HubSpot welcomed 14,000-plus attendees to its annual marketing conference Inbound last year in Boston — 30 percent more than the year before.

It's expecting even more people this year, according to officials at the Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider. HubSpot Inbound takes place Nov. 8 to 11 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Last year, HubSpot competed with Content Marketing Institute's (CMI) Content Marketing World in Cleveland, which featured 3,500 attendees. Conferences were held the same week in early September. 

serena williams

They aren't going head-to-head again this year: CMI kept the early-September date for its conference while HubSpot moved it back to November.

Interestingly, HubSpot's conference falls on the day Americans vote for a new president: Tuesday, Nov. 8. But HubSpot's helping Americans attending its conference get out their votes. It posted an FAQ that directs them to absentee ballots.

HubSpot this week announced the addition of tennis star Serena Williams as one of its guest speakers. She has 22 Grand Slam titles — victories in the sport's four major events: Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open and French Open. She joins Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future, actor Alec Baldwin and several other keynote speakers. 

In other software technology news ...

Madison Logic Expands Activate ABM 

New York City-based account-based marketing provider Madison Logic announced new attribution and engagement analytics for its Activate ABM platform.

Officials said the platform provides B2B marketers with a combination of targeted advertising and content syndication to influence prospective accounts. Marketers can measure the amount of time an account spends with specific content and attributes that exposure to engagement on a website, driving demand — and ultimately leads — to fill the sales pipeline, according to company officials.

"With these insights, B2B marketers can now better optimize targeted advertising and content syndication tactics to influence their prospects and ultimately drive revenue," Madison Logic CEO Tom O'Regan said in a statement. "Activate ABM provides visibility into how two previously siloed tactics work together to drive product awareness and pipeline."

Carnegie Partners With BlueConic

Westford, Mass.-based Carnegie Communications, which provides digital marketing solutions for higher education, announced a partnership with BlueConic, a Boston-based customer data platform.

Carnegie has offered colleges marketing and recruitment solutions for 30 years. Through the BlueConic partnership, Carnegie officials promised to provide their clients the ability to track prospective student activity, synchronize the data associated with each individual student and deliver a personal experience across their entire marketing ecosystem — from web, social, CRM systems, mobile apps and analytics tools. 

Joe Moore, CEO of Carnegie Communications, said in a statement his company "has always been dedicated to going above and beyond" for clients. He added, "By providing this service they gain a competitive edge in having the ability to understand and to cater to the intent of each student prospect on their site.”

Workplace Happiness ... or Not

Good&Co released its “Tech Industry: Quantified Culture & Workplace Happiness Report" this week that revealed findings about the corporate culture of some of the tech industry’s biggest players including Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft

The report used more than 10 million anonymous, psychometric data points collected from more than 4,000 Good&Co app users over the last two years. It quantifies the personality traits that have the greatest impact on employee success at each organization: social boldness, persistence, curiosity, organization and adventurousness. 

According to the report:

  • Facebook is demonstrably lacking when it comes to fostering a culture of creativity
  • According to hiring practices, Microsoft is more innovative than Apple, despite being commonly considered the more conservative company of the two
  • The most successful tech industry employees are easily inspired and fully committed
  • Employees at Apple and Twitter perceive their company as it’s actually managed, an insight that is indicative of a good company culture

“While each individual, and therefore each workplace culture, is unique, assessing data in aggregate across large samples has provided us with unprecedented insights into what it’s really like to work at some of the industry's most desirable and competitive organizations,” Samar Birwadker, Good&Co CEO, said in a statement. 

“Until now, there has been no way to measure company culture and employee fit — two critical success factors for both employees and HR professionals. We put people and culture first again, by quantifying both company culture and fit to re-humanize the recruiting process, fight back against employee turnover and to produce a long-term, positive impact on organizations’ hiring processes.”

Facebook employees scored 10 percent lower on intellectual curiosity than Apple employees. Facebook employees were on average 17 percent and 18 percent less adventurous than Microsoft and Apple employees, respectively.

When compared to Microsoft, Apple employees were on average 7 percent more intellectually curious, 13 percent more competitive, 13 percent more methodical. Apple employees were also 8 percent less prone to mood changes (or less volatile) than Microsoft employees.

Marketers' Priorities

Where are marketers putting their energies — and money?

To find out, R2i partnered with research firm Clutch to survey mid-market and enterprise organizations across US-based B2B and B2C brands. The survey was conducted with 500 marketing professionals at companies with at least 500 employees. About half surveyed have more than 1,000 employees and more than $100 million in annual revenue. 

Here's what researchers found:

  • Multichannel marketing is not an optional strategy for reaching customers into today’s buying environment. While a brand’s website remains the number one channel used by brands to connect with their audience, the majority of marketers need a healthy mix of digital, offline and mobile channels to stay in front of their buyers
  • Brand awareness and customer loyalty rank as close top priorities for marketers yet more and more CMOs are responsible for showing ROI in investments. Capturing the lasting loyalty — and dollars — of a desired audience remains at the top of marketers “to do” list
  • Survey respondents ranked TV advertising as the top priority despite 2015 Nielsen data indicating that more than 40 percent of TV content is now viewed on screens other than a traditional TV
  • While the website for marketers may have previously been simply a brand asset, a digital platform on which to tell the brand story, it is now the most important technology along with an analytics solution, for marketing execution

Smooch Raises $10 Million

San Francisco-based Smooch, which helps companies facilitate customer conversations over messaging and communication platforms, announced this week that it has secured about $7.7 million in an institutional seed round. The financing is a co-investment led by Real Ventures and iNovia Capital, with participation from TA Associates and Smooch’s founders.

Smooch will use this financing round to expand its support for consumer messaging channels and business software vendors, and to continue to build its team. The company is currently hiring for more than 20 positions in San Francisco and Montreal, including senior sales, product marketing and engineering positions.

Smooch features a unified messaging platform, the Smooch Conversation CloudSM, that is designed to allow companies use to their existing business software and processes to have conversations with their customers through messaging apps and SMS, to websites, mobile apps and more. Smooch integrates with consumer messaging channels such as Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat, Kik, Telegram, Twilio and others.

Cision Appoints Global CEO

Kevin Akeroyd

Cision, a global media intelligence and communications solution provider and portfolio company of GTCR, announced that Kevin Akeroyd has been named global CEO. Akeroyd succeeds Peter Granat, who will transition to chairman of the Cision Board of Directors.

Akeroyd has more than 25 years of experience in digital, social and mobile marketing globally. Most recently he was general manager and senior vice president at Oracle Marketing Cloud. Prior to Oracle, Akeroyd held senior leadership positions at companies including Data.com, Salesforce.com and RR Donnelley.

“Peter Granat has been an innovative leader with a proven track record of success, and I am grateful for his work to bring the company to such an elite position of strength in the industry,” Akeroyd said. “I look forward to working with Peter and the entire Cision team in the company’s ongoing efforts to deliver innovative products and services to marketing and communications professionals.”

Under Granat, Cision has grown from $130 million in revenue to more than $630 million in revenue, and has completed five acquisitions in the last two years.

Got a Cool CMO?

The CMO Club has announced this year's 2016 CMO Awards. Nominations are open to the public and are now being accepted online

2016 will mark the CMO Awards' fourth induction into the CMO Hall of Fame. Last November, the honor went to Jon Iwata, senior vice president of marketing and communications at IBM who joined 2014 winner Beth Comstock, CMO at GE, and 2013 winner Stephen Quinn, former CMO of Walmart.

Nominees for outstanding CMOs in the ten categories may be submitted through Aug. 30. Nominations are open to the public and nominees are not required to be a member of The CMO Club. Nominees must hold the title of CMO or senior marketing title for a major company, brand, or organization (excludes companies selling predominately to marketing organizations). Marketing executives are permitted to nominate themselves.

Finalists in each of the ten Award categories will be announced in September, selected by CMOs in The CMO Club, with four winners per category selected by Oct. 11 as voted on by fellow CMOs, and announced at The CMO Club's Innovation and Inspiration Summit in Santa Monica