Taco Bell's new AI, digital transformation, plus, Merkle expands its tech team

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Marketing Land's Daily Brief reports on the latest news and stories surrounding marketing.

Taco Bell owner buys Kvantum

"Yum Brands, owner of quick-service chains like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, announced plans to buy Kvantum, which uses AI technology to garner consumer insights and optimize marketing campaigns. U.S.-based Kvantum was founded in 2012, and has worked with several Yum brands in international markets. In 2015, Yum purchased Collider Lab, a firm that develops culture-based consumer insights with the help of sociologists and anthropologists. The plan is for Yum Brands to combine these insights with the new AI to help reach consumers more efficiently."

Communication strategies for company-wide change

"There's a lot of talk about digital transformation, but it's important to understand that it doesn't come down to enhanced technology. True digital transformation is tied to more fundamental corporate change. Communication is key to successful corporate change. And language matters. That may be one reason "digital transformation" plays better in companies than just "building digital capabilities." Transformation sounds aspirational, part of a company-wide strategy. Managing data to enhance customer and employee experience sounds like work, and is probably too technical. Change is unlikely to succeed if it's forced on people; it has to be created with them. And while change needs to be supported from the top, it works best if it comes from the middle. That is, involving the folks who make things happen day-to-day within an organization and are closest to the customers."

Merkle boosts martech team

"Powerhouse marketing agency Merkle, announced the expansion of its technology team, resulting in three new leadership roles. Matthew Mobley will serve as EVP, chief technology officer, Americas. He will join Pete Rogers, technology consulting leader, and Mark Engelke, the new growth officer."
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