SocMetrics Reveals “TrueLens” Marketing Tech and Google VC Round

It has been interesting to watch the world of social-media analytics evolve over the past few years. Roughly speaking, tech companies have moved from sentiment analysis—getting the gist of what people are saying online—to doing more sophisticated text and language processing, to pulling out insights from huge amounts of Web data to try to help advertisers, brands, and marketers.

Now a Cambridge, MA-based startup, SocMetrics, is rolling out a new type of software for the latter purpose, through a division of the company called TrueLens. For the past year or so, the startup has been heads-down developing a way to feed data and trends from public blogs and social media directly to companies and brands to help inform their marketing efforts.

“We’re connecting that data to the customer database and marketing database of brands to reach customers more intelligently,” says Roy Rodenstein, the co-founder and CEO of SocMetrics. He’s a veteran of Going/AOL and an angel investor in semi-remission while he leads his own startup.

TrueLens has also recently raised $1.2 million in a round led by Google Ventures, which has been spreading its wings in the Boston tech scene, now with about a dozen local investments. Other investors in the TrueLens seed round are Charles River Ventures, CommonAngels, 500 Startups, Boston Seed Capital, and a number of prominent angel investors.

Let’s back up for a minute. SocMetrics (the “Soc” is pronounced as in “social”) started in 2010 and is known for giving social-media users “influencer” scores in specific categories like startups, fashion, and travel, based on how well-connected they are and how much online activity they drive. Brands and businesses use the service to identify customers they should reach out to for marketing campaigns and to peddle deals and offers.

But Rodenstein’s team was looking to “bring bigger value with the types of social analytics we’ve been doing,” he says. So, with TrueLens, the company is using some of its core technology—natural language processing, machine learning, and classification schemes—to take “millions of customer expressions in English and map those to actionable insights,” he says.

That sounds like the Holy Grail of marketing these days. The key is what TrueLens does with the data, which … Next Page »

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