CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 4 November 2021

All the latest martech and adtech news from Zendesk, Momentive, LivePerson, Nielsen, Adqsuare, Permutive, Intuit, Mailchimp, Impact, HubSpot, Airship and ActiveCampaign

Zendesk purchases SurveyMonkey platform for US$4bn

Customer experience management vendor, Zendesk, is acquiring a majority stake in Momentive and its SurveyMonkey platform for about US$4 billion in stock.

Under terms of the deal, Momentive stockholders will receive 0.225 shares of Zendesk stock for each share of Momentive stock, or about $28 per outstanding share based on averages calculated up to 26 October 2021, giving Zendesk a 78 per cent holding. Zendesk said it expected to generate accretive growth in the first full operating year off the back of the purchase, while meeting plans to achieve $3.5bn in revenue in 2024, a year than planned.

In a statement, the companies’ noted their respective customer bases and complementary capabilities as an opportunity for joint product adoption and increasing Momentive’s enterprise traction. Momentive CEO, Zander Lurie, will continue to lead Momentive’s management team once the deal has closed.

Zendesk’s product focus has been on responding and managing customer service and support, while Momentive offers customer surveying and feedback solutions. Together, the companies said users would be able to collect information about customer needs, experiences and expectations, combine transactional data with market research and insights and use this in customer interactions management.

“The SurveyMonkey brand is iconic and we’ve admired the business from afar since the inception of Zendesk. The company truly democratised an industry - almost everyone in the world has responded to one of these surveys at some point,” said Zendesk CEO and founder, Mikkel Svane. “We’re very excited to have them join the Zendesk mission along with Momentive’s market research and insights products and together create a powerful new customer intelligence company.”

Momentive, which rebranded from SurveyMonkey in June this year, has several products in its portfolio including GetFeedback and SurveyMonkey. It boasts of 345,000 customers and 20 million users worldwide.

LivePerson acquires VoiceBase and Tenfold

Our second acquisition news this week comes from conversational AI player, LivePerson, which picked up VoiceBase, a real-time speech recognition and conversational analytics vendor, as well as Tenfold, a customer engagement platform for integrating communication systems with CRM and support services.

LivePerson said the two purchases are about creating a unified, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled system for customer experience management across messaging, voice, telephony and contact centre systems. VoiceBase offers speech recognition and analytics capabilities and integrates with several communications and call centre platforms from the likes of Genesys, Twilio, NICE, CXone and Avaya. Tenfold has voice, messaging and CRM integration functionality. LivePerson’s flagship products focus on conversational AI and synchronous messaging.

“Brands want to accelerate their use of voice and conversational AI with deep connective tissue into their systems,” said LivePerson founder and CEO, Rob LoCascio. “It’s my great honour to welcome VoiceBase and Tenfold's experts to the LivePerson family as we build the unified AI system behind 100 per cent of conversations with the world's most innovative brands.”

Financial terms of the deals have not been disclosed.

Adsquare and Nielsen extend data partnership to Australia

Nielsen and Adsquare have extended their data sharing agreement to Australia, bringing fresh audience data insights into Adsquare’s audience management platform.

Under the agreement, Nielsen supplies Adsquare’s online programmatic ecosystem with owned and operated audience data and insights, which can be used to create and target segments across display, native and audio channels. The data covers consumer intent and preferences and complements Adsquare’s visit and location data sets.

Adsquare makes Nielsen data actionable through its self-service Audience Management Platform (AMP) tool, which advertisers can use to access multiple data dimensions for media planning, targeting and measurement. The two companies stressed their data-driven marketing solutions and data are based on privacy-by-design principles and fully compliant with privacy legislation and regulations, such as GDPR.

“This partnership creates a unique opportunity for marketers looking to combine premium, unique consumer data with location-based targeting capabilities, providing clients with the highest level of consumer intelligence and helping them optimise their advertising investments,” said Nielsen executive director, commercial growth and product strategy, Jonathan Betts.

Permutive raises US$75m for programmatic advertising play

Audience platform provider, Permutive, says its latest US$75 million investment injection will fuel its mission to rebuild data in programmatic advertising to protect privacy.

The company’s platform is all about trading media and is used by both publishers and advertisers to plan and buy campaigns based on their own first-party data sets. Permutive noted its audience platform has seen 20x growth in targeted ads over the last two years as organisations look to trade consented data, with the technology now running on more than 1 billion devices a month globally. Clients include News Corp, Hearst, BuzzFeed, Penske, Future, The Guardian, Vox Media, Insider, Hubert Burda Media and Condé Nast International.

The latest Series C funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and brings Permutive’s total raised to date to $105m. The funding is earmarked for growing the vendor’s patented on-device technology and scale its audience platform to create a global privacy-first infrastructure for the programmatic advertising industry.  

“Publishers are the foundation of the Web, and the relationship they have with their users is the backbone of digital advertising,” said Permutive CEO and co-founder, Joe Root. “As privacy shifts the economics of the Internet towards this publisher-owned Web, a privacy-first infrastructure will ensure this next iteration of digital advertising is immune to privacy chaos, will scale and thrive.”

Intuit completes acquisition of Mailchimp

Intuit has officially completed its acquisition of marketing platform vendor, Mailchimp, a deal that sees the SMB-oriented products sit alongside Intuit’s TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint and Credit Karma portfolio.

Intuit said the purchase of Mailchimp is about providing an end-to-end customer growth platform for small and mid-market businesses, allowing them to get their business online, market their business, manage customer relationships, benefit from insights and analytics, get paid, access capital, pay employees, optimise cash flow and be compliant.

Intuit acquires Mailchimp for approximately US$5.7 billion in cash, 10.1 million shares of Intuit common stock with a fair value of approximately $6.3 billion based on the closing stock price of $625.99 per share, and 573,000 restricted stock units that will be valued based on the 1 November 2021 closing stock price. Intuit will also grant approximately $200m of restricted stock units to Mailchimp employees.

“At Intuit, we’re focused on powering prosperity around the world, and we’re thrilled that the addition of Mailchimp will allow us to help small and mid-market businesses with one of their top challenges -- reaching and retaining customers,” Intuit CEO, Sasan Goodarzi, said. “We’ll expand our AI-driven expert platform by integrating Mailchimp and QuickBooks in smart ways that will help businesses from start-up to scale-up grow and run with confidence.”

Intuit commenced testing one-way integration between QuickBooks Online and Mailchimp in July and said QuickBooks customers have imported more than 400,000 customer contacts into their Mailchimp accounts to use for customer segmentation and marketing to date. In coming months, deeper integration so users can sync customer purchase data between QuickBooks and Mailchimp is on its way, along with tailored recommendations to help small businesses optimise marketing efforts.

Impact builds B2B product functionality with HubSpot

Partner management platform, impact.com, has created a fresh integration with HubSpot allowing better connectivity into the latter’s CRM offering.

HubSpot users can now integrate with impact.com’s partnership management platform to quickly launch a partnership program, as well as track and attribute each partner’s value as leads travel through the sales funnel. HubSpot users can also uncover how partner touchpoints are interacting with other channels, discover new partners, such as consultants, educators and specialist publishers, and automate payouts tied to smart, electronic contracts. The integration follows similar integrations completed by Impact with BigCommerce and Shopify and see Impact listed on the HubSpot Marketplace.

“We are thrilled to offer our users an integration with impact.com, especially given the company’s strength in the B2B SaaS space,” said HubSpot VP of platform ecosystem, Scott Brinker. “Impact.com has carved out a space in the market that allows for the establishment and execution of successful partnerships that drive high ROI, and we are excited to see how our users leverage these offerings to further their businesses.”

Airship App Experience platform unveiled

Airship has taken the wrappers off its new App Experience Platform, an out-of-the-box offering aimed at making it simpler to create, measure, optimise and monetise in-app experiences.

Among the latest innovations are Airship Tours, Airship Surveys and Airship Preference Center, which give users control to create, automate and adapt rich, native app experiences for continuous onboarding and first-party and zero-party data collection without ongoing developer support or having to update apps in the App Store or Google Play.

Airship Tours, for example, allows marketers and mobile product owners to create, edit and manage full-screen, interactive walkthroughs of up to 10 screens long, showcasing the app and how to get started based on user data. Tours can drive onboarding, feature adoption, loyalty enrolment or milestone activities such as completing a user profile, authenticating within the app, opting into notifications or setting preferences.

Airship Surveys is for collecting feedback from users while they are engaged with the app and can again be targeted based on a customer’s attributes and real-time behaviours. Airship Preference Center encompasses all re-engagement messaging channels, enabling customers to control the types of content they receive on different channels in one place. Marketers and mobile product owners can also take advantage of opt-in forms for SMS and email to place on their websites and see all channels a user has opted in to from lookups within the Airship App Experience Platform. 

ActiveCampaign debuts sales engagement automation

Digital martech vendor, ActiveCampaign, has unveiled Sales Engagement Automation, a solution it hopes will close the gap between account-based marketing (ABM) and sales engagement solutions for businesses of all sizes.

For ActiveCampaign, a key element of its Sales Engagement Automation offering is integrated engagement across channels, allowing for alignment across marketing messaging, one-to-one emails, video, chat and voice. For example, customers will be able to send one-to-one sales emails from their preferred email provider including Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and iCloud, alongside emails in broader marketing campaigns.

Other features available in Sales Engagement include a customer view through custom objects based on data from touchpoints in apps commonly used; lead scoring and messaging based on where customers are in their buyer journey; sales pipeline automation; site tracking and win probability metrics. The vendor said sales integrations also mean the platform integrates with 870 apps, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“The legacy sales engagement and ABM tools on the market today don’t properly address the needs of 95 per cent of businesses today,” claimed ActiveCampaign founder and CEO, Jason VandeBoom. “The majority of businesses don’t have separate marketing and sales teams and having separate tools for these functions just makes it more difficult to grow their business. That’s why we’re pioneering a new way, unifying sales and marketing data and making it more actionable.”

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