As the co-founder and CEO of SqueezeCMM, Jen Evans says she understands the pain of content marketers that answer to corporate clients – after all, she used to do content marketing for a dragon.
Getting her start in the field as the marketing manager for Robert Herjavac’s network security firm in the ’90s, Evans saw the need to better measure the results on her content early on in the digital marketing era. While working for the entrepreneur who is now seen on CBC’s Dragon’s Den and NBC’s Shark Tank shows, Evans found herself in a position each month where her clients expected to know what happened with the content she’d produced for them.
“I couldn’t really give them good answers,” she says. “So I built the tools that gave them the answers they needed and allowed them to make good decisions about where they’d’ put their content and what type of content they’d create.”
Showcasing her fledgling firm’s web-based software at the graduating event for Toronto-based accelerator Extreme Startups, Evans and the SqueezeCMM team have been through four months of rigorous focus on developing a product and building a business. at its core, matches pieces of meta data with links and attaches them to marketing campaigns. Evans admitted on stage that Extreme Startups mentors “had to kick my butt a few times” to help her get used to startup life – but she’s better for the experience.
The problem marketers face is there’s so many digital channels to choose from when pushing out content. Social media sites alone mean a marketer must choose Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Then there’s e-mail campaigns, web pages, and the list goes on. That problem is compounded for businesses managing multiple brand accounts. There’s too many sources and too many goals, Evans says. The opportunity for the right solution to that problem is huge.
“2014 is going to be the year of content marketing performance measurement,” she says. “Marketers have no way right now of proving whether their marketing efforts are effective.”
SqueezeCMM is yet to raise a seed round of funding, but it’s already winning business from big brands. Namely, software and services firm HP has signed on for 1,000 seats at a $300,000 commitment. BCE Inc. is also a paying client with 25 users and a $45,000 commitment, as is Ford Motors Co. Other brands using SqueezeCMM include the NFL and KPMG.
All that traction should help SqueezeCMM in raising the $700,000 it is looking for from investors. It’s raised a friends and family round of $200,000 so far.
Aside from the digital marketing startups graduating alongside her in this cohort, Evans acknowledges the space for this product category is quickly becoming crowded. But while many are focusing on social media monitoring and listening, she believes SqueezeCMM alone is focused on content marketing measurement.
“We’re planning to take the enterprise world by storm, so watch out,” she says.