CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 23 June 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Salesforce, Microsoft, Criteo, Validity, Innovid, humii, HubSpot and PubMatic.


Salesforce makes Sales Cloud Unlimited

Salesforce is unifying sales management through Sales Cloud Unlimited, a platform it says includes all the things sales teams need in one place to drive growth and turn reps into trusted advisors.

Sales Cloud is now an all-in-one platform encompassing AI (powered by Einstein), automation and analytics as standard. Key features include eight new built-in AI solutions, using Sales Cloud Einstein and Einstein Activity Capture, to deliver real-time recommendations and embed them into the flow of work to help sales reps better engage with customers. These cover automated contacts, lead scoring, forecasting, opportunity scoring, recommended connections, email insights, pipeline inspection and Einstein Conversation Insights.

The newly combined Sales Engagement and Salesforce Inbox offers unified workflow automation for reps to connect customer touchpoints on a single platform, while embedded call coaching and conversation insights transcribes conversations and analyses call details, delivering actionable feedback. Salesforce said it’s also extended capability across industries to include financial services, health and life sciences, manufacturing, and retail and consumer goods industry clouds have this new functionality out-of-the-box.

The vendor also confirmed five new, industry-tailored versions of Revenue Intelligence, a unified revenue management command centre with Sales Cloud, Einstein and Tableau capabilities, are now generally available. These have been built for the financial services, manufacturing, consumer goods, communications, and energy and utilities industries to provide industry-specific KPIs and AI-driven insights to forecast accurately, gain better visibility into pipeline information, and coach sellers.

Another new capability introduced is Sales Cloud for Slack, which allows users to set up notifications for deals in motion, update and share deal details right from Slack, and securely collaborate across departments, such as sales, service, and marketing.

Microsoft aims to up the sales team experience

Also looking to improve the lot of sales teams this week is Microsoft, which has created a new seller experience application called Microsoft Viva Sales.

The vendor said Viva Sales works with any seller's CRM to automate data entry and brings AI-powered intelligence to sellers in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. Specifically, it leverages AI to provide personalised recommendations and insights for sellers to be more connected with their customers.

"The future of selling isn’t a new system. It's bringing the information sellers need at the right time, with the right context, into the tools they know, so their work experience can be streamlined," said Microsoft executive VP and chief commercial officer, Judson Althoff. “Empowering sellers to spend more time with their customers has been our goal. And we've done that by reimagining the selling experience with Viva Sales.”

Viva Sales builds on Microsoft Viva, launched last year, and aims to provide an integrated employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, goals and insights.

For example, sellers can tag customers in Outlook, Teams or Office applications like Excel, and Viva Sales will automatically capture it as a customer record, layered with all relevant data about the customer. Viva Sales also recommends next steps to progress a customer through the sales funnel, prioritises work and next steps, and enables sellers to access full history and customer interaction materials. Real-time customer insights provide a deeper understanding of where each customer is in their purchase journey, and how to guide the relationship. 

Viva Sales uses Context IQ, announced last year as a capability to ensure relevant content is connected across Microsoft apps and services such as Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365.

Criteo partnership status restored on Facebook, Instagram

More than two years after initiating a compliant against Meta for denying it access to ad buying across the social media giant’s platforms, Criteo has had its partner status and access restored following a decision by the French Competition Authority.

The decision was reached on 16 June 2022 and follows the authority’s acceptance of commitments offered by Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, to address a competition compliant filed by Criteo regarding its ad buying partnership.

The original compliant was lodged by Criteo in September 2019 and aimed to recreate a level playing field by restoring Criteo and other companies' ability to access Meta's Facebook platform. The compliant also sought to reach fair terms and clear and transparent guidelines that would prevent Meta from unfairly favouring its own services on its platform over competitors.

As part of accepted commitments, Criteo will be reinstated as an authorised Meta partner, regaining ad buying capabilities on Facebook and Instagram. Meta has also agreed to re-offer the same bidding API to Criteo to enable the company to globally utilise its own buying optimisation technologies and data to buy ad inventory across various Meta platforms for Criteo’s advertiser clients.

“We are very pleased with today's decision from the French Competition Authority to accept Meta's commitments. Positive outcomes such as this can ensure that large platforms like Meta operate with partners and the ecosystem with open and fair competition and without self-preferencing,” Criteo chief legal officer, Ryan Damon, stated.

“We appreciate the continuing work and expertise in this case and in our industry by the French Competition Authority. Meta ultimately proposed strong commitments to address our complaint and we look forward to once again partnering with Meta to buy ad inventory on their platforms on behalf of our clients using our data and leading ad buying optimisation technologies.”  

Validity launches MailCharts SMS

Two months after acquiring MailCharts for an undisclosed sum, Validity has debuted its MailCharts SMS solution to help with mobile messaging campaign planning.

The tech vendor said the solution aims to provide more insight into SMS campaigns, empowering ecommerce marketers to quickly develop data-driven omnichannel strategies. It does this through a library of thousands of SMS messages from global brands, analysed for what worked well, deployment and more to create industry benchmarks.

Validity said it’s extended the capabilities of MailCharts, originally focused on email marketing, to SMS marketing campaigns as well as brought in phone verification and email campaign intelligence from its own solutions portfolio.

Validity acquired MailCharts in April and also recently introduced DemandTools Elements and Everest Elements, an email marketing management platform.

Innovid debuts new TV measurement platform

Innovid has taken the wrappers off InnovidXP, a TV measurement platform for converged TV that aims to provide a cross-platform solution directly integrated with ad serving data and creative personalisation.

InnovidXP is based on more than one billion TV impressions processed daily and delivered to more than 95 million US households and is designed to measure and manage linear and CTV advertising across every platform, including walled gardens. It’s a tag-free measurement solution including cross-platform analytics and reporting and being pitched as a local, national and global coverage solution.

InnovidXP’s launch comes one quarter after Innovid's acquisition of independent measurement company, TVSquared.

“Cross-platform TV measurement powered by ad serving technology seamlessly creates the most complete picture of the TV ecosystem, addressing a big gap for advertisers in the converged TV marketplace,” commented dentsu EVP head of research and measurement, Celeste Castle. “It’s about finding the right data, creatives, investments and video mixes to effectively and efficiently reach audiences that are dispersing across platforms, channels and screens. Empowering our clients with transparent, consistent and reliable measurement insights across linear and CTV plays a vital role in the growth of the total video marketplace.”

Aussie tech startup humii invests to shake-up online shopping measurement

Australian tech startup, humii, has brought on global retail strategist, Mareile Osthus, as chief strategy officer to help sustain its growth trajectory.

Humii positions itself as an online platform that combines technology with human analysis of online shopping. These efforts centre around the ‘humii score’, calculated by aggregating results from analysing people across the end-to-end online shopping experience across multiple dimensions such as search and discovery, pre- and post-purchase support, checkout and payment, product and packaging and loyalty and retention.

The company was founded by IBM graduate and software engineer, Andy Evans, and digital media entrepreneur, Lee Ritson.

Osthus brings more than 15 years’ global retail industry experience to humii, having previously held senior positions with The Iconic, Alquemie Group, The Oroton Group, Zalando and Hugo Boss. As chief category management officer at The Iconic, she oversaw strategic operational decisions in regard to the assortment and overall customer experience.

“There are many layers to what constitutes good customer experience, and humii challenges the widely used market research metric Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is outdated and one dimensional,” Osthus commented. “I believe humii has the power to be the source of truth for performance of online retail businesses and I am excited to kickstart a revolutionary wave in how online retailers perceive and adapt shopping experiences across more than 200 data points to suit the ever-evolving needs and desires of consumers.”

Ritson said market interest in humii in its first six months triggered a number of strategic hires for the business.

“With her global knowledge, customer-obsession and future thinking approach to solving the many challenges facing the industry, Mareile is extremely well positioned to lead the strategy and expansion of the company both in Australia and globally,” he said.

Other recent humii appointments include Rebecca Jensen as operations and finance manager; former The Iconic senior buyer, Susie Costelloe, as client partnerships manager; Erin Clarke as lead retail analyst; and Lan (Lucy) Phan Ngoc as account coordinator.

HubSpot aims to serve not-for-profits

HubSpot has locally launched its HubSpot for Nonprofits platform aimed at helping such organisations through a specific set of tools, resources, support and pricing.  

The launch of HubSpot for Nonprofits comes after new research from HubSpot found that over nine in ten (95 per cent) Australian not-for-profits experience barriers to growth, such as disparate software, multiple sources of data and a clouded source of truth. It also found nearly three in 10 don’t use a CRM.

HubSpot for Nonprofits gives eligible organisations an ongoing 40 per cent discount on HubSpot’s software, as well as access to distinct resources and support.

“While the sector demonstrates some knowledge of the different benefits of a CRM, nearly half [45 per cent] of NFP leaders don’t really understand its purpose, creating an obvious barrier to growth,” said HubSpot director of nonprofits, Julia Ford.

“We know technical solutions that leave the people who need to use them behind create more challenges than they solve. For nonprofit teams, a focus on ongoing education and support, not just new products, is absolutely critical. The process of adoption matters as much as the solutions themselves.”

PubMatic achieves 100 per cent renewable energy across global data centres

Adtech player, PubMatic, has confirmed all of its global data centres are now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

The significant milestone is part of a multi-pronged sustainability plan expected to be realised by the end of 2022. PubMatic runs 10 global data centres, which account for more than 90 per cent of total company energy usage.

To achieve the 100 per cent benchmark, PubMatic collaborated with data centre colocation providers and procured qualified renewable energy through virtual power purchase agreements and retail supply agreements. The company noted it’s invested in enough wind and solar power annually to account for every unit of electricity used across its global data centre operations.

“The advertising industry must focus on reducing its environmental impact and prioritise sustainability in infrastructure and operational practices,” said PubMatic co-founder and CEO, Rajeev Goel. “I am proud of what PubMatic has been able to achieve to date, and it is just the first step towards building a more environmentally sustainable business.”

PubMatic is also backing Ad Net Zero, an organisation committed to reducing the carbon impact of developing, producing and running advertising to zero by the end of 2030. PubMatic plans to develop and publish specific goals by the end of 2022 focused on improving sustainability across the global company’s owned and operated data centres, offices and daily business processes with customers and partners.

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