Acquia acquires Mautic

Acquia, the open source digital experience company, announced it has acquired Mautic, creator of a automation and campaign management platform. The acquisition will support Acquia’s in its goal to offer the industry’s first Open Digital Experience Platform.  Mautic will also bring its more than 100 MarTech integrations.

From the release: “In today’s world, brands need to engage with their customers in a unified and intelligent way,” said Dries Buytaert, Acquia co-founder, CTO, and chairman. “The addition of Mautic helps us support brands on this mission, while also pushing us towards our vision of building the Open Digital Experience Platform. With this acquisition, we are combining open source content management with open source marketing automation. Just as Drupal disrupted web content management, we believe Mautic disrupts the marketing automation world with open source, providing our customers faster innovation, more agility, more flexibility, and better integrations.”

Link: Acquia Newsroom

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Leadspace On-Demand adds single control center to platform

Leadspace, providing a customer data tool, has added Leadspace On-Demand to its platform. The feature is a single control center that gives Sales and Marketing all the power to optimize, analyze, align and activate their data with tools for managing data, visually exploring and analyzing account and persona data and scoring models, and creating segments for sales and marketing campaigns.

From the release: “B2B sales and marketing teams wrestle with many challenges that can be traced back to their inability to get a handle on, and strategically use, customer data that lives across their siloed systems,” said Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher. “With Leadspace On-Demand we’re giving control back to them with a single, easy-to-use interface for putting data to work in their strategic campaigns and efforts. Now they can better know, target and act on the right accounts and contacts, and more effectively grow their business.”

Link: Leadspace Press Releases

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Product Management tools for when your hair is on fire

When your hair is on fire, when you’re on a deadline, when you need to get your team to get a product, a post, a contract out the door, what are the last things you need to spend half an hour searching for?

  • Passwords
  • A headshot of the boss, the one she liked that was almost exactly like the 40 others from the same photo shoot
  • The HEX color number for your new logo
  • The text you use describing your company, which is the same every single time
  • The deadline for that next thing you have an intern gathering resources on

Luckily there are platforms where you can store this information and share it with your team. They’re not Digital Asset Management platforms (they’re less expensive and don’t encode work), and they’re not communications tools between teams. These are Project Management platforms that allow you to track projects for different teams, store boilerplate press releases and social media, you can park logos and images you use a lot, you can even use them to store the passwords for all those other tools you use to get things done.

The following are Product Management tools for marketers:

Basecamp is a cloud-based project management solution designed to be easy to use by anyone. With Basecamp, users can share and collaborate on documents, assign tasks and due dates, share calendars and track to-do lists. Message Boards discussions are threaded, organized, and easy to reference later on.
BEST FEATURE: Campfire is a chat room for discussions and brainstorming sessions.
PRICING: Basecamp is $99 monthly, for all sized-teams.

Trello is a collaborative project management tool that allows teams to organize their ideas and notes into a visual platform. Teams can add as many people they want to their project. Teams are be limited to 10 open “boards” for task management unless they are upgraded to Business Class or Enterprise accounts. Trello has updated its permissions and added restrictions so only account administrators can add Trello features to each account.
BEST FEATURE: Power-Ups include features that are paid for by the instance. Power-Ups include “Travel Planner” and “Custom Fields” and integrations with platforms like Slack and Google.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $9.99 monthly.

is a highly customizable project management platform for team collaboration of all kinds, including campaign management, product development, bug tracking, daily task management and more. Conversations and tasks are collected all in one place, so everything is actionable, searchable and transparent. Create tasks for planned work for yourself or for a teammate.
BEST FEATURE: Includes timeline view, which translates the project components into a horizontal representation, with color-coded boxes splayed across a calendar layout.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $9.99 monthly.

Monday is project management software built for start-ups designed to centralize all company communication in order to keep everyone engaged and focused. Teams can plan and execute projects in one central place, create a knowledge base and communicate in context.
BEST FEATURE: Search everything in your entire account, including images, posts, updates, mentions and projects.
PRICING: Flexible pricing from 5 users and up, starting at $25 per month billed annually.

Aha! is cloud-based product management platform built for use by both engineers and marketers. Build dynamic roadmaps with automatic notifications of changes.Create wiki-like notes to capture and share additional product and team related information (e.g. meeting notes, competitive research, user personas). View features as cards and drag and drop them into planned releases.
BEST FEATURE: Capture ideas from customers, employees, and others via a custom branded portal.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $59 monthly.

Airtable works like a spreadsheet for organizing any kind of data, but advances the concept with drag and drop functionality, visual containers for images, easily linked connection between related records and simple sharing and collaboration features. Link contact records to company records. Linked records appear as expandable, clickable “cards.”
BEST FEATURE: Native mobile and desktop apps make it easy to edit, comment, and collaborate in real time — changes are instantly synced across everyone’s devices.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $10 monthly.

Smartsheet is an online project management platform using forms to make it easy to collect and act on data, and with easy-to-configure rules that automate repetitive actions. Multiple views allow managers to track work across projects or departments. Share your work with other team members, or simply collaborate on a specific task. Get a clear view of team availability and progress on projects. Smartsheet online web forms are easy to create and customize. It’s the perfect tool to effortlessly collect any kind of information.
BEST FEATURE: With Smartsheet, it’s easy to roll up several project sheets into a master sheet by linking cells across sheets.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $14 monthly.

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SAP releases Data Warehouse Cloud, updates Analytics Cloud

SAP has announced the release of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, a solution built with SAP HANA Cloud Services. It unites heterogeneous data in one solution, maintaining the security, trust and richness of a company’s data. Users can quickly access their entire data landscape and translate it into value in line-of-business-specific spaces with a pay-as-you-go flexible pricing model based on consumption. SAP also released an update to SAP Analytics Cloud, giving customers a dedicated SDK (software development kit) to embed and extend their own analytical applications.

From the release: “With new SAP HANA Cloud Services, SAP aims to bring the power and performance of the SAP HANA database to the cloud where it acts as a single gateway to data of any size to address the challenges of distributed data landscapes. The combination of the in-memory technology of SAP HANA with data virtualization results in simplicity for data consumers and flexibility for data management. A data lake storage tier allows businesses to grow their data managed by SAP HANA without any limits. On-premise customers of SAP HANA are planned to benefit from the new cloud services as they can flexibly add capacity as needed,” the press release stated.

Link: PR Newswire

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Google Assistant updated with better natural language tools, driving mode

Google Assistant, an AI-enabled personal assistant, has been updated with natural language tools. The new technology called Google Duplex enables Google Assistant to process complex sentences, fast speech, and long remarks, so it can respond naturally in a phone conversation. Driving Mode is a voice-forward dashboard putting navigation, messaging, calling and media at the forefront. Lastly, Continued Conversation enables several requests in a row without having to say “Hey Google” each time.

From the release: For a digital assistant to be helpful, it needs to understand the people, places and events that are important to you. In the coming months, the Assistant will be able to better understand references to all of these through Personal References. For example, after you’ve told the Assistant which contact is ‘mom,’ you’ll be able to ask for things more naturally like, ‘What’s the weather like at mom’s house this weekend?’ or, ‘Remind me to order flowers a week before my sister’s birthday.’ You always have control over your personal information, and can add, edit or remove details from the “You” tab in Assistant settings at any time,” wrote Manuel Bronstein, vice president of product, Google Assistant, wrote on the Google Blog.

Link: Google Blog

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Broadsign acquires OOH self-serve platform Campsite

Broadsign, the out-of-home (OOH) marketing platform, has acquired Campsite, which offers premium OOH inventory through a self-serve programatic platform. While Campsite will operate as a division of Broadsign, the combination of Broadsign and Campsite offers an option to further automate the buying and selling of media inventory by brands and agencies.

From the release: “Broadsign’s goal is to make buying and selling of out-of-home as easy as possible and adding Campsite’s strengths to our open platform will greatly help with that mission,” said Adam Green, SVP and GM of Broadsign Reach. “We look forward to working with the Campsite team and all of our mutual customers to build on our collective vision for open programmatic DOOH trading around the world.”

Link: Broadsign Press Releases

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G2, formerly G2Crowd, acquires customer review management platform Advocately

G2, formerly known as G2Crowd, has acquired Advocately, a customer review management platform. The acquisition of Advocately means G2 can now automate the collection of customer reviews by linking into a company’s CRM or communication platform and collecting reviews on G2 and other review platforms.

From the release: We’re thrilled to roll out this enhancement to such a core pillar of our business. And although G2 continues to evolve (this is our second acquisition in the last 6 months), this step represents a continued strategic investment in doing what we do best: collecting authentic user reviews that help businesses buy the right technologies, so they can reach their full potential,” wrote Tim Handorf, president of G2.

Link: G2 Product Blog

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Pardot adds targeting for teams by region or brand

Salesforce’s Pardot, the B2B marketing automation platform, has a new feature called Pardot Business Units. Business Unites supports regional teams and sub-brands with the tools they need to reach their own segmented audiences. Enterprises using Pardot can now designate audiences for brands, geographies, or lines of business to better tailor campaigns for specific groups while still getting a complete view of the customer experience.

From the release: “It’s clear that the future of marketing is no longer just automation, but personalization. The more targeted a message is, the better. Yet, enterprise marketers face a perpetual tug-of-war — how to balance the need for a centralized brand and message, while giving marketers from regional teams or sub-brands enough flexibility to execute tailored, localized campaigns that resonate better with their customers,” wrote Michael Kostow, senior Vice President and general manager of Salesforce Pardot. in the Salesforce Blog.

Link: Salesforce Blog

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BrightEdge releases Instant for real-time insights into keywords

BrightEdge has released BrightEdge Instant, a real-time SEO solution that empowers marketers to utilize real-time insights and take action to optimize content all within one unified platform. Instant uses artificial intelligence to curate the relevant topics and keywords to go after, using a seed list it expands to a targeted list of relevant keywords. Keywords can be sought by location and those used in voice search.

From the release:“Leading brands realize the importance of organic search as the key to digital portfolio success and have been asking for technology that can truly help them produce real, tangible business outcomes ‘right here and right now,'” said Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge. “At BrightEdge we take great pride in adding new capabilities in lockstep with both technological innovation and investment in the success of our customers. I am so excited to see how brands will maximize revenue lift with BrightEdge Instant.”

Link: BrightEdge News

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Attack Your Stack: Are You Leveraging the Expertise of Your Anchor Vendors?

Once upon a time, before the introduction of structured inside-sales processes, it was easy to reach out to vendors to ask product questions and connect with a knowledgeable human being. Today, any attempt to do that will pull you into a vendor’s sales funnel, and before you know it, a BDR (business development representative) will be calling to qualify you as a prospective customer. To avoid that scenario, we marketers try to discover answers in other ways, which frequently becomes an exercise in trying to locate a needle in a haystack. We find ourselves digging through pages of community-generated commentary as we attempt to learn the answer to a specific question.

Back in the “good ole days” I viewed my vendors as strategic partners. I relied on them to keep me abreast of marketing trends and to share lessons learned from experience across their client-base. While it may not be possible to do that anymore because of the issues identified above, it is possible to develop that kind of relationship with an anchor vendor, and I would go so far as to say this should be an imperative.

You are spending a significant amount of money with each of your anchor vendors. It is not unreasonable to expect them to provide additional value-added services without turning every conversation into a sales call. As you work on your technology strategy, you should ask your vendors to provide their insights into what other companies like yours are considering and doing with their marketing technology stacks. Chances are, they have insights that go beyond the role and direction of their own products. They’ve also got a front row seat when it comes to seeing potential integration and performance issues as new products are introduced into the stack.

As marketers, we are easily attracted to the latest marketing jargon and to promises of the latest innovation in marketing technology. Sometimes we get so enamored with the invention of a new product category and the brilliant marketing behind it that we become convinced we have to buy a new product or platform, even if we are not entirely sure why we need it or how we’ll use it. Your anchor vendors can often provide a sanity check when it comes to new technology and can help you assess where, if anywhere, it might add value in your stack.

For those shiny new things that make sense for your business, the first step in your evaluation process should be to assess what your anchor vendor has planned in that area. It may be that your needs can be satisfied by the vendors and platforms you already have in place, and the same holds true for any new functionality that you may need in your stack. By keeping track of your anchor vendors’ road maps, you may be able to save money, time, and integration headaches that come with the sourcing of new platforms.

I recommend that as part of your vendor contract negotiation process, you request that vendors share their road maps with you on a quarterly basis and assign a point of contact that you can leverage for advice and information as you evolve your stack. It is in the best interest of your anchor vendors to keep you close, to ensure that you continue to leverage more and more of their functionality and to make it increasingly unlikely that they will be displaced.

Another key advantage to staying close to your anchor vendors is that it gives you an opportunity to provide input and to influence their road-map direction. At CabinetM we love nothing more than knowing that we are developing the features that our users want.

To download your full copy of the Attack Your Stack workbook via instruction at the link.

Anita Brearton is founder and CEO of CabinetM, a platform that helps marketers take control of their marketing technology environments. In addition to CabinetM, Anita is a CMS Wire monthly columnist and speaks frequently on marketing practices and stack building.
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