Enterprise hits and misses - Zoom pays full price for Five9, marketers grapple with AI and ABM, and supply chain managers get a call to action

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed July 26, 2021
This week - Zoom buys Five9 for a heady price - will it pay off? Retailers prepare for the omni-holidays, supply chain managers get a logistics wake-up call, and blockchain finds an enterprise use case? Your whiffs include goofy AI music.


Lead story - The impact of AI and ABM on marketing - count me amongst those who believe marketing needs to change. However, AI and ABM aren't personally at the top of my list.

Nonetheless, both are getting traction. Barb looks at the viable use cases, starting with Content-driven ABM - an Orbit Media case study:

Like all ABM programs, it starts with a solid understanding of your ICP (ideal customer profile).

And how does content fit in? In Orbit's case, they started with customer research, then produced relevant video content. But here's a huge distinction, which we ignore at our peril:

One important point that Crestodina made was that it is not about how many people clicked or viewed your video, landing page, or ad, but rather about “who” did something. Particularly in ABM, you need to focus on your ICP list and pay attention to who is engaging with you so you know where to focus your additional attention.

Now to parse AI's role, via Barb's Marketing AI – plenty of use cases, but we’re just getting started. First things first: marketing AI is not marketing automation. Barb:

Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of the Marketing AI Institute, said that marketing AI is the 'science of making marketing smart.'

Barb notes when it comes to applying AI to marketing, we're just getting started. Okay, so what are the early use cases?

The Marketing AI Institute categorizes marketing AI use cases into five categories and over 45 use cases:

  • Planning
  • Production
  • Personalization
  • Promotion
  • Performance

Citing conflicting study results, Barb concludes:

I’m not sure it matters how many marketers are actually using AI today. The more important point is that AI has the potential to help marketers accelerate revenue by finding the best-fit customers and delivering the right content and experiences. And it can help reduce costs by taking on some of the routine marketing activities.

Worthy goals. I'd also add: don't overreach. On-site recommendation engines clearly drive revenue, but taking personalization to an extreme, trying to over-predict a consumer's in-moment context, backfires more often than not.

diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

  • Footfall's coming home as Christmas shopping in the Vaccine Economy shapes up to be rather different - Christmas in July? Not for this spendthrift cat. But as Stuart notes, retailers need to start thinking about their omni-holiday: "The one comment I would drill down on is the criticality of getting the omni-channel balance right. We do want back into the stores. We’ve all missed aimless browsing the aisles, surely? But the COVID shift to digital is not going away." And yeah - no mince pies in July please. Or holiday music in October for that matter.
  • Royal Navy sails head on into a major diversity challenge - Madeline's piece on Royal Navy's diversity push includes this important quote: "When questioned about virtue signalling, Prest noted that it’s a slightly toxic phrase. However, his view is it’s better to have people around the table talking about these issues, even if sometimes the actions don't match the words – rather than it not even being discussed."
  • Robotics & AI - why the UK must stage a skills intervention - Chris delves into a new study, and finds concerning skills news.

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my top choices from our vendor coverage:

Acumatica Summit - put the surreal travel and Vegas experience aside. What was newsworthy, and why? Here's my review, with more use cases to follow:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Phil gets the skinny from a security startup on the move in Skyflow to developers - your approach to PII security is all wrong. Chris talks to another intriguing startup in Oxford Quantum Circuits launches quantum computing in the cloud. He also filed a revealing robotics piece, The five laws of robotic software automation.

Kurt seeks to undermine my blockchain grouch routine examines a potentially legit use for blockchain in Countering the counterfeiters - a suitable case for blockchain. Hey, if Amazon was using blockchain for its Project Zero anti-counterfeiting I would shut my yap already(Amazon appears to be using a centralized database of individual item identifiers instead). Still, this enterprise blockchain use case just might stick. It beats counting soccer balls or night clubbers.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

  • We Are In Trouble. Raise the Red Flag. Be Proactive - Lora Cecere issues a call to action for supply chain managers: "Today’s supply chains assume that logistics is readily available. The rude awakening is that Supply Chain Leaders have no ability to manage logistics as a constraint. Historically, the focus is price. Our logistics systems are inadequate for what we are going to experience in the coming months."
  • Together, Zoom and Five9 shape a new market - So Zoom went shopping, and they didn't bother with the discount aisle. Thomas Wieberneit breaks down the purchase: "I do not fully buy in to the story of the proposed “omnichannel engagement platform” as I do think that some crucial aspects, like the ability to identify and profile a customer and her complete context, are missing." For my part, I like to see Zoom drilling into a specialization like (video) service, rather than coasting as a more generic (if widely adopted) video meeting tool. Zoom knows its meeting dominance is on the clock...
  • 7 Ways AI and ML Are Helping and Hurting Cybersecurity - It's not often we see a piece on AI and cybersecurity that contrasts the upside with the down. Both sides have the same tools last time I checked...
  • Rethinking cybersecurity strategies to protect the anywhere workforce - Add another twist to the CISO's long checklist: the on-the-go employee, always looking for wifi and downloading weak link onto their devices.
  • Live commerce is transforming online shopping - We haven't seen as much of this in the U.S., but in Asian markets. live commerce is a big purchasing factor, and we're not talking cable TV informercials. McKinsey has the rundown.
  • Lacking a Detailed Transparent Staffing Plan Can Result in These Challenges - Ted Rogers of Upper Edge gets into the nitty gritty of staffing snafus, and how to avoid them: What's to avoid? How about: "Needed functionality is discovered AFTER the blueprint and design phase." Ouch!
  • The self-driving race between Tesla and Domino's pizza robots - Yeah, let's get practical for a decade or so. Keep those aspirational Tesla amusement park thrill seekers self-drivers with their hands on the steering wheel, and let's focus instead on the crucial survival problem of getting hot pizzas through traffic.

Overworked businessman


AWS has accomplished a lot. One thing it will never accomplish is composing a great jazz-rock song:

Venmo sure took its [email protected]!ss time removing its public transaction feed:

Though I guess you could also assign a whiff to all the users who don't shut down this financial exhibitionism in their preferences... 

Meanwhile, I got triggered by excessive nostalgia:

The stakes for digital citizenry are way too high to get stuck in sentiment now... Especially for Google's whimsical approach to product development. Finally, as for all these marketers supposedly about to quit, I'm gonna need to help here:

The article offers up this absolutely nutty explanation for the pending mass exodus:

The creator economy is booming, and a lot of marketers can make more money teaching others how to market than they can at a 9 to 5.

You're kidding right? The money a marketer can make mucking about on Patreon versus a software vendor? The so-called creative economy is still mostly free or micro-payments, with the money going to the aggregators, and a handful of Internet celebrities. How many marketers fit that description? This is seriously goofy stuff. I look forward to validating this data in next year's survey... See you next time.

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.