The Quip platform
Quip, shown here on multiple devices, made an acquistition to enhance its creative and visual elements.

Salesforce closed on its acquisition of Sequence, a San Francisco-based user experience design agency.

It comes a few weeks after Quip, the workforce productivity company Salesforce acquired for $750 million in August, made an acquisition of its own: Quip bought Unity&Variety to enhance its creative and visual elements.

Sequence connects brands and people by developing interactive experiences and digital products. It also provides strategy, research and assessment of brands’ mobile apps and web sites.

Scott Webb, president of digital consultancy Avionos, told CMSWire the deal signals Salesforce's continuing move away from the traditional service delivery model.

“In the same way (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS technologies disrupted traditional, on-premises software enterprises are now looking for solution providers that deliver integrated business outcomes to provide a next-level user experience,” he said.

Solutions that take a more “interactive and explorative approach to UX” and agile solutions will win, Webb added.

In other news, Salesforce enhanced to its B2B marketing automation platform Pardot.

Users have a new user interface in the Engage Alerts app, which allows sales reps to connect to customers and prospects. Relevant alerts come to the attention of reps in a more manageable way, according to a blog post from Reena Parekh, senior product manager for Salesforce Pardot.

Salesforce Pardot

“Reps can now view all of their latest alerts at once with a new, more intuitive interface for Engage Alerts,” she said. “They can customize their alerts into side-by-side columns and drill into each alert to instantly view prospect score and engagement history in a more powerfully simple interface. This added flexibility makes it even easier for sales to be first, relevant and productive.”

The updates are supported in Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.

In other technology news ...

Super Bowl Social Winners

The battle on the football field wasn't the only battle Sunday night. Naturally, there was the quest for social media attention in last night's Super Bowl — and social media intelligence companies went to work:

Talkwalker: Bud is King

It was a super day if you’re a Patriots fan at Super Bowl 51. The Patriots beat the Falcons in overtime, 34-28, in the NFL’s annual Super Bowl on football’s most grand stage. An average audience of 111.3 million watched the game on TV, according to Nielsen.

If you’re a fan of social media metrics, there is all kinds of fun data to consume.

New York City-based Talkwalker, a social data intelligence company, produced statistics and insights that found:

This Bud’s for you: Anheuser Busch, maker of Budweiser beer, earned the most mentions for advertisements on the day with just less than 95,000 mentions on Super Bowl Sunday and the early hours of Monday. The ad depicts the path taken by Adolphus Busch, the German-born co-founder of the brewery, upon his legal immigration to the United States in the early 1850s. Although the company denied the ad had anything to do with Donald Trump's recent immigration policies, some people disagreed: #BoycottBudweiser and a misspelled version of the hashtag, #boycottbudwiser, began trending after the ad aired during the game.

Coke’s strong push: Second for mentions was Coca-Cola (more than 44,000) with an ad that focused on the theme of acceptance. T-Mobile was third (43,000) with their ad featuring Justin Bieber.

Love avocados: The biggest mention-surge came at halftime from Avocados in Mexico when it tweeted out a recipe as part of its sweepstakes, driving more than 10,000 mentions in 15 minutes:

Super Bowl social consciousness: Of the top 10 ads that generated the most discussion on social and online, five directly or indirectly reflected current affairs: Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Audi, 84 Lumber and Airbnb.

International flavor: Outside the US, the most Super Bowl buzz came from Brazil, Mexico, Spain, UK and Canada, in that order.

Socialbakers: Airbnb Hashtag Rules

Social media metrics company Socialbakers also released Super Bowl data:

  • Best hashtag Airbnb's hashtag #weaccept received the highest volume of usage and the highest number of average interactions per tweet
  • Falcons fans win. On Sunday, the Falcons received 16.1 percent fan growth, outperforming the Patriots, which received only 5.9 percent fan growth on Twitter.
  • Pats’ peak. The Patriots received peak mentions at 8:03 p.m. ET (mention total: 682).
  • Falcons’ peak. The Falcons received peak mentions at 8:57 p.m. ET (mention total: 641)

2 New Ecommerce Reports

ANA Estimates 2016 Ecommerce at $398.4B

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) expects more than 80 percent of ANA marketer members will conduct business via ecommerce within the next two years.

ANA also estimated US retail ecommerce sales hit $398.4 billion in 2016, about 8.2 percent of total retail sales.

The ANA ecommerce insights report noted that 73 percent of marketers surveyed believe ecommerce drives revenue for their companies. Almost half of those respondents said those initiatives account for up to 10 percent of all sales.

The study also found:

  • 74 percent of respondents currently engage in some form of ecommerce
  • 66 percent reported ecommerce growth in the past year
  • 59 percent have dedicated ecommerce departments
  • Of those companies not currently engaged in ecommerce, 23 percent plan on launching such an initiative in the next two years

“There is every reason to believe that these trends will accelerate, which will dramatically transform how consumers interact with marketers,” Bob Liodice, ANA CEO, said. “These trends will pressure marketers to adapt quickly and provide consumers with outstanding user experiences.”

“Measurement continues to be an issue, particularly with assessing the bottom-line impact of total e-commerce efforts,” researchers wrote in the report. “Issues cited include poor intra-company communications and a lack of tracking infrastructure.”

In total, 215 marketers participated in the survey, a cross-sampling of ANA membership. About 40 percent of respondents focus their marketing on B2C efforts, 18 percent on B2B marketing and 42 percent on both.

Bynder: Marketers Struggle With Content Demands

Amsterdam-based Bynder, a provider of digital asset management, estimates 90 percent of marketers pin effective ecommerce sales on website content. In a report conducted in collaboration with Sapio Research, Bynder estimated most marketers still struggle to keep up with content demands. The report also found:

  • Marketing departments would be less pressured if they could get their content live faster (58 percent) and produce more of it (52 percent)
  • Approximately 50 percent of respondents say the brand experience they offer is improved by content but their biggest peak challenge is conceptualizing organic ideas and executing them faster than competitors
  • 46 percent of marketers want to be able to collaborate more effectively across international markets

Bynder interviewed in December 400 marketers in the US and UK with responsibility over their company’s ecommerce website.

2 Companies Name New CEOs, Sitecore Attracts Adobe Exec

Marketing.AI Taps Dion as CEO

Matt Dion
Matt Dion

Vancouver, British Colombia-based Marketing.AI, which provides tools to manage content marketing programs, hired Matt Dion as CEO.

Dion spent nearly seven years at Elastic Path as VP of marketing before co-founding Edgacent, where he served as managing partner from 2015 until this month.

Dion served companies that have been acquired, such as Crystal Decisions/Business Objects (acquired by SAP), Apparent Networks, 90-degree software (acquired by Microsoft), Active State (acquired by Sophos) and Elastic Path Software.

Impact Radius Appoints Yovanno as CEO

David Yovanno
David Yovanno

Impact Radius, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based provider of marketing tech, ad fraud detection and media attribution analytics, hired David A. Yovanno as CEO.

He replaces Impact Radius co-founder Per Pettersen, who is now executive chairman and chief strategy officer.

Yovanno left Marin Software, a San Francisco-based paid search SaaS technology, last August. He was previously president of technology solutions of Conversant, a marketing services company, and earlier served as CEO of Gigya, a SaaS customer identity management platform.

He also served on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau and as a lieutenant and CIO in the United States Navy.

“A number of larger marketing cloud players are pursuing a similar vision of becoming the marketing platform of record, but going about it through patchwork acquisitions,” Yovanno told CMSWire. “One of the things that drew me to Impact Radius is the native integration it has with many of the critical components marketers demand in a truly unified platform.”

Adobe Exec Goes to Sitecore

Mark Zablan
Mark Zablan

Sitecore tapped former Adobe executive Mark Zablan as its new chief revenue officer. Zablan will be responsible for managing Sitecore’s worldwide field operations.

His experience includes data, analytics, digital marketing and content management software. Most recently, that was president of Adobe EMEA and group president of Experian Marketing Services in North America, and UK/Ireland.

Adobe and Sitecore go toe-to-toe in industry reports on web content management and are rivals for marketshare.