Boston-based Startup Aims to Help Companies Better Understand their Buyers and Become Customer-Centric through Cloud-Based Customer Intelligence Platform
BOSTON, January 7, 2015 — Cintell, a new SaaS customer intelligence startup today announced its plans to help B2B organizations better understand their customers and use that insight to formulate truly customer-centric business strategy. The company will provide a cloud-based platform to collect, analyze, maintain, enhance and integrate customer insights companywide, resulting in more relevant and effective marketing, sales, and product development.
Cintell is built on one simple truth: customers form the cornerstone of every business function, from sales to service, marketing to product development. Understanding customer motivation, preference, and need is critical: businesses spend billions annually on customer intelligence efforts including buyer persona development, customer surveys, win/loss analysis and customer advisory councils, whether internally or through the use of external consultants.
However, these efforts are often ad-hoc, manual, and fragmented between departments, published in static documents and infrequently shared, leaving critical customer insight under-utilized. Additionally, efforts such as buyer personas are rarely validated for accuracy, or updated frequently enough, quickly becoming out-of-date and unreliable.
Cintell will address this gap, by allowing organizations to compile a rich knowledge base about their customers, and leverage the Cintell platform to:
- Create and publish rich digital personas in a cloud-based application, using insights from both internal and external sources, and easily share them companywide.
- Continuously update, validate and understand the changing needs and preferences of buyers through voice-of-customer programs, third-party data enhancement, and internal sales and marketing automation tools.
- Integrate customer intelligence with existing business systems such as CRM and marketing automation platforms, to make stronger, more informed, customer-centric decisions.
The company was founded by Boston marketing technology alumni Apparao Karri and Katie Martell, who met during their tenure at marketing data management firm NetProspex. As Cintell‘s CEO, Karri is an entrepreneurial product leader with 15 years of sales and marketing SaaS solution expertise at organizations including Avention (formerly OneSource) and Lionbridge. Martell joins Cintell as CMO with experience creating buzz and driving B2B market demand for companies including NetProspex and Aberdeen Group.
“The ability to achieve organization-wide customer centricity hinges on the ability to possess a common understanding of customers,” says the founder and leading authority on buyer persona development, Tony Zambito, an advisor to the startup as well as author of the forthcoming book, A Guide To Buyer Persona Development. “For companies today, putting customers at the center of strategy is extremely important in terms of connecting with buyers and customers. I am excited about the potential of Cintell to do just that, allowing organizations to operate and share a common platform of relevant persona-based customer insights, and giving them the ability to be not only customer-centered but also human-centered in their marketing and sales efforts.”
Also advising the startup is B2B marketing authority Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions Inc., and author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results, and serial entrepreneur Venkat Janapareddy, whose recent venture Goziak was acquired by Monster.
“Businesses today must make customers the hero of their story,” says Cintell advisor Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, and author of the Wall Street Journal Best-Seller Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. “Especially in B2B marketing, understanding buyers as human beings is absolutely key to creating compelling, relevant, and effective content. At the core of great content is true empathy for the buyer, and a tool such as Cintell could help companies achieve this insight.”
The announcement comes during a red-hot period for the marketing technology industry that has seen $6.2 billion in funding and acquisition in the last few months, according to business tracking service VB Profiles. In addition, adoption of marketing automation is at an all-time high, and thanks to big data and the social web, the availability of information about buyers has never been greater.
“We see a massive opportunity to apply technology to an under-served but essential business process,” said Karri. “Whether B2B companies use buyer personas or other customer intelligence tactics, to-date they have been constricted, unable to integrate these insights across the rest of their company or into their technology stack. Incredibly useful customer insights are trapped in static form, when they could – and should – guide the strategy of marketing, sales, and product development.”
“The decision to join Cintell was an easy one,” said Martell. “As marketers, we are more enabled by technology than ever before, but with so much dedicated to automating the lead management process, in a way, we’ve forgotten about the customer. Truth be told, I was frustrated at the lack of a tool to make customer intelligence easily available and truly actionable, so I decided to team up with Apparao to create it.”
With aggressive growth plans for 2015, the company is currently seeking additional funding. For more information, and to be notified of the availability of the forthcoming tool, visit www.Cintell.net.