Beckon Snags $10M, Hopes To Make Marketing Data More Open

jennifer-zeszutCross-channel marketing intelligence platform Beckon has raised $10 million in a Series C round led by Venrock and other investors.

Beckon had previously raised $23 million over the course of its five-year life span. The company will put the latest injection toward product development and staffing up on sales, marketing and engineering talent.

Beckon was founded on the premise that marketers use disparate systems but lack the ability to easily transfer data.

“We’re not just a source of truth for marketing performance data,” said Beckon CEO Jennifer Zeszut, “but for business outcomes – sales data or [in the case of client Coca-Cola] bottler data.”

Zeszut said Beckon receives data from tools like web analytics, data management platforms and campaign execution platforms.

“We’re a little bit different in that we’re absolutely execution-tool agnostic,” Zeszut said.

Beckon is designed to take signals from different marketing executions, like emails or display ads, and help marketers make sense of them within their broader media and marketing mix. 

“When we told Responsys our clients were integrating Responsys data along with their other data, for a long time they were like, ‘How are you doing that?’ But we built a technology not reliant on APIs,” Zeszut said.

Zeszut also hopes Beckon’s technology will help solve some of the data portability challenges marketers face with walled gardens.

“One basic issue is the format,” Zeszut said. “Sometimes there’s an API where you can get data out in a really structured and formal way, and then there are other tools that don’t allow you to do that. You’d see [companies] that use this horrible PDF format. Or [others] which didn’t have APIs for years. Some don’t want you to get those data inputs.”

Zeszut said Beckon’s cross-platform measurement has attracted holding company investors as well, though she’s hesitant letting them have a financial stake in the company.

“We realized that’s not our best move,” she said. “It’s in our best interest to remain independent and neutral. Brands like Coke are figuring that out big-time, where if you are the execution tool, you should not be the measurement tool. Just how media agencies can traffic the ad, but you should not also pay them a $15 million retainer to tell you how great it’s working.”

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