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LinkedIn’s Content Engagement Tips, Invoca Turns to Watson, More News

LinkedIn surveyed 9,000 members worldwide to learn about content engagement. PHOTO: Tamarcus Brown

Want to know how people engage with content to further their careers, find jobs or make purchasing decisions? Ask LinkedIn.

The professional network, now a Microsoft company, just released results of a survey of more than 9,000 members worldwide. Lorraine Hester, market research and insights manager for LinkedIn, found four main takeaways:

  • Compared with professionals aged 35 to 54, millennials, who may be in an earlier stage of their career, are more likely to engage with content that educates, inspires or helps them develop skills. GenXers, on the other hand, prefer to read posts that keep them up-to-date on the latest trends
  • Millennials are more likely to engage with content to learn about prospective employers (37 percent) or get a job (36 percent) compared to their more experienced colleagues (27 percent and 21 percent, respectively)
  • 64 percent of respondents said that thought leadership and industry news made a company more appealing as a potential employer, while 61 percent said posts on company culture improved their opinion of the company
  • Content that was straight to the point and inspirational tied for the top spot (44 percent) while content coming from a reputable source ranked third in importance (42 percent)
  • People are most likely to engage with industry trends/news (89 percent) and tips (86 percent). However, a large majority (72 percent) of respondents said that they would be likely to engage with content about a product or service

In other technology news …

SumOfUs Wants Silicon Valley Giants to Resist Trump Agenda

An international corporate watchdog with more than 6 million members worldwide has issued a petition demanding Silicon Valley tech companies, specifically Google, Facebook and Apple, pledge noncompliance with the incoming Trump Administration. 

The group, SumOfUs, claims to “fight for people over profits.” 

It wants people to actively oppose President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to create a Muslim registry in the United States and deport nearly 3 million undocumented people. Trump’s team documents its immigration plan on its website.

“Trump is not a normal president-elect and this this is not a business as usual moment,” Nicole Carty, campaign manager for SumOfUs, said in a statement. 

“Trump’s agenda is a threat to our communities and our democracy, which is why Silicon Valley needs to pick a side.”

Tact Closes $15M Series B Round 

Tact, a Redwood City, Calif.-based sales experience platform, closed a new $15 million Series B round led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Microsoft Ventures and existing investors Kevin Efrusy of Accel Partners and Satish Dharmaraj of Redpoint Ventures. 

Tact, whose total funding now exceeds $30 million, plans to use the funds to “accelerate the momentum” of the Tact platform, which turns a salesperson’s connected device into an AI-powered smart assistant that automates administrative tasks to create a more frictionless selling experience. It gives salespeople a more conversational and unified way to interact with tools such as their  phone, email, calendar, maps, LinkedIn, CRM and more through an app, SMS or voice. 

The company said this drives greater CRM adoption and sales productivity in the field, while delivering more accurate data and forecasts to managers.

SalesEQUITY Updates Client Dashboard

Boston-based salesEQUITY, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based client engagement platform, introduced two enhancements to its client dashboard: Moment of Truth (MOT) surveys and Trusted Advisor Action Planning (TAAP). They are designed to strengthen account teams’ ability to measure, analyze and take action on their existing client relationships. 

Through MOT surveys, account teams can measure client touch points between annual distribution of the salesEQUITY Relationship Assessment survey. It allows users to capture specific moments in time, like a service ticket, new product or service launch.

Through TAAP, account teams can organize feedback, define goals, objectives and assign tasks as part of an automated account planning process.  

Invoca Integrates IBM Watson 

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based call intelligence provider Invoca is embedding IBM Watson cognitive computing technology into its Voice Marketing Cloud to help marketers analyze and act on voice data in real time.

Invoca uses the Watson Speech to Text API to transcribe phone conversations into text, which Invoca analyzes to reveal any insight that might be relevant to the marketer or their business. Invoca’s proprietary algorithms can identify keywords and phrases that marketers classify as “signals” for specific actions, such as intent to purchase. 

Colin Kelley, CTO and co-founder at Invoca, said Watson will position Invoca “to innovate and build upon” its  use of machine learning.

LeadGenius Boosts B Round to $14M

LeadGenius announced an addition of $4 million to the $10 million Series B funding it announced in July. The Berkeley, Calif.-based firm wants expand its Account-Based Marketing (ABM) platform.

Prayag Narula, co-founder and CEO of LeadGenius, said the new funding will enable LeadGenius to continue to innovate. LeadGenius uses machine learning and real human researchers to power its business-to-business (B2B) SaaS platform. 

A Y Combinator alum (summer 2011), LeadGenius has now raised more than $22 million in total funding.

EQT VI Sells Automic to CA Technologies

EQT VI is selling Automic, a global provider of business automation software, to CA Technologies. Automic’s ONE Automation platform is designed to help enterprises improve productivity and drive agility by automating business processes and IT infrastructure regardless of architecture, complexity and location

EQT VI acquired Automic, then named UC4, in August 2012. Automic has made several add-on acquisitions including smaller technology “tuck-ins” and the acquisition of Orsyp. It also hired Todd DeLaughter as CEO.

CA Technologies creates systems software (and previously applications software) that runs in mainframedistributed computingvirtual machine and cloud computing environments.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by both company’s boards of directors, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of CA’s fiscal 2017. Headquartered in Vienna, Automic has about 600 employees across Europe, North America and Asia.

New Positions

DashBid Names New CTO

Ezra Suveyke has joined New York City-based DashBid as chief technology officer. He will head DashBid’s engineering and product team, overseeing development and continued growth of DashBid’s programmatic video platform and exchange. He will be focused on driving product development and building out the DashBid Exchange (DBeX).

Rodger Wells, DashBid CEO, called Suveyke “a visionary in the ad tech space.” Suveyke was previously CTO at Vindico, a company he co-founded that was acquired by Viant

MaritzCX Selects New President & CEO 

Salt Lake City-based customer experience software provider MaritzCX has named Michael Sinoway president and CEO. He succeeds Carine Clark, former president and CEO, who has stepped down.

Before MaritzCX, Sinoway was CEO of Avatar Solutions, an integrated SaaS-based patient experience company, acquired this year by Press Ganey. He has led research services for Disney and other market research firms and deployed CRM technology for Fortune 500 companies at Deloitte Consulting.


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