Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: DREST, Argos and Pinterest, ESW and many more

Fashion legend Kate Moss steps into the DREST universe for two weeks from March 28th as the styling game’s first guest avatar. Players on DREST, the world’s first luxury fashion mobile styling game, are invited to style Kate Moss using pieces from the supermodel’s stunning collaboration with Parisian fine jewellery house Messika, together with clothes and accessories from the 250+ luxury brands available in DREST, including Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Loewe. The Messika by Kate Moss collection was co-designed by Valérie Messika and Kate Moss, with the first high jewellery line launching in 2020 and a second in 2021. DREST stylists will use one Messika by Kate Moss piece in each photoshoot, which will be free for all players to use exclusively in Kate’s dedicated styling challenges. The Messika Haute Joaillerie collection features necklaces, bracelets, earrings and hairpieces designed in collaboration between Kate and Messika’s Creative Director, Valérie Messika, and inspired by the contents of the model’s personal jewellery collection. Furthermore, Messika will be rewarding one DREST stylist with a Baby Move pendant in white gold worth £2630/$3437. The winning stylist will be chosen by Kate herself, as she picks one favourite look from all the challenge entries. Baby Move is a part of Messika’s signature Move collection, an iconic design that features three moving diamonds in motion.

UK retailer, Argos and visual inspiration platform Pinterest have joined forces to launch The Argos Mood Hotel – a world-first hotel concept curated using interior design products from the high street brand, based on the hottest interiors trends emerging from Pinterest Predicts. Located in Bethnal Green, The Argos Mood Hotel showcases the most popular Pinterest trends from Oct 2019-Sep 2021, through on-trend homeware and furniture from the latest Argos product ranges. The Argos Mood Hotel brings to life the newest Pinterest interior trends across six ‘Mood Rooms’. From luxurious velvets to futuristic detailing, this exclusive experience immerses guests into a world of interiors inspiration and discovery through the latest Argos products, including furniture and homeware from the iconic Habitat collection. With everything featured in the trend-led hotel already available to purchase from Argos in-store and online, customers can put their own twist on The Argos Mood Hotel décor in their very own home. The rooms are open to the public for complimentary overnight stays from Saturday 2nd April to Monday 4th April.

ESW, the global direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce company, has announced an agreement with UPS that will provide integrated international ecommerce and shipping capabilities for brands aiming to accelerate their direct-to-consumer (DTC) expansion, enabling them to be more effective at reaching global consumers via cross-border ecommerce. Through this new bundled offering, UPS customers and ESW clients will see significant capabilities to deeply localize their online shopping experience and leverage UPS’ global transportation and customs brokerage platform for delivery.

Swedish market intelligence and search startup My Telescope has raised €2.5M in seed funding led by Vendep Capital and Trind VC to help marketers and brands measure and predict long-term trends in demand creation following their strategic marketing investments. My Telescope will use the funding to accelerate its growth and entry into the US market.

Software company Freshworks Inc. has announced that its customer Collinson Group, a UK travel experiences and insurance company, is using Freshdesk™ to react to fast-changing business and travel requirements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, servicing a 50% surge in new enquiries. Following the introduction of new travel requirements, Collinson Group pivoted its medical assistance division to offer COVID-19 testing at partner airports and clinics in the UK, USA and APAC regions, setting up facilities in just three weeks. Using Freshdesk, Collinson introduced chatbot-first support and automation into its customer communications to help manage the 50% surge in traffic and queries. The company set up over 120 automated workflows including email triage, automated ticket type routing, and chatbot self-service. Help articles were created to enable the global operation to manage backlogs effectively, run as efficiently as possible, and share work across customer service locations and teams. The Freshdesk ticketing dashboard also helped Collinson to better track customer interactions across disparate communications channels. Using Freshdesk, customer service agents can now view metrics on contact resolution, total time to service, and subject matter of enquiries, and track and respond proactively if a particular subject keeps arising in communications.

BigCommerce, an Open SaaS ecommerce platform for fast-growing and established B2C and B2B brands, has announced the release of Multi-Storefront, a new feature that helps enterprise merchants to create and manage multiple storefronts within a single BigCommerce store, driving growth while reducing operational costs and complexities when managing multiple storefront experiences. Whether growing sales in new regions with localized storefronts, streamlining operations for managing multiple brands, or customizing for different customer segments like B2C and B2B, merchants can now seamlessly manage every aspect of their business from one dashboard, delivering exceptional customer experiences that build brand loyalty.

Hootsuite has announced the opening of its re-imagined London Nest (office space). Alongside flexible workspace providers, LABS, Hootsuite’s redesigned Holborn-based office space puts workforce preferences, employee wellbeing and the future of work front of mind. Hootsuite puts people first, so it listened to its people – or ‘Owls’ – about what they wanted in their workspace today. An internal survey found that 62% of its 105 London Owls would prefer to go into the office 1-3 days a week and 30% would prefer to head in just a couple of times a month. It also became clear that mental health had been greatly impacted by pandemic-related isolation, and that people were looking for spaces that supported collaboration and opportunities for connection. The majority of Owls were looking for connectedness while still having the ability to work from home and design their own work style. new points of interest include additional collaborative and relaxed soft-seating areas, 16 sit-stand desks, two under-desk treadmills and two under-desk bikes, a dedicated wellness room, biophilia across the whole space, art and whiteboards in most meeting rooms, a dedicated quiet Focus Zone complete with an acoustic screen, and day-use lockers. All of the existing furniture was repurposed and reused—all of the excess IT equipment was donated to charity via Green Standards to a school in Ghana, Africa.

Partnership marketing tech provider Affise has launched its latest product: Affise Reach. Affise Reach allows brands to directly organize, implement, and measure partnership marketing campaigns without support from a third party. Brands will benefit from unprecedented control over their outcome-based marketing campaigns. Using Affise Reach, marketing teams can search a database of vetted partners which includes everything from web, social, and mobile app advertising. After selecting the right partners for a campaign, they can foster relationships directly without needing a middleman. Reach also provides cutting-edge digital tools to bring total transparency to every campaign, including multi-channel attribution, advanced analytics, and forecasting. 

Digital supply chain and omnichannel commerce fulfilment company Blue Yonder and Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, have announced a partnership to transform access to disparate data for supply chain management. Blue Yonder’s Luminate™ Platform, Powered by Snowflake, is an end-to-end supply chain solution that enables retailers, manufacturers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to better predict, prevent and resolve disruptions across their business in order to mitigate risks and tackle growing industry supply chain challenges.  Blue Yonder is partnering with Snowflake for its unique ability to meet the diverse requirements of Luminate customers and its shared vision to eliminate data silos in the industry. The two companies will collaborate to address the evolving supply chain needs of joint customers with the goal of making data more accessible and actionable. 

Global footwear retailer Clarks has signed a deal with Israeli circular economy tech start-up, OtailO, to help process online product returns and reduce its environmental footprint. The two-hundred-year-old shoemaker has gone live with OtailO’s sustainable online product returns solution in the UK and is now looking to expand it to the United States. Clarks is using OtailO’s inspection mechanism in order to streamline specific return scenarios. This inspection enables Clarks to assess the condition of the return while it is still in the consumer’s hands and to take action accordingly. This enables more efficient business decisions and returns routing. OtailO’s solution has already helped Clarks cut waste by removing pre-printed labels, and the retailer intends to remove all paperwork by the end of the year.

Zngly, the no-code media platform for the creation, management and measurement of content marketing and client engagement, has announced its partnership with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency, responsible for the development of Irish enterprises in world markets. Zngly is an innovative Irish company developing solutions to solve the common challenges faced by marketing and sales teams and transforming the way businesses use content marketing. Enterprise Ireland has partnered closely with Zngly since January and recently featured in the agency’s ‘Ireland: Innovation at the Edge’ campaign, which highlights the conditions that have made Irish businesses among the most innovative in the world and the role they are playing in the post-pandemic recovery.

Tenjin, a mobile measurement platform for indie and mid-sized mobile game publishers, together with Growth FullStack, a platform offering custom business intelligence for mobile advertisers, has announced their revelatory research findings about the state of mobile marketing, in light of the seismic privacy-first changes implemented by Apple in 2021. 55% of respondents believed mobile marketing to be more difficult in 2021 than in the previous year, according to the survey of 302 respondents with responsibility for advertising budgets at mobile game and app developers in the UK and USA. Around two in five (39%) said they’d lost revenue due to Apple’s changes to its identifier for advertisers (IDFA), with 75% of these feeling it put the future of their business at risk.

Adding high-grade protection to its class-leading managed hosting solution, Cloudways has announced a native Cloudflare integration at the CloudFest 2022 conference. Following the impending rollout, Cloudways users will no longer need to arrange and configure business-tier CDN fallbacks separately. Instead, they’ll have baked-in access to Cloudflare Enterprise features — independently priced at $200 per month or above — at no extra cost, being able to simply toggle them within the Cloudways dashboard like core service elements. Budgeting has always been a key concern for entrepreneurs and small business owners, leading to the widespread use of Cloudflare’s free tier. This update thus stands to upend the web development industry, raising the standard of a basic business website through huge security improvements (including DDoS protection) and major performance upgrades.

Heineken® wanted to celebrate its success in the Champions League with FC Barcelona fans. A large banner on Las Ramblas in Barcelona with which Heineken® proposes ” Cheers to Barcelona, to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals”. “With this message, we seek to share what is a great success for the club and all its fans, highlighting that passion is not determined by gender, which is why we are also proud sponsors of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Hope, applause, suspense – and enjoying every moment before, during and after a sporting event is what every fan wants, now more than ever,” explains Veronica Sica, marketing manager of Heineken® in Spain. Heineken®, official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League for 25 years, extended its support in 2021 to the UEFA Women’s Champions League and UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 and 2025.

GLOBAL talent management agency, Turopium, has announced plans to offer its US creators access to healthcare. Launching its healthcare initiative on 1 April 2022, US-based creators working with Turopium will have access to Turopium-sponsored health, dental, vision and life insurance coverage. The initiative will be offered to all current creators based in the US, as well as new creators who sign with Turopium in the future. With the recent acquisition of GG Talent Group and working with US-based creators, Turopium embarked on a viability study on offering creators access to healthcare when they need it. While having conversations with its roster of creators and considering their needs beyond their career, it was clear that a healthcare plan would be a great benefit.

Exiger, the AI-powered supply chain and third-party risk management solutions company, has announced the launch of Supply Chain Explorer, Exiger’s proprietary real-time supply chain risk detection SaaS platform that empowers companies and government agencies to rapidly surface, understand and mitigate critical threats to their immediate and extended supplier networks. Purpose-built in response to market and client demand, Supply Chain Explorer was developed in close collaboration with some of the largest corporations and critical government agencies. Supply Chain Explorer allows users to visualize, prioritize and escalate high risk relationships. A modular three-in-one solution, Supply Chain Explorer discovers supplier networks across digital footprints, global shipping data and contract awards data in a centralized application, delivering unparalleled transparency into supplier risk for government agencies and critical infrastructure sectors, including the Defense Industrial Base.

PayByPhone, the parking payments app, has announced the launch of their global app in Italy. PayByPhone, which launched in Italy in 2018 as a single country app, is now expanding and has officially become part of the global PayByPhone app. This means the more than 50 million global PayByPhone users will now have access to pay for parking simply and remotely in 100 cities in Italy, including Verona, Turin, Bologna and Naples. Additionally, Italian motorists will now be able to use their PayByPhone app to park easily in more than 1,200 cities worldwide where PayByPhone is present, including Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Amsterdam, Lausanne, London and San Francisco.

PensionBee, an online pension provider, is using Oracle NetSuite to support its mission to simplify pensions and help people take control of their retirement. With NetSuite, PensionBee has been able to take advantage of an integrated business platform to automate resource-intensive financial processes, streamline the management of internal controls and compliance, and unify and analyse financial data to enhance planning and decision-making. Using NetSuite, PensionBee has streamlined processes across its finance function, including daily bookkeeping, procure-to-pay processes, fixed asset management, and the production of detailed financial reports for its stakeholder groups — all while following strict compliance controls. Supported by NetSuite implementation partner MacroFin, PensionBee has been able to halve the time it previously took to process payments and recurring journal entries and has seen a 50 percent improvement in the time taken to consolidate group-wide financial data. PensionBee has also partnered with Fast Four to seamlessly scan and capture invoices.

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Patrick Collister: More is less

Patrick Collister, NDA’s monthly creative columnist, is the Curator of The Caples Awards, Editor of Directory and a friend to Ad-Lib.io.