Feb 20th 2014, 17:00, by Pankaj Mishra
There is Salesforce.com for sales professionals, numerous off-the-shelf packages for finance and HR professionals and thousands of apps for several other enterprise utilities. But marketeers still don’t have a single dashboard to monitor their spend and its impact across different campaigns and functions. And while there are several marketing tools and dashboards that offer custom reporting and analytics, there’s no “single version of the truth” for marketeers.
At least that’s what Beckon, a bootstrapped marketing analytics startup coming out of stealth mode today, is hoping to solve by combining data analytics with an easy-to-use and ‘Flipboard-like’ dashboard.
“There are lots of marketing tools out there that offer reports, but they are single-channel. Search engine tools that spit out search engine insights, email tools that spit out email insights, agencies offering pretty PDFs and PowerPoints filled with insights into their own campaigns, and on and on,” said Jennifer Zeszut, CEO and co-founder of Beckon. Zeszut sold her last startup, Scout Labs, to Lithium Technologies for $22.5 million in May 2010.
“But those don’t come together in one place (except for a marketer’s email inbox),” she added.
Beckon helps marketers consolidate all data and insights coming from different sources including emails where users just mark Beckon on the cc, so all that data is available real time.
The startup already has some high profile marketers from some of the top Fortune companies as customers. These include StubHub, Nokia, BSkyB and Converse (Nike).
“Beckon has made our marketing data more actionable and timely. Live entertainment is a fast moving environment. If we take too long to analyze and react, we miss meaningful opportunities,” said Ray Elias, CMO of Stubhub.
“Finance has a finance system of record where every spend/receipt is stored. Sales has Salesforce where all its contacts and accounts live. HR has Successfactors or Workday where it tracks people performance. What marketer can log in and see all his/her stuff in one place and how it’s performing?”
Marketers today are dealing with much more data than ever before. The growing influence of social media for instance, has only added to the deluge of data that needs to be converted into actionable insights on-the-fly.
“They log in and see all campaign spend and performance in one place, with ready-to-go reports, analysis and benchmarks. They see live comparisons of what works best across it all,” added Zeszut.
In the old enterprise world, ERP was used as a tool to automate and integrate different business processes. Now many of these processes have overgrown in scope and complexity. Moreover, the new-age enterprise users don’t want to look at data in rows and columns. The consumerization of enterprise software underscores this shift, and this is where niche applications from startups such as Beckon are beginning to make sense. They not only improve upon the old world performance monitoring, but also present insights in beautiful, easy formats.
“I need to know that we’re spending our dollars in the right way and investing in the programs that drive consumer obsession with our brand,” said Karen Riley-Grant of Converse.
For its part, Beckon has been able to launch with a pool of some high profile customers. The challenge going forward will be to fend off much bigger and dominant enterprise rivals such as Oracle and SAP on one hand, and at the same time, making sure that Beckon’s core product keeps evolving.