CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 23 January 2020

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Qlik, NewStore, Genesys, ActionIQ, 6sense, IBM, Dun & Bradstreet and Isentia

IBM launches Advertising Accelerator with Watson

IBM has launched its Advertising Accelerator with Watson, utilising artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the optimal combination of creative elements to help drive high engagement and conversion for a given audience.

The platform will create campaigns designed to understand and engage consumers while addressing industry pain points like targeting and personalisation. IBM Advertising Accelerator with Watson is aimed at advertisers and offers capability to drive faster predictive models, enhance creative performance, audience discovery and actionable insights. The new solution continuously learns and predicts, helping advertisers to better understand the composition and preferences of their audience to inform future media strategies.

For example, prior to Watson Ads Builder, IBM said the typical conversational design solutions might take months to develop and could require specialised skills and manual effort. Watson Ads Builder can help simplify this process by using Natural Language Generation and Watson technology to encourage brands to create, deploy, chat and connect with consumers with speed.

Watson Ads Builder is the next generation of Watson Ads. IBM brands such as Behr, Best Western, Campbell's Soup Company, LEGO, Lufthansa and Toyota have leveraged its AI-backed ad experience to help them deliver answers to consumer questions within an ad in near real-time.

Qlik acquires RoxAI

Qlik has acquired RoxAI and its Ping intelligent alerting software to deliver actionable, self-service alerting and workflow automation capabilities for real-time alerts.

Ping’s self-service alerts, integrated with its analytics platform, can notify users through mobile, email and social channels of material changes in their data and the context. Ping enables users to design and create their own advanced alerts around their own use cases, based on their existing dashboards and data.

In the future, Qlik plans to integrate Ping with workflow and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions through APIs to extend the value of customer data. Further enhancements are planned to include the capability for “proximity-based alerts”, where, for example, an online shopping vendor can automatically alert a regional manager with performance insights when they arrive at a store location. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NewStore secures US$20M in new investment

Omnichannel-as-a-service provider, NewStore, is starting 2020 with US$20 million in strategic investments.

Salesforce Ventures has invested in the company in addition to new funding from existing investors including Activant Capital, General Catalyst and NewStore founder and CEO, Stephan Schambach.

Founded in 2015 by the retail software entrepreneur, NewStore operates a cloud platform which enables retailers to run their stores on iPhone. It provides omnichannel-as-a-service with intuitive store associate apps that unlock in-store revenue drivers for global luxury, lifestyle and apparel brands, including endless aisle, clienteling, store fulfillment, inventory management and mobile checkout.

Genesys introduces experience as a service

Customer experience management vendor, Genesys, has changed the name of its flagship software as a service (SaaS) offering, PureCloud, to Genesys Cloud.

The rebrand marks the launch of experience as a service using Genesys Cloud, which enables organisations to achieve true personalisation at scale. Genesys Cloud, an all-in-one solution for a pure cloud contact centre platform, helps organisations provide experiences to their customers and employees.

The company is rolling out new usage-based pricing, allowing customers to pay only for the hours wanted and add as many users as required. In addition, customers can also make changes to their subscription bundle, such as increasing hours and adding digital channels or workforce engagement management seats. 

6sense raises US$40M in Series C funding round

6sense, an account-based marketing (ABM) orchestration platform, powered by AI, has announced US$40 million in Series C funding from Insight Partners.

The equity financing will be used to aggressively accelerate 6sense's vision to unite revenue teams on a single platform that provides account insights in a way that helps them better engage target accounts.

To date, 6sense has raised over $105 million in its quest to change the way sales and marketing teams compete and win. 6sense connects intent signals from every channel, including the dark funnel and anonymous Web visits, third-party research, and false form fills to help revenue teams uncover, prioritise and engage with active buyers. This visibility enables brands to generate more sales opportunities, increase overall deal size, and win more consistently.

ActionIQ Raises US$32M in Series C funding round

In other funding news, customer data platform (CDP), ActionIQ, has raised  US$32 million is a Series C round, led by March Capital Partners.

The latest investment brings total capital raised by ActionIQ to US$75 million. ActionIQ said it will use the funding to accelerate its expansion across sales, marketing and product R&D, to develop its offering in the enterprise CDP segment. The company claims to have chalked up 300 per cent growth in the past year, with a customer listing including The New York Times, Conde Nast and American Eagle Outfitters.

Dun & Bradstreet acquires Orb Intelligence

Business data outfit, Dun & Bradstreet, has acquired Orb Intelligence, a digital business identity and firmographic data provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Orb offers a global database of information and attributes on 57 million companies, with a focus on building a digital view of a business’s presence, including web domains, URLs, IP addresses and social networks. 

The deal follows Dun & Bradstreet's acquisition of Lattice Engines in 2019 and gives the company a portfolio of digital solutions, including linked digital identity using cross-validation of data across both online and offline sources; a combined data cloud for audience segmentation; artificial intelligence (AI) models; and activation of channels through the D&B Lattice customer data platform (CDP) for sales and marketing campaigns.

Isentia releases new Reputation Analysis tool

Isentia’s new Reputation Analysis offering blends organic social media conversations and survey data to provide a more comprehensive and modern view of what the public says, thinks and feels about an organisation.

The company debuted the new solutions this week, positioning it as a way for organisations across APAC to benchmark, strategise and measure reputation.

The new tool uses an integrated framework to examine the three most important drivers of organisational reputation: Strategy, culture and delivery. All three drivers are analysed independently. The report includes an overall RepID score, on a scale of -10 to +10, which integrates the strategy, culture and delivery scores, as well as providing detailed information on performance across each driver.

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