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If I had a dollar for every time a marketing data platform has said it can offer the truest omnichannel view of the customer, I could fund many of those companies myself.
Case in point: Today, Washington, D.C.-based Revmetrix is making a bid for top position in that claim.
The startup is announcing it has scored $2.2 million in seed funding, and is launching its first product, a customer intelligence platform for retailers.
Or, in Revmetrix’ description, “the first omnichannel data platform for retailers.”
“We have solved the ability to identify customers across channels [and devices] better than anybody else,” CEO and cofounder Hemang Gadhia told VentureBeat. He and his cofounder Christopher Brown have each previously founded and sold a data intelligence and analytics company.
Revmetrix, started in 2013, says it can identify the customer across channels and device with an accuracy “north of 80 percent,” which would put it in the lead or certainly in the topmost group.
The central problem with creating a single view of the customer is that consumers have so many ways of looking for and buying stuff.
Most of us use multiple devices and communicate with a brand on those different devices through a variety of channels like web sites, Twitter, or phone. Sometimes, we’re logged in and identifiable, but often we’re not logged in and are anonymous to the tracking data platform.
That means that any customer journey — thinking about a need, researching products to fill that need, buying the product in online or physical stores — has gaps when you’re trying to follow a single customer. These are gaps where a tracking data platform can’t tell if it’s the same user on that smartphone sending email in the morning, on the laptop visiting a website in the afternoon, and on a tablet watching product videos on YouTube in the evening.
Revmetrix says it can create a customer profile that is more complete than others by identifying the user across those gaps. (This quest for the true omnichannel customer profile is one of the themes that will be debated at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit next week.)
Gadhia says his company’s platform takes data from two main sources — transactions when a customer makes a purchase online or in a physical store, and the various data points that accompany a page request from a site.
That page request — a HTTP request to the server of a web site or social network — contains “more than 50 parameters,” he said. These include information about the device the customer is on, the operating system being used, the referral URL, location data, the local network, and so on.
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Using these two sources, Gadhia said, “we can effectively weigh and balance different parameters, doing it in a way that is privacy-based,” and create a profile of that user across channels and devices.
Of course, other marketing data platforms have access to that data or more. Gadhia was understandably reluctant to discuss exactly how Revmetrix’ modeling of the data into a profile differs from others, except to say that it uses a unique approach to emphasizing some data points and interpreting behavioral patterns.
Those patterns, for instance, might indicate that different devices are using the same home network, which would suggest that they all belong to the same person or family.
Revmetrix’ customer profiles are segmented into categories for targeted marketing, which is then made available via APIs to other platforms that have execution tools like social media campaign management.
In addition to its claim of a truer, omnichannel profile, Gadhia also points out that Revmetrix is optimized for the needs of a retailer. That means not only that it contains the kind of key performance indicators a retailer is most interested in, but, in the future, the platform’s data can be sliced and diced in new ways for retailers. To optimize supply chains, for instance.
The launching platform is “about five percent of what it will look like when it’s a mature product,” he said.
As noted, the claim of the truest omnichannel view of the customer is common. Last week, to take just one example, SAP’s Hybris launched its Marketing Suite by saying it had a broader ingest of data and a more complete, cross-channel and cross-device view of the customer than anyone else.
“All the big enterprise platforms will eventually be competitors,” Gadhia told us. He noted that “Adobe is most along, [but] Oracle and Salesforce are doing interesting things.”
But, he added, “we are the only ones that can give you a comprehensive view of your shoppers across all channels and all devices.”
The seed round was co-led by Genacast Ventures and .406 Ventures, with participation by Neu Venture Capital, Millennial Media cofounder Chris Brandenburg, Clarabridge cofounder Sid Banerjee, Higher One cofounder Sean Glass, and other angel investors. The funding will be used to “grow the team aggressively,” Gadhia told us.
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