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Introducing 4C, the New York firm that converts social data into intelligent marketing

When a new tech com­pa­ny rais­es $5 mil­lion in Series B fund­ing a year after being formed, most prod­uct man­agers would agree that it’s prob­a­bly got a pret­ty hot prod­uct. And in the case of New York social data start­up 4C, formed in 2013 from a merg­er between Vox­sup and The Echo Sys­tem, they’d be absolute­ly right.

A win­ning combination

Voxsup’s forte was social data, while The Echo System’s was in adver­tis­ing and e‑commerce. The com­bi­na­tion of strengths aris­ing from the fusion of the two has result­ed in data ana­lyt­ics tech­nol­o­gy that will set most prod­uct man­agers invol­un­tar­i­ly salivating.

Giv­en that Voxsup’s founder, Alok Choud­hary, also works as a pro­fes­sor of elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing and com­put­er sci­ence at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, it’s less sur­pris­ing that 4C has some seri­ous­ly smart tech­nol­o­gy behind it. Choud­hary is now 4C’s chief sci­en­tist and chair­man, while the CEO role is occu­pied by Echo Sys­tem founder Lance Neuhauser.

Intrigued prod­uct man­agers, of course, will want to know what this tech­nol­o­gy can actu­al­ly do. Accord­ing to the company’s web­site, it’s all about deliv­er­ing action­able insights to For­tune 500 brands, big ad agen­cies and media firms about how peo­ple decide to make pur­chas­es. In a nut­shell, the tech­nol­o­gy enables brands to use real-time social data to pro­duce high­ly tar­get­ed social adver­tise­ments that pro­mote pos­i­tive sen­ti­ments in key audiences.

Deep insights

In an exchange with TechCrunch jour­nal­ist Antho­ny Ha, Neuhauser gave an exam­ple of 4C’s capa­bil­i­ties. Work­ing in con­junc­tion with Face­book, the com­pa­ny ana­lyzed 50 dif­fer­ent brand cat­e­gories along with con­sumer engage­ment data and TV view­ing preferences.

A sur­pris­ing­ly strong con­nec­tion emerged between Finan­cial Ser­vices con­sumers and Real­i­ty TV view­ing. Neu­berg­er thinks both inter­ests exem­pli­fy a pref­er­ence for the unscript­ed dra­ma ani­mat­ing Finan­cial Ser­vices and Real­i­ty TV. In his email to Ha, Neu­berg­er said:

“How­ev­er, at 4C we also have the abil­i­ty to look deep­er than cat­e­gories and iden­ti­fy direct con­nec­tions between brands, users and pre­cise inter­ests. In past social ad cam­paigns top per­former con­nec­tions have been; Nicorette to San­ta Claus, PGA to the Kennedy Cen­ter for the Arts, & Microsoft to Post-it Notes.

The invest­ment from Jump Cap­i­tal (which brings the startup’s total fund­ing to a prince­ly $8.25 mil­lion) will be ploughed into grow­ing 4C’s team, inter­na­tion­al expan­sion and, as Neuhauser puts it, “includ­ing insights for more effi­cient tele­vi­sion adver­tis­ing plan­ning, buy­ing and selling.”

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