Channel99 launches today with a free mobile app and the promise of a full platform offering in the New Year. It aims to provide technology that can measure not just the activity driven by marketing channels and the vendors that power them (i.e. LinkedIn and Facebook in the social media channel), but the impact that activity has on business outcomes.
By integrating spend data with measurement of outcomes, it also aims to provide visibility into the cost of generating those outcomes, allowing marketers to allocate budget more efficiently. The twin objectives are boosting pipeline while reducing acquisition cost. Channel99 is selling into B2B marketing organizations and the app is already being used by dozens of enterprise and mid-market customers.
Why we care. Two reasons. First, this could prove to be a major contribution to addressing the age-old attribution problem — a problem that increases in complexity as channels multiply: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” as the old saying goes.
Second, Channel99 is the brainchild of Chris Golec who founded enterprise ABM giant Demandbase in 2006 and ran it for more than 13 years (he remains a member of the board). After a period as an investor and adviser, he’s excited to be back in the startup game — for the first time trying to do it remotely.
“Some of our engineers are here, some are in Poland,” he told us. “It’s just very hard to innovate and build a company remotely. I miss being in the office with people.”
After so many years with Demandbase, how does it feel to lead something completely new? “It’s fun,” he said.
Independent source of truth. The vision for Channel99, said Golec, is to be an unbiased source of truth for marketers by measuring the impact of spending on dozens of channels and the many vendors operating within them. It has raised $5 million dollars in seed funding led by Jackson Square Ventures.
“More than 90% of activity driven to a B2B website provides little to no value when it comes to driving new business,” said Golec in a release. “With investments across hundreds of vendors and channels, the industry desperately needs a single source of truth to consistently measure the efficacy of their efforts.”
The mobile experience. It’s unorthodox for a new B2B martech solution to lead with a mobile offering. “This notion of launching a free mobile app first is a way to engage with a customer a lot more efficiently than having them fill out a form and calling them 20 times over the following two weeks,” Golec told us.
The app provides insight into channel and vendor traffic, matching it to accounts and scoring it based on whether it fits a business’s addressable market. “It’s really an onboarding strategy because our next product will include financial information and really help marketers improve where they’re spending money and how they’re making decisions.” It will also include CRM data
“I wouldn’t call it pure attribution,” he said, “but it’s clearly going to show what’s working and what’s not.”
Dig deeper: Measuring the invisible – the truth about marketing attribution
Bad news for some channels and vendors? Of course, if Channel99 can indeed identify areas of wasteful spending, that might not be good news for the channels and vendors that are under-performing. “That may happen,” Golec conceded. “If anything it will expose opportunities for them to get better, but if you’re using a vendor or a channel that is not reaching your target audience, then you shouldn’t spend money there.”
Of course, just because a vendor under-performs for one business doesn’t mean it under-performs for others. “It all depends on who your target audience is.”
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