Almost everyday, companies extol the virtues of their products and explain how Product A or B will make life/business/etc. better.
Most of the time, however, the actual ‘proof in the pudding’ is hard to come by or is presented in a “trust us” manner. It is often a leap of faith that a company does and will do what they claim.
Not so with local social behavior marketing company TrueLens.
Working with another local “startup,” the ever-expanding Johnny Cupcakes fashion franchise, TrueLens has acquired some pretty impressive data on just how transformative its social behavior-guided marketing campaigns can be. The data, which was released earlier this summer, shows increases in customer engagement and sales conversions for Johnny Cupcakes when TrueLens’ predictive analytics were applied to email marketing campaigns.
What TrueLens did was analyze the nineteen million social media expressions of Johnny Cupcakes customers and took that data to create an email campaign that targeted Johnny Cupcakes users with an interest in baseball. The gender specific email marketing ended up leading to a 123% increase in conversion rates for marketing campaign and a 141% increase in sales.
So who exactly is TrueLens, and what do they do?
Started by founders who met at the MIT Media Lab, TrueLens, and its Socialgraphics marketing solution, has some industry experience behind its innovative product. Roy Rodenstein and Rebecca Xiong, PhD, both MIT Media Lab alumni, initially co-founded the location-based social media app Going.com. Rodenstein and Xiong launched Going in 2007, along with Evan Schumacher and Geoff Manegay; the company was then acquired by AOL in 2009. With TrueLens, Xiong and Rodenstein have added Jason Toy (former CTO of BackChannel Media) to the team to be the company’s CTO.
In December, TrueLens announced that it had raised a $1.2 million round of funding led by Google Ventures. Additionally, Charles River Ventures, Common Angels, 500 Startups, and Boston Seed participated in the round as well as HubSpot's Dharmesh Shah, Waikit Lau of Tremor, Nick Ducoff, and John Simon.
TrueLens’ product, Socialgraphics, whose effectiveness is outlined in the Johnny Cupcakes example above, could be the vital tool for companies who have niche products that need to be marketed to a specific type of customer.
Socialgraphics takes a company’s existing customer database and predicts behavior based on the customer’s social media habits. Additionally, TrueLens’ product can identify individuals who have great social media influence than other members of an email list or customer base to help companies target those individuals.
Eric Leist, the Senior Marketing Manager at TrueLens, said of Socialgraphics, "We are focused on creating more relevant messages for consumers." "When it comes to a lot of brands," he added, "they are in the same boat as Johnny Cupcakes, where they are sending a main email blast to everybody or they are sending direct mail to all of their customers."
"[Those companies] are afraid of segmenting and missing out on people who would be potential purchases. They are interested in old school interruption marketing," Leist commented.
He added, "What we are trying to help brands do is segment based on what customers are interested in and we have long tail data that helps with that, from a predictive analytics perspective."
"We are creating more relevant and more personalized marketing."
Currently, no one else can offer the pinpointed marketing analysis and valued customer targeting that TrueLens is providing. If they continue to see numbers like the 141% increase in sales that Johnny Cupcakes witnessed, TrueLens will be another great success story for Rodenstein, Xiong, Troy, and company.
Learn more about TrueLens by visiting their Premium Page on VentureFizz by clicking here.
Dennis Keohane is a staff writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.