CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 19 January 2023

All the latest martech, adtech and CX tech news from MessageGears, InMoment, Emplifi, Verint, CloseFactor, Invenna, Human Interference, JW Player and Dialpad

MessageGears acquires Swrve

MessageGears has acquired mobile marketing platform provider, Swrve, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition follows a US$62 million growth funding announcement and is about positioning MessageGears as a pre-eminent cross-channel customer engagement solution for large B2C brands.

The customer engagement vendor said having Swvre’s mobile in-app, push and embedded content marketing capabilities adds another string to its channel bow, rounding out its digital scope. MessageGears’ platform is designed to help marketers leverage zero- and first-party data to engage with their customers in more personalised ways across email, SMS and mobile apps. The company also claims a differentiator is functionality to directly accesses brands’ data repositories, instead of relying on cloud data syncs.

The acquisition and combined employee and customer footprint now extends across the United States and Europe and should also help MessageGears to support a more global audience.

MessageGears’ investor, Long Ridge Equity Partners, who led the company’s recent growth financing round, was advised by Clearwater International on the transaction.

Verint purchases appointment scheduling platform

Also acquiring this week is Verint, which picked up appointment scheduling solutions player, Qudini, to further extend the functionality of its customer engagement management platform.

Verint customers will now be able to access direct integration of Qudini’s appointment scheduling and management technology through its open architecture to balance resources and investments in contact centres, branches and stores.

Qudini had been privately held and is based in the UK with approximately 20 employees. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

“With these new capabilities, brands will be able to improve sales, customer loyalty and advocacy, and agent productivity, ultimately inspiring a more profitable future for Verint customers,” Verint vice-president, product strategy, Nick Mortimer, said.

CloseFactor raises US$15 million

CloseFactor, which is hoping to become the next big go-to-market operating system for revenue teams, has raised US$15 million in Series A funding.

CloseFactor was founded in 2020 by B2B technology veterans, Leena Joshi, Ben Cheung and Erik Buchanan with the intention of improving target account research. The resulting platform uses machine learning to automate the entire process and better align sales and marketing prospecting efforts across an organisation.

The investment round was led by Vertex Ventures and Sequoia Capital with participation from GTMFund and Neythri Futures Fund. The Series A brings total funding to $20m.

“To achieve GTM excellence, you need to get back to the basics. Intentionally designing every aspect of your strategy – from inbound lead generation and outbound prospecting, to closing deals and expanding customers – with absolute focus,” commented Joshi. “That starts by aligning sales and marketing around a rock-solid foundation. And we’re excited to help the world do just that.”  

CloseFactor claims to have had 5411 per cent growth over the last 20 quarters, accruing B2B customers such as Zuora, LaunchDarkly, Turing, Chronosphere and Alteryx.

InMoment bolsters CX platform capabilities

InMoment has taken the wrappers off new capabilities across its XI Platform aimed at enabling organiations to deliver measurable business outcomes from customer experience (CX) initiatives.

The latest functionality includes intent detection, leveraging advanced artificial intelligence (AI), built on functionality acquired through the vendor’s recently purchase of Lexalytics. The predictive AI and text analytics models are designed to give users insights to identify what a customer intends to do next. There’s also frontline coaching and prioritisation, a CX metric-based AI text analytics model which uses text and visual signals to identify at a glance the top five positive and negative impacts on business metrics such as NPS, CSAT, OSAT and sentiment scores at the location level.

A further enhancement is an ‘impact predictor’, or analysis tool to run multiple predictive simulations to determine the impact a project will have on a business. Human-assisted AI tagging uses natural language processing (NLP) and understanding (NLU) to assist AI improvement by creating text tags that train machine learning models to identify emergent and brand-specific themes to immediately uncover and anticipate customer interests and needs.

Following the recent acquisition of ReviewTrackers, the XI application also now supports SSO and API access to integrate social review data with voice of customer (VoC) feedback to both structured and unstructured data can be reviewed together. Additional digital and mobile app integration also aims to help organisations deliver native microsurveys in their mobile apps and view results alongside Google Play and Apple Store reviews in one reporting experience.

In all, InMoment said product enhancements and updates include 41 additional self-serve and language-specific capabilities enabled to build and deploy surveys within the XI Platform. These additional language capabilities allow global organisations location specific intelligence for experience improvement initiatives. The latest XI Platform features are available immediately.

Emplifi launches AI Composer Using OpenAI’s GPT-3 framework

As media coverage and controversy around GPT-3 generative AI heats up, Emplifi has launched its new composer solution to generate social media copy supporting the OpenAI GPT-3 language model.

Emplifi AI Composer is being pitched as a solution for generating ready-to-publish social media copy. The new capability is integrated within Emplifi Social Marketing Cloud and supports the OpenAI GPT-3 framework. To do this, the solution prompts social media teams to input their message instructions and select various customisations such as tone, emojis, hashtags or questions. It then modifies and enriches this content before using the OpenAI GPT-3 framework to generate the expected social media copy. Analytics and insights from campaigns are also provided.

“Emplifi is leveraging AI technology to make it easier for marketers to curate relevant and engaging social media content tailored for their audiences,” said Emplifi chief technology officer, Todd McCaslin. “OpenAI GPT-3 APIs have improved software performance and accuracy with iterative query and learning capabilities that streamline tasks and deliver insights to help professionals work more intelligently.”  

“We see this becoming a transformative holistic solution to help manage social media presence and drive business outcomes – relevant to any organisation, their size and budget.”

Invenna and Human Inference merge

Reports are indicating increasing emphasis by client-side marketers and CX leaders on technology and data set consolidation. So it’s not surprising to find Invenna and Human Interface announcing a merger this week.

According to Invenna, the partnership makes it one of the first companies in Western Europe to unite its customer data platform (CDP) with Master Data Management (MDM) technology.

Human Inference is a 35-year-old business providing software solutions for data quality and MDM technology. These are based on natural language processing, fuzzy logic techniques and a matching engine that recognises patterns. Through the merger, the pair claim they’re now offering one unique business solution for organisations to continuously recognise customers, data and persons, and instantly apply this information. For example in risk assessments, but also in marketing campaigns and analyses.

Invenna noted a number of key customer use cases as a result, stretching from marketing and IT to other ‘know your customer’ imperatives.

“Recent research by Garter underlines the trend that CDP and MDM technologies are growing closer together and are preferably part of one platform,” said Invenna and Human Inference MD, Pieter Hallewas. “We also notice companies increasingly have complex data streams, which poses the need for a strong MDM solution that intertwines with their CDP.

“By means of the merger and integrations, we offer new possibilities for organizations: from simplifying their IT landscape and the improvement of the services to the minimisation of business risks and more relevant customer communication.”

Dialpad broadens open app ecosystem

Customer intelligence management vendor, Dialpad, has been working to extend its open app ecosystem so customers can more easily integrate apps and workflows into one workspace.

The vendor has announced new integrations with business applications including Google, Bullhorn, ServiceNow and HubSpot, aimed at increasing employee efficiency and customer satisfaction.

It’s also updated its app marketplace with better search and restructured the Dialpad App Partner program to include new and existing partners such as Google, Theta Lake and Front. The company additionally reiterated its open APIs and said customers can extend and customise workflows for their business needs through its no code out-of-the-box offering, as well as low code (pre-built framework), and advanced code APIs. Dialpad’s robust APIs include Ai Agent Assist Automation framework, Ai-generated transcriptions, call logging and SMS.

“Our partnerships with companies like Google open up integration options for us to bring mutual customers more flexibility to meet their individual business needs,” said Dialpad VP, strategic alliances, Sangeeta Walsh. “We’re focused on growing the Dialpad App Partner program and App Marketplace to continue and increase efficiencies for our customers and their employees.”

JW Player acquires InPlayer

Our last acquisition of this week’s round-up is by JW Player, a SaaS video platform for broadcasters, publishers and video-driven companies. The company has acquired InPlayer, a provider of subscription management and identity management technology, for an undisclosed sum.  

The acquisition is designed to extend JW Player’s video platform capabilities with more monetisation solutions as well as better audience insights. It comes 18 months after JW Player raised US$100 million from LLR Partners to build subscription and other monetisation tools as part of its end-to-end video platform.

“Today is an important step in further differentiating JW Player's video monetization capabilities from that of other video platforms," said JW Player CEO and co-founder, Dave Otten. “With the acquisition of InPlayer, we are now able to combine its best-in-class subscription management, payments, and identity management capabilities with our market-leading advertising enablement capabilities.”

JW Player was founded in 2004 and based out of New York. It reports customers generate 8 billion video impressions per cent month and 5 billion minutes of video watched per month.

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