In our review of last weeks MarTech news, we focus on emotional responses to ads, HubSpot’s new conversation feature, Amazon consolidation, UniCredit pulling its account from Facebook, and the new co-CEO at Salesforce.

Here’s what you might have missed last week:

Weekly MarTech review: Spark Neuro raises $13.5 million, HubSpot launches Conversions, UniCredit pulls ads from Facebook, Amazon consolidates, Salesforces new co-CEO

In our review of last weeks MarTech news, we focus on Spark Neuro raising $13.5 million to measure emotional response to ads, HubSpot’s launch of “Conversions,” UniCredit deciding to pull ads from Facebook, Amazon’s consolidation, and Salesforce’s new co-CEO

Spark Neuro has raised $13.5 million in series A funding from public figures such as former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, actor Will Smith, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, and five other investors.

Who is Spark Neuro?

Spark Neuro is a unique company that uses neuroscience to measure the engagement of ads and entertainment. Currently they’ve focused on analyzing the emotional response of the content and have clients that include Anheuser-Busch, The Clorox Co., FedEx, and General Motors.

How do they measure emotional response?

Through watching ads or movies in the most quantitative method possible by placing sensors on someones fingers, while wearing an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset, before having them watch a clip of content. This helps monitor attention level and emotional feedback. Ultimately, they want to eliminate focus groups and surveys in efforts to gain more precise data.

How are they using the $13.5 million?

Spark Neuro has stated that it will use the capital to domestically and internationally expand.

HubSpot has announced the launch of Conversations; a tool that has an improved inbox, live unlimited chat, unlimited users, and chatbots all for free on their CRM tool. A couple of key features include a collaborative inbox for sources and teams, and chatbots with higher quality conversations due to HubSpot’s Motion AI acquisition.

When asked about the new launch, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah said, “As consumers, we have high expectations of the organizations we buy from. We expect businesses to be always on and clued in to our context — to know the history of our relationship. It’s been tough for businesses to meet those expectations, especially with disparate tools that aren’t integrated.”

What does this mean

Now, over 44,500 total customers in more than 90 countries 300 million businesses now have access to chatbot technology. This has two main impacts.

  1. We are likely to see more chatbots on the sites that we browse everyday, meaning that if they weren’t already mainstream, now they are
  2. If your revenue streams are selling chatbot software, its hard to compete against a free tool

In addition to this, it’s an interesting time for the industry as companies like Hubspot have the ability to add on key features for free, that smaller MarTech companies may have been building and selling as a stand-alone item for many years. What are they going to bolt-on next?

The Italian global banking and financial services company spans 50 markets in 17 different countries and last week pulled all ads from Facebook siting the Cambridge Analytic scandal, where 87 million Facebook users had their data shared without their consent; a breach of their ethical behaviour as a business.

Is this part of a wider trend?

Absolutely. Before UniCredit made any moves, Firefox owner Mozilla, Sonos, Commerzbank and many others also pulled their ads. Its an interesting time for Facebook as they are still experiencing the fallout from recent scandals and trying to recover from a 20% drop in share price just a couple of weeks ago.

Amazon is merging Amazon Media Group, Amazon Marketing Services, and Amazon Advertising Platform to become increasingly accessible to first/third party sellers and marketers.

What does this mean?

This will make navigating Amazon easier for newcomers. This will bring in a wider audience that will generate revenue in other areas for Amazon. Kevin Packler, director of Amazon Services at advertising agency Tombras weighed in, “Ultimately, an advertiser wants a complete and consistent view of how campaigns drive new business, and a consolidated platform helps deliver that.” Packler went onto say, “As Amazon’s ad business grows, I expect we’ll see more options come online as the platform evolves and expanding in a consistent way will only enhance Amazon’s value proposition.”

Keith Block is Salesforces new co-CEO, where he will report directly to the board of directors alongside Marc Benioff . Block came onto Salesforce in 2012 after working with Oracle. Originally, he was a closure for high profile customers and previously held the ranking of a COO.

Why does this matter?

This promotion speaks to how Salesforce is run and operated. This action helps brand themselves as a company that grants longevity and success to their hardest working talent.

Blank tweeted “Finishing up Day 1 as co-CEO and want to express my gratitude and respect for @Benioff – thank you for your leadership, friendship and trust. Looking forward to partnering and @Salesforce’s next chapter.”


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