Friday, February 17, 2012

On the right Tracx

Yesterday, Tracx announced that it raised its first institutional venture round. Led by two quality venture firms with complementary experience; Flybridge and Revel Partners and joined by Crossbar and existing investors. Over the past twelve months, the company has literally come from the garage to securing more than 100 Enterprise and Agency customers.

Tracx has built a service which enables Enterprises, in real-time, to monitor what people are saying about their brands. Amongst its many attributes, it lets them identify sentiment (+/-), influencers, and trends. It helps firms filter the 'signal from the noise'. Looking at the market, here are the reasons why I am bullish about the opportunity:

  1. In an era of instant communications ranging from customer support, to sales, to marketing messages, all brands will need to have a component of their behavior to be like media companies. Today, they don't have the tools or experience to actively manage real-time communications involving millions of comments. Specifically, today I see; pent up demand, home grown patchwork systems, and many disparate point solutions cobbled together to address the growing issue. I've seen this happen before and know these quick solutions often don't scale and integrate well.
  2. Community management is going to be an essential part of the brand 
  3. The opportunity is Global and knows no geographic boundaries
  4. Technology can be a real differentiator when you need to scan hundreds of millions of conversations and categorize the data to present cogent information
  5. Enterprise web presence now extends beyond their web sites, beyond Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Brand content is everywhere, placed directly and re-purposed by the public and edited with a human element. There is no control over content, but there is a response to it.
  6. User generated and re-purposed content is not controlled by the brand, but it's essential they know it's there, who are the key positive and negative influencers, and the trends associate with their actions.
  7. Crisis Management. It's essential to get a handle on issues, when they are still small, and get insight into the one's which spiral (e.g. McDonalds and the spilled coffee scandal)
  8. John Wanamaker said that he knows that he wastes 50% of his marketing dollars, but he didn't know which 50%.  With real-time data, there is now no excuse for such a high ratio of wasted resources.
  9. Companies need a common framework to communicate progress, best practices and challenges across various divisions
Of course, the Management team, led by Eran Gilad, is a huge part of any investment. They see the potential to seize a market leading position through product innovation, which has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the competitive dynamic within this nascent, but potentially huge market. 

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