Good morning, {FirstName}, time sure does fly when you’re safeguarding data.

This past Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — a legislative move to regulate how platforms collect consumer data and the amount of information available to marketers. MarTech Today’s Greg Sterling spoke with Brave Software’s chief policy and industry relations officer Johnny Ryan, who has been a long-time privacy advocate and critic of data-collection practices across the industry.

While Ryan doesn’t believe any real change has happened yet, he said the outcome doesn’t look good for Google or Facebook: “As I told the Senate Judiciary Committee when I testified this week, we are at the very start of the application of the GDPR. But things are looking bleak for Google, Facebook and the conventional RTB companies. They will be forced to reform.”

Ryan said regulators are just now starting to enforce GDPR and that it will take years to have a full effect. When asked about the coming CCPA legislation — and what the GDPR experience has to say about the implementation of data regulations here in the U.S. — he calls the CCPA’s principles noble, but has little confidence in them. “I think the CCPA is a pale imitation of the GDPR,” said Ryan.

SearchSpring, an internal site search platform, has been acquired by the venture equity firm Scaleworks. The search platform was built for direct-to-consumer e-commerce sites, with a client roster that includes Volcom, and Moen. The acquisition will give SearchSpring’s Relevancy Platform a boost, bringing it to more brands and retailers. As part of the deal, Peter Messana has been named SearchSpring’s new CEO, replacing SearchSpring’s former CEO and founder Gareth Dismore.

There’s more acquisition news below and a Pro Tip on implementing email marketing “preference centers” to collect customer data.

Amy Gesenhues,
Senior Editor

Pro Tip

Here’s how customer preference centers can pay off

“Rather than guess at what your customers want based on activity alone, ask what they are interested in, what they love about your brand and what they want to hear from you,” explains Kyle Henderick of Yes Marketing. “This is especially beneficial at the beginning of the customer relationship since you might know little about the customer other than his or her most recent browse behavior. For example, if a customer bought baby clothes as a gift, he or she probably doesn’t want to be targeted with children’s items all year long, but you might not know that unless you ask.”

“By driving customers to a preference center early in the relationship, you can provide an opportunity to show you’re listening to fine tune your data points and glean valuable zero-party insights so that you’re targeting them with the most effective content moving forward. Ask them about style preferences, hobbies, relevant product categories and more. The most effective preference centers even ask customers if they have children, spouses or other people they typically shop for.”

Read More »


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MarTech Minute

Acquisition news from SugarCRM, Automattic and Shopify

SugarCRM’s buying spree. Earlier this month, SugarCRM announced it had acquired the marketing automation platform Salesfusion. This is the second acquisition SugarCRM has made in the last three months after acquiring Collabspot’s email products in March. “This is just the beginning of many more game‐changing announcements that will dramatically transform our company for employees, customers, partners and the industry,” said SugarCRM CEO Craig Charlton. Since acquiring Salesfusion, SugarCRM introduced Salesfusion for Google Ads, opening up the platform to Google Ads campaigns.

Automattic takes over Prospress payment solution. Automattic, the parent company for a number of platforms including and WooCommerce, has acquired Prospress, a recurring payment solution and owner of WooCommerce Subscriptions platform. “As part of Automattic and the WooCommerce group, we will have access to more fantastic resources and people. WooCommerce Subscriptions users can expect us to continue to develop high-quality software and tools to support subscription commerce businesses,” said Prospress CEO Brent Shepherd. Now part of Automattic, the Prospress team will continue to build products within the WooCommerce division.

Shopify acquires wholesale-focused commerce platform. Shopify confirmed it has acquired Handshake, a startup commerce platform designed for wholesale goods suppliers. The company’s services will be part of Shopify Plus (Shopify’s platform for enterprise customers), and Handshake’s founder Glen Coates has become the director of product for Shopify Plus. Shopify sent the following statement to TechCrunch: “Handshake is now a part of Shopify. We consider acquisitions in the normal course of business as we focus on making commerce better for everyone.”

What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

How Multimodal Design Will Impact the Future of Customer Interactions  – CMS Wire

Google AI researchers use mannequin challenge YouTube videos to improve depth prediction – VentureBeat

The product landscape is changing, are you ready? – User Testing Blog

5 Visual Marketing Platforms for Brands – Street Fight

12 Awesome Video Tools for Content Marketers – Content Marketing Institute

Oh no, Samsung’s AI lab can create a video of you from a single still photo – Fast Company