MARKETING DATA

Khoros and Opal Expand Trusted Partnership to Power Seamless Digital Engagement

Opal | December 01, 2021

Digital Engagement
Khoros, an award-winning leader in digital-first customer engagement software and services, and Opal, a next-generation leader in marketing planning, announced an expanded partnership to enable enterprise companies to work more efficiently and effectively across marketing channels.

The expanded partnership of Khoros and Opal empowers marketing teams across the globe to leverage the planning power of Opal to visualize and produce campaigns with Khoros' industry-leading solution for social media management to publish, engage and report on those campaigns. This partnership builds on a six-year relationship, which has served almost 20% of the Fortune 100 companies to streamline their brand voice, workflows, and content across social channels.

2022 represents a huge opportunity for digital marketers—especially those in commerce—and thoughtful, agile content is at the heart of these experiences. Together with Opal, we're excited to expand our partnership and make it easier than ever for brands to engage with consumers in authentic moments.”

Jack Blaha, CEO of Khoros

“This expanded partnership will help the brands we serve connect with their customers across all their channels more seamlessly and with more confidence than ever before,” said George Huff, Opal CEO. “And since the Khoros team shares our values and commitment to customer-centric product development, we are confident we will collectively deliver a better experience for our extensive list of shared clients for years to come.”

About Khoros
Over 2,000 global brands, including one-third of the Fortune 100 companies, leverage the power of Khoros’ award-winning customer engagement platform to create customers for life. Our innovative enterprise solutions, including over 20 patented technologies, ensure success across digital customer service, messaging, chat, online brand communities, and social media management. Combined with our industry-leading services, Khoros enables brands to connect with customers throughout their entire digital journey.

Khoros powers more than 500 million daily digital interactions and leverages AI to turn these interactions into insights and action. Recognized nationally and locally as one of the Best Places to Work, Khoros has 11 offices globally and Vista Equity Partners is its lead investor.

About Opal
Opal Labs enables marketing and communications teams to plan and create content within the Opal marketing platform. Founded in 2011, Opal powers marketing planning from strategy to execution for 20% of the Fortune 50 companies, and world-class brands like Starbucks, Target, and Whole Foods. Backed by venture capital firms Madrona and Accel and recognized as a Best Place to Work by The Oregonian in 2021, Opal maintains a remote-first workforce with its headquarters located in Portland, Oregon.

Spotlight

Сontent has proven to be one of the most powerful marketing tools. However, even the content marketing practitioners that have risen to immense heights in their profession, still have to work hard and strive to make sure the result of their efforts meets both business needs and the expectations of their target audiences. At SEMrush, we know what it takes to produce and manage large amounts of content. We are also constantly working on the development of a comprehensive toolkit to help content marketers of all skill levels reach their goals with minimal effort.


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CONTENT MARKETING

ZentrumHub Announces Strategic Partnership With WIHP, A Leading hotel marketing Company

channel Partnership | May 31, 2022

ZentrumHub, a leading Hotel aggregator API specialist, and WIHP, the Hotel marketing specialists, today announced a strategic partnership that will enable ZentrumHub' customers to get an easy access to metasearch channels and engines like Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Bing Hotel Ads, etc. With WIHP's Meta I/O solution, ZentrumHub customers will now be able to better monitor and control their Metasearch distribution. ZentrumHub, as a start-up, is trying to make an impact in this space by providing its customers more and additional access to technologies that will add value to its clients business. This partnership is a great testimony of this core belief of the company and as next steps, will continue to add more partnerships in its kitty. ZentrumHub now offers more than 900,000 hotel inventory API to its customers with unique properties across the world, enabling their clients to provide a wide choice of hotels to their customers. "With the ever-growing demand for hotels, today's travellers want hotel searches to be quick and painless. With this partnership travel agencies using ZentrumHub Hotel API will be able to position their ads in metasearch engines and increase traffic to their reservation system driving more business." ZentrumHub CEO Sachin Singh Julio Selva, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at WIHP, said, "Metasearch plays an important role in distributing hotels since 70% of users connect to them during a purchase journey. With Meta I/O, ZentrumHub can help their clients sell more on metasearch." About ZentrumHub: ZentrumHub turned its dream into reality in 2021 by accelerating its travel-tech venture and on a mission to be the fastest and smartest travel API hub in the world. ZentrumHub offers pre-integrated hotel booking API to over 50 leading hotel content suppliers. About WIHP: World Independent Hotels Promotion (WIHP) is a leading hotel marketing agency drawing on more than 20 years of experience and tracking. Having built over 5000 hotel websites and tracked the most efficient ones. With high-end marketing campaigns, WIHP provides global marketing services to the hospitality industry.

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OMNI CHANNEL MARKETING

Forethought Enhances Omnichannel Support with Zendesk Sunshine Conversations Integration

Forethought | March 16, 2022

Forethought, the human-centered AI platform, today announced that Solve – its sophisticated conversational AI agent that automatically answers common customer questions – has integrated with Zendesk Inc.’s Sunshine Conversations to help support teams deliver a seamless customer experience across any channel. Zendesk’s Sunshine Conversations API gives users access to the richest features across the broadest set of messaging channels, allowing organizations to stay connected at every point of the customer journey. With this integration, customers can now connect their messaging channels – SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. – to Sunshine Conversations and leverage Forethought’s AI capabilities to provide automated support through preferred channels. This allows customers to unify and integrate communications across multiple touchpoints without losing context. “As customers continue to engage across a variety of channels, expectations of a consistent experience across those channels increase, We’re excited to expand our partnership with Zendesk with this integration in order to provide Forethought customers the opportunity to be at every touchpoint of their customer’s journey and deliver the best customer experience at scale.” Deon Nicholas, CEO & Co-Founder of Forethought “Sunshine Conversations helps businesses provide custom interactions and individualized support,” said Pascal Pettinicchio, Vice President of Technology Alliances at Zendesk. “The integration with Forethought enables our customers to take advantage of Forethought’s Solve product and their AI technology across any channel.” For years, voice and email were the primary channels for customers to engage with customer support. However, with consumer behavior changing over the last few years, there has been an upwards trend on chat and direct messaging via SMS and social. This integration is the first step in building the next generation of customer experience and empowers customers to enable intelligent support experiences at every touchpoint. “Meeting our customers where they are at is a critical part of our mission of obsessing over our customers’ success at Kajabi,” said Jared Loman, Vice President of Customer Experience at Kajabi. “Forethought’s Sunshine Conversations integration has allowed us to do exactly that while continuing to harness the power of cutting-edge technology to provide the answers our customers need in a fast, modern, and efficient manner they expect from a customer-obsessed company like ours.” About Forethought Launched in 2018, Forethought is a leading AI company providing customer service solutions that transform the customer experience. Forethought’s products enable seamless customer experiences by infusing human-centered AI at each stage of the customer support journey: resolving common cases instantly, predicting and prioritizing tickets, and assisting agents with relevant knowledge — all from one platform.

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MARTECH

Groupon is Streamlining Its Technology Platform and Embracing Automation

Groupon | June 15, 2022

Groupon, the trusted marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value, is taking steps to simplify the company’s technology platform and lean more into automation. Ultimately, Groupon believes these changes will allow it to accelerate its pace of product development and support better customer and merchant experiences. “We have amazing talent within our Product and Engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders,” said Sachin Devand, CTO, Groupon. “Currently, our platform is too big and too complex, and this is prohibiting us from moving as quickly as I think we can to launch new products and features. So, I’ve empowered the entire tech organization to challenge our long-held thought process of creating a new service for every nuance and fundamentally rethink how we structure our platform––only building and supporting what’s mission critical to drive Groupon’s business forward.” Devand, who was appointed to the CTO role in May after serving as a consultant since February, is working with the Product and Engineering organization to improve its operating processes and streamline Groupon's tech platform. Some of the team’s big 2022 initiatives include: Embracing Agility - Reorienting the product engineering organization to be more customer centric. Product roadmaps will better align with providing specific customer solutions, more quickly. To that end, the entire team is embracing Agile software development methods, doing rapid delivery of features versus traditional methods that can take years. In addition, the team uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to prioritize these features every 90 days. Migrating to the Cloud - To date, Groupon has moved nearly 75% of its data center capabilities to the cloud. Groupon is already gaining operational benefits from the move to the cloud, including better monitoring, observability, elasticity and ease of deploying infrastructure. Once the migration is complete, the cloud will enable Groupon to scale infrastructure up and down as the needs of the business change, which should provide even more flexibility and cost savings. The cloud also enables Groupon to use cloud-native services that can unlock additional automation opportunities throughout the company’s marketplace. Re-architecting Services - The company is re-architecting its services, taking stock of which services are required and which ones can be combined or eliminated. At the start of the year, there were about 700 services operating behind the company’s global marketplace platform, which is too complicated and big for Groupon’s needs. As the move to the cloud continues, Groupon intends to move to a domain-driven design model which will allow for a more nimble architecture with significantly fewer services. Leaning into Automation - Groupon is automating processes throughout the entire business to create efficiencies and improve productivity. For example, the company is scaling its self-service automation features to enable more merchants to join the Groupon marketplace without human touch. At the end of the first quarter, 65% of new campaigns in North America were created using Groupon’s merchant self-service tool that enables businesses to create and edit campaigns. From a customer perspective, Groupon is doing more to automate insights from search data to create a feedback loop with the company’s sales teams to ensure that its marketplace has the right inventory in the right places. When this work is completed, these actions should significantly reduce the size of Groupon’s tech platform and allow it to accelerate its pace of product development focused on building a larger and more differentiated inventory base and launching products to support better customer and merchant experiences. About Groupon Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) is a trusted local marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value.

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CHANNEL PARTNERSHIPS

Integrity Partners with Mail Pro Leads to Optimize Lead Generation and Improve Agent Experience

Integrity | April 20, 2022

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC ("Integrity"), a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has acquired Mail Pro Leads ("Mail Pro"), an innovative marketing and lead generation firm. Mail Pro is integrating its systems and capabilities with Integrity's lead delivery technology, providing enhanced functionality for Integrity platform partners. Mail Pro is a respected and trusted market innovator that provides agents with high volumes of performance-based digital, social and direct mail leads for a wide range of life and health insurance products and services. The company also handles lead fulfillment. Seamlessly combining Mail Pro's extensive systems and capabilities with the Integrity LeadCENTER platform creates a more flexible, affordable and streamlined experience for agents. This, in turn, will help benefit American consumers who need life, health and wealth protection. "Integrity maintains its tireless commitment to innovate insurance for all stakeholders, As we've expanded our partner ecosystem, we are transforming the insurance process by collaborating with leading companies who bring deep expertise and insight to Integrity. Strengthening our lead generation capabilities with the proven experience and expertise of Mail Pro is the next step in creating end-to-end optimization for agents. This partnership brings us closer to our goal of serving all Americans in whatever ways they prefer — in person, online or by phone. We couldn't be more excited to welcome Mail Pro to Integrity, and we look forward to working with them to enhance the crucial service we provide to agents and their clients." Bryan W. Adams, Co-Founder and CEO of Integrity Mail Pro's systems and capabilities will build on Integrity's existing offerings that provide agents and agencies with world-class services. These include marketing through ThomasARTS, innovative and comprehensive quoting and enrollment systems through CSG Actuarial, product development through AIMC, third-party administration services through IAS, as well as access to DEFT Research's data and analytics. Adding the robust lead generation capabilities of Mail Pro to the mix further enhances Integrity's efforts to innovate and transform every aspect of the insurance experience. "Having access to timely, high-quality leads is what every agent and agency needs to continue to grow," said Anne Wood, Chief Marketing Officer of Integrity. "We understand that agents want to devote their time and energy to providing solutions for their clients rather than searching out leads. By incorporating Mail Pro into Integrity's technology solutions, we're thrilled to offer agents an improved, actionable work environment from initial lead generation to closing contracts. Innovation will always be a constant at Integrity, and this integration opens countless opportunities for our partners." "Integrity's comprehensive, turnkey technology system allows agents to focus on people rather than on prospecting," said Shawn Meaike, President of Family First Life and Managing Partner at Integrity. "We've worked with Mail Pro for many years. Without their service and support, we would never have grown as quickly as we have. When you take Mail Pro's capacity to generate hundreds of thousands of leads and blend it with Integrity's transformative insurtech platform, you get a flexible, more efficient and much more enjoyable agent experience. Integrity partners will see an impact on their business from Mail Pro it's another huge step forward." About Integrity Marketing Group Integrity, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of innovative solutions for wealth management and retirement planning. Through its partner network, Integrity helps millions of Americans protect their life, health and wealth with a commitment to meet them wherever they are in person, over the phone and online. Integrity's cutting-edge technology helps streamline the insurance and financial planning experience for all stakeholders. In addition, Integrity develops products with carrier partners and markets them through its distribution network of agencies, brokerages and RIAs throughout the nation. Integrity's nearly 5,500 employees work with more than 420,000 agents and advisors who serve over 10 million clients annually. In 2021, Integrity helped carriers place more than $7 billion in new sales and oversaw more than $20 billion of assets under management and advisement through its RIA and broker-dealer platforms. For more information, visit www.integritymarketing.com. About Mail Pro Leads Mail Pro Leads works with agencies and IMOs to maximize returns and help them be more efficient with their marketing efforts. The company's leadership team has experience working for some of the largest data providers in the country and has a deep understanding of how to access and employ timely data in the most cost-effective ways. Utilizing a unique buy-per-lead program, Mail Pro's clients have security knowing they are investing in leads with quality returns. Mail Pro supports its clients by only allowing one agency to mail in each county. In addition, Mail Pro has streamlined its staff and support for maximum efficiency, passing the resulting savings on to its clients.

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Spotlight

Сontent has proven to be one of the most powerful marketing tools. However, even the content marketing practitioners that have risen to immense heights in their profession, still have to work hard and strive to make sure the result of their efforts meets both business needs and the expectations of their target audiences. At SEMrush, we know what it takes to produce and manage large amounts of content. We are also constantly working on the development of a comprehensive toolkit to help content marketers of all skill levels reach their goals with minimal effort.

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