10 Cool Marketing Automation Startups to Watch

Marketing automation can help can help businesses better target prospects, find and test new products and services. These 10 startups can help businesses plug gaps in their marketing strategy and offer solutions to problems companies might not even know they have.

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2. BloomReach

What they do: Provide data-driven marketing applications.

Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

CEO: Raj De Datta, formerly Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mohr-Davidow Ventures and Director of Product Marketing at Cisco.

Founded: 2009; remained in stealth mode until February 2012.

Funding: BloomReach has raised $41 million in three rounds of funding from Bain Capital Ventures, NEWA, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Problem they tackle: While ecommerce is often viewed as a trend that levels the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with or even out-compete less nimble incumbents, the reality is quite different. Large retailers are already doing everything they can to monopolize e-commerce channels as effectively as they dominate brick-and-mortar retail.

Forrester Research estimates that the U.S. e-commerce market will hit $370 billion by 2017. eMarketer estimates that the worldwide B2C e-commerce market will top $1.5 trillion this year.

Connecting consumers spread around the globe with the products they want is an ongoing challenge, one larger companies are better positioned to meet. Companies like Amazon, Blue Nile, and even Walmart already leverage large-scale data and tech advantages. To compete with these companies, smaller retailers need to reach their audiences with increasing precision and accuracy.

Moreover, as content marketing pushes aside less effective forms of marketing, large businesses are able to hire teams of content producers that small to midsized businesses just can’t afford.

Why they're on this list: BloomReach’s Personalized Discovery Platform powers all of the company’s applications across marketing channels. BloomReach Organic Search combines Web-wide intelligence and site-level content knowledge with machine learning and natural language processing to predict demand and dynamically adapt pages to match consumer behavior and intent. According to BloomReach, this approach helps companies capture up to 60 percent of net-new users.

BloomReach also takes a data-driven approach to mobile commerce, more accurately matching consumers with content and products. BloomReach argues that this increases revenue-per-site-visit by up to 40 percent and drives sales across all shopping channels. The company also provides site search and personalization technology in addition to big-data-driven decision-making applications for online merchandising.

Customers include: Staples, Forever 21, Guess, Williams-Sonoma and Neiman Marcus.

Competitive Landscape: Big Data marketing platforms are popping up faster than weeds after the first spring rains. While behemoths like Google, Amazon, and IBM have similar technologies, they keep them in-house. Others providing similar services the rest of us can use include Kontera, DataSong, and Persado.

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