Inside Beckon’s Latest $8 Million Round to Help Marketers Manage Big Data


ADOTAS — It’s pointless to fight the ad industry’s shift towards programmatic and data-driven marketing. The rise of algorithms and ad delivery automation has made it pretty darn alluring and easy to get highly-targeted digital campaigns up and running very quickly, all the while pumping out valuable metrics and data sets that can be utilized to improve future campaigns.

While companies like Tableau, SAP and Oracle have helped carve out an entirely new industry dedicated to distilling information from mega-huge data sets, marketers too need a way to easily manage the onslaught of data pouring out of online initiatives. Agencies and marketers are forced to utilize so many different tools and technologies to get the job done like CRM databases, campaign measurement tools, email automation campaigns, not to mention measuring outcomes across online, social, mobile, television and email channels.

It goes without saying that marketers need a bit of help connecting the dots across all these platforms and channels and today, Beckon is getting a healthy $8 million injection to help marketers manage the big data deluge. The company’s latest round of Series A funding brings its total raised to date to $10 million. August Capital, which led Beckon’s $2 million seed round, is now joined on the Beckon board by Canaan Partners.

“We plan to use this financing to further develop the Beckon platform and expand our team,” said Beckon CEO Jennifer Zeszut (pictured) in an interview with Adotas. “Senior marketers spend more time cutting and pasting, sifting and sorting, and trying to decipher data than any other functional area leader (Finance, HR, Operations…who all have tools to help them stay on top of their performance). We believe that technology can and should be doing so much more to help marketers.”

Data is everywhere, and today’s data-driven businesses produce mounds of information. Virtually every corporation around the globe talks about “harnessing big data” and “unlocking the power of big data,” but what makes this task so important or difficult exactly?

According to Ross Fubini of Canaan Partners, “Finance, Sales, HR, Operations — every business function has a system of record for its core data, providing visibility, insight and accountability. Marketing has long struggled for credibility at the C-levels because it’s never had a marketing system of record — until now.”

“The current big data hype is about the ‘potential’ of big data — storing all the data just in case,” said Zeszut. “Using visualization and data exploration tools to look for connections that might be in there. Hiring data scientists so they might find something interesting in there. There is no ‘maybe’ with Beckon. Marketing has a very big problem right now with cross-channel visibility in this era of marketing complexity. Beckon can deliver certain and real visibility and insight very fast (typically 2 weeks) – answering literally hundreds of mission-critical business questions for marketing leaders.”

The company has already innovated in many ways around creating totally unique methods to aggregate, normalize and display data for marketing intelligence. Beckon aims to now push the envelope even further to build smart technology and simple interfaces that bring order to the marketing chaos and extract actionable insights.

“Marketing will always be an art,” Zeszut added, “but there can be more science brought to bear as well. Marketing suffers a bad reputation for being a department of chaos, and we want to change that. You’ve heard the saying, ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’ Instead of struggling to explain the department’s efforts to executive teams, CMOs will now be able to clearly and effectively explain where their marketing dollars are being used and the ROI for each initiative. Beckon is the tool that marketers have been waiting for. The next phase for us as a company is to expand our reach and bring easy, intuitive marketing insight to all marketers, big and small.”


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