Quantifi Launches With A.I. Approach to Digital Marketing Strategy

A new marketing tech firm called Quantifi launched today out of startup studio High Alpha, complete with $2 million in seed funding from a handful of investors. The Indianapolis-based company seeks to offer digital marketers a research and development platform where they can test new products and strategies before committing to a specific kind of campaign.

“Marketers are faced with a huge amount of options, with emerging platforms adding capabilities every week,” says R.J. Talyor, co-founder and CEO of Quantifi. “There’s a huge opportunity to try new things, but companies don’t know what to try, so they spend too much time and money figuring it out.”

When his team initially meets with a customer, Talyor explains, they start by asking what kinds of marketing campaigns and experiments have been tried in the past. Then, a Quantifi data scientist goes through and looks at what has worked for other companies in similar verticals. Quantifi charges an annual subscription for its services, which includes a number of experimental campaigns.

Talyor says Quantifi allows marketing teams to experiment with different channels and target audiences at scale to find out what works best for their brands. Using a proprietary data set, the Quantifi software learns over time, continually testing and recommending new strategies, and then providing insights to customers based on the resulting analytics.

Talyor was inspired to start Quantifi after more than 10 years at ExactTarget and Salesforce, where he was exposed to various marketing tech products, ad agencies, and media platforms. Just prior to starting the company, he served as vice president of product management for Geofeedia, where he was struck by what he saw: a surge of new marketing technologies and channels that were often underutilized.

Emarketer predicts that total ad spending on social media platforms will hit $50 billion by 2019, Talyor says. Most companies don’t have the time or money to test marketing strategies, he adds, and those that do often operate by gut feeling instead of making data-driven decisions. Having a place to experiment would be a “huge boost” to marketers, he realized, and the idea to build a research platform online was hatched.

High Alpha, the Indianapolis venture capital firm and startup incubator, came on board as a co-founder because, as partner Eric Tobias said in a statement, “Quantifi’s machine learning algorithms are constantly coaching marketers on how to turn their marketing into a science … [and] redefine how marketers approach their digital advertising strategies.”

The 10-person company makes its public debut backed by a $2 million seed round, with contributions from High Alpha, Router Ventures, angel investors, and industry veterans like ExactTarget co-founder Chris Baggott. Quantifi is also launching with a number of high-profile customers, including Lids Sports Group and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

As for the company’s future goals, Talyor wants Quantifi to be known as a thought leader in digital marketing strategy, as well as the go-to place for marketing R&D. He also plans to hire six more people by the end of the year.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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