BringShare helps businesses measure, evaluate online marketing investments

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You could say BringShare came on the scene in a big way.

The company −which offers an Internet-based tool that helps marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses measure and evaluate their online marketing investments− launched at the prestigious DEMO conference in Silicon Valley in September 2011.

“We were the first Ohio company to ever be invited to launch at the DEMO conference in its 21-year history,” says Justin Spring, co-founder and CEO of BringShare.

Justin Spring, BringShare CEO

Other DEMO conference alums include E-Trade, Skype, and TiVo.

“We went through a rigorous screening process that involved flying to California and pitching our BringShare concept in front of senior partners at Sequoia Capital and the editors of VentureBeat.com,” he says. “We were one of about 80 companies that were invited throughout the world out of roughly 600 applicants.”

BringShare was built with small companies in mind, but its founders believe it will have applications for larger businesses as the product evolves.

“BringShare is unique in the fact that it compiles all online marketing initiatives into a single, easy-to-comprehend view, or dashboard, and presents data in a way that makes it simple to identify which efforts provide the best return on investment, which approaches need to be modified, and those initiatives that aren’t paying off,” he says.

To learn whose philosophies and products BringShare’s founders hold in high esteem, which local resource was critical in the company’s early days, and what the company plans to do in 2012, read our interview with Spring.

The Metropreneur: What inspired you and Danielle Walton to create BringShare?

Justin Spring: BringShare was born out of necessity. After seven years of creating marketing reports manually and trying to manage an overwhelming amount of marketing performance data, sometimes a 10-hour weekly process, we decided there had to be a better way. We started looking for a tool that would aggregate, filter and help us make sense of all our data. When we realized nothing existed that met our needs, we decided to create BringShare.

[M]: To date, how many businesses are using BringShare and where are they located?

JS: There are currently 430 companies from all over the country using BringShare and we even have around 15 international users.

[M]: When you were getting BringShare off the ground, what resources –books, websites, organizations− were helpful?

JS: At BringShare, we are big fans of all 37Signals products and philosophies on development. Their newest book, Rework, is required reading for anyone in a product development role at BringShare. It has awesome perspective that can only come from someone who has “been there, done that.”

The biggest resource for getting BringShare off the ground was the support we received from TechColumbus. They were our first large investor and were instrumental in helping attract additional investors, such as the Ohio Tech Angels Fund, NCT Ventures, and The Queen City Angels.

[M]: Do you have any business role models or mentors?

JS: I’m a huge fan of Richard Branson. I love him because he is passionate about everything he does and is constantly pushing the envelope. At the same time, he enjoys life to the fullest.

[M]: What were you doing professionally before starting BringShare?

JS: My business partner and I founded Adept Marketing in 2007. Through Adept, we’ve worked closely with promising startup businesses as well as established companies looking to expand their online reach and results. We’ve been instrumental in growing online startups quickly with [return on investment] numbers that have exceeded 300 percent. The success at Adept is what allowed us to start BringShare.

Earlier, I mentioned the headache of dealing with marketing data manually. At Adept Marketing, we’re dealing with over 35 clients at any given time and trying to manage all of their data. It was crazy difficult to keep up! That experience was another catalyst for creating BringShare.

[M]: Is there anything else you think we should know?

JS: In 2012, we are excited to continue to innovate the product. We will be launching a version for agencies later this year that will allow them to easily create marketing performance reports for all of their clients.

To learn more about Bringshare, visit BringShare.com