Limelight Scores $3 Million To Launch Its Live Marketing Platform In US
Toronto-based company says this is the first set of digital tools designed specifically for face-to-face events like test drives, in-person product sampling, trade shows and the like.
Even as digital media has exploded, live marketing events continue to thrive. This week, Toronto-based Limelight Platform announced it has scored its first outside investment — $3.1 million in seed funding — to launch its cloud-based platform for live marketing in the US.
The platform, which the company says is the first of its kind, is designed specifically with live marketing events in mind, so brands can codelessly plan, build, present and measure activities during test drives, trade shows, product sampling events, in-person consumer showcases and the like. On its website, Limelight defines live marketing:
Have you ever been at the grocery store and someone in a company’s branded clothing approaches you and asks you if you like to sample their product? How many times have you seen a brand give something away and you go up to them to get your free sample? That face-to-face interaction between the customer and the brand is what defines live marketing.
An offline mode allows for captured data like prospective leads’ contact info to be cached until there’s a good interet connection, given that many venues have spotty Wi-Fi reception. There are built-in legal waivers, emails can be triggered by leads’ demographics, and scanned auto licenses can pre-populate forms like applications for auto insurance.
Brands can also create event-specific websites, kiosks and mobile sites, capture a QR code or business card and have the data tagged for the event, or set up a registration site for before, during or after the event.
Other applications include product demos, mall tours, contests, surveys and guest lists. Data is analyzed to help determine return on investment from a live marketing occasion, and leads can be exported via API to marketing systems like customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
The company says its platform was used during its beta phase by the Canadian divisions of such major brands as Allstate, BMW, Bosch, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Scotiabank.
Marianne MacNeil, event marketing manager of BMW Canada, said in a statement that her company employed the platform last year at auto shows and new vehicle launches, enabling BMW to “elevate and measure the customer experience.”
CEO and founder Jonah Midanik told me that L’Oréal has used the platform for creating an event-specific mobile voting app, while Allstate generated an event-specific mobile discount.
Although made available in Canada as a beta in 2014, the platform was only launched in a worldwide release version in late December of this past year, a couple of weeks ago.
Midanik described his company’s platform as the only one “where you can do all this stuff” without having to adapt an existing tool or build a new one.
Competitors, he said, are generally “ad agencies with cobbled-together solutions.” Some marketing tools have capabilities for live events, such as social tool Postano‘s support for social media walls in brick-and-mortar environments. Midanik said that some basic social wall capability was coming.
The seed funding round was led by Rowanwood Ventures and included Jason Tryfon, Sandhill Angels, Hyde Park Ventures and Acceleprise Ventures.