A Q&A with Campalyst co-founder Dalia Lasaite. The New York City–based company was founded in 2011 and recently raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding from Amsterdam-based VC firm HENQ.
SUB: Please describe what Campalyst is, and the value proposition you bring to social media analytics.
Lasaite: Campalyst helps social media marketers manage their Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as measure engagement and most importantly, ROI. Using Campalyst, marketers can optimize their social media communication to increase sales and conversions, increasing ROI of this marketing channel.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Lasaite: Our users are enterprise clients mostly in ecommerce, fashion, travel, and other verticals, which sell online or have a clearly defined online conversion. As measuring ROI becomes important at a certain stage of social media maturity, our customers usually have at least 100,000 fans and followers across their social media properties—and use social media to drive traffic to their websites.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Lasaite: There are numerous vendors who provide social media management and analytics software. Among the more notable examples are Buddy Media, Vitrue, Hootsuite, and awe.sm.
SUB: What differentiates Campalyst from the competition?
Lasaite: Most of our competitors focus on measuring engagement. They help marketers attract fans, run promotions, publish to Facebook and Twitter—and do it with the goal of getting more likes, followers, or retweets. Campalyst takes an extra step and helps marketers to develop social media strategies that result in incremental sales, instead of just generating more likes.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Lasaite: Campalyst was founded in March 2011 in Garage48 hackathon in Riga, Latvia. One of the founders, Jevgenijs Kazanins, had the idea of a software that measures sales coming from Facebook campaigns. He pitched the idea during the Garage48 hackathon, assembled the team, and, after a weekend of coding, an early prototype of Campalyst was born.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Campalyst? Was there an “aha” moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Lasaite: Our CEO, Jevgenijs Kazanins, was working in Media Contacts, a media agency serving global brands, and realized there was no convenient and robust way to measure the results of a Facebook campaign his agency was running of behalf of their clients. He then came up with the idea of measuring sales coming from Facebook campaigns—which is what Campalyst started doing with its very first version.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Lasaite: Social media marketing is a rapidly growing, but still not mature, market. Therefore, sometimes it is difficult to prove that measuring ROI is essential. However, over the last few months social media ROI has become increasingly important to many marketers.
SUB: You just raised a Seed funding round. What are your plans for the funds?
Lasaite: The funding will be used to develop the product further. Campalyst will soon include other major social media networks, provide a deeper integration with Facebook Ads and Sponsored stories, as well as support other web analytics suites, such as Adobe Marketing Suite.
SUB: What are your goals for Campalyst over the next year or so?
Lasaite: It seems that 2012 will be the year when measuring social media ROI will finally become a must for marketers. Therefore, our goal is to be the market leader in the social media ROI measurement and optimization software market.
Campalyst – www.campalyst.com