Marketing Biz: Predictive Analytics, Facebook Ads & Social Data
Welcome to a double-wide edition covering two weeks of marketing stories. Over the fortnight we saw predictive analytics companies AgilOne and Lattice Engines secure new funding.
Facebook also got some love as pilot fish companies such as Triggit, SocialWire and Socialbakers all showed promise and got rounds of funding.
Social data also took center stage with PeopleBrowsr securing a restraining order against Twitter while Gnip expanded their Tumblr offering. Oh and Mozilla is betting on the web to win out over apps.
This is … Marketing Biz.
It’s been a good few months for San Francisco-based ad tech startup Triggit. Since June, the company said, revenue has climbed 300 percent thanks largely to its participation in Facebook’s ad exchange.
This is sort of a backhand compliment for Facebook’s platform. What it says to me is that normal ads weren’t that effective and that it’s only by serving retargeted ads on the platform that advertisers are starting to see traction.
The company partners with retail chains to provide a targeted marketing and coupon service to manufacturers of grocery and consumer products. Incentive Targeting’s patent-pending technology aims to help marketers create personalized, relevant promotions — and measure ROI in real time.
This is yet another indication of Google’s long-term vision of completing the loop between search, local, mobile and commerce. Right now the pieces of the puzzle are just dumped on the table but it would be a pretty picture if Google put Google Now, Google+ Local, Offers and Wallet together.
Sumo Logic wants to replace company’s traditional log management systems, which typically leave 98% of data unanalyzed. Its founders say that Sumo Logic is unique as it’s cloud-based and can be set up in a matter of minutes.
Sumo Logic wants to make it easy to do log file analysis. I can’t tell you how much critical information can be mined out of log files. I’ll be interested to see if they can make it easier and cheaper than Splunk.
Calling itself a service that delivers predictive intelligence to marketers, it says it uses data to help companies figure out what their customers are going to do next. Almost like being a “data scientist in the cloud”, its customers are going to find that AgilOne can filter through all the noise created by the volume of data generated and extract key insights to help understand just how to reach customers and make marketing programs effective again.
I love data and consistently use it and promote it as a way to make better marketing decisions. So I like what AgilOne is trying to accomplish here. Yet at the same time I have reservations that any set of data can accomplish predictive marketing. Do you think your personal digital wake (I’m coining that phrase) can tell marketers what you’ll do next?
The service is designed to analyze large amounts of data to determine a customer’s intent. The platform delivers real-time data to sales representatives through their CRM platform, email or their mobile devices. At the heart of the technology is the company’s salesPRISM data-analytics platform. It allows salespeople to find the right conversation talking points to use when calling customers, what to cross-sell, how big a deal to expect and what products the customer is most likely to purchase.
While similar to AgilOne I tend to think of Lattice Engines as a more effective way to identify and overcome objections during a sales process. To me this is just helping salespeople ‘read the room’ with more robust meta-data.
With SocialWire, brands can get users to organically share a story on Facebook’s Open Graph, and then use Facebook Sponsored Stories to promote that story to its most valuable potential customers.
What really catches my eye with SocialWire is that they tap into a customer’s product database to create personalized, long-tail Facebook ads. While I still believe that Facebook has a context problem the service seems both easy to deploy and may deliver enough personalization to overcome the context issue.
42Floors, a Y Combinator-backed startup, on Friday announced an expansion to New York and a $5 million Series A round of funding. The company, which launched in San Francisco in May, provides businesses with a search engine for finding office space to lease and sublease.
Done correctly 42Floors could disrupt a very lucrative and stodgy industry. Marketers will be interested not only in how they attack this market but, potentially, in the service they offer as well.
By implementing Socialbakers, brands are able to efficiently compare their social media activities with the competition. In just two years since launch, Socialbakers, with its user-friendly platform, has established itself as a global leader in the field of competitive intelligence and social media benchmarking, measurement, statistics, and brand performance metrics.
There are a lot of people doing social analytics but what I believe makes Socialbakers more interesting is that they deliver competitive intelligence. Not only might this be helpful but it’s a great lure to get brands to test out the service.
PeopleBrowsr has built its business and invested over $5 million and 30,000 hours developing products that rely on the full Firehose, because Twitter had repeatedly and consistently promised that it would maintain an open ecosystem for its data, and “would not use its control over data to pick which companies can succeed and by removing access create losers,” according to the complaint.
Would you like some cheese with that whine? I’m being mean, I know, and it must really suck when a company like Twitter changes course but isn’t that just … life? And didn’t we all sort of see the writing on the wall?
Whether a company wants to track mentions of their brands, a specific URL or just get information about the latest trend-du-jour, Tumblr’s data can provide a ridiculous amount of insight.
At the polar opposite of PeopleBrowsr is Gnip the under-the-radar unsexy company that just happens to have essentially all of the social data on the planet. I’ve been high on Tumblr for a year now and here’s more evidence as to the value of looking at this unique platform.
We’ve recently been working on this platform development alongside Everything.me, which enables smartphones to dynamically match a user’s needs with the most relevant HTML5 content, providing easy access to thousands of apps, games and services.
Don’t fall asleep here marketers! This is about the difference between the web and apps and Mozilla is firmly on the side of the web. Just think about who Mozilla’s sugar daddy is (Google) before you double-down on platform specific apps.
In case you’re unfamiliar with these companies, they’re quite the match made in heaven. GetGlue has an app that lets users check-in and socialize while watching TV, and their 3 million users prove just how much demand there is for a well-executed product in this space.
On the other hand, Viggle (which launched just a year ago) uses audio verification technology to reward users for loyally returning to their favorite TV shows, whether they’re live or on DVR. Users can then redeem points for real-world prizes from Hulu Plus, Fandango, Best Buy, Amazon and iTunes.
I can’t tell if this is really smart of if they’re chasing after something that’s liable to crash to the ground with the blink of an eye. While I firmly believe that TV is becoming a multi-screen activity and social is part of the mix I’m not entirely certain Viggle has the right product-market fit.
“With the addition of Retrevo.com, we will provide shoppers with high quality, comprehensive and focused buying information for consumer electronics products in much the way Beso.com promotes discovery and inspiration in taste-based categories such as apparel and home décor,” said Bill Glass, Shopzilla CEO.
As Google puts more pressure on the shopping comparison space I suspect we’ll see more acquisitions like these. The additional content and value delivered is what will distinguish winners from losers.
And Then …
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