Good morning, and this is a good time to treat customers kindly.

Yesterday, we published a piece by the co-founder of Origin Mail, Ryan Phelan. In it, he explains defined reasons why pressure to make numbers, especially in the current environment, should not translate into pressure on customers. Unsolicited emails, for example.

It made me flash back to the pre-virus days when we attended conferences in person. At Pegaworld last year, I spoke to Pega’s Dr. Rob Walker about AI and empathy. Walker is one of the engaging AI specialists in the martech and BPM spaces. Aware that consumers were wary of being tracked, understood and marketed to using automated AI-based systems, his team had come up with a Customer Empathy Advisor. In short, this used a wide range of contextual signals to determine whether an individual customer should be marketed to, or left alone.

One fun component was the ability to dial empathy up or down within the AI system. In other words, brands could choose whether to respect a customer’s sensitivity, or—to make the numbers— market the heck out of them anyway.

Good advice in these times: dial the empathy up and the selling down. Read Ryan’s piece here.

Kim Davis,
Editorial Director

 
 
 
Education
 

Back to school with Adobe

Last month we took a look at how Microsoft and Trailhead were expanding free educational opportunities for people to retrain in digital marketing and other tech-related skills. Adobe, the creative and marketing software giant, is tackling a different training challenge—bringing educators up to speed on best practices and top-line creativity in the realm of digital education.

However soon students return to college, or children to school, it’s reasonable to assume that online teaching will continue to play a much larger role than it did pre-COVID. The Adobe Education Exchange is providing free developmental resources to some 850,000 educators globally. Adobe also just added a new community, the Adobe Creative Educator program. Teachers of all subjects and grades are served.

Back in March, Adobe launched the Distance Learning Hub with courses and live teaching online. “Many educators are experimenting for the first-time with digital teaching and learning as well as digital and creative projects,” said Adobe Global Lead of Education Programs Tacy Trowbridge. “There has been an incredible increase in demand, especially from educators teaching literature, languages, social students and science.”

Read more here »

 

Be where your audience watches

Transforming your TV strategy is a must to survive in today’s new normal. But navigating the advanced TV lingo and ever-changing spending trends can be challenging. That’s why the Goodway Group recently updated their Advanced TV Guide in response to COVID-19, so you can explore the latest buzzwords, capabilities and buying strategies you need to activate a modern TV media strategy

Get your copy now »

 
Release Notes
 

Sitecore updates Experience Platform and Experience Commerce

CMS and eCommerce vendor Sitecore has announced the release of Experience Platform (XP) 10 and Experience Commerce (XC) 10. The updates are aimed at supporting both marketing and IT teams as they seek to deliver compelling digital experiences in a time when digital has become an even more important channel.

XP 10 will speed the analysis of customer data and allow filtering of reports by audience segment to identify personalization and optimization opportunities. New tools in XC 10 include product bundling capabilities which automatically offer related products and services at one price, driving up order value.

Why we care. With many brands now reaching their customers almost exclusively via digital, the race is on for eCommerce vendors to differentiate their offerings for new customers as well as to demonstrate enhanced support for existing customers.

Read more here »

 
MarTech Minute
 

Macy’s expands its ambassador program to influencers

Macy’s has expanded its online Style Crew ambassador program from employees to influencers and anyone passionate about fashion and beauty. The program will allow style influencers to transition to become Macy’s brand ambassadors by utilizing digital shoppable store fronts on Macys.com and throughout social media. 

“Expanding our marquee e-commerce program will enable passionate content creators to grow their personal brands while providing Macy’s shoppers with a highly engaging online experience,” said Macy’s Chief Stores Officer Marc Mastronardi.  

Style Crew will allow influencers and brand ambassadors to use their own social media channels to showcase their style and fashion tastes. As they share content customers can purchase products directly from their pages. The pages are powered by TVPage which allows the influencers and ambassadors to upload videos, find products and post to their own social media channels. 

Why we care. Even the most established brick and mortar retail giants like Macy’s are trying to drive more revenue through digital channels these days. This initiative seems to allow influencers considerable independence in how they represent themselves and Macy’s. 

Other announcements:

Google Cloud partners with Best Buy to improve customer experience
Voice collaboration for Microsoft Teams
Marketing technology software provider acquired
 

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What We're Reading
 

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

When taming big tech goes wrong – New York Times

The biggest problem with Microsoft’s fractured TikTok deal – The Verge

Google’s $2.1 billion Fibit deal hits roadblock as EU opens probe – Reuters