IrisCX, a video platform for virtual product selection, DIY setup and support, has announced it received $4.6 million in seed funding from Arthur Ventures. Company officials said the funds will be used for product development, hiring new team members and investing in go-to-market.

“We are excited to partner with Arthur Ventures because they recognize the huge role virtual service will play in the future,” Guillermo Salazar, co-founder and CEO at IrisCX, said in a statement. “As consumers, we’re often forced to settle for a poor sales and support experience. Things like chatbots and 1-800 numbers are painful. In today’s digital-first world, this kind of customer experience is antiquated and unacceptable. We are pleased that this well-respected firm supports our strategy and believes in the capabilities of our team to solve this problem.”

In other CX and marketing news...

Sendinblue Integrates WhatsApp

Sendinblue, a digital marketing platform, has announced an integration of the WhatsApp Business Platform to enable one-to-one or mass marketing messages for small and medium-sized businesses.

According to company officials, with Sendinblue’s integration, users will have a character limit that’s six times as much as SMS. Additionally, WhatsApp campaigns can include content, such as video, images and hyperlinks, to facilitate higher engagement. Users will also be able to upload contacts in bulk, provide real-time customer support and answer frequently asked questions with auto-responses. By the end of this quarter, users will also be able to send transactional messages and alerts and create multi-channel automation workflows.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers access to a messaging platform that will not only scale SMBs but also help them reach their customers where they’re at — and that’s on their mobile devices,” Steffen Schebesta, CEO of North America and VP of corporate development at Sendinblue, said in a statement. “We’ve heard directly from our customers in North America who have specifically requested this feature, and we’re excited to provide a tool that’s in high demand and one that will facilitate a better customer experience.”

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Versium Releases Free File Hasher Tool

Versium, a data technology company, has announced the release of File Hasher. According to company officials, File Hasher is a free tool that hashes and saves first-party data to ensure privacy when working with third-party vendors, and optimizes for identity resolution, both outside and inside of data clean rooms.

“The emergence of privacy regulations has led to increasing concerns about the security of transferring and sharing first-party data,” Kevin Marcus, CTO at Versium, said in a statement. “Versium’s File Hasher easily standardizes and hashes a file on your computer and saves the output to be used by any number of third parties, so PII never leaves the client. With this hashed data, advertisers can leverage audience matching with any number of vendors to understand how their campaigns are performing. When the vendor also uses File Hasher, the matching is consistent due to the standardization in cleansing, which better supports consistent matching from provider to provider.”

Netography Unveils Enhancements

Following recent US state government and other organization bans on TikTok and other social media platforms, Netography, a design and development software company, has announced enhancements to Netography Fusion’s operational governance dashboards. It can now provide analysts with real-time comprehensive views of all social media traffic. According to company officials, these capabilities enable customers to validate and enforce policy changes and verify that users are compliant and that controls are working properly.

“Post-pandemic changes to social media policies are accelerating, with many governments and organizations banning TikTok and social media usage on employee devices. A policy is only good insofar as it can be enforced,” Martin Roesch, CEO of Netography, said in a statement. “This is typically a challenging issue for security teams; if they don’t have a clear picture into the traffic that is on their network, for example what it is and where it is coming from, they won’t know what actions to take. Now, customers have the visibility to actually take action and fully enforce those corporate policies.”

Consumers Seek Influencers Who Keep It Real

New data released by Matter Communications, a public relations agency, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers to uncover how social media consumption, influencer perceptions and purchasing habits have evolved in the past year. According to survey results, consumers are making purchase decisions based on influencer content, with the data showing 81% of respondents have either researched, purchased or considered purchasing a product or service after seeing friends, family or influencers post about it. And 69% of respondents are likely to trust a friend, family member or influencer recommendation over information coming directly from a brand.

The survey revealed that only 11% of consumers prefer celebrity influencers. Instead, the types of influencer personalities found to be most appealing on social media are:

  • Relatable personalities (61%)
  • Expert personalities (43%)
  • Just-for-fun personalities (32%)
  • Aspirational personalities (28%)

“Collaborating with the right influencers is the difference between a good campaign and a great campaign,” Mandy Mladenoff, president of Matter Communications, said in a statement. “Combining AI and data-driven technology with the deep experience of our influencer team, we can quickly identify and build real relationships with the influencers who most genuinely capture clients’ core campaign needs.”

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Corporate Visions Acquires Primary Intelligence

Corporate Visions, a consulting and training company, has announced its acquisition of Primary Intelligence, a provider of automated customer feedback.

"The future of sales enablement is providing custom rep-specific coaching in the flow of work. Ideally those recommendations are based on actual performance feedback from real customers," Erik Peterson, chief executive officer of Corporate Visions, said in a statement. "The acquisition of Primary Intelligence will enable us to make invisible problems visible and then provide personalized coaching to reps based on how buyers respond to them in sales cycles."

VIQ Solutions Integrates Sony Ci

VIQ Solutions Inc., a provider of AI-driven, digital voice and video capture technology and transcription services, has announced the integration of the VIQ Carbon media platform and Sony Ci Media Cloud in an effort to streamline the media production process and simplify content creation. According to company officials, the integration will support the management of a wide variety of content types, including fully integrated captioned video.

“We anticipate this new integration will transform how many media professionals work,” Elizabeth Pennell, SVP of media at VIQ Solutions, said in a statement. “The integration with Sony Ci is expected to bolster VIQ's media offering by securely managing synched audio and video recordings for expedited content creation, while seamlessly sharing data between VIQ's Carbon and Sony Ci to create efficiency and speed complex projects.”

ChurnZero Partners With Success in Black

ChurnZero, a software development company, has announced a partnership with Success in Black, as an official sponsor to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across the Customer Success (CS) industry.

According to company officials, Success in Black aims to foster diverse and equitable growth in customer success and customer-facing technology roles. The year-long partnership is designed to elevate Black thought leaders in CS, amplify conversations about diversity in CS, and meaningfully help more Black CS professionals build the skills and experiences needed to advance to leadership roles.

"Success in Black's mission is important for the customer success industry and to ChurnZero," You Mon Tsang, CEO and co-founder at ChurnZero, said in a statement. "While my own experience is different, I have been a beneficiary of programs that help the underrepresented, and I understand their impact. This partnership is part of a long-term view to address the challenges of diverse and equitable growth, and I look forward to working together to drive needed change."

WPP Partners With BigCommerce

WPP, a communication services company, and BigCommerce, a SaaS ecommerce platform, have announced a new strategic partnership. According to company officials, the partnership will give WPP priority access to new product tools on both BigCommerce and the data feed management platform, Feedonomics.

“With the rise of social commerce, direct-to-consumer purchases and acceleration of ecommerce, brands require omnichannel expertise that meets the needs of the modern consumer,” Nilufar Fowler, executive VP of strategic partnerships at WPP, said in a statement. “WPP is a leader in commerce services, alongside our strength in strategy, media, creativity and integrated experience, and this partnership with BigCommerce reflects our commitment to continue to develop a unique commerce offering for our clients.”

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