CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 12 May 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Zoho, Qualtrics, SAP, Validity, Conversica, Odaseva, Swiftline, SAS and Databricks.

Zoho debuts new Marketing Platform

Zoho has taken the wrappers off a new platform unifying marketing capabilities for campaign management, customer journeys and reporting.

Zoho Marketing Platform combines multiple Zoho applications including Workdrive, Marketing Automation, Campaigns, Brand Studio, Analytics, PageSense, Social, Survey, and Backstage. It’s being pitched as a unified solution bringing together marketing activities across campaign ideation, creation, execution, management and measurement.

Key capabilities include improved collaboration tools and version control for working across campaigns through Zoho Brand Studio, plus unified digital brand asset creation and repository for documents through to videos with machine learning-driven search capabilities.

The vendor said customer insights are surfaced through artificial intelligence (AI)-powered data analysis, which activates customers to design the journeys they want most, as well as triggers next-step insights for marketers. Zoho Marketing Platform then tracks engagement and response data of customers through real-time measurement, and there’s also channel management from one interface.

Zoho Marketing Platform builds on the vendor’s existing Marketing Plus solution and has also been integrated with third-party solutions including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Analytics, Google Search console, YouTube, Survey Monkey. This newest iteration of Marketing Plus is also expected to continue to evolve through tighter integrations with existing Zoho tools such as Cliq, as well as new apps including LandingPage, a no-code Web page builder.

Validity partners with Red Sift to protect domain reputation

Data quality and email marketing solutions vendor, Validity, has partnered up with Red Sift, an integrated cloud email and brand protection platform.

The new data exchange will facilitate compliance with domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC) to ensure Validity and Red Sift customers are implementing ethical and secure email marketing campaigns.

The DMARC standard aims to combat phishing attacks that target customers by spoofing their owned domains, as it allows organisations to prevent their domains from being impersonated. Red Sift automates BIMI and DMARC processes, making it easier to identify and stop business email compromise. It’s also designed to secure domains from impersonation to prevent attacks.

Under the partnership, Validity will provide data feeds to enhance Red Sift’s ability to monitor brand spoofing and phishing for customer domains as they relate to DMARC and brand protection solutions. Red Sift customers can also leverage this data by monitoring close cousin domains for spoofing and activity.

Red Sift will provide domain-based reputation signals for trusted domains as well as an anonymised list of domains. This will enable Validity to provide even more data to email marketers on the sending reputation of their domains and how that reputation is viewed by mailbox providers around the world. Red Sift will also provide IP Reputation signals, including aggregate rejected IPs as a result of any domain going into DMARC’s ‘reject’ policy. All IP data will be anonymised.

Odaseva expands into APAC and UK

Enterprise data platform for Salesforce, Odaseva, is extending operations across the Asia-Pacific region as well as UK as it also releases new product offerings.

Among the new hires is distinguished architect and GM for Australia, Oliver Rachon, who joins to help develop the APAC business, bring on talent, create news services and help customers build out solutions. The company has also opened its newly formed UK headquarters in London as its fourth hub alongside San Francisco, Paris and Sydney.

There’s also a new data centre in India supporting Salesforce’s rollout of Hyperforce. Odaseva claims to be the first provider to offer services collocated to Hyperforce. In addition, Odaseva is now offering ‘Bring Your Own Storage’, which will enable customers to host their own backup data and have even better control of their data.

The company said all this comes after it surpassed 93 million users in March, adding more than 300,000 new Salesforce users since the beginning of 2022. It’s now protecting 14 petabytes of data globally. Odaseva’s core business is to help Salesforce customers keep their data protected, compliant and readily accessible.

 “Our global growth is underscored by market demand as organisations manage their data, the ‘fifth fuel’, in locations around the world,” Odaseva chief revenue officer, Eleanor Treharne-Jones, said. “Most enterprises are moving towards becoming sales-led, as the need for seamless customer service is greater than ever. We are meeting rising demand for our solutions which can keep data close to the customer across geographies, while also keeping the enterprise in line with local data regulations.”  

Swiftline acquires direct-to-consumer ecommerce intelligence platform

US-based ecommerce software company, Swiftline, has acquired Charm.io, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce intelligence platform that tracks insights on 5.9 million online retailers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Charm actively tracks 5.9 million stores and 200 million products across 160+ features and captures signals including proprietary growth and success scores, brand contacts, distribution platforms, revenues, social media following, influencer affiliations and advertising spend. Its client and user base includes agencies, brands, aggregators and financial institutions who use Charm for lead generation, analysis, and/or business intelligence.

Following the acquisition, Charm will be integrated into the Swiftline data and technology platform, adding core IP around data collections, natural language processing and computer vision models.

“We built Charm to provide ecommerce sellers and the industry at large with the crucial knowledge about DTC businesses,” said Charm founder and CEO, and co-founder of Google Drive and Google Fonts, David Wurtz. “The platform grew exclusively by word of mouth, and we’re excited to integrate to the Swiftline platform and power a critical component of their integrated data and technology solution.”

Wurtz will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to Swiftline, a data-science backed software company that acquires and builds integrated data and technology solutions.

Qualtrics integrates with SAP Service Cloud

Qualtrics has created a new integration bringing the Qualtrics XM Discover AI and machine learning capabilities into SAP Service Cloud. The move is aimed at helping customer service teams better resolve customer issues, increase resolution rate and improve customer satisfaction.

The integration sees XM Discover analysing all of the structured and unstructured feedback coming into the SAP Service Cloud, including agent notes, support conversations, chat, social media posts and review sites. Using natural language understanding to tune into customer sentiment, as well as the emotion, effort and intent behind interactions, the objective is to help organisations understand why customers are reaching out and how they feel about their experiences. XM Discover summarises and tags customer interactions.

The two vendors said combining operational data from SAP with experience data from Qualtrics in a single platform allows organisations to gain efficiencies around predicting retention risks or upsell opportunities and taking action to address issues with individual customers or groups of customers. Teams can orchestrate workflows and alerts by creating new cases within Service Cloud or through an existing integration between SAP Service Cloud and Qualtrics xFlow, a low code/no-code workflow engine.

The integration will be generally available in the second half of 2022 to SAP Service Cloud and Qualtrics XM Discover customers.

Conversica’s conversations connected to 6sense account insights

Another of our integration stories this week is from Conversica, which provides a conversational account-based marketing (ABM) offering.

The company has debuted a new integration with data with B2B marketing platform provider, 6sense, to follow up the launch of its ABM solution last November. The new two-way data exchange will allow Conversica AI Assistants to tap into account and intent data from 6sense to identify whom to target and tailor conversations to target accounts through data-enriched personalisation.

“We’re ultimately helping companies to reap the full value of their ABM investments,” claimed Conversica chief development officer, Mark Jancola. “ABM vendors provide a wealth of information that marketing and sales [and eventually customer success] teams want to use to personalise communications but are unfortunately unable to do so due to bandwidth limitations. By bringing our two solutions together, we’re able to action these insights at scale, provide contacts with the most relevant message and turn interest into direct sales conversations that would otherwise be impossible without a digital team member.”

SAS debuts responsible innovation initiative

Data analytics vendor, SAS, is spearheading a new Data Ethics Practice to lead collaborative efforts to guide use of powerful technologies.

The responsible innovation initiative is focusing on areas such as responsible AI, algorithms and bias to consider the entire innovation process. SAS said a responsible innovation approach injects equity and fairness at every step, from idea to development to deployment.

The SAS Data Ethics Practice (DEP) is a cross-functional team guiding a globally coordinated effort to help employees and customers deploy data-driven systems that promote human well-being, agency and equity. It is led by Reggie Townsend, who was recently appointed to the US Department of Commerce’s National AI Advisory Council (NAIAC). He also serves on the board of EqualAI, a non-profit organisation focused on reducing unconscious bias in the development and use of AI.

“By putting humans at the centre of the innovation process, SAS is committed to building a world where data uplifts and empowers everyone,” said SAS chief technology officer, Bryan Harris. “The company has been at the centre of the evolution of data science and has the expertise and experience to be an important contributor to the global effort to innovate responsibly.”

Townsend and the DEP counsel will coordinate with SAS Research and Development and other groups within the company to embed responsible innovation principles of human-centricity, inclusivity, transparency, accountability, robustness and privacy and security.

Read more: AI Ethics Part 1: Understanding and Identifying bias in our algorithms

Databricks and AWS offer new Pay-As-You-Go Lakehouse Offering

Databricks is claiming customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration thanks to a strengthening of its partnership with Amazon Web Services.

This week, Databricks said it had further strengthened its long-time work with its first cloud partner, AWS through a new, pay-as-you-go offering to allow customers to quickly launch and build a data lakehouse using their AWS Marketplace account.

Databricks noted customers including BlockFi, Comcast, Instacart and Scribd are already leveraging Databricks on AWS to unify their analytics and AI use cases on a single lakehouse platform. Having the pay-as-you-go offering in the AWS Marketplace will give customers seamless integration between their existing AWS configuration and security and Databricks. AWS customers can also start a free 14-day trial of Databricks from the AWS console and will be able to consolidate billing and payment under their existing AWS management account.

The announcement of Databricks’ pay-as-you-go AWS Marketplace listing comes on the heels of the 10-year anniversary of the AWS Marketplace. Databricks also noted it’s more than doubled the customer pipeline from fiscal 2020 to 2021 and quadrupled marketplace sales since working with AWS, with average deal size also doubling in that time.

Databricks also recently announced support for AWS’s Graviton2-based Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances that can deliver up to 3x-4x better price-performance for customers as they build a lakehouse on AWS. Databricks is also investing in joint programming and new go-to-market functions to align with AWS in key industries such as media and entertainment - and enable joint customers to tailor lakehouse solutions to solve specific industry challenges.

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