After Socialbakers, Brandwatch Also Hires Big To Build Out Analytics Platform

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It seems to be the season for hires for social analytics startups. Last week, Socialbakers, a social analytics startup that has raised $8 million so far, hired its first chief marketing officer, Neil Morgan, who recently left an EMEA VP position at Adobe. And now, Brandwatch, another big social media monitoring and analytics provider, has appointed Will McInnes, former founder of NixonMcInnes, as the company’s first global chief marketing officer.

This might be a footnote, were it not for the fact that Brandwatch raised $6 million last year from Nauta Capital and current shareholders to expand internationally, putting it almost on a par with SocialBakers. Brandwatch has around 300 companies using its platform, including global companies like HSBC, DDB, Ipsos and Mediacom, though it has a ways to go to match Socialbakers’ 2,000 client companies. Still, it’s clear how much opportunity there is in this market.

So-called ‘social media’ agencies now have a problem. These data-led startups are starting to eat their lunch, especially given that one of the key players now has the former head of a social agency leading the charge.

In this space, Radian 6 is the big competitor (sold to Salesforce in 2011 for $326 million). Others include Tracx in Tel Aviv, Conversocial in London/New York, NetBase and Sysomos.

A well-known industry player, McInnes keynoted at various conferences around the world. He’ll develop a marketing organisation and brand that will support the company through its growth and will be based in New York City. His book, Culture Shock, appeared this year.

Founded in 2007 by CEO Giles Palmer, Brandwatch is based in Brighton, UK, with offices in New York and Germany. Its system reads and summarizes what’s being said on the web about brands, people and products against defined keywords. The brands can then respond, but also analyze trends, campaigns and competitors.