CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 14 July 2022

All the latest martech, adtech and customer tech news from Medallia, NICE, Digivizer, Marketplacer, Synthesio, MessageMedia, Smooth Messenger, SundaySky and Alida

Medallia acquires Mindful call automation

Customer experience management vendor, Medallia, has acquired call back automation player, Mindful, for an undisclosed sum.

The company is picking up the Mindful business from private equity firm, Alpine Investors. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter of this fiscal year.

Previously known as VHT, Mindful is expected to support Medallia’s ability to convert customer signals into action and decision making in the contact centre. Mindful’s patented technology enables customers to schedule a call when convenient for them, automates intelligent call backs, transitions customers to other channels when needed, and provides automated call initiation based on signals from various channels. Mindful’s client list includes a number of Fortune 500 companies.

“Mindful combined with Medallia’s signals-to-action platform will enable organisations to deliver a modern customer experience while reducing the high cost and friction of the conventional contact centre approach,” said Medallia CEO, Leslie Stretch. “At the same time, contact centres will be able to use their staff much more efficiently by shifting call volumes to the most efficient times, routing calls to the most relevant queues, and resolving issues without wasting either customers’ or agents’ time.”

Mindful CEO, Matt DiMaria, added its approach to customer interactions will be greatly enhanced through integration with Medallia’s Experience Cloud and Text Analytics engine.

Marketplacer accelerates partnerships

Marketplacer has been certified as an Accelerate Partner within the Adobe Exchange Experience Cloud program. The news came as the marketplace platform vendor also confirmed a partner agreement with Intelligent Reach, which provides a product marketing platform that enables customers to manage cross-channel product marketing and seamlessly manage stock and order management across marketplaces.

Under the partnership with Adobe, Marketplacer has integrated with Adobe Commerce to enable organisations to build multi-channel commerce experiences for B2B and B2C customers in a single platform. As an Adobe Accelerate Partner, the vendor also gains access to programmatic marketing support and integration matter expertise to support best-practice deployments. 

“Adobe exemplifies the type of strategic technology partner we like to work with as they focus on delivering a great customer experience with an incredibly robust and innovative Commerce Platform,” Marketplacer chief alliance officer, John Mullins stated. “Our Accelerate Partner status with Adobe enables Marketplacer to better address the large and global opportunity for marketplaces and to support our strategy of being the world’s best marketplace platform.”

Marketplacer’s partnership with Intelligent Reach, meanwhile, is designed to further help retailers grow their ecommerce business via marketplaces. Marketplacer said while it provides technology for brands to launch owned marketplaces, Intelligent Reach helps retailers sell products through digital channels and marketplaces, maintain accurate stock levels synced in real-time and easily integrate into any product data system, including legacy solutions.

The pair noted Intelligent Reach will also now be able to support Marketplacer marketplaces which want to sell their products through other digital channels, such as Google and Facebook, and other marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon. Marketplacer customers will be able to onboard their own products and products from third-party sellers with the Intelligent Reach Marketplace modules, assisted with running feed-driven marketing via its Feeds module.

“Intelligent Reach benefits from this partnership as it incentivises retailers to use our platform to enhance their experience of selling online and easily integrate with the many marketplaces that Marketplacer offers,” Intelligent Reach CTO, Andrew Thomas, said. “Likewise, Marketplacer benefits because it can quickly on-board retailers to its platform, which provides some advantages – firstly to get their clients live and selling quicker, and secondly, to enable their clients to onboard new sellers quicker - without consuming internal IT resources.”

Digivizer adds Microsoft Ads to analytics platform

Digivizer has taken the wrappers off new functionality across its real-time marketing analytics platform.

The latest enhancements see it adding Microsoft Ads alongside existing platforms TikTok Ads, Amazon Ads, Google Ads, Meta Ads (Facebook and Instagram), YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Analytics. This means marketers can access detailed performance data for Microsoft Ads side-by-side with any other paid accounts connected to the Digivizer platform.

Digivizer’s platform allows digital marketers to measure and compare the performance of a broad range of criteria, defined at the start of any program. These include spend per campaign or ad, impressions and views, clicks, conversions, conversions value, return on ad spend (ROAS), hashtag analysis and user-generated content.

“More marketers, including many businesses we work with, want to consider the option of Microsoft Advertising,” said Digivizer co-founder and CEO, Emma Lo Russo. “Microsoft Advertising has grown to 14.4 per cent PC market share globally. This represents 14.7 billion monthly PC searches. It has over one third of the PC search market share in the US, 24.7 per cent in the United Kingdom, 18.5 per cent in France and nearly 12 per cent in Australia.”

Synthesio debuts Topic Modelling

Social listening player, Synthesio, has released Topic Modeling, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered discovery engine that automatically scans, categorises and visualises conversations online.

The machine learning is designed to detect consumer-defined themes, uncovers unknown or hidden phenomena, and makes trend analysis easier. Users point the AI engine at a defined data scan, which it then scans and categorises into related themes.

Topic Modeling was co-built with Ipsos data science experts and takes its cues from the company’s methodologies, productising five years of research intelligence and turning unstructured data into actionable insights. Synthesio claimed clients trialling the beta versions of Topic Modeling uncovered topics and themes they didn’t know existed, which could be used to identify new market and innovation opportunities.

“Consumer trends emerge, take hold, then go out of style or evolve faster than most marketers and insights pros can keep up with. For those tasked with understanding consumers, this has increased the pressure to move even faster, anticipate behavioural shifts, and spot trend signals as they emerge,” said Synthesio CEO, Heath Podvesker. “To meet our clients’ new needs, we evolved our solution beyond tracking consumer posts, to actually identifying net-new insights and ideas.”

Synthesio’s Topic Modeling is generally available now on Synthesio’s platform and launches alongside a new, quicker visualisation tool, new treemap widget to quantify findings from Topic Modeling studies, and the ability to run studies on a range of online and offline data.

MessageMedia eyes customer reach with acquisition of Smooth Messenger

Also acquiring this week is Australia-based messaging provider, MessageMedia, which purchased Melbourne-based Smooth Messenger for an undisclosed sum.

Smooth Messenger has a text messaging application that integrates with Zoho’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform and allows businesses to seamlessly send two-way messages to their contacts via SMS and MMS. All interactions are then recorded in the CRM account. The vendor also offers tools to build tailored workflows for communications to customers and prospects following specific actions such as visiting a Web page or opening an email. Target customers include construction, financial services and professional services industries.

As part of the integration, Smooth Messenger will be rebranded to SMS for Zoho CRM by MessageMedia. The Smooth Messenger team will join MessageMedia. MessageMedia CEO, Paul Perrett, said the 20-year-old business has been looking to extend its capabilities across a broad range of business platforms and technologies.

“The acquisition of Smooth Messenger presented a natural fit for our business. With Smooth Messenger being amongst the best solutions on the Zoho CRM platform, having grown its user base considerably since inception in 2018, we have no doubt the acquisition will extend our commitment in delivering exceptional customer engagement and strengthen our ecosystem integration,” he said.

Video creation platform SundaySky gets investment injection

Israeli-based SundaySky, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for video creation and personalisation, has secured a majority investment from Boston-based Clearhaven Partners worth more than US$100 million.

The investment provides capital for growth and innovation for SundaySky and liquidity for existing shareholders. SundaySky’s platform allows business professionals to create, personalise, manage, distribute and optimise videos to reach customers without design or video production skills. The latest edition of the platform was released in 2021 and had underscore the need to have the right partner on-board to realise its potential, SundaySky CEO, Jim Dicso, said.

“With Clearhaven’s investment thesis in the video space and proven track record of profitably scaling SaaS companies, we will accelerate our growth trajectory, reach new levels of scale, and better execute on our mission to empower organizations to unleash the power of video,” he said.

To support SundaySky’s growth, the company has expanded its leadership team and appointed veteran executives with deep experience leading key functions at rapidly growing SaaS companies. The list includes CFO, Bryan Day; chief marketing officer, Mark Tack, who formerly worked with Acxiom and Experian; and chief revenue officer, Sean Chinski.

NICE bolsters AI, digital CX capabilities

Our third CX management vendor piece of news this week is from NICE, which has debuted new capabilities in its latest CXone release.

The Summer 2022 edition of CXone adds new capabilities to enhance journey orchestration and complete performance for digital experiences and to simplify integration with customer environments and mobile SDKs.

These include intent-based intelligent virtual agents (IVA), which uses CXone’s SmartAssist and its Enlighten XO conversational data to train themselves in days. Journey orchestration has also been elevated through a new AI-driven supervisor workspace, giving supervisors an end-to-end view to understand and manage omnichannel engagements across the experience centre with real-time data across digital channels.

“What we are delivering is the ability to remove friction from both a customer perspective and an operational perspective, resulting in transformational change to form stronger connections with customers while operating in a more agile model that empowers agents and other contact centre resources to reach their full potential,” NICE CXone CEO, Paul Jarman, said.  

Alida and Verve strengthen partnership

Another vendor in the experience management category, Alida, is also looking to build out its capabilities through partnership.

Alida this week said it had expanded its premium partnership with Verve, experts in culture, communities and smart digital research, to deliver customer experience (CX) research and insights to organisations across Australia. Verve claims to have chalked up impressive global growth since 2020 and opened its Australian office this year. It’s also opened an AWS Data Centre in Sydney.

It joined Alida’s partner program earlier this year to combine its services with Alida’s TXM platform.

“The partnership with Alida enables us to deliver seamless outcomes for our clients, designed for their needs,” Verve Australia managing director, Rikki Pearce, said. “Alida provides great software and Verve provides exceptional research expertise and innovation. Taken together, this empowers clients to deliver world-class CX outcomes.”

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