“In the Studio,” Trinity’s Karan Mehandru Dissects Opportunities in Online Marketing

Editor’s Note:  Semil Shah (@semil) is currently an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners.

“In the Studio” continues this week by hosting a venture capitalist who, after earning degrees in electrical engineering and management science, went on to assume a number of engineering roles in industry, such as designing, marketing, and selling software, before he ended up on the other side of the table, scouring the earth for and investing in tools and services he wish he had at his disposal while working in the field.

Karan Mehandru, now a Principal with Trinity Ventures, brings nearly a decade’s worth of engineering and operational experience to venture, focusing his investments on the enterprise IT space broadly. In this conversation, Mehandru and I discuss the changing landscape in online marketing, specifically new software platforms to handle marketing automation and social media management. As Mehandru explains, the change in marketing channels forces larger companies to also change the manner in which they prospect and target customers, as well as creating opportunities for more integrated and automated solutions to harmonize many aspects of sales and marketing efforts.

Already in 2012, social media marketing and management companies like Buddy Media, Vitrue, and Wildfire have been gobbled up by incumbents. At the same time, while the marketing budgets grow and grow at large companies, marketers still don’t have a good grip on how to track and measure the returns on their investments in these new channels. In parallel, companies want better solutions to automate and manage their activity in these new channels, all with an eye on prospecting and targeting new customers down the road. Add to the mix that these solutions will likely be experimented with at the line level, perhaps never going through traditional bureaucratic chain of command, and we have an entire new software industry ahead of us. This video would be of interest to anyone working in marketing, whether it’s a startup or large company, who is interested in testing or creating the next generation of software to tackle these problems.