A stack of newspapers outside a boarded-up store before, presumably, it opens for the day.
PHOTO: Yuya Tamai

Will marketers have another tool in their social media stories arsenal? It sure looks that way after news broke this week Twitter has acquired Chroma Labs, a San Mateo, Calif.-based app that helps businesses and consumers create visual stories. Essentially, this is going to put Twitter in line with Facebook and Instagram with their stories capabilities.

Stories have gained traction on social media. According to the eMarketer US Social Trends for 2019 report, researchers expected an “explosion of stories and vertical video across the digital landscape.” 

However, they also foresaw the “feed” for Facebook would still be the dominant way users use the app. “Stories were one of the trendiest marketing vehicles of 2018, which means in 2019, everyone will start questioning them,” researchers found. “That will lead to the inevitable swing of the pendulum toward backlash and questioning about stories’ effectiveness.” 

Twitter acquisition speaks to their belief in the stories feature. Dantley Davis, vice president of design and research at Twitter, tweeted on Feb. 18 that Chroma Labs' and Twitter 's mission align completely in their quest to help people connect and share. The Chroma Labs acquisition will “give people more creative ways to express themselves on Twitter,” according to another tweet from a Twitter executive: Kayvon Beykpour, product lead at Twitter.

In a post on its website, officials from Chroma Labs, founded in 2018, wrote, “we set out to build a company to inspire creativity and help people tell their visual stories. During the past year, we’ve enabled creators and businesses around the world to create millions of stories with the Chroma Stories app.”

Chroma’s business is officially shut down. Users can use the Chroma Stories app to craft stories as long as the app remains installed on their phone, and “until there is some breaking change in a future iOS update.”

In other customer experience software news …

TTEC Holdings Partners With Pegasystems

TTEC Holdings, a digital customer experience technology and services company, has announced a strategic partnership with Pegasystems. The partnership is designed to help users deliver customer experiences within their contact centers. 

It will combine Pega's automation and customer engagement suite with TTEC's Customer Experience as a Service platform, powering human and AI-powered intelligence across the customer lifecycle. TTEC's recently acquired Serendebyte, which delivers a community of engineers and experience in automation solution development. 

Reltio Introduces Connected Customer 360

Reltio has rebranded its data platform in a move designed to better reflect its business value and industry needs. The company also announced the general availability of the first of three updates in 2020, which are included in all subscriptions. 

Reltio Cloud has been renamed Reltio Connected Customer 360. Reltio Connected Customer 360, a SaaS platform, is designed to drive personalization, accelerate real-time operations and simplify compliance and consent management. Connected Customer 360 profiles are created by integrating data from omnichannel transactions and interactions and third-party services such as Dun & Bradstreet and IQVIA. It features Connected Graph technology. The Reltio Connected Customer 360 release 20.1 includes expanded machine learning (ML) models, enhanced rules-based matching, insight-ready data for data science, analytics and reporting through Google BigQuery, a new search experience and other enhancements.

Merkle Report: 75% Have Bought CDP, But Have They Really?

A report by Merkle found 75% of marketers have purchased a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Researchers questioned that number, however. “We believe this to be a primary area of confusion in the marketplace,” Merkle researchers found in the Q1 2020 Customer Engagement Report. “Organizations view the traditional marketing database as representative of the data hub, but in reality, this does not take into consideration the capabilities of true CDPs. This confusion is nothing new to us.” Researchers went on to say they encourage marketers not to label a CDP as a distinct entity, but rather a collection of capabilities.

Some other findings from the report include:

  • 88% of marketers are implementing more omni-channel strategies. 
  • 84% of marketers have high visibility into customer journeys in digital channels such as website and social, and 80% indicate an increase in customer input in product strategy and improvements. 
  • 74% of marketers are implementing personalization in six or fewer channels. 
  • Only 54% of marketers feel they have a clear definition for each KPI across their organization, 50% feel data should be owned by marketing, and 94% work either very or somewhat closely with IT departments when implementing new marketing technology solutions.

BlueVenn Launches Email Marketing Channel

BlueVenn, a Customer Data Platform provider, has launched a new email marketing channel within its multi-channel marketing automation engine. BlueVenn integrates with email marketing platforms through bi-directional connectors and API integrations. 

Now, the release of BlueVenn's own CDP-powered email marketing module offers customers the ability to personalize content, according to company officials. The email marketing capabilities within BlueVenn can combine with the analytics, segmentation and multi-channel campaign management in the BlueVenn ecosystem. It allows for the addition of merge tags and special links (such as trackable URLs, social media links and unsubscribe buttons) into email.