Despite the cliché, France-based startup Doz wants to be “the Uber of marketing campaigns.” And it has nabbed $1.5 million to help reach that goal, the company is announcing today.
Doz’s on-demand platform lets a website owner remotely engage an organic marketing campaign, using crowdsourced marketers who are paid per task.
“Like Uber, [where you don’t select your cab driver] “you don’t select your marketer” on Doz, co-founder Anji Ismail told VentureBeat.
The first step for a participating website is completing Doz’s online wizard, which conducts a site audit by finding out such data points as whether there is a content marketing strategy and what the current traffic level is.
Then the campaign — currently the platform is focused on traffic obtained via search, social, and content — is set up by specifying the length, industry, desired number of visitors, and so on. Pricing is based on visitors per month and varies by country.
The campaign is managed and tracked by tasks, like adding the site to specialized directories, creating content for a blog, or creating a site presence on Facebook. “The system automatically assigns tasks to marketers based on their skills,” Ismail told us. Clients can monitor each task as it unfolds.
Marketers are chosen via automated assessments of LinkedIn profiles that scan for previous employers, size and kind of social network, and college. The system attempts to match marketers to kindred campaigns, so that, for instance, a marketer with experience in medical or health projects might be assigned to a medical site.
Review by Other Marketers
The most advanced marketer on the team is chosen by Doz as the editorial team leader. Only natives in a country are used as marketers, to avoid outsourcing that could have a marketer conducting a campaign in a foreign culture.
Each campaign has a project manager and at least one marketer who has intermediate- and another with beginning-level experience on Doz. Beginning marketers cannot work on critical tasks until they’ve achieved more Doz experience. A marketer’s efforts are reviewed by another marketer for quality and task fulfillment before being enacted, and as many as 20 people might be working on one project.
“We let the marketers decide how to customize [tasks],” Ismail told us, “but the system decides the [task assignments].” Marketers are paid by task, with good performances receiving bonuses.
The platform, which launched in a private beta in March of last year, is primarily for communication and task assignment/tracking. The campaigns are conducted via separate tools, which Doz provides free to marketers. Currently, they include SEMrush, social media tool Mention, and WebCEO.
“Some marketers say ‘I need that tool,'” he said, “and our job is to go to the toolmaker” and work out a deal.
The release version of the platform came out in May. Doz the company started in 2009, with Ismail and co-founder Farouzi El Yagoubi initially doing marketing consulting to “understand the industry.”
Proving the Model
The closest competitor, Ismail told us, is content marketing platform NewsCred. In addition to the differing campaign emphases — traffic building versus content marketing — he pointed to NewsCred’s SaaS-based pricing model.
Doz currently has more than 4,300 marketers vetted in 30 different countries, with 42 campaigns running out of more than 300 in total that have been conducted. Most of the clients are in the U.S. and Europe and are primarily business-to-consumer plays. Many are fashion websites.
Two thirds of the seed funding was raised in July from Nexus Ventures, 500 Startups, Kima Ventures, Structure Capital, and executives from LinkedIn, Amazon, and Rakuten. The remaining $500,000 has come from the French Public Investment Bank. Previously, about $100,000 had been raised from angel investors.
The company said the funding will be used to boost sales and marketing through its San Francisco office, and expand engineering and R&D in its Lyon office.
Doz also plans use some of the new money to market itself online — through its own platform.
“We need to prove our model is working. We need to eat our own dog food,” Ismail said, employing the American phrase for this self-certification.