CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 3 December 2020

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, ServiceNow, Facebook, Frontify, Seismic, Verint, ShareThis and Gainsight

Salesforce to buy Slack
After being reported earlier this week, it’s now been confirmed Salesforce will acquire messaging platform Slack for US$27.7 million.

The sales and marketing cloud software platform has confirmed the acquisition with the news that it has entered into a definitive agreement. Slack will become the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360. Salesforce said that combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will create the operating system for the new way to work, creating a unified platform for connecting employees, customers and partners with each other and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows. 

Seismic to acquire social selling platform Grapevine6 

Sales and marketing enablement platform, Seismic, has announced the acquisition of Grapevine6, a patented social and digital sales engagement platform.

With this acquisition, Seismic said it strengthens its ability to provide sales professionals with relevant content sourced from 11,000 third-party publishers using Grapevine6’s AI engine. This will enable sellers to engage more frequently with their relationships through meaningful, authentic online conversations taking place on social media platforms. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

The acquisition will result in a new, integrated offering called Seismic LiveSocial. A social engagement solution for sales and client-facing teams, LiveSocial will help sellers become trusted advisors by enabling them to authentically engage with their clients across the social media landscape.

With LiveSocial, sales teams can share timely, reputable, and compliant content in their own voice, targeting the right buyers across multiple social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Additionally, brand leaders can amplify audience reach through employee-led social sharing, leveraging Seismic LiveSocial to measure the ROI of their social engagement strategy.

Facebook to acquire Kustomer
Also on the acquisitions trail this week was Facebook, which has acquired Kustomer, a CRM outfit. The social networking giant is paying a reported US$1 billion for the vendor, subject to the standard regulatory review.

Kustomer is an omnichannel CRM platform that aims to provide a unified picture of the customer in a single view. It helps businesses automate repetitive tasks so agents can maximise their time and the quality of interactions with customers. Facebook VP of Ads and Business Products, Dan Levy, said the goal with Kustomer is simple: To give businesses access to best-in-class tools that deliver excellent service and support.

"Kustomer is an omnichannel CRM platform that brings customer conversations from various channels together into a single-screen view. It helps businesses automate repetitive tasks so their agents can maximise the time and quality of interactions with customers," he stated in a blogpost confirming the acquisition.

"Facebook plans to support Kustomer’s operations by providing the resources it needs to scale its business, improve and innovate its product offering, and delight its customers. That way, more people will benefit from customer service that is faster, richer and available whenever and however they need it, whether it’s phone, email, Web chat or messaging."

Levy said Kustomer is one of many solutions in this arena, and Facebook plans to continue supporting integration between CRM platforms and its messaging services.

"We want businesses of all sizes and across all industries to discover the value of messaging — and having a vibrant partner ecosystem is critical in providing our customers with choices," he added.

Frontify for Desktop launches
Brand management software company, Frontify, has release Frontify for desktop - a secure and intuitive desktop version of its platform.

Compatible with macOS and Windows systems, the app provides anyone, anywhere, at any time, access to the latest digital assets, including logos, icons, images and docs with just one click.  

Frontify enables its customers to maximise their brand’s consistency, efficiency and involvement through centralisation. These benefits, especially critical for remote or scattered teams, go even further with Frontify for Desktop. with Frontify for Desktop, just click the icon for instant access to your brand content. A global search lets users search for specific assets from any of the Frontify Libraries, which can be drag-and-dropped wherever they’re needed.

Verint introduces digital behaviour analytics
Verint Systems has added digital behaviour analytics to its Experience Cloud solution with the aim of creating a deep, insightful and comprehensive view of digital customer interactions.

The new solution captures and tracks millions of clicks, gestures, taps and other actions so organisations can see and analyse how customers navigate digital properties, automate how they find and fix problems and vastly improve bottom-line outcomes.  

The digital behaviour analytics can visualise experiences at the aggregate level across online assets and capturing and integrating replays with customer feedback and other experience insights. Web and IT support, digital operations and product management teams can all leverage the tools to speed how they find and fix issues and optimise digital experiences.  

ShareThis launches Data for Good Initiative
ShareThis, a global data company that maps human topography by synthesising social share, interest and intent data, has announced the creation of Data for Good, a portfolio of segments that give back to non-profits that address critical social issues.

ShareThis builds custom insights and audiences based on real-time behaviour across the global web for both agencies and brand marketers. ShareThis data also fuels audience strategy and analytics for marketers. ShareThis has added ten additional audience offerings including animal welfare, charity, environmental issues, education, gender equality, poverty, social Issues, wellbeing and women’s rights. 

For all of these new segments, 20 percent of the resulting revenue to ShareThis will be donated to related not-for-profit organisations.

Gainsight announces investment partnership with Vista Equity Partners
Gainsight has signed an agreement to receive a majority investment from Vista Equity Partners, a global investment firm focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses.

Gainsight offers a customer management platform aimed at helping organisations deliver positive outcomes and experiences to customers every day by enabling enterprises to more successfully on-board, retain and expand their customer base. 

Gainsight and Vista will partner to further accelerate the customer success movement and growth in the customer success profession.

“We learned about Vista because many of its portfolio companies are Gainsight customers and we saw how they partner with leading enterprise software businesses to accelerate success,” said Gainsight CEO, Nick Mehta. “Reaching unicorn status and working with Vista is validation of how far the customer success community has come over the last seven years and how important our work is to the growth and financial strength of some of the world’s leading businesses.”

ServiceNow to acquire AI pioneer Element 

ServiceNow has signed an agreement to acquire Element AI, an artificial intelligence (AI) company with deep AI capabilities.

Element AI will significantly enhance ServiceNow’s commitment to build the world’s most intelligent workflow platform, enabling employees to work smarter and faster, streamline business decisions, and unlock new levels of productivity.

A pioneer in the AI industry, Element AI has world‑class scientists and practitioners who will bring expertise in applying modern AI to text and language, chat, images, search, question response and summarisation, and will accelerate AI innovation natively in the Now Platform.

Financial terms have not been disclosed.

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