Artificial intelligence startup Crayon is using machine learning to provide actionable insight to marketers using a prevalent, but overlooked, resource: their competitors’ websites. The startup has $5.1 million in funding for its AI product, which tracks companies’ digital footprints. These footprints lead right to critical insights about a company’s strategy, products and marketing.
Crayon’s customers use the product to track competitors, partners, and customers online. For each, the product creates a digital footprint that is “composed of all web pages that might reveal important insights about the company, including the main corporate website, social media sites, product forums, career sites, online news publications and more,” says CTO John Osborne.
The product analyzes these footprints daily, looking for changes to them. It then draws insights from these changes to give marketers competitive intelligence about other companies in their industry. Last year, we profiled the company’s marketing AI capabilities and how these could supercharge competitive intel.
Today, Crayon has announced a major update that uses artificial intelligence and creates further value for marketers. The Crayon Dashboard uses AI to find and display the most meaningful insights and trends in competitor activities. Crayon Analytics applies quantitative analysis to qualitative, unstructured market data to spot trends. Together, these new features help marketers make sense of the vast amounts of data that Crayon provides.
This is a big deal for marketers. We’ve never had a problem accessing enough data; we’re drowning in it. But we’ve always had a problem finding the right data or surfacing insights from that data. The ability to sift through large datasets and provide insight is one of the biggest use cases for artificial intelligence.
In the case of Crayon, the company’s AI analyzes more than 100 different types of data online from more than seven million sources, far more than any marketer or team could do alone. And even if they could, there’s no guarantee they would spot the patterns and opportunities hidden in that data.
This is part of a larger trend where the most valuable marketing AI tools will increasingly suggest and recommend the next actions marketers should take. This moves marketing AI tools like Crayon into a role where they augment marketing roles, acting as “members” of marketing teams.
That means your next marketing partner could be a super-smart AI system. And if you’re a marketer who needs competitive intel, it means you just might hire Crayon for the job.
As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. An avid writer, Mike has published hundreds of articles on how to use AI in marketing to increase revenue and reduce costs. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). He is also the author of Bitcoin in Plain English, a beginner’s guide to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.