Google and Mastercard Have “Secret Ad Deal” to Track Retail Sales: Bloomberg Report

More BadTech: Bloomberg (again) has uncovered a “secret” deal for Mastercard to sell retail transaction data to Google so they can connect online ads to in-store purchases. Somehow the fact that it wasn’t announced is treated as extraordinarily sinister. The data seems to be properly anonymized so it’s not clear why this is any more problematic than scads of other online-to-offline tracking projects.

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Vista Equity Engineers Merger of Social Management Vendors Lithium and Spredfast

September 6, 2018

Social customer care vendor Lithium has merged with social marketing platform Spredfast. The products will be merged into a single platform, according to their announcement. Lithium is owned by Vista Equity Partners, which also owns Marketo and Cvent. Spredfast had accrued $138 million in funding per Crunchbase and 582 employees on LinkedIn; the same sources show $202 million funding and 634 employees for Lithium.

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CMOs Shift Focus from Third Party to Owned Customer Data: Duke Fuqua CMO Survey

September 4, 2018

CMOs are also looking to a future where they get more data directly from their customers, according to the Duke Fuqua CMO Survey. Seventy percent expected to use more online customer data in the next two years compared with just 30% expecting to use more third party data. If you’re never seen this report, take a peek: it’s a 73-page trove of data on many topics. And if you want more on the future of third party data, check out this recent post on Customer Experience Matrix.

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Salesforce Buys for Automated Customer Service

September 22, 2023

Salesforce is buying, which builds low-code, AI-powered e-commerce customer service agents.  You might have thought Salesforce could already do that, but presumably Airkit does it better.  It doesn’t hurt that the company founders sold a previous business to Salesforce, the company was partly funded by Salesforce Ventures, and the product is already listed on AppExchange.  Price was not announced.

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