CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 5 March 2020

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Intercom, Contentful, Sprinklr, Tableau, Freshworks, Validity, Dynamic Yield and Thunderhead

Freshworks acquires AnswerIQ

Customer engagement software company, Freshworks, has acquired AnsweriQ, a provider of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) for larger enterprises to better serve their customers. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The organisation said AnsweriQ complements Freshworks' AI engine, Freddy, by enabling enterprise organisations to fully leverage their existing customer data to scale self-service experiences and automate complex customer workflows. Freddy will now be able to anticipate customer needs, make recommendations for agents based on the conversations, and perform tasks such as refunds and cancellations with no manual input required.

As part of the deal, AnsweriQ CEO, Pradeep Rathinam, joins Freshworks as chief customer officer.

“The integration of AnsweriQ’s technology enhances our AI/ML capability in the customer engagement space and offers significant value to our customers,” said Freshworks founder and CEO, Girish Mathrubootham. “Pradeep brings executive-level acumen and expertise, which will be leveraged in his new role as chief customer officer as we double-down on our efforts to engage and keep customers for life.” 

The acquisition is Freshworks’ second in less than a year, after it purchased customer success service, Natero, in May. It also comes on what the company said has been nearly 60 per cent year-on-year growth in billings, and a recent US$150 million funding boost, bringing post-financing company value to US$3.5 billion.

Intercom expands automation and introduces Resolution Bot 

Business messaging platform, Intercom, has introduced Resolution Bot, its second-generation support chatbot which automatically answers customer questions as soon as they start typing.

Resolution Bot improves and extends the chatbot technology which powered the first-generation Answer Bot to build an intelligent bot that moves beyond answers to understand customer problems and resolve their issues. Resolution Bot delivers hyper-personalised responses based on customer demographics, is fluent in six new languages and automatically resolves one-third of common support questions

Contentful releases App Framework

Contentful, a provider of headless content management, has announced its new App Framework, a set of APIs, libraries and blueprints to help developers build custom apps and integrate them into existing services. 

The Framework brings together an ecosystem of independent software vendors, including Optimizely, Netlify and commercetools to offer apps on Contentful. The App Framework builds on Contentful’s extensibility, which assembles services to seamlessly integrate with open APIs to enable brands to evolve the tech stacks to incorporate new tools. 

Sprinklr releases 400 new features across its five products

Sprinklr, the SaaS customer experience management platform, has released over 400 new capabilities and enhancements across the five products on Sprinklr’s customer experience management (CXM) platform.

The latest updates across Modern Advertising, Modern Research, Modern Care and Modern Engagement include Sprinklr Modern Marketing enhancements to help reduce content marketing production costs and improve efficiency with with one-click email approval for tasks and timeline view for workflow. Sprinklr Modern Advertising enhancements include new audience and creative naming conventions, while Sprinklr Modern Research improvements include new global and local views for reporting dashboards and enhanced visual insights powered by Sprinklr AI.

In addition, enhancements to Sprinklr Modern Care include trigger-based proactive chat prompts. Sprinklr Modern Engagement improvements include AI-powered smart approval to ensure social posts comply with brand guidelines. And the Sprinklr platform has been updated with new integrations and new features for Display including ServiceNow integration, Google Data Studio and Tableau integrations and custom configurations for screen size. 

Tableau 2020.1 aims to unlock interactivity

Analytics platform, Tableau Software, has released new capabilities to help people unlock more interactivity in their dashboards and get deeper insights from their data.

Tableau 2020.1 is the latest update driven by customers’ input in the online Tableau Community Forums, adding new features requested by Tableau customers and increased flexibility for administrators. 

The new features include dynamic parameters to eliminate the need to update workbooks when changes are made to the underlying data and viz animations which give viewers a new tool for understanding transitions between data points, as well as engaging with the data. Tableau 2020.1 also provides additional capabilities for Tableau administrators through login-based license management and improvements to the data management add-on and server management add-on.

Validity enters definitive agreement to acquire 250ok

Customer data quality outfit, Validity, is set to acquire email analytics and deliverability provider, 250ok.

Since 2011, 250ok has developed email management software and innovative tools used by businesses of every size. With this acquisition, Validity broadens its optimisation capabilities across the global ecosystem of email service providers.

250ok aims to enable marketers to get more email delivered to targeted recipients,with greater conversion and return on investment as a result. With this acquisition, the Validity for Email solution is strengthened with 250ok technologies and services including deliverability and reputation, engagement analytics, DMARC deployment, design previews and list validation.

Dynamic Yield bridges online and offline purchase data

Dynamic Yield, a personalisation platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI), has released its Identified Offline Purchase Data Ingestion capability.

This allows brands to import lists of purchases carried out in physical stores and match these records with online identities. This enables brands to run deeper personalisation campaigns based on offline purchases. This new capability is available in addition to the platform’s Data Loader feature, which allows customers to onboard CRM data, PII user data and content feeds.

Identified Offline Purchase Data Ingestion is the latest in Dynamic Yield’s efforts to enrich its customer profiles and is part of a larger investment in its customer data platform (CDP) capabilities, which the company plans to expand into onboarding, consolidation and activation for to enable tailored experiences across the entire marketing stack.

Thunderhead launches Thunderbay AI-driven journey tool

Enterprise customer engagement platform, Thunderhead, will launch a new suite of journey-based artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities named ThunderBay.

ThunderBay is designed to provide a platform for brands to use the power of AI to analyse customer journeys at scale and then activate the results with richer and more relevant orchestration at every journey touchpoint, both digital and off-line. Brands will be able to automate the analysis of billions of individual customer journeys, and build audiences, data sets and predictive models from customer insights based on real-time journey behaviour. 

ThunderBay will integrate with Thunderhead’s ONE Engagement hub, its journey orchestration platform, which leverages this unique source of customer intelligence to further enhance contextually relevant journeys.

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