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Gartner named the leaders of its Digital Commerce Magic Quadrant (fee required) released earlier this month. The research firm gave the nod to SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, Magento, Digital River and IBM. It should be noted that Magento is now part of Adobe via a $1.68 billion acquisition last month but Gartner reviewed Magento prior to acquisition. 

Gartner defines the digital commerce market as the buying and selling of goods and services using digitalization technologies that result in a transaction of value to the customer. Researchers predict that digital commerce platforms of the future will help users understand the customer and anticipate his/her needs. They will also bring simplification to the purchasing process and personalize customer experience while maintaining privacy and respect. Smart personalization engines and artificial intelligence (AI)-initiated commerce orders will prevail in the future, Gartner researchers also predicted.

In other customer experience software news ...

Adobe, IBM, SAS Lead Forrester's Customer Analytics Wave

Forrester released its Forrester Wave Customer Analytics Solutions, Q2 2018 (fee required) and found Adobe, IBM and SAS as the leading vendors. Forrester researchers called those three and AgilOne, Manthan, NGDATA, Salesforce, SAP and Teradata the "most significant" solutions in the customer analytics space. Lead researcher Brandon Purcell found customer experience professionals want easy and immediate access to insights on customers. 

Further, he noted data science talent is scarce. These solutions help practitioners with business user accessibility, speed to insights and action and a single view of the customer.

The vendors in Forrester's report had to have at least $15 million in sales from customer analytics solutions last year.

Yes Lifecycle Marketing Hires Two Execs

Yes Lifecycle Marketing, a marketing and analytics solutions provider, announced this week it hired a Jim Sturm as president and Gina Carfagno as senior vice president of sales. Sturm most recently served as president and CEO of loyalty provider Brierley+Partners for more than 10 years. Sturm will be charged with strengthening client relationships and supporting the company's focus on services and platform capabilities.

Carfagno was former SVP of cross-channel sales at Epsilon. She will lead integrated customer experience solutions. Carfagno will aid in the development of business relationships across the insurance, financial services, consumer packaged goods, media and publishing, retail, technology, telecommunication, and travel and hospitality industries.

Percolate Debuts Content Marketing Platform Updates

Percolate has released Percolate Next, its next generation content marketing platform. Officials said in a release it is designed to address the "content bottleneck," or a gap between the demand for content and a marketing organization's ability to deliver. Percolate Next systematizes the marketing supply chain and removes common roadblocks, according to company officials.

Additional features and capabilities of Percolate Next include the ability to:

  • Manage the workload of planned and unplanned marketing
  • Deliver content at scale
  • Gain visibility into organizational performance.

Hootsuite's Boost to Promote Top Facebook Content

Hootsuite, a social media management platform, launched a new feature called Boost. It is designed to allows users to identify and promote top performing Facebook content. The tool allows Hootsuite users to manage organic and paid activity and promote organic content that has already been approved and published. Users can also set rules based on the metrics and automatically promote top performing content.

“For brands, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach customers through organic content, yet organic content is proven to build long-term brand awareness,” Penny Wilson, CMO of Hootsuite, said in a statement. Boost is built directly into the Hootsuite platform.

Brainshark Dashboards Aims for Sales Team Insight

Brainshark, which provides sales enablement and readiness solutions, has unveiled Team Dashboards, designed to give sales managers a single view for tracking the readiness and progress of their teams. Brainshark’s new feature is powered by its analytics. Company officials promised that sales leaders can track progress across all learning and coaching activities, compare readiness across multiple teams, access a summary view, click for individual-level views and export the data to create and share reports.

LinkedIn Introduces Carousel Ads

LinkedIn has announced carousel for Sponsored Content, a new way to tell brand stories and interact with target audiences on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Product Manager Rohan Rajiv, in a blog post, said users can now add texture to stories by featuring multiple visuals that people can horizontally swipe through while on the LinkedIn feed. 

"Native carousel ads are the next step in the continued evolution of LinkedIn Sponsored Content to help you humanize your B2B marketing efforts and foster a deeper connection with your audience," Rajiv wrote. He added that since launching its beta, LinkedIn has seen more than 300 advertisers, like Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, RBC, and Volvo Canada, use carousel ads to create "fun and informative campaigns to tell stories about their company, products and services, industry and more."