Global B2C marketing automation company Selligent this week signaled its intention to expand into customer experience (CX), announcing the hiring of UC and contact center industry veteran Niki Hall as its new CMO.
Hall is a familiar name in this industry, having last served as VP of marketing at cloud contact center provider Five9, where she and her team led the company’s transformation from small, niche vendor to a market leader. Prior to Five9, Hall was VP of corporate marketing at Polycom, where she and her team repositioned the company from stodgy room-based video vendor to one positioned at the center of the digital workspace. At each of these companies, she also established a top-tier analyst relations program from the ground up.
Hall came to Polycom from Cisco, where she held various marketing positions. Hall’s time at Cisco overlapped with Selligent CEO John Hernandez’s, and the two have an established relationship. Selligent’s former CMO, Nick Worth, is moving out of the position and taking a board-level role.
The company’s core product, the Selligent Marketing Cloud, is an integrated B2C marketing platform that aims to provide marketers with data and intelligence they can use to take consumer engagements to the next level. It does this by helping B2C marketing professionals build and nurture one-on-one customer relationships that can be personalized at scale across all channels. With its omnichannel platform, marketers can launch integrated campaigns and manage consumer interactions across all channels.
Selligent said it remains committed to marketing technology, but views CX as an untapped opportunity for it.
Selligent is expanding its focus to sales and service, a move that aligns nicely with Hall’s experience at Five9. An easy way to think of the difference between Selligent and a contact center is that the latter is more reactive, as agents tend to wait for calls to take action. Selligent has more of a push strategy, allowing service and sales professionals to use relevant and personalized information to engage with customers. What’s enabled Selligent to do this now is a combination of customer journey data and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for rooting out insights hidden in the data.
For example, a pharmacy could use Selligent to track a customer’s behavior and habits in real time. Say the customer has a history of purchasing an over-the-counter allergy medicine once a month. As that customer uses the store’s mobile app to buy some toiletries, but not the allergy medicine, the pharmacy could push a reminder notice -- and perhaps even highlight how the equivalent generic brand the store stocks is significantly cheaper. Essentially, the mobile app and location information wind up being another channel, with data fed back into the marketing cloud and compared to purchase history. This type of service is highly complementary to contact center, and Hall’s recent experience at Five9 should pay big dividends as the company adds CX to its portfolio.
Selligent’s move is well-timed, as CX is now a front-and-center concern of C-level executives at many companies. Based on study
results, in 2013 CX consulting firm Walker Information predicted that CX would be the top brand differentiator by 2020; that estimate proved to be conservative, as CX became the number one differentiator in 2018. This is putting tremendous pressure on business leaders to look for new ways of engaging customers.
Hall’s hiring caps off a busy few months for Selligent. It has moved into a new building, rolled out some AI capabilities with customers like Opel NL, and cut some omnichannel/CX partnerships with companies like Acqueon, Servion, and TTEC.