As content marketing becomes an increasingly significant part of the digital marketing arsenal, it it brings with it new opportunities, both allowing marketers to expand beyond traditional approaches to advertising and tap into new revenue channels. However, it also comes with a downside, as digital marketers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the number of channels they have to create engaging content for and manage. While the number of significant digital marketing channels has increased to upwards of 20 in the last three to five years, digital marketing budgets and headcounts among marketing teams haven’t quite increased at the same rate.
In August 2012, Acceleprise General Manager Allen Gannett founded TrackMaven to act as a solution — and to help simplify competitive intelligence for digital marketers. Rather than having to cobble together data from a variety of sources, TrackMaven automatically aggregates competitive intelligence data from paid, earned and owned media channels into one interface. The idea, Gannett says, is to show digital marketers what their competitors are doing across these channels, and particularly, what’s actually working for them.
While most competitive intelligence marketing tools either focus on first-party analytics or social listening (i.e. what consumers are saying about a brand, not what brands are actually doing themselves), the founder says, TrackMaven enables marketers to see what their audiences are interested in and then benchmark against their peers in each of those categories.
Offering data and insight from 15 different channels across paid, owned and earned media, TrackMaven has built a customer list that includes brands like Eddie Bauer, Aol, Computer Sciences Corporation, Martha Stewart Living, and the NBA, to name a few. With demand increasing as marketers continue to struggle with creating engaging content across a growing set of channels, TrackMaven announced today that it has raised $6.5 million in a round led by New Enterprise Associates to help it expand.
Bowery Capital and Acceleprise Ventures also participated in TrackMaven’s latest round, bringing its total raised to date to just under $8 million. The Series A financing follows on the heels of the $1.25 million the startup raised last March from Aol Ventures and a group of angel investors that includes Sean Glass (former CMO of HigherOne), Hemang Gadhia (former CEO of Condaptive, acquired by Millenial Media), Adam Riggs (former President of Shutterstock) and Roger Krakoff (Cloud Capital Partners), among others.
As a result of the round, NEA General Partner Harry Weller, whose has previously invested in companies like Groupon, Cvent, Eloqua and SourceFire, will join former CEO of Eloqua Joe Payne and co-founder of HigherOne, Sean Glass, on the startup’s board of directors.
The key to TrackMaven’s value proposition thus far, Gannett explains, is that the company is attempting to establish itself as the first true enterprise competitive intelligence platform for marketers, enabling big brands and corporations to both benchmark and track their digital marketing efforts.
With the startup’s platform and dashboard, marketers can dig down into the topics, tactics and channels that are working for their competitors’ audience, the TrackMaven founder says. Using TrackMaven’s dashboard, marketers are able to get a more three-dimensional view into their traditional marketing channels like news and PR, email, site traffic, organic search, display and text advertising, as well as “newer” digital channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Ultimately, the TrackMaven founder believes that the platform is off to a good start by allowing digital marketing teams at big brands to discover key tactics and more easily build benchmarks, graphs, and reports on the data therein. But, with its new funding, the company wants to take its platform to the next level, incorporating new data sources, better exporting, expanded custom visualizations and a wider range of integrations, like with backend BI systems, for example.
TrackMaven at home here.