One fast-growing area of marketing software investment is analytics, as companies search for the missing link between specific campaigns and revenue growth. The February 2016 edition of a biennial survey of chief marketing officers predicts a 66% increase in spending for this category over the next three years.
Quantifind, which Wednesday disclosed a $30 million venture round led by Cathay Innovation, is among the software purveyors vying for a piece of that growth. The new funding, which is its fourth outside round, doubles its backing to more than $60 million. The valuation wasn’t disclosed.
Fronted by longtime marketing executive David Karnstedt, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Quantifind tripled its customer list last year to 30 brands, including beverage makers Pepsi (pep) and Heineken. Its specialty is sorting social media “signals” and correlating them with sales data. “(Our) platform allows marketers to explore, understand, and change their impact on revenue by serving up the most likely correlations and letting human judgment ultimately discern what to study further and where to take action,” he said.
Karnstedt joined Quantifind as CEO in summer 2015 after leaving Adobe, which bought his previous company, Efficient Frontier, four years ago for $400 million to build up its suite of marketing applications. Karnstedt's job before that was senior vice president of North American sales for Yahoo. Company co-founders Ari Tuchman (who is president) and John Stockton both were trained as physicists.
How does Quantifind’s software work? Without disclosing the name of the customer, Karnstedt offers the example of a quick-serve restaurant that was seeking ways to increase breakfast sales among teenagers. Despite the addition of several menu items catering to that demographic, the company saw very little impact on results.
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Using Quantifind analytics, the company dug deeper and discovered a pattern of negative feedback—not from teens, but rather from their mothers. It turns out they didn’t care for the coffee on the restaurant's menu. “More data also revealed that teens were relying on moms for a ride for breakfast. So the answer to the question 'How do we sell more breakfast to teens?' was to offer moms better coffee,” Karnstedt said. The strategy worked. Coffee sales, in particular, doubled.
Quantifind will use its latest capital infusion to fund a hiring spree across pretty much every job role from sales representative to data scientist to customer success advocate. It plans to double its staff in New York and Menlo Park to more than 140 people by the end of next year. The money also will be used to build a presence outside the United States, although the company did not specify the geographies.
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Also participating in Quantifind's latest round were previous investors Redpoint Ventures, U.S. Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, Iris Capital, and AME Cloud Ventures.
There are many companies tackling marketing analytics, ranging from established players like IBM (ibm), which Quantifind watches closely for competitive reasons; to startups such as Origami Logic, which counts JCPenney, Omni Hotels, and Visa among its customers. Domo, the latest software company from by Omniture co-founder Josh James, is also prioritizing marketing applications that build on its analytics technology.