Social marketing startup Earshot is announcing that it has raised $1.7 million in new funding.
Founder and CEO David Rush told me that unlike most social listening and marketing tools, Earshot is less focused on helping businesses interact with people who are already fans and customers, and more on helping them find new customers, even if “they’re not using the right handle or hashtag.”
To do that, Rush said Earshot combines user profiles with location data, so it can recommend who to reach out to on social media and what to say to them. A big focus is “right time, right place scenarios.” To cite the example that tops the Earshot website, a store that sells umbrellas could use Earshot to find people nearby who are tweeting about the rain, and then send them a tweet inviting them to the store.
Not that a business has to use Earshot for selling something to someone immediately, Rush said. For example, an outdoor goods store could tweet firestarting tips to people who are out camping, where “the goal is less about transactional couponing and more about winning customers for life.”
Earshot says its customers include Nissan, IBM, SFX Entertainment, and the Chicago White Sox. And Rush suggested that the company will be expanding its product over time. It’s too early to offer product details, he said, but Earshot has plans for “a whole new perspective on relevancy, with location being one of the variables.”
The funding, meanwhile, comes from Mohr Davidow Ventures, TriplePoint Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Serra Ventures, and Point B Capital.