Cambridge, MA-based TrueLens, providers of customer intelligence product Socialgraphics, announced today the closing of a $1.2 million round of funding. The round was led by Google Ventures, with additional participation from Charles River Ventures and 500 Startups, among others. The company plans to use the funding to grow its team and continue building out the product. To date, its customers include TaylorMade (a division of Adidas), Neiman Marcus, and DODOcase mobile accessories.
Co-founded by Roy Rodenstein, Rebecca Xiong, and Jason Troy, the trio brings several years of academic and entrepreneurial experience to the table. Rodenstein and Xiong are both alumni of the MIT Media Lab, and previous co-founders of Going.com, which was acquired by AOL. TrueLens addresses the need of large brands and enterprises with existing CRM databases to leverage the wealth of additional information customers make public online, weaving it all together for more targeted marketing and advertising campaigns.
“We are providing customer intelligence at the individual level for brands and we’re sourcing that intelligence from social media so that they can append it back to their CRM database and can create more relevant and personal messages through email marketing and direct marketing,” said Eric Leist, Senior Marketing Manager at TrueLens, in an interview with BetaKit. “We’re taking public expressions and we’re turning them from qualitative to quantitative data that’s actionable for marketers.”
Brands hook their data sets into TrueLens, and the social data company aggregates almost 2,500 additional columns of data based on public data from social networks and other online sources, and ranks information based on relevancy and recency. This information could include everything from an individual’s brand preferences, to their social media influence, to boiling down blog posts and comments into purchase intent and relaying that information back to companies to add to their existing CRM data. Brands can than segment based on the data provided and use it to send out special promotions or run campaigns. The company charges for its services based on the volume of data it’s asked to analyze by its customers.
The vast amount of social data that’s now publicly available for mining is something many companies are looking to take advantage of, with companies able to predict a customer’s next move using AgilOne‘s predictive analytics dashboard, which captures an individual’s social data to layer onto existing CRM data. There are also companies like Retention Science, which looks to leverage social data to help companies retain existing customers, while others like Dynamic Signal, a CRM database, are built exclusively around customers’ social profiles.
Leist noted that although it may be a busy space, he believes TrueLens’ platform is more comprehensive. “There’s other data vendors in the space that are starting to do things in social but a lot of times it’s just at the level of giving the URL for a Twitter profile and appending that to a database…we find that while we can do that and that’s useful for customer service, we’re going beyond that and creating insights on top of content published on those accounts.”
With an emphasis on providing the insights necessary to launch highly targeted campaigns, TrueLens will be looking to demonstrate its value add to brands as their CRM continues to evolve to include not just their customers’ contact and demographic data, but all the content they create on the social web.