Tech Pitch: BirdSong

Serial digital entrepreneur Jamie Riddell explains how his on-demand analytics platform is “bringing direct marketing planning to social media”...

Company name: BirdSong
Founders: Jamie Riddell (40), Katherine Riddell (51)
Background: Digital advertising and direct marketing
Based in: Suffolk

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

BirdSong is an on-demand social media analytics platform.

It gives businesses and brands hard data and insights about their followers and their rivals activities to help them deliver the right message, to the right person at the right time.

BirdSong lets you see the gender and profession of followers, the optimum time and day to publish status updates and the most engaging content formats and topics for any Twitter account, plus Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

The most sophisticated social media campaigns are being wasted because they lack the data and insights traditionally used by other marketing channels like TV, print, outdoor or direct response to plan and measure effectiveness. We’re bringing the principles of direct marketing planning to social media.

In a real-time social media environment brands need to know when their audience is available to receive messages and to be able to quickly analyse competitors’ social accounts.

We offer social media reports on an individual or bundle basis – other companies in this space make you sign up for subscription fees that are priced too high for smaller clients. We allow anyone to gain insights.

We’re here to help brands do a much better job of engaging with consumers, and our ultimate aim is to establish BirdSong as the most effective social media analytics platform in the world.

Are you funded?

We’ve bootstrapped the business so far using money from the sale of our last company, Cheeze, a digital direct marketing agency, which we also bootstrapped using a £5000 overdraft.

What were you doing before starting?

I worked on the very early days of online advertising at The Media Business in 1996, and created digital divisions for Evans Hunt Scott (now Havas) and Grey Interactive. It was at The Media Business that I met Katherine and we ended up getting married. We also found we worked well as business partners and went on to co-found Cheeze, and now BirdSong.

Katherine first joined the marketing world at Newsgroup Newspapers in ad sales in 1985. Since then she’s held senior positions at Ogilvy, Mediacom and more, and has helped several business grow as both investor and management consultan

Between selling Cheeze and the launch of BirdSong I was also writing for industry publications such as The Next Web, and judging on awards such as the Drum’s Social Buzz Awards.

What the best thing about where you’re based?

We’re based in Suffolk, but as we now have customers in 88 countries, our own location is less important.

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