The Week in Martech

Episerver launches Intelligence Cloud, appoints new CMO

This week Episerver, the content management and digital commerce platform, launched Intelligence Cloud, which integrates with its existing Content and Commerce Cloud offerings. The launch will deliver functionality from last year’s two acquisitions, Idio and Insite Software, to Episerver customers.

At the same time, Episerver announced the appointment of Kirsten Allegri Williams, formerly of SAP Success Factors, as CMO. “In this business environment, digital is crucial to how businesses re-imagine themselves,” she told us. “If you have rigidity in your digital model, it is difficult to move at the pace that economic conditions are evolving.”

Intelligence Cloud will combine Idio’s content personalization with Episerver’s data, recommendations and analytics to deliver individually tailored content and product recommendations at each stage of the customer journey. “It helps you with insights to create more engaging and relevant online experiences,” said Williams.

Why we care. The importance of e-commerce is being accelerated by the pandemic environment, and marketers will be looking for robust, agile and intelligent content and commerce platforms. Last year’s acquisitions, and the appointments of senior SAP executives—Alex Atzberger as CEO, and now Williams as CMO—indicates that Episerver is among the vendors trying to seize the moment.

Zendesk report shows lack of CX strategy with startups

According to a new report issued this week by Zendesk, the CRM and customer support platform, 70% of startups do not have a formal customer support strategy in place, yet early-stage start-ups which do invest in CX out-perform their peers.

Faster-growth startups directed more resources toward self-service and live channels, like phone and chat. So-called unicorns—privately held startups valued at over $1 billion—adopted live channels even faster. Unicorns were 37% more likely to offer omnichannel customer service, 38% more likely to have rolled out chat and 48% more likely to have phone support in their first two years of business.

The “Startups CX Benchmark Report” is based on a study of more than 4,400 startups.

Why we care. Startups can grow faster if they prioritize CX, which means delivering real-time, omnichannel responsiveness. Zendesk has skin in the game of course, but this report suggests real benefits from delivering early-stage customer support.

Hootsuite: New CEO takes the reins

Tom Keiser has officially taken over as Hootsuite CEO, replacing founder Ryan Holmes, who remains the company’s chairman. 

As COO for customer service platform Zendesk, Keiser helped drive annual revenue growth from $200 million to $1 billion while scaling operations from 1,000 to nearly 4,000 employees. 

Why we care. Social media management and monitoring is a key part of any martech stack, and Hootsuite has made itself an important enterprise player. Acquiring a top Zendesk executive as CEO is a signal it’s looking to grow further.

Facebook delivers voter registration info to all U.S. users

Starting this week, the social platform will pin voter registration to the top of the news feeds of U.S. users of voting age. The information provided will include a link to the user’s home state’s registration website, or a link to an alternative non-partisan source if the state does not display registration information online.

Facebook also plans to hold registration drives this summer, including on Instagram and Messenger. “We want to use our platform to empower voters to make the ultimate decision themselves, on election day,” said Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs and Communications.

Why we care. Against a background of fierce criticism and high-profile boycott by advertisers, Facebook tries to do something right. 

Research finds increase in audio streaming during pandemic

Not surprisingly, at-home audio streaming has increased over the last several months as pandemic stay-at-home orders have been implemented across the country. 

New research from Comscore shows a sharp increase in use beginning in early April that continued to rise through mid-June. According to Comscore, total daily audio streaming hours has increased 32 percent from the week of December 30, 2019 to the week of June 15, 2020. 

Popular streaming services like iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify are leading the increase while other industry players like Spotify only saw a slight increase (1%). Pandora saw the largest increase from January to May with an increase of 42%. 

Why we care. Considering audio streaming channels as potential marketing channels needs to be a priority for 2021. It’s another place to meet your customers where they are, and this environment isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

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About The Author

Rodric J. Bradford is the Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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