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On The Plus Side, We Won’t Miss The Pizza Robot

Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly
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Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly


Hi Friend,

Did you hear that the startup that raised $500 million for a pizza-making robot has shut down? That’s not exactly going to send shock waves through the Work Tech landscape, but it is emblematic of the hangover we’re living through in tech right now. Adios, easy money. We’ll miss you.

What does cause some consternation for Work Tech, however, is that May’s employment numbers were surprisingly strong. Employers are still struggling to attract, engage, and retain talent. And yet, if you are a CMO or CRO, your KPI dashboard and pipeline probably don’t reflect that reality. You are probably feeling a little like this.

If you are looking for answers, we’ve got a book for you. No, really. Bret Starr – the Starr in The Starr Conspiracy – has written a book about the sales and marketing challenges Work Tech faces right now and how to create continuity in your customer experience to position you for better days ahead. He provides tons of case studies from companies who thought they had conversion problems in sales and marketing, but that actually had deeper engagement issues across brand, marketing, sales, product and customer success.

If you would like an advance preview of this book as he finishes it up, email Bret. He’ll send you a link. 

What else is going on this week?

UKG acquires Immedis

The acquisition of the global payroll provider propels UKG in global HCM leadership with creation of an adaptable, intelligent “schedule-to-fund in one” experience for multinational businesses.

MICROPODCAST:  How are you engaging with prospects now if they aren’t actively in buying mode?

In Ep 15 of Micro Podcast, Matt Tatum and Steve Smith, speak about the insights gained from our recent research with work tech sales and marketing leaders on performance and ROI.

Check out the micropodcast here!

Funding and acquisitions

  • Veritone acquires Broadbean from CareerBuilder. The enterprise AI software and services brand announced its agreement to acquire the job distribution and recruitment marketing platform from CareerBuilder. (Press Release)
  • Sana raises additional $28 million for Series B. The Swedish AI-powered knowledge and learning platform combines into one single solution: enterprise search, a learning management system, meeting tools, and a knowledge management system.  (FinSMEs)
  • Axuall raises $20 million Series B. The Cleveland-based startup offers clinical-workforce intelligence, including in staffing and recruiting. (FinSMEs)
  • Squint raises $6 million in seed funding. The San Jose, Calif., startup uses augmented reality (AR) to optimize factory procedures and empower operators. (FinSMEs)
  • UnifyWork raises additional $3 million in seed funding. The Cleveland-based startup-workforce intelligence platform is powering equitable regional talent networks. (FinSMEs)
  • Konfir raises $2.49 million seed round. The London startup focuses on employment and income verification tools. (UK Tech News)
  • OfficeSpace Software acquires Greetly. The Atlanta-based workplace management platform acquired the Denver-based visitor management system. (FinSMEs)

Industry notes

  • Sequoia splits China and India arms from U.S. mothership to avoid “portfolio conflict” and “market confusion.” (TechCrunch)
  • Layoffs: CoachHub (ND, 10% of workforce),  Staffbase  (90 employees/ND), ZipRecruiter (270/20%), Zendesk (320/8%)
  • PWC prepares to train workforce on ChatGPT. (HR Executive)
  • Generative AI pilots have companies reaching for the guardrails. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Salesforce may be repositioning as a data company. (TechCrunch)
  • U.S. Supreme Court sides with Slack, putting direct listings in jeopardy. (Axios)
  • “Uber for Nurses” gig platform: Allegations of lax vetting standards and CEO micro-dosing. (The Information)
  • Guild announces new internal mobility product capabilities. (Press Release)
  • WorkRamp expands Learning Cloud with new compliance training capabilities. (Press Release)
  • iCIMS launches HR job board. (iCIMS)
  • Skillsoft Q1 2024 earnings are a mixed bag. (Press Release)
  • Josh Bersin: The next generation of HR software has arrived. (Josh Bersin)
  • Microsoft is charging some Office365 customers 40% more to test AI features. (The Information)

Around the shop

Things we are talking about or find interesting right now.

  • Apple Vision Pro: Far ahead of expectations. (ZDNet)
  • Brace yourself, GenXers: Grimace from McDonald’s is turning 52. (AdAge)
  • BlueSky Social invitations have driven peak FOMO. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Do GIFs work in B2B marketing? It depends. (MarketingProfs)

That’s it for this week!


Everybody love everybody,

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Partner & Chief Marketing Officer

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A Humble Guide To Fixing Everything In Brand, Marketing, And Sales by Bret Starr is out now. Why the hype? Check it out.