Can AI help your business, WordStream acquired by Gannett for $150M, Facebook Teases Ad-Free Subscriptions 

Search marketing software company WordStream acquired by Gannett for $150M (searchengineland.com)

Topics: chief executive officer, Gannett Company, Gannett, Sigma Partners, digital transformation, local markets, earnout, tremendous value

  • In August of 2008, the company was able to secure a $4 million Series A investment from Sigma Partners, and in 2010, it secured a $6M Series B investment led by Egan Managed Partners.
  • “This acquisition marks another critical milestone in Gannett’s digital transformation, enhancing our ability to support businesses and agencies in our local markets with the intelligent, data-driven marketing solutions they need to drive growth,” said Robert Dickey, president and chief executive officer of Gannett.

Digital Marketing News: Facebook Teases Ad-Free Subscriptions, Google Tests SERP Questions, & Online Ad Spend Jumps (toprankblog.com)

Topics: Techcrunch, Snapchat, Augmented Reality, digital marketing, Google, mobile search, search results, Microsoft

  • Google has recently tested question forms within search results that allow users to submit questions directly by text or voice to the Internet giant and its various publisher partners.
  • Digital advertising totals could surpass spending on all other media types by 2020 or 2021, according to new report data from eMarketer, rising from this year’s predicted 43.5 percent to 49.9 percent in 2020 and 52.1 percent in 2021. eMarketer
  • We hope you’ll join us again next week, when we’ll share a new batch of the latest marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

Direct Marketing’s Relevance in a Digital World (martechadvisor.com)

Topics: online marketing, Direct marketing, digital marketing, brand awareness, direct mail, marketing strategy, online presence, digital space

  • Direct marketing, mail marketing, tangible marketing – all terms that seem to have no place among the Facebooks and Google AdWords of the world.
  • Further, to increase the experience, the piece of direct mail will have a call to action for the consumer to explore online, inviting the consumer to interact with the brand once again in the digital space.

Consumers kill for digital convenience: Can AI help your business? (customerthink.com)

Topics: customer experience, onboarding, customer support, computer systems, based systems, proactive, wireless carriers, plug and play

  • The new battleground for CX in business is digital convenience, and those that use AI and automation technologies judiciously to provide seamless, one-to-one omni-channel experiences will prevail.
  • “Brands that help consumers simplify the purchase journey have customers who are 86 percent more likely to purchase their products and 115 percent more likely to recommend their brand to others.”
  • If we agree that AI is a mixture of automation and intelligence technologies, AI can help streamline the process for consumers getting answers such as the status of an order, return, or claim.
  • First the bad news – there is no one right answer, and with thousands of vendors (6,829 in this marketing landscape), open-source packages, and resulting combinations of solution stacks possible, there’s no evidence anyone has found the absolute best combination, or ever will.
  • Dry run how each will navigate your services: some will be older and less familiar with technology; some will be capable of juggling five devices on five channels; sometimes technology will fail and require fallback processes.