Johannes Kepler once quipped that it would be impossibly complex to calculate all the interactions of all the gravitational bodies in the solar system. He figured that the complexities of planetary motion made such calculations far too complex. He was wrong. Within 100 years these calculations had been made. In a similar way, the complexities of customer relationships within the online marketing space once seemed so complex that it would be impossible to navigate through it with any discernible clarity. “It’s amazing to look back at where David and I first started when Zeta was created almost 10 years ago – “big data” wasn’t even a term,” said John Sculley, Zeta Global’s Co-Founder and former CEO of Apple Computer and Pepsi-Cola. However, the founders of Zeta Global saw potential, and this week that potential was again backed financially. The company raised $140 million in Series F financing from a couple of different sources, bringing it’s total to over $250 million.
Zeta Global provides customer relationship management (CRM) to some of the biggest brand names around including more than five hundred of the Fortune 1000 and Middle Market brands. Their goal is to help companies retain and grow customer relationships. The tools they’re using for this system are large data, machine learning, and complex analytics with the goal of helping companies increase customer base, keep current customers and increase their value. The system is offered as ZetaHub, a SaaS platform which promises to utilize the complex data stream of customers’ choices and responses in order to better target advertising and customer appreciation, as well as manage customer lifecycle.
The large-scale investment that was announced this week shows that the market is still confident in the SaaS system, and that ML technologies for managing big data are moving rapidly forward. Because Big Data represents so much complexity, making sense of market analytics and customer response in order to facilitate sales is a critical part of any marketing campaign. Such systems allow companies to spend far less on marketing dollars, and yet be more targeted and careful with the money they are spending, ensuring far greater results. Because Big Data can allow companies to carefully and smoothly manage their customer relationships without the need for hands on attention, such systems should continue to increase in number and revenue generation.
Zeta is just one of many other companies that are also offering similar CRM solutions. Salesforce, the current lead holder in market share, is also joined by Oracle and IBM, as well as others. “The pace of innovation in cloud marketing is fast, and there is no clear winner in that space,” said Nucleus Research VP Rebecca Wettemann. The space for such customer-specific marketing methodologies is growing rapidly. In order for companies with sizable market share to remain competitive in terms of customer retention, they are going to have to convert their marketing strategies into Big Data systems, and these SaaS companies will only continue to grow. The market is racing ahead and companies should be quick to capitalize on these marketing advancements.
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