January 6, 2015

Boston Tech Alumni Taking Customer Intelligence to the Cloud

Two Boston tech veterans have teamed up to allow businesses to compile a rich customer knowledge base in the cloud and publish live digital personas with a new SaaS customer intelligence startup dubbed, Cintell

Apparao Karri, CEO, and Katie Martell, CMO, originally met while together at Waltham-based NetProspex, where Karri served as Director of Product Management and Martell as Director of Buzz. More recently, Martell held the role of Manager, Content & Communications for Aberdeen Group.

Cintel will provide a cloud-based platform to collect, analyze, maintain, enhance and integrate customer insights for companies, resulting in more relevant and effective marketing, sales, and product development. 

Karri and Martell, who initially raised friends and family funding, plan to release a Freemium offering by the end of February.  The Freemium platform will have Cintell’s core mission in mind; “to empower your organization to be customer-centric.” 

By simply allowing customers to put their existing buyer personas in the cloud, users will be afforded the ability to more easily share and act upon the results attained through customer research activities. 

Martell, who has experience marketing to B2B clients, understands how difficult the research process can be for marketers. “Buyer Personas are really hard,” she told me. Adding, “Cintell wants to help you by allowing you to build and house these personas in the cloud-based application and easily share them companywide.” 

Karri, who has the product experience to go along with Martell’s marketing and field experience, said he feels they have the perfect cross-functional experience to tackle this problem. A major problem that they knew existed, so they set out to build the solution themselves. 

Karri and Martell have a much larger long-term vision, beyond these personas just living in the cloud-based platform. 

“Our intention is to create tools to help businesses understand the data and produce actionable insights and ultimately integrate our tools with users existing business systems as well,” Karri said. 

Initially, Cintell will allow the typical static documents that currently contain research data and customer intelligence, to be transformed into a more engaging, easy-to-use layout, continuously maintained to allow for efficient use of these insights. 

Karri tells me they have raised approximately half of their next seed round, which once closed, will be used to expand their team, help in their efforts to acquire Freemium users, and deliver on planned future features. 

Cintell has a strong contingent of advisors, including buyer persona expert, Tony Zambito, Ardath Albee (CEO of Marketing Interactions Inc.), and serial entrepreneur Venkat Janapareddy, whose startup, Goziak, sold to 

Also advising is Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, and author of the Wall Street Journal Best-Seller Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, who said in a statement:

“Businesses today must make customers the hero of their story. Especially in B2B marketing, understanding buyers as human beings is absolutely key to creating compelling, relevant, and effective content. At the core of great content is true empathy for the buyer, and a tool such as Cintell could help companies achieve this insight.”

Josh Boyle is Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter @jb_sid
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