltick, a leader in mobile discovery and engagement, which includes the Start and Start Magazine product lines.

Following the completion of the acquisition, the Start team and technology will integrate into the Taboola News division to bring personalised and relevant recommendations in the form of premium publisher content on mobile devices.

Taboola News has already integrated with several mobile phone manufacturers including ZTE and vivo and this deal will expand Taboola News to support tier 1 mobile operators as well as device manufacturers and app developers. Taboola News creates an opportunity for OEMs and mobile carriers to bring a feed of personalised information directly into mobile devices, creating a new revenue stream.  

Taboola expects the deal to be closed by the end of March. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Integrate bolsters social solution with Facebook integration

B2B marketing platform provider, Integrate, has expanded its capabilities with a solution for B2B marketers that orchestrates leads from their social demand generation programs.

Following a partnership and native integration with LinkedIn, Integrate has now launched a new native connector with Facebook that allows customers to increase the effectiveness of their lead generation campaigns on Facebook and better measure ROI. B2B marketers can capture lead information from prospects using Facebook Lead Ads campaigns or LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms.

Integrate routes lead data through its platform and delivers only marketable, complete, valid and globally compliant leads to marketing automation and CRM systems.

Using Integrate’s analytical capabilities, customers can also measure how these leads perform as they progress through the funnel.

Bluecore unveils Bluecore Communicate

Bluecore, a retail marketing technology company, announced the launch of Bluecore Communicate, offering full personalisation to the traditional ESP (email service provider) and a pricing model based completely on performance.

Artificial intelligence-driven Bluecore Communicate is designed to be an intelligent interface that’s informed by a unified view of product, shopper and behavioural data; the ability to personalise both individual and large-scale campaigns based on niche shopper and product behaviours, a 70 – 85% decrease in campaign production time, and a pricing model that is based on driving action through quality consumer engagement, rather than incentivising higher send volumes.

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