Written by Seamus Kelleher.
Advancements in mobile technology have influenced so much of how we live, from the way we communicate and access information, to the way we shop and make purchases. OnSeen Marketing in Columbus, Ohio, developed technology to capitalize on this rise in mobile dependence by harnessing valuable location intelligence. The startup leverages location data to help businesses more effectively reach consumers and facilitate collaboration within groups.
“In a nutshell, we’re in the business of attribution management. We employ location data to determine who or what to attribute sales to, and to drive new sales,” said Michael Lanese, co-founder and CEO of OnSeen. “Big companies literally spend millions and millions of dollars in online advertising without really knowing what affects purchasing decisions. We help them realize what’s working, eliminate costs and narrow their focus to get the most out of their marketing efforts.”
Many mobile applications and services require or suggest users enable location services to operate them. OnSeen’s technology harnesses this information to provide insight and enables savvy marketers to leverage real-time location data to target consumers. The company helps brands serve up geographically-centered information, such as ads, offers, and even employment opportunities to drive traffic to their location. For Lanese and co-founder Randy Smith, this isn’t their first time applying technology to advance marketing efforts.
“Randy and I co-founded ClearSaleing, which was an advertising analytics platform to help marketers spend their ad budgets effectively. We were able to sell the company and then founded SmartCrowdz together, a sort of one-stop-shop for organizing group events that incorporates marketing functions and location data,” said Lanese. “Our experience building these companies has given us new ideas for solutions to new problems. One thing that’s remained consistent, though, is the support we’ve gotten from NCT Ventures.”
OnSeen has worked closely with NCT Ventures, a central Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier. OnSeen’s familiarity with the venture capital firm dates back to Lanese and Smith’s days running ClearSaleing, a company NCT was principal investor in. Their long-standing relationship has helped open a lot of doors for OnSeen.
“We’re really appreciative of the resources that have helped us get established. The support goes beyond just securing capital for the company. It’s about the connections we’ve been able to make to get our idea out there,” said Lanese. “NCT’s knowledge and background in the digital marketing space is also immense. Their strategic input has helped shape and mold the focus of the company. They have been critically important to our development.”
OnSeen is gearing up to pitch their capabilities to as many potential customers as possible, discuss everyday problems marketers are facing, and see how they can tailor their technology to help deliver solutions. Lanes and Smith know they’ll need to stay flexible and adapt their company in the ever-changing tech field, but they think they’re in the right location to do it.
“We’ve had opportunities to go elsewhere, but why would we? We love central Ohio. It’s really a unique place to build a technology business, and we’ve had access to incredible resources that have supported us from the start,” said Smith. “When you combine that entrepreneurial environment with an affordable cost of living, this is a really great place to be.”