CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 8 August 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from SugarCRM, MindTickle, Quiq, Marchex, Live Group, Qualtrics, Automation Anywhere, Klevops, Adobe, Vizibl and IgnitionOne.

SugarCRM launches new products and vision

SugarCRM, a customer experience company, has debuted a new portfolio of customer experience applications which it's pitching as key to differentiating CX.

Sugar’s new portfolio of customer experience applications consists of: Sugar Market, a marketing automation solution designed to supercharge marketing efficiency and productivity; Sugar Sell, a sales automation solution renowned for its intuitive user interface, extensibility and customer satisfaction; and Sugar Serve, Sugar’s new customer engagement centre solution designed to streamline case management and issue resolution.

Sugar’s new Intelligent Customer Experience platform, which unifies disparate data into a single 'time aware' customer data model, is one of Sugar’s three key differentiators. The second is No-Touch Information Management, which allows users to spend less time entering and finding data and more time delivering positive customer outcomes. The third differentiator is Continuous Cloud Innovation.

Qualtrics adds enhancements to customer preferences tool

Qualtrics, a leader in experience management, has announced broad feature enhancements to its Conjoint XM solution, which empowers companies to identify what features are most important to a customer when buying a product or service. The Qualtrics Conjoint XM solution scientifically identifies preferences consumers have for different features by automating the testing and analysis of various package combinations. This tool is the latest edition to Qualtrics’ Product Experience (PX) solutions.

“New enhancements to the Qualtrics Conjoint XM Solution allow organisations to take the guesswork out of determining customer preferences, and to make data driven decisions on product, pricing and packaging,” said vice-president of Research Core at Qualtrics, Kelly Waldher.

The new features include Willingness to Pay, which calculates and surfaces insights on the amount a customer is willing to pay for a new offering, and Dual Choice Conjoint, which allows companies to more accurately predict the likelihood of purchase for various product configurations. Additional enhancements include support for Conditional Pricing, Alternative Specific Design, Anchored Maxdiff and enhanced collaboration workflows.

MindTickle’s US$40 million Series C funding

MindTickle has secured US$40 million in a Series C round of venture capital funding led by Norwest Venture Partners.

MindTickle believes that in order to assess, implement and develop the demonstrable capability of customer-facing employees, a single data model must be built. The ultimate goal behind creating a data model is to find competencies that best correlate with activity metrics and sales performance, and ultimately optimise an organisation’s readiness and enablement investments to develop the desired capabilities.

MindTickle platform aims to help identify gaps in competency or capability and provides a path to remediation. When engagement and proficiency data is combined with business outcome data and enhanced by AI and machine learning, organisations can surface insights, drive personalised recommendations and optimise sales performance.

With Norwest Venture Partners joining the ranks of investors, MindTickle aims to double down on the thesis that companies tackling this important problem of readiness will expand from sales to other customer-facing teams and ultimately to all teams across the organisation and change the way we think about personal and professional development.

Quiq raises US$12.5 million

Also raising substantial dollars this month is Quiq, a conversational engagement platform and business messaging solutions provider.

The company closed a US$12.5 million Series B funding round, led by Foundry Group, with participation from Teamworthy Ventures and existing investors Venrock and Next Frontier Capital.Quiq is a platform that combines human agents, native bots and third-party bots across multiple digital channels.

“This investment validates our vision that digital engagement channels, like messaging and chat, are the future of consumer communications and that asynchronous messaging will be the foundation of the next generation enterprise contact centre,” said founder and CEO of Quiq, Mike Myer.

The company will use the funding to continue to build out Quiq’s engagement platform and to make it smarter with bots and AI to deliver the next generation of conversational commerce, including the first messaging-based shopping cart. Quiq will also continue to build its go-to-market team in advance of the upcoming digital transformation of customer communications.

Marchex releases conversational AI technology

Marchex, a provider of call analytics, has released new artificial intelligence technology to interpret the complex language of customer intent, with the aim to enable businesses to anticipate the needs of consumers, deliver personalised experiences, and increase sales.

The suite of new pre-trained Conversational AI models was developed by the Marchex Innovation Development (MIND) Lab team to solve a big problem for businesses: how to immediately understand and respond to the needs of customers during sales conversations over the phone or via text.

Marchex Conversational AI is built on Marchex Stream, the new conversational data streaming and business intelligence platform announced in May that enables the processing of events and extraction of signals from conversations as they occur in real time, at scale.

The technology is powered by Marchex’s growing base of more than one billion minutes of analysed consumer-to-business conversations and employs deep learning techniques including convolutional neural network developments pioneered by the Marchex MIND Labteam.

Some of the new features and capabilities in Marchex Conversational AI include: Deep Consumer Intent Signals, Lead Scoring, Churn Prediction, Deep Outcome Insights, Sales Best Practice and Performance Improvement Insights, and Vertical Industry Models.

Live Group launches live SMS marketing platform

Live Group, a payment and marketing service provider for small businesses, has launched a new SMS communication platform geared specifically for Australian SMEs.

The platform aims to help Australian SMEs leverage the power of SMS to help grow their business and customer loyalty. The easy-to-use software, Live sms, was built in partnership with Vidcorp, one of Australia’s SMS solutions providers.

More than just a pure marketing platform, Live sms also allows tactical communications with existing clients, such as upcoming date reminders, gauging customer feedback and driving traffic to brand websites or campaigns.

Automation Anywhere acquires Klevops

Automation Anywhere, a global business in robotic process automation (RPA), has acquired Klevops, a privately-held company based in Paris.

With the acquisition, Automation Anywhere fast forwards the RPA category to Attended Automation 2.0, where managers can easily orchestrate work streams across a team of employees and bots, driving a higher level of employee productivity and improved customer experience. This enables customers to automate more processes than ever before, with the same level of central governance, security and analytic capability for which Automation Anywhere has always been known.

Acquisitions like this one will be part of Automation Anywhere’s growth strategy as it continues to help solve customer pain points and automate a greater number of business processes. 

GroupM boosts martech expertise with Adobe

GroupM Australia has become the only media agency group to join the Adobe Ambassador Programme as a launch partner across AdTech and Martech. 

The Adobe Advertising Ambassador Program has been created with the aim of providing comprehensive martech training and support structure in Australia and New Zealand. The pilot program is a global first across Adobe Analytics, Audience Manager and Advertising Cloud and will culminate in certification and strategic understanding across the Analytics & Advertising Cloud products.

Being part of the programme will power GroupM’s Martech Centre of Excellence, driving certified experts across multiple Adobe solutions and embedding the media and marketing skillset of the future within GroupM’s agencies, Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence.  

Vizibl debuts Customer Data Platform 

Datawrkz has taken the wrappers off its Vizibl Customer Data Platform (CDP).

The product integrates information about visitors to a website with information stored in offline enterprise systems, such as CRM products and email automation tools, to stitch together a more comprehensive view of potential clients for business insights as well as customised targeting and messaging.

The Vizibl CDP has been built from the ground up to generate high ROI for small and mid-market clients. The vendor claims it has stripped out the bells and whistles to keep the core functionality that a smaller company needs without the costs.

IgnitionOne launches Customer Data and Media Consultancy

IgnitionOne, a global marketing technology and services provider, has launched its media consultancy.

IgnitionOne’s team digital marketing experts will work with marketers navigating the complexities of advertising and marketing technologies to help them reach their business goals. The ambition is to deliver full managed services via a team of IgnitionOne experts to ensure clients are optimising their use of the IgnitionOne Customer Intelligence Platform (CIP) to allow them to focus on analysing insights from their customer data and gain full visibility into their marketing performance.

Offerings include data integration, audience management, paid media management, ad operations, creative and analytics.

While IgnitionOne has long supported global marketers with its technology, the adtech player said the consultancy is a direct response to the growing industry trend of in-housing marketing services.

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