oracle-launches-new-b2b-sales-solution,-new-cdm-for-oracle-service-cloud

Oracle has launched two new solutions, the Digital Sales Solution and its customer data management (CDM) platform for Oracle Service Cloud. The Digital Sales Solution is the latest addition to the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud suite and has a new user interface to help sales representatives recognize and qualify good opportunities and move on from bad opportunities quickly.

Why we should care

B2B buyers have high
expectations for brand interactions. Many expect timely, relevant and
personalized engagements from brands — and the people representing them. The
new solution is designed with a user interface that prioritizes speed and is
intended to guide sales representatives through the process efficiently.

The new solution also seeks to help sales representatives save time by reducing the number of fields needed to find and update customer relationship management (CRM) records. The Digital Sales Solution uses the Oracle Digital Assistant throughout the program to help users find key data on customer accounts and adding product or pricing information to records.

Oracle’s new CDM for
B2C Service includes a Customer Data Hub to connect access to data from
disparate systems. It also uses AI and machine learning to merge and update
data from multiple sources.

More on the news

  • The Oracle Digital Assistant is one of the first applications designed in the new Redwood UI.
  • The home screen is continuously updated with a notification stream of items needing attention or actions and includes quick links to the account records.
  • The Digital Sales Solution has integrated the necessary CRM activities into a streamlined process consisting of only four steps for sales representatives.


About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.



salesforce-launches-hybrid-content-management-system-built-to-integrate-with-other-platforms

Salesforce launched a new content management platform on Thursday, the Salesforce Content Management System. By entering the CMS space, Salesforce aims to give content marketing teams a tool anyone can use — “from novices to experts” reads the announcement — and capable of creating personalized content powered by Salesforce CRM data.

Salesforce calls it a “hybrid” CMS, meaning users can create, manage and deliver content on the platform, and then distribute to other digital platforms not powered by Salesforce by using the company’s Experience Builder or Commerce Page designer tools.

“If you want to deliver content onto a third-party site, experience, or mobile app, you can use our headless APIs to deliver content smoothly,” writes Salesforce Community Cloud and SVP Adi Kuruganti.

Why we should care

Marketing teams already plugged into Salesforce’s CRM will now be able to create more personalized content at scale via the company’s new content management system. And, if the CMS is as user-friendly as it is being billed to be — and actually does integrate with other platforms — teams won’t be limited based on their design resources, nor will the content be restricted to the Salesforce ecosystem.

Andy Jones, a creator for NOW TV, who had early access to the CMS, said the advantages of connecting Salesforce’s CRM and CMS were immediately clear. Jones also said the platform allowed content creators to go from exposure to mastery quickly, with no need to rely on IT or design resources.

More on the news

  • The Salesforce Content Management System includes multi-language and translation support to localize content.
  • Marketing teams and creators can build “content collections” on the platform — playlists of content that can be distributed to external digital platforms.
  • Salesforce recently announced it had promoted Adam Blitzer as the new CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Blitzer has been with Salesforce since 2013 when it purchased his company Pardot.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



lytics-launches-salesforce-marketing-cloud-integration-for-customer-journeys

Customer data platform (CDP) Lytics announced updates to its platform that will allow users to integrate customer journey execution with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC). Lytics’ campaign orchestration capabilities can now be used across a number of marketing technologies, including Facebook and SendGrid – in addition to the new SFMC integration.

The integration between Lytics’ CDP and SFMC is expected to allow marketers to import existing campaigns to build new experiences within the Orchestrate Journey canvas. The insights delivered from Lytics can then be used to inform more targeted campaigns and be sent to SFMC for delivery.

Why we should care

Delivering personalized, one-to-one marketing at scale is something we strive for as marketers. Our disparate martech environments tend to complicate this, and customer data platforms seek to address these complications by providing users with a single view of their customer data from the different tools they use. Marrying this data into a single view should help marketers extract new insights to further inform their campaigns.

“The best customer journeys are an open road,” said James McDermott, CEO of Lytics, “and for us, that means giving marketers the freedom to choose multiple paths by integrating with their existing marketing technology stack.”

More on the news

With the new Lytics and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration, users can:

  • Export audience segments from Lytics into SFMC to continue the customer journey
  • Trigger new experiences in SFMC based on customer events (e.g., opened an email) captured in Lytics
  • Switch between Lytics and SFMC within the same customer journey to deliver a combination of channel and message.


About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.



fontsmith-launches-nine-variable-fonts

Type foundry Fontsmith has released a collection of nine variable fonts, which are available to download and trial for free via a dedicated microsite. Variable fonts have become a hot topic among graphic designers tackling type for digital formats, as the technology allows for entire font families to be condensed within one file, as opposed to multiple files for each style (weight, width, etc), hence speeding up load times.

Each of the nine fonts includes all the various styles, compacted into one small, optimised TrueType or WOFF2 font file, and can be customised by adjusting the font’s axes. For example, in a traditional text font family, you can adjust weight, width, italics, optical size and slant by moving each of these axes sliders one way or the other. In more expressive fonts, such as FS Kitty, you can move the slider to adjust the shadow axis; similarly, in FS Pimlico you can customise the font’s ‘glow’ by playing with that axis. All transformations move within a framework known as a design space, which defines the boundaries of the axes so as to prohibit unexpected distortions.

The variable fonts also allow designers to specify a particular weight and width anywhere within the design space framework, so rather than choose from a prescriptive set of weights and widths, the designer has more scope to customise their font choice. Likewise, designers can tailor optical size to ensure readability while also adapting the same font for more attention-grabbing text, which in turn improves accessibility on type-heavy sites.

The development of variable fonts is a turning point in graphic design for web, as by condensing families into one file rather than multiple files, it promises to improve web performance. Fontsmith’s type design director Phil Garnham explains, in an article on the Variable Fonts microsite: “Consider type rich news websites that rely heavily on a refined typographic hierarchy to deliver clear and accessible content. All font files have to load into your browser window and all at the same time in order to render the web page, more often than not that can amount to a lot of data. That data impact can create font fallback and browser rendering issues, especially on mobile connections. Our variable font files have a reduction in file size of between 70–85 per cent with all styles in one file, reducing the lag between loading and displaying the fonts, improving web font performance.” It’s also easier for designers to manage one font file, he says, when it comes to keeping their work organised.

The launch comes with a warning that, while variable font technology is developing fast (there are others online offered by various independent type designers) the technology is still young –  “only three years old in fact” says Garnham, so “support is limited”. While all major browsers offer some level of support, as do some desktop apps, “today is a good day to start playing and pondering ‘What can I create with a variable font?’” he suggests.

wistia-launches-free-version-of-its-channels-video-platform,-adds-new-features,-facebook-audience-integration

Wistia, the video marketing solution that allows brands to build their own video hubs, has rolled out a free version of its Channels product. It has also added new features, including a Subscriber tool that lets brands capture emails and the ability to create Facebook Custom Audience lists from viewer data.

Free Wistia Channels. SMBs with limited resources can create a free Wistia Channel to post videos on their sites without having to use a platform like YouTube to share or distribute video content. Wistia Channels allow brands to produce and showcase a collection of videos similar to a streaming service, with customizable features and ownership of all the viewer data. With the free version, businesses get access to one Wistia Channel that they can share via a public link.

Wistia’s free plan also includes access to an A/B testing feature to compare the performance of two videos at a time.

Wistia adds “Subscribe” button. Users will now have access to a “Subscribe for updates” button that can be added to their Channel interface. You can customize the Subscriber form to ask for first and last name and email or just email.

Once you start collecting viewer email addresses, you can schedule email notifications to send when a new video is added to your Channel.

Wistia email notifications

The “Subscribe” button is available on all three of Wistia’s plans — Free, Pro and Advanced — to users who have a minimum of 250 Channel subscribers. The automatic email notifications are only available to the Pro and Advanced plan users.

Facebook Custom Audience integration. The integration allows users to automatically create Custom Audience targeting lists in Facebook Ads Manager. This feature is only available on Wistia’s Advanced Plan. Custom Audience lists can be created with user data from individual videos or Channels.

Why we should care. The IAB reported that digital ad spend on video is expected to climb from $14.2 million last year to $18 million this year, with more than half of it going to video ads featuring original content. But video marketing is not a cheap endeavor, the free Channels plan could help SMBs with the video budgets compete and grow their video marketing efforts.



About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



moz-launches-domain-analysis,-free-tool-for-seo-metrics

Domain Analysis, a free tool from search marketing analytics company Moz launched Wednesday. The website provides an overview of SEO metrics for any domain.

Why we should care

We’re all marketers here, and this is of course a marketing tool for Moz. But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. The free tool doesn’t offer the depth of data available in the paid versions of Moz tools — and has plenty of calls to action to get more complete data in the paid version — but you’ll get a high-level look at a range of SEO metrics for your site — or your competitors’ sites — to identify potential SEO opportunities. That includes beyond-the-basics data such as “Top questions mined from People Also Ask boxes for relevant keywords” and “Top Featured Snippets.”

The tool also offers metrics that Moz is calling “experimental” that aren’t available in the paid versions. For example, Keywords by Estimate Clicks uses ranking position, search volume, and estimated click-through rate (CTR) to estimate the number of search clicks a keyword drives to the website.

More on the announcement

  • Moz’s proprietary domain authority and spam score are among the metrics offered, along with top pages by links, top linking domains, number of ranking keywords, top overall keywords, keyword ranking distribution and more.
  • Experimental metrics, which are currently exclusive to Domain Analysis, include keywords estimated by clicks, top featured snippets, branded keywords, top search competitors and top questions.
  • The tool is limited to three reports per day for free users, without the need to create an account. Paid users get unlimited reports


About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

shutterstock-launches-smart-brief,-collaborative-tool-for-creative-briefs

Visual content provider Shutterstock today announced the launch of ​Smart Brief – a new tool designed to simplify and improve the creative briefing process for marketers and creatives.

The new service is part of Shutterstock Custom, a premium content management solution that helps enterprise clients produce and scale branded content. Shutterstock Custom users will be able to access the Smart Brief tool, which employs automated technology to accelerate the traditional creative collaboration process.

twitter-launches-its-controversial-?hide-replies?-feature

Twitter’s controversial “Hide Replies” feature, aimed at civilizing conversations on its platform, is launching today in the U.S. and Japan after earlier tests in Canada. The addition is one of the more radical changes to Twitter to date. It puts people back in control of a conversation they’ve started by giving them the ability to hide those contributions they think are unworthy.

These replies, which may range from the irrelevant to the outright offensive, aren’t actually deleted from Twitter. They’re just put behind an extra click.

That means people who come into a conversation to cause drama, make inappropriate remarks or bully and abuse others won’t have their voices heard by the majority of the conversation’s participants. Only those who choose to view the hidden replies will see those posts.

ModeratedRepliesAuthor

Other social media platforms don’t give so much power to commenters to disrupt conversations. On Facebook and Instagram, for example, you can delete any replies to your own posts.

But Twitter has a different vibe. It’s meant to be a public town square, where everyone has a right to speak (within reason.)

Unfortunately, Twitter’s open nature also led to bullying and abuse. Before today, the only options Twitter offered were to mute, block and report users. Blocking and muting, however, only impact your own Twitter experience. You may no longer see posts from those users, but others still could. Reporting a tweet is also a complicated process that takes time. It’s not an immediate solution for a conversation rapidly spinning out of control.

While “Hide Replies” will help address these problems, it ships with challenges of its own, too. It could be used as a way to silence dissenting opinions, including those expressed thoughtfully, or even fact-checked clarifications.

Twitter believes the feature will ultimately encourage people to better behave when posting to its platform.

“We already see people trying to keep their conversations healthy by using block, mute, and report, but these tools don’t always address the issue. Block and mute only change the experience of the blocker, and report only works for the content that violates our policies,” explained Twitter’s PM of Health Michelle Yasmeen Haq earlier this year.

ModeratedRepliesConsumer

Since launching in Canada in July, Twitter said that people mostly used the feature to hide replies they found were irrelevant, abusive or unintelligible. User feedback was positive, as well, as those who used the tool said they found it was a helpful way to control what they saw, similar to keyword muting.

In a survey, 27% of those who had their tweets hidden said they would reconsider how they interact with others in the future, Twitter said. That’s not a large majority, but it’s enough to make a dent. However, it’s unclear how representative this survey was. Twitter declined to say how many people used the feature or how many were surveyed about its impacts.

The system will now also ask users who hide replies if they also want to block the account, as a means of clarifying that “hiding” is a different function.

“These are positive and heartening results: the feature helped people have better conversations, and was a useful tool against replies that deterred from the person’s original intent,” explained Twitter in a blog post, shared today. “We’re interested to see if these trends continue, and if new ones emerge, as we expand our test to Japan and the U.S. People in these markets use Twitter in many unique ways, and we’re excited to see how they might use this new tool,” the post read.

Despite the expansion, Twitter says “Hide Replies” is still considered a test as the company is continuing to evaluate the system, and it’s not available to Twitter’s global user base.

The new feature will start rolling out at 2 PM PT in both the U.S. and Japan and will be available across mobile and web clients.

pantone-launches-a-whopping-294-‘trend-relevant’-colours

New Pantone colours

(Image credit: Pantone)

You might’ve thought that we’ve discovered every single colour under the sun by now. But no, colour expert Pantone has stumbled across 294 new shades and added them to its popular Pantone Matching System.

The new spot colours are the first additions to Pantone’s world-renowned chromatic system in three years, and together they bring its total number of colours to 2,161. We’re looking forward to how these shades play into what we know about colour theory.

What’s more, artists and designers can use these colours digitally thanks to Pantone’s colour libraries, which can be stored and accessed as an extension across Adobe Creative Cloud applications. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up to Creative Cloud here.

According to the description on Pantone’s formula guide page, these new shades are “trend and market relevant graphics colours.” Fancy.

New Pantone colours

The colours are also available as fan decks

(Image credit: Pantone)

“We are always attuned to the changing market and the needs of our creative customers,” said Adrián Fernández, vice president and general manager of Pantone. 

“As a result, we are excited to create an even more efficient workflow as we roll out new colours for the graphic arts and improved cross-referencing between Pantone’s PMS and FHI colour systems.

“Adding the launch of the Pantone Extension for Adobe Creative Cloud to this mix will enhance the ability to identify, communicate and verify colours both physically and digitally in the Pantone universe.”

If you want to get your hands on the 294 new colours physically, you can also buy them as a swatchbook.

Related articles:

dixonbaxi-launches-a-new-club-identity-for-ac-milan

London-based branding and creative agency Dixonbaxi, founded by Simon Dixon and Aporva Baxi in 2002, has announced its new club visual identity for football club, AC Milan. The rebrand has been launched in time with the start of the Series A 2019/20 season – the 118th season of top-tier Italian football – and marks a new era for the club with various design updates.

Inspired by the club’s 100-year-rich heritage, the team at Dixonbaxi has developed an identity based around the distinctive oval shaped crest to symbolise the club’s 450m global supporters. The typographic system has also been updated to feel more accessible, following a redesign of the AC Milan bespoke typeface now sits alongside the AC Milan font. Additionally, the design takes cues from fashion, lifestyle and Italian culture, and its colours have also been refreshed and channelled into a consistent vibrant red across the board.

The new identity is visible across ticketing, e-commerce, the physical club area, team branding, merchandising, commercial and venues – such as the San Siro stadium, Casa Milan and Milanello – as well as Vismara Sport Centre.

“AC Milan is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world. But more than the size and history, we were inspired by the bravery of the project – taking one of the world’s most iconic sports brands and reinterpreting it for a modern, international audience,” says Aporva Baxi, co-founder and executive creative director at DixonBaxi. “This brand is applied on a massive scale – just in the San Siro alone there are over 1000 different brand elements to consider. We knew we wanted to tell a narrative that encompassed the legendary players in history who have worn the red and black shirt, to the trophies and titles the team has won through to the future talent and successes of tomorrow.”

Aporva concludes: “The rebrand allows this club that is over 100 years old to get behind a new focus and look at what the next century will mean to them. The process was hugely collaborative with the team at AC Milan and we can’t wait to see the new look brought to life.”