Omnichannel marketing has challenged brands that relied on national and global brands for results
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Marketing automation platform Soci has raised $120 million in the latest funding round, led by JMI Equity and supported by Vertical Venture Partners, Blossom Street Ventures, and Renew Group Private.
The latest funding round brings the company’s total funding to nearly $240 million. Soci is planning to use the funding, a mix of debt and equity, to enhance its AI capabilities, mergers and acquisitions, and further international expansion.
As people have embraced online shopping during the pandemic, there has been a huge shift in how shoppers engage with brands. This meant that a change in marketing was needed: Global and national brands have been swept away by the impacts of omnichannel marketing. Now, customers use search engines and social media sites expecting highly localized outcomes.
Afif Khoury, founder and CEO of Soci, said brands that want to be successful must maintain consistent localized marketing efforts while attracting local audiences, all the while marketers look for ways to consolidate workflows and optimize local channels. That’s where platforms like Soci come in.
“The pandemic drove consumers inside and online, inciting a shift to digital channels and fundamentally changing how consumers communicate and engage with brands. Soci became an essential partner to brands for this transformation, which led to an increased need for brands to turn to technology to manage their presence in local digital market channels,” Khoury told TechCrunch.
Khoury said Soci aims to simplify the process of creating localized marketing campaigns across digital platforms while adhering to brand standards, optimizing local search, and integrating data. Now, Soci serves more than 700 multilocation and enterprise businesses across various verticals, including food and beverage, which totals more than three million locations. Its most prominent customers include names like Ace Hardware, Kumon, and Ford.
Soci’s “Genius” layer of products, launched earlier this year, is central to company efforts, with Soci’s data science, AI, and automation tools being its greatest differentiators. The platform provides local data analysis and marketing automation in order for customers to concentrate on other parts of their business. According to Khoury, Soci’s AI models are used both to inform and automate. Marketing inputs come from hundreds of locations across dozens of marketing channels.
The company has developed sophisticated data science models to analyze data and its correlation to outcomes, such as customer engagements, foot traffic, clicks, and other customer lead, loyalty, and revenue data.
Socii has recently launched — as part of its Genius line — a review response management tool that integrates with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It can collect reviews and analytics across various review sites and automatically respond in an intelligent and customizable manner.
“Individuals in an organization monitoring reviews across 5,000 locations would no longer have to handle responding, reducing the burden on 5,000 people to just a handful,” said Khoury.
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