Marketing

TriNet sent remote workers an email that some thought was a phishing attack

It was the one of the best phishing emails we’ve seen… that wasn’t. Phishing remains one of the most popular attack choices for scammers. Phishing emails are designed to impersonate companies or executives to trick users into turning over sensitive information, typically usernames and passwords, so that scammers can log into online services and steal money or data. But detecting and preventing phishing isn’t just a user problem — it’s a corporate problem too, especially when companies don’t take basic cybersecurity precautions and best practices to hinder scammers from ever getting into a user’s inbox. Enter TriNet, a human resources giant, which this week became the poster child for how how to make a genuine email to its customers look inadvertent...

Banning digital political ads gives extremists a distinct advantage

Jessica Alter Contributor Share on Twitter Jessica Alter is co-founder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, an organization building the lasting tech and digital arm for Democrats and has helped over 200 campaigns on this front since 2017. Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter will no longer run political ads because “political messages reach should be earned, not bought” has been welcomed as a thoughtful and statesmanlike contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Facebook’s greedy acceptance of “political ads that lie.” While the 240-character policy sounds compelling, it’s both flawed in principle and, I fear, counterproductive in practice.  First: like it or hate it, the U.S. political system is drowning in money. In 2018, a non-presidential year, it is estimated that over $9B was spent on the...

Helping banks refine sales pitches and customer service, Minneapolis-based Total Expert raises $52 million

It’s no secret that the art of customer service in the modern era is something that banks desperately need help with. One of the reasons why challenger banks have been able to find acceptance, new customers and — well — the ability to challenge existing banking companies is the mistreatment customers receive from their existing money holders. That’s why tools designed to help marketing and customer engagement are a big business and why the Minneapolis-based Total Expert has been able to raise $52 million in its latest round of financing. The new round brings the company’s total haul to $86 million thanks to capital investments from Georgian Partners, Emergence, and Rally Ventures (all veteran software as a service investors). “We are incredibly excited about T...

Veteran enterprise exec Bob Stutz is heading back to SAP

Bob Stutz has had a storied career with enterprise software companies including stints at Siebel Systems, SAP, Microsoft and Salesforce. He announced on Facebook last week that he’s leaving his job as head of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud and heading back to SAP as president of customer experience. Bob Stutz Facebook announcement Constellation Research founder and principal analyst Ray Wang says that Stutz has a reputation for taking companies to the next level. He helped put Microsoft CRM on the map (although it still had just 2.7% marketshare in 2018, according to Gartner) and he helped move the needle at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Bob Stutz, SAP’s new president of customer experience. Photo: Salesforce “Stutz was the reason Salesforce could grow in the Marketing Clou...

The Knight Foundation launches $750,000 initiative for immersive technology for the arts

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is looking for pitches on how to enhance and augment traditional creative arts through immersive technologies. Through a partnership with Microsoft the foundation is offering a share of a $750,00 pool of cash and the option of technical support from Microsoft, including mentoring in mixed-reality technologies and access to the company’s suite of mixed reality technologies. “We’ve seen how immersive technologies can reach new audiences and engage existing audiences in new ways,” said Chris Barr, director for arts and technology innovation at Knight Foundation, in a statement. “But arts institutions need more knowledge to move beyond just experimenting with these technologies to becoming proficient in leveraging their full potential.” Specific...

How to go to market in middle America

Deborah Eisenberg Contributor Share on Twitter Deborah Eisenberg is the founder of TechStarts PR, where she helps technology companies both big and small hone their message and reach their audience. There comes a time for many startup companies where they either realize they need to do a nationwide roll-out, or they need to actively target buyers in the middle of the country. If you are a startup on either the east or the west coasts, it’s worth thinking about how this market might present its own set of unique challenges, and how you plan to overcome them. There are a lot of misconceptions about what some people call “flyover country”, and as a San Francisco native who spent two decades in NY, DC, and Boston before moving to Pittsburgh, I can assure you they are almost all wrong. Wi...

What we can learn from DTC success with TV ads

Kevin Krim and Sebastian Chiu Contributor Share on Twitter Kevin Krim is EDO‘s President & CEO. His 21-year career has spanned search, social and TV advertising across start-ups and major companies like Yahoo and NBCUniversal. Sebastian Chiu is EDO‘s Chief Data Scientist. He earned his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from Harvard, working previously as a data scientist at Dropbox. One of the most-discussed plot twists in recent advertising has been the pivot of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands to linear TV. These data-driven, digital-first players are expanding well beyond Facebook and Instagram—and becoming serious players on the largest traditional medium in advertising. A January 2019 Video Advertising Bureau study found that in 2018, 120 DTC brands collectively s...

Near raises $100M for an AI that merges online and offline behavior to build consumer profiles

One of the holy grails in the world of advertising and marketing has been finding a way to accurately capture and understand what consumers are doing throughout the day, regardless of whether it’s a digital or offline activity. That goal has become even more elusive in recent years, with the surge of regulations around privacy and data protection that limit what kind of information can be collected and used. Now, a startup believes it’s cracked the code, and it’s raised a large round of funding that underscores its success so far and what it believes is untapped future demand. Near, which has built an interactive, cloud-based AI platform called AllSpark that works across 44 countries to create anonymised, location-based profiles of users — 1.6 billion each month at ...

UK Facebook users now have a tool to report scam ads

Facebook has launched a tool for UK users to report ads they suspect of being scams. The feature can be accessed by clicking the three dots in the top right corner of each ad on Facebook, then selecting ‘Report ad’, then ‘Misleading or scam ad’ and finally: ‘Send a detailed scam report’. So if you want to think of it as a reporting ‘button’ it’s a button that actually requires four presses to function as intended… Once a scam ad report has been filed, the feature will alert a dedicated internal ops team at Facebook that is tasked with handling reports — so will be reviewing reports and removing violating ads. The new consumer safety feature follows a defamation lawsuit filed in April last year by consumer advice personality, Martin Lewis, who had become exaspe...

Why commerce companies are the advertising players to watch in a privacy-centric world

Justin Choi Contributor Share on Twitter Justin Choi is the founder and CEO of Nativo, which empowers brands and publishers through its advanced platform for content. More posts by this contributor Snapchat will make Los Angeles a stronger tech hub Adtech isn’t dead, it just has a lot of dead weight The unchecked digital land grab for consumers’ personal data that has been going on for more than a decade is coming to an end, and the dominoes have begun to fall when it comes to the regulation of consumer privacy and data security. We’re witnessing the beginning of a sweeping upheaval in how companies are allowed to obtain, process, manage, use and sell consumer data, and the implications for the digital ad competitive landscape are massive. On the backdrop of evolving privacy expectat...

The need-to-know takeaways from VidCon 2019

VidCon, the annual summit in Anaheim, CA for social media stars and their fans to meet each other drew over 75,000 attendees over last week and this past weekend. A small subset of those where entertainment and tech executives convening to share best practices and strike deals. Of the wide range of topics discussed in the industry-only sessions and casual conversation, five trends stuck out to me as takeaways for Extra Crunch members: the prominence of TikTok, the strong presence of Chinese tech companies in general, the contemplation of deep fakes, curiosity around virtual influencers, and the widespread interest in developing consumer product startups around top content creators. Newer platforms take center stage Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images TikTok, the Chinese social video app (ow...