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New Kahoot! Integration With Microsoft Teams Brings Engagement To Distance Learning And Video Conferencing

Kahoot! announced the launch of an integration with Microsoft Teams which allows its 75 million daily users to play Kahoot! games simultaneously or at their own pace from directly within Teams.

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In these unprecedented times, this integration transforms distance learning for schools and remote working by offering an engaging way to connect with others and learn remotely so that teachers, students, and professionals can reach their goals.

When played simultaneously via Teams’ video conference functionality, Kahoot!’s friendly competition brings engagement and human interaction to remote team meetings and classrooms.  This, when combined with new interactive presentation functionality within Kahoot!’s Premium+ offering for business, makes it possible to deliver engaging presentations that everyone will remember through Teams.

Also, teachers or trainers can assign Kahoot! games directly into Teams channels so that members can learn at their own pace.  This game mode remains a group experience and updates are posted into the channel as the game unfolds, culminating in a final results podium that is posted into the channel when the game ends. It has proved a particularly popular solution for teachers delivering distance learning all around the world.

“With the majority of the world’s schools and businesses operating remotely due to COVID-19, now is the right time for this integration which meets the high demand we are seeing for both social interaction and distance learning from businesses and schools alike,” said Eilert Hanoa, CEO, Kahoot!.

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“Microsoft Teams users will now have the unique engagement of Kahoot! at their fingertips,” said Steven Abrahams, Principal Program Manager for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Corp. “It’s an industry-leading integration which has been highly requested by our customers, and will further enhance the Teams experience by making collaboration and learning fun, no matter where you are.”

Britta Meyer Rock Joins Claris as New VP of Marketing

Claris International Inc., the Apple subsidiary known for its leading low-code development platform, expands its executive team by welcoming Britta Meyer Rock as its new VP of Marketing.

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Britta will lead all aspects of Clari’s marketing strategy and execution, including brand and performance marketing, community engagement, and customer lifecycle management.

“We couldn’t ask for a more accomplished marketing leader to join our organization,” said Claris CEO Brad Freitag. “The energy and intelligence Britta brings to all of her work will be a huge boost to an already stellar marketing team. Whether she’s highlighting amazing modern apps developed by our community, bringing more developers into Claris Connect, or cementing our leadership position in the rapidly expanding low-code market, Britta’s skills are going to complement those of the leadership team, and bolster customer commitment.”

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Britta joins Claris from WageWorks where she previously served as CMO and played a pivotal role in furthering the company’s brand presence, increasing market share, and supporting sales to drive revenue growth. Britta also brings more than twenty years of leadership experience in marketing, holding executive positions at companies that specialize in social technologies and enterprise software as a service (SaaS).

Sales Hacker Launches the Premier Interactive Community for Sales Professionals

Sales Hacker, the top destination for sales education and career acceleration, launched a new interactive community for sales professionals. The Sales Hacker community provides an educational and interactive hub to help sales professionals grow expertise, share knowledge, and develop professionally by learning from their peers and industry leaders.

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“I am thrilled to launch this community to sales professionals around the globe,” said Max Altschuler, founder of Sales Hacker and vice president of marketing at Outreach. “In today’s remote environment, resources that keep us connected, foster idea-sharing, and open dialogue are increasingly important. This is exactly what Sales Hacker is designed to do. Sales professionals from all backgrounds and experience levels can come together and learn from each other to ultimately bring more success to their organizations and grow as leaders.”

Sales Hacker was acquired by the number one sales engagement platform, Outreach, in August 2018, and is the leading destination for sales professionals to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the world of sales.

“The sales industry is at a very important crossroads. Now more than ever, we need spaces where we share ideas, learn from each other, and grow in areas that will advance our businesses,” said Manny Medina, CEO, and co-founder of Outreach. “Sales Hacker has always been the place to learn about what’s happening in the industry – now sales professionals can take that one step further by sparking conversations and inspiring each other with their unique approach to improving their sales skills. These are the conversations that are going to help shape the modern sales process.”

Sales Hacker touts more than 166,000 diverse sales professionals and members and has more than 500 contributing authors providing expertise. Now, in addition to the existing industry news and educational resources like webinars, blogs, and events that Sales Hacker provides, the new community features:

  • Discussion Threads: Community members can launch discussion threads to get advice, feedback, and ideas from fellow community members and sales experts. These threads allow for a lively discussion between sales professionals of all backgrounds and levels of expertise, fostering engagement within the community.
  • Professional Profiles: Community members can create profiles to advance their professional development and develop connections. Profiles showcase interests, display engagement metrics, and aggregate industry news and information in an easy-to-read feed. Members can also follow authors and other members to build their professional community.
  • Channels: Community members can view news, discussion threads, and information through channels tailored to selling focus areas including sales development, sales engagement, sales operations, and sales “closers” (aka executives charged with closing deals).
  • Career Development Content & Trends: Community members have access to the latest news and industry trends, and can grow their skills through carefully curated webinars, sales training, sales templates, and blog posts.
  • Direct Messaging: Community members will be able to directly connect with each other with private messaging.

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Coil Expands with Launch of WordPress Plugin and New Wallet Provider Uphold

Coil, the company dedicated to building a better business model for the web, unveiled the Coil Web Monetization plugin, providing publishers and creators on WordPress with an alternative and an additive way to monetize their free and premium content. Coil also introduced its newest wallet provider, Uphold, enabling payouts in more than 50 currencies, and in the U.S., access to Uphold’s new debit card payout feature.

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“Now, more than ever, publishers and individual creators are seeking new revenue streams,” said Stefan Thomas, Founder, and CEO of Coil. “At the same time, consumers are suffering from site-by-site subscription fatigue and the invasive privacy issues associated with ads. With the introduction of the Web Monetization plugin and more payout options for publishers and creators around the globe, our goal is to provide more freedom of choice and less friction for everyone.”

Developed in partnership with leading WordPress agency Pragmatic, the plugin makes it easy to web monetize an entire site with a few clicks. Once enabled, Coil streams payments to the publisher’s wallet as Coil Members enjoy the content, while preserving users’ privacy. Publishers and creators looking to maximize their revenue potential can also use the plugin to implement special features for members, including ad-free and premium content experiences. The open-source plugin is intentionally designed to be interoperable with other Web Monetization service providers, providing publishers and creators with more freedom of choice now and in the future.

With Coil’s newest wallet provider, Uphold, creators will enjoy an intuitive setup experience and more payout options. Uphold offers access to over 50 currencies with bank connectivity in more than 35 countries, expanding the Coil’s ability to serve more creators and publishers around the world. Creators in the U.S. who select Uphold as their wallet provider will also have access to the Uphold debit card offers, allowing them to have payments from Coil loaded directly onto their cards.

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Stefan Thomas added, “Part of the inspiration for Coil was to break down the barriers that prevent creators from being paid for their work and their fans from being able to support them. By leveraging Interledger Protocol technology and partnering with Uphold, we’re continuing to tear down walls that make cross-currency transactions too expensive and inaccessible to many.”

Marketers Leapfrog into Digital-first Era Through Data-driven Experiences Powered by ON24

With businesses no longer able to connect with audiences in person, digital-first events are now the new normal. That’s why companies of all industries and sizes are turning to ON24, the technology leader helping businesses innovate their marketing through interactive, data-rich digital experiences.

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Because of the engaging, data-rich format of ON24 webinars and virtual event experiences, marketers have been able to successfully pivot to a digital-first marketing strategy. And, audiences are engaging virtually at unprecedented rates — over a half-million professionals are interacting across the ON24 Network for more than 25M engagement minutes every day. That means marketers are not only continuing to drive revenue, but they are also surpassing the results typically achieved by a physical event, demonstrating the foundational role digital experiences will play for future business growth.

Domo, the provider of the Domo Business Cloud, used ON24 to transform its industry-leading user conference, Domopalooza, into a digital experience. To maintain the high-impact content and community-first mentality of their in-person event, Domo turned to ON24 because of the deep level of interactivity and insights the platform provides. As a result, Domo more than quadrupled their virtual attendees over the previous in-person event, increasing to 12,000 audience members from 3,000 in 2019.

“We were proud to be one of the first companies to prioritize safety and convert Domopalooza to a 100 percent digital event,” says Paris Gibson, Director of Corporate Events, Domo. “ON24 helped us not only ensure it would happen, but the platform actually enhanced our programming — providing rich avenues for engagement with attendees, and supporting an audience that was multiples larger than our typical in-person conference.”

“Our audience is made up of some of the most astute and engaged business people around the globe. We could not afford to have any drop off in the quality of programming when we went to a digital format,” says Orson Francescone, Managing Director, FT Live. “ON24 has provided such a valuable channel for us that we anticipate continuing using the solution even once we’re able to return to in-person events.”

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Benefitfocus, a cloud-based benefits management platform, and services provider used ON24 to move its One Place annual conference to an all-digital format. This not only allowed for the show to go on, but it enhanced the event experience and outcomes in many ways.

“By taking a digital-first event strategy, One Place 2020 achieved 200% growth in attendance and engagement over anticipated on-site attendance,” says Hunter Smythe, Director of Event Marketing, Benefitfocus. “And, the ON24 Platform provided our team with another benefit that just isn’t possible with physical events: real-time data. It’s really powerful to be able to report back to our executives with metrics that go way deeper than just attendee numbers.”

North 6th Agency Announces Strategic Venture With Award-Winning Integrated Marketing Firm Magnetik

North 6th Agency (N6A), The Outcome Relations Agency™, announced that it has entered into a strategic venture with integrated marketing firm Magnetik™.

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Since 2006, Magnetik has established itself as a premier integrated marketing agency based in New York City. Combining cutting-edge technology, award-winning creative, and strategic best practices, Magnetik has serviced more than 100 brands across all categories, including disruptive start-ups and global enterprise brands, such as Akamai, NBC Universal, and Tommy Hilfiger USA.

N6A will be integrating Magnetik’s suite of services into its Outcome Relations™ offering for clients, which combines earned media, amplification, and KPI alignment to support the specific business outcomes of CMOs, CEOs, and brand marketers.

Through the venture, N6A will now offer the following services to enable clients to amplify their Outcome Relations™ campaigns:

  • Creative and Design Services
  • Digital Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • SEO and SEM
  • Web Development

“Magnetik’s suite of digital offerings serves an important purpose in enabling brands to amplify the power of credibility assets to drive specific business outcomes,” said Matt Rizzetta, CEO of N6A. “We look forward to servicing our customers with even greater impact and with a tireless commitment to driving their business outcomes as a result of this partnership.”

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Strategy9 Announces the Release of Queue Manager – virtual SMS-based waiting system

Strategy9 announced the immediate availability of Queue Manager, enabling casinos, restaurants, hotels, and any business faced with traditional lineups of customers to eliminate these waiting lines through the use of SMS text messaging.

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“We’re very excited to see how many casinos are asking for Queue Manager within a week of the release,” said Andrew White, CEO at Strategy9.

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Many customers have already benefited from deploying a Queue Manager. Casinos are already benefitting from the SMS text-message based system, which allows casino customers to wait in line – virtually – by simply sending in a text message to the casino’s SMS number (which is all set up for the casino by Strategy9).

Where demand is high – like at the entry to the casino – customers can wait in their cars and are summoned to the casino entrance with an SMS Text message when they get to the front of the line.  Casino customers can text in a code word like “wait” to receive an update on the estimated wait times.  The system asks the casino customers for their party size, to better help the casino estimate capacity and maintain safe occupancy loads.  Queue Manager can even recognize players by their “player’s club tier” or another VIP status.

Queue Manager will help in many places in a typical casino environment and can be used for applications like restaurant waiting lists, player services functions, valet parking, bowling alley waitlists, etc.

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Queue Manager Availability

Queue Manager is available now and can be activated for existing customers in minutes, and new customers can be up and running within hours.

Introducing Asset Assurance™, a Safeguard for Brands using Powerful Editorial Imagery in Campaigns

Shutterstock, Inc., a leading global technology company offering a creative platform for high-quality content, tools, and services, introduces Asset Assurance™, a new product that offers brands and businesses guaranteed protection when licensing editorial content for commercial use.

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Shutterstock Editorial is a premier source for the latest news, sports, entertainment, and royal imagery that enables the world’s media to visually amplify their stories. For the first time, Shutterstock is empowering brand storytellers with worry-free use of its library of editorial and archival images and video in advertisements and other commercial projects. Shutterstock’s team of editorial and legal experts will work with clients to review the potential commercial use of the content and ensure they have secured the necessary indemnification against any potential claims.

The global pandemic has changed the way brands and businesses engage their audiences by acknowledging the ongoing global crisis and showing their support. An IAB survey conducted in March 2020 revealed that more than 37% of US marketers planned to increase their brand equity messaging due to the coronavirus and 40% of US marketers planned to increase their mission-based and cause-related marketing. Additionally, a study conducted by Smartly.io among 800 US adults in the first week of April showed that 83% of respondents said they wanted brands to address the pandemic directly in their social media advertising, which reflects the need for a product like Asset Assurance™, providing brands with a safe solution for using more timely, real-life authentic imagery in their brand campaigns.

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“As brands and agencies rallied to create ad campaigns over the last two months that show empathy and reflect the current climate, we have seen an increase in demand from clients needing visual content that is relatable and connected to real-life events,” said Stan Pavlovsky, CEO of Shutterstock. “By making our collection of more than 50 million editorial images and footage available for commercial use, our clients can create more empathetic and contextually relevant visual campaigns with protection guaranteed.”

Rakuten Ready Launches ARRIVE Mobile App

Rakuten Ready, the leader in predictive arrival technology, has launched the ARRIVE Mobile App. The new addition to Rakuten Ready’s ARRIVE platform empowers merchants that don’t have their own mobile app to deliver superior Order for Pickup experiences by increasing order efficiency and improving the management of the order for pickup process.

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Merchants of all sizes can use the ARRIVE Mobile App to get access to all of the same benefits delivered by Rakuten Ready’s ARRIVE predictive arrival platform, including greater visibility over customers in transit and notifications when they arrive. Employees can use this information to organize orders by projected customer arrival time, creating a seamless order process for merchants and consumers. The ARRIVE Mobile App can also facilitate contactless pickups that help employees and customers feel safer in light of COVID-19.

“This pandemic has forced businesses to refine their pickup experiences to make it seamless and safer for both customers and employees,” said Jaron Waldman, CEO, and co-founder of Rakuten Ready. “The new ARRIVE Mobile App gives businesses without an app of their own ability to better choreograph orders to provide a faster, more enjoyable pickup experience for their customers.”

ARRIVE powers a superior order for pickup experience that reduces customer wait times and improves order queue efficiency. In addition to accurate predictions of pickup arrival times, merchants can use real-time analytics on dwell and wait times to ensure orders are handed off in a timely fashion. Restaurants can use predictions from ARRIVE to reorganize order queues and determine the optimal time to start cooking a takeout order.

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Merchants can provide customers a download link in their order confirmation to see order information in the ARRIVE Mobile App like their order number and pickup time. Employee notifications are automatically triggered upon customer arrival, ending the need to call the merchant or to wait outside.

New Digital Platforms And Inclusive Content Enable Brands To Engage The $1.2 Trillion Asian-American Consumer Market Like Never Before

As the United States begins a path towards economic recovery, the $1.2 trillion Asian-American consumer market will play a critical role in its revitalization. For forward-looking companies and brands, the opportunity to reach the country’s fastest-growing and most affluent multicultural consumer group has never been more accessible, according to Nielsen’s newly published Diverse Intelligence Series consumer report, Engaging Asian-American Consumers at the Dawn of a New Decade. The emergence of streaming services, the growth of Asian American-led content, and the exponential rise of esports have created all-new ways to cultivate affinity with this digitally-influential and tech-savvy community.

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For years, the stats on Asian-American consumers have captivated marketers. With a buying power projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2024, the average Asian-American household income ($94,889) is 41% higher than the national average. As a result, Asian-American households spend more annually in several key categories including housing (+24%), food (+29%), education (+128%), apparel (+67%), and new cars (+$37%). Historically, the complex diversity of the community and the lack of wide-reaching pan-Asian media have created barriers for U.S. brands. However, the mass adoption of new digital platforms and the popularity of inclusive content have helped attract and galvanize a national Asian-American audience.

Key insights featured in the report include:

  • Asian Americans are more likely to be cord-cutters
    • Asian Americans are cutting the cord at a rate that is almost twice that of the total population and is relying more on broadband-only
    • Accessing live television through internet-based services like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now
    • Engaging more on TV-connected devices that require an internet connection (i.e. Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku) at 49% versus 44% of the total U.S. population
  • Asian Americans are finding more Asian American-led content on streaming platforms
    • 82% of Asian Americans subscribe to at least one streaming service compared to 72% of the total population
    • Popular Netflix content among Asian Americans includes comedy specials featuring Ronny ChiengJo Koy, and Ken Jeong, and series with Asian American leads including Ugly DeliciousWu Assassins, and Patriot Act.
    • The top episodic Netflix series in 2019 among Asian Americans also reflect a diverse lead cast, such as V Wars, Lost in Space and I Am Not Okay With This.
  • Asian Americans are big players in the gaming industry
    • Asian Americans are 14% more likely to own a gaming console and 37% more likely to own Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that are mainly used for gaming
    • Asian American gamers are younger with 69% of Asian American gamers falling between ages 13-34 versus only 44% of U.S. gamers
    • Asian Americans are leading the shift to online and mobile gaming as they are 84% more likely to play multi-player online games
    • Among Asian-American gamers, over 1 in 4 say they watched an esports tournament live stream in the last three months, and 53% of Asian gamers say they have watched 3 hours or more of esports in a typical week
  • Asian Americans are going beyond live TV to get their news
    • During the first three weeks in March, time spent watching the news grew by 27% for Asian Americans versus 15% for Non-Hispanic Whites
    • Relying on digital platforms to access news content; over-indexing the total population for all types of news (i.e. political, sports, tech, business/financial)
    • 15% more likely to use social media for their news versus the total population

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“The Asian American community is at an inflection point, which has created a ripe opportunity for marketers to drive business growth,” stated Mariko Carpenter, Nielsen’s Vice President of Strategic Community Alliances. “Brands hoping to engage with Asian Americans must understand the critical importance of inclusive media representation and the ways Asian Americans are integrating technology for media consumption. Understanding how these forces intersect and intermingle will be the key to unlocking the potential of this market.”