It may be a small change, but TrueLens, a social media marketing start-up created by a group of marketing specialists and MIT technologists, announced that it has raised US$ 1.2 million in a funding round led by Google Ventures and will launch a social data analysis tool called Socialgraphics.
TrueLens and Social Data
Within the past week we've seen some pretty substantial announcements — IBM continues its analytics development and HP announces a lawsuit over the Autonomy deal — so the announcement made by TrueLens is actually pretty small — but for the moment it seems to be enough to have enabled TrueLens to launch a new customer intelligence product called Socialgraphics.
The company's founding team includes CEO and co-founder Roy Rodenstein, whose events-based social network was bought by AOL in 2009. TrueLens is also entering a market where there are already a lot of other small companies jostling for breathing space so it will really need something special.
The main differentiator here appears to be the fact that instead of trawling for and using information that customers didn't know they had even provided to the company, Socialgraphics pulls insights from information that has been provided by the customers themselves.
This means that all the insights are actionable and can be pulled into the main marketing and social campaigns, while the companies that use it don’t risk alienating potential customers by using information that the clients don’t want used in the first place.
In other words, the Socialgraphics product fits neatly into existing marketing department technologies — particularly the existing customer database — which it supplements with information pulled from social networks.
From the TrueLens website we learn that Socialgraphics adds a critical new data layer that provides customers' addressable brand preferences, intents and affinities that have been voluntarily shared via their public social expressions and updated in real time.
It also says that the thinking behind this kind of customer analysis is that it is cheaper to develop a relationship with existing customers than it is to try and develop new customer relationships. While that may seem a bit limiting, TrueLens says Socialgraphic data can pinpoint customers with interests, intents or life events that make them receptive to purchasing or upgrading products. The result — targeted campaigns for people that have already shown that they are willing to spend money.
By the looks of things, this is only the start for TrueLens. The funding round — while led by Google Ventures — also secured funding from Charles River Ventures, Common Angels, 500 Startups and Boston Seed.