CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 30 May 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Verint, Freshworks, Hoozu, Salesforce, Datorama, Hootsuite, Zendesk, Qualtrics, Tableau, LinkedIn and Acquia.

Verint introduces voice of customer solution, automation visualisation

Verint has debuted an enterprise-wide view of the voice of the customer offering, a cornerstone of its expanding Voice of Customer (VoC) strategy.

Tailored to serve the needs of CX leaders, Verint Unified VoC aims to provide a complete view of direct, indirect and inferred VoC from across key customer engagement channels with an automated analytics engine to deliver actionable insights. These insights empower organisations to prioritise and act upon customer experiences initiatives delivering the most significant financial impact.

Verint Unified VoC enables organisations to take advantage of these emerging trends and achieve competitive advantage, notably through its market leadership and largest market presence in digital VoC and as the only solution that natively taps into the rich CX insights available from contact centre interactions through speech and text analytics.

The vendor also this week unveiled fresh enhancements to its Desktop and Process Analytics (DPA) solution, part of its Workforce Engagement offering, building on the customer management vendor's automation solutions. The new capabilities allow organisations to design, map, organise and create desktop triggers for real-time process mapping within one solution. According to the vendor, this helps teams more easily find processes ripe for automation.

Freshworks acquires Natero

Freshworks has acquired Natero, a customer success management software company.

The acquisition gives Freshworks a SaaS platform that unifies marketing, sales, support and, now, customer success. With Natero’s machine learning-powered technology, the vendor said its platform puts actionable data in the hands of customer success professionals. This aims to help companies more easily predict and prevent customer churn, increase account expansion, and manage more customers with fewer resources.

The data-driven platform enables businesses to proactively manage customer satisfaction and maximise customer lifetime value. When combined with Freshworks sales, marketing and support data, users gain a 360-degree view of the customer, helping businesses optimise the entire lifecycle from the first touch to the latest invoice.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

LinkedIn picks up Drawbridge

In other acquisition news, LinkedIn has also purchased Drawbridge, an identity management platform and solutions provide, for an undisclosed sum.

In a blog post, LinkedIn said Drawbridge’s team and technology will allow it to accelerate capabilities across its Marketing Solutions platform.

"This will help customers better reach and understand their professional audiences and measure the ROI of their campaigns across mobile and desktop," the company stated. 

"As we integrate Drawbridge’s technology into LinkedIn following the closing of the transaction, we will continue to maintain the strong controls our members and customers have over the data they choose to share with us."

Salesforce introduces the Datorama Marketplace

Salesforce has introduced the new Datorama Marketplace. Generally available in June, the marketplace extends the power of Datorama’s marketing intelligence capabilities by enabling developers to create custom apps that marketers can discover and use on the Datorama platform.

Datorama Marketplace apps will also be available through Salesforce AppExchange. The Marketplace features pre-built apps for Salesforce solutions as well as partners, including Google Marketing Platform and Pinterest.

The Datorama Marketplace includes Salesforce apps, as well as apps from customers and partners that have been built using the Datorama Developer Portal. Currently, the Datorama Marketplace features 14 apps accessible to beta customers including Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email, Lead Generation, AppNexus Essential Monitoring, Workspace Health, Social Intelligence, and SmartLens Apps. 

Zendesk unveils Conversational Messaging Experiences & expansions

Zendesk has acquired Smooch Technologies Holdings, the Montreal-based company behind Smooch, a platform connecting businesses with customers to power more personalised and human conversations.

Smooch is one of the largest providers of WhatsApp Business integration. Through Zendesk’s early access program, companies can now reach WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users to manage service interactions and engage with customers directly through Zendesk Chat. This marks the continued expansion of Zendesk’s integration with the WhatsApp Business API into The Zendesk Suite.

As an API and SDK-based development platform built on AWS, Smooch’s acquisition furthers Zendesk’s commitment to an open, flexible CRM businesses can harness to build and offer differentiated customer experiences.

Together, Zendesk and Smooch will drive connected conversations on a variety of messaging channels, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, Telegram, Twitter DM, Viber, Kakao Talk, SMS text, RCS and through native web iOS and Android apps. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Zendesk has also expanded Zendesk Sunshine, its open CRM platform built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). These expansions include new partnerships and integrations to make it easier to connect siloed data and deliver deep customer insight to advance proactive customer experiences, the vendor said.

The company added new integrations from companies, including Narvar and Domo, will also see Sunshine gain further capabilities with tailored offerings across industries.

Qualtrics announces new AI capabilities

Qualtrics, a provider of experience management, has launched ExpertReview – Response Quality, a new offering aimed at improving market research insights.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), this solution aims to empower market researchers and insights professionals to weed out poor quality feedback, allowing organisations to make critical business decisions with more accurate data. Built on the Qualtrics XM Platform, ExpertReview – Response Quality automatically detects bad actors, bots and disengaged respondents, and provides recommendations to address the problem, including deleting all poor quality responses.

ExpertReview Response Quality allows researchers to automatically detect invalid or low quality responses coming from problematic sources such as bots, as well as improve the quality of insights by removing low quality responses from the final analysis. The vendor said it will also help organisations avoid future quality gaps with intelligent recommendations.

Hoozu launches marketing platform and AI

Just launched, Hoozu Connect is an Australian-developed platform aimed at better engaging users to produce made-for-mobile, short-form branded videos used as ad placements.

The ads feed directly into advertisers’ Facebook Business Manager accounts, providing a bank of refreshable video ad creative, which are continuously optimised for customer conversion and boosted by the brand. When ad performance drops, Hoozu Connect automatically swaps in new pre-approved videos to keep media fully optimised preventing ad fatigue occurring, and performance continuously running at optimum levels. 

Hoozu Connect is also adding AI element tagging across all short-form produced content. This will feed back to the creators through an automated chatbot with the key elements and ingredients needed in their video to ensure content is perpetually improving.

“We created Hoozu Connect to offer brands a cost-efficient way to produce a variety agile produced  authentic refreshable short sharp video creative, they can use to drive frequency and reach," Hoozu CEO, Nathan Ruff, said. "Boosting the content with audience targeting through social  platforms, we’ve seen over 8x better ROI than one size fits all produced contenth."

Tableau introduces new mapping capabilities

Tableau Software has confirmed general availability of Tableau 2019.2, including next-generation mapping capabilities to enhance how people analyse location data.

Tableau 2019.2 upgrades its background mapping technology - now powered by Mapbox - with vector maps, creating an experience that is not only smoother and sharper, but that allows people to see more detailed location data and perform analysis with more contextual background layers.

The newest version also includes parameter actions for more visual interactivity, as well as several new community-requested features, including customisable tooltips in web authoring, a personalised Tableau Server homepage, improved dashboard building tools, and updates to AskData, Tableau’s natural language capability. Mapbox’s leading technology also provides new background mapping layers to add context - including subway and train stations, building footprints, terrain, and water labels - to geospatial data.

Acquia Lightning speeds Drupal Development

Acquia has released the latest version of Acquia Lightning, a flexible Drupal 8 distribution to launch new Drupal sites and projects quickly.

Acquia Lightning offers new capabilities for developers, site builders, site managers and marketers to build sites faster and deliver richer digital experiences. The latest version aligns Acquia Lightning with the recently released Drupal 8.7.

“By bringing together modules and capabilities enterprise applications demand most, Acquia Lightning speeds up Drupal development time by 30 percent or more and helps organisations get to market faster and maintain Drupal sites more easily, while delivering more engaging experiences,” said Drupal creator and project lead and Acquia co-founder and CTO, Dries Buytaert. 

"Acquia Lightning is the best place to start a new Drupal 8 project, particularly on Acquia Cloud."

Hootsuite announces Google My Business App

Hootsuite has released a Google My Business app integration in the Hootsuite platform.

Hootsuite customers who have a verified Google My Business profile can now create new posts and respond to customer reviews and questions within the Hootsuite dashboard. This will allow Hootsuite customers to further engage with their customers and prospects and drive traffic to their businesses.

The new Google My Business app represents a new opportunity for Hootsuite customers to manage their business profiles. Creating posts, and monitoring and responding to reviews and questions can all be done in the Hootsuite dashboard where they are already managing their social media presence.

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