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Firm’s Social Media Savvy Helps Companies Capture Their Market

Parallel 6 Inc.

CEO: David Turner.

Financial information: Would not disclose.

No. of local employees: 17.

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Investors: Would not disclose.

Headquarters: Hillcrest.

Year founded: 2009.

What makes the company innovative: It utilizes cutting edge social media strategies and leading mobile marketing technology to boost its customers’ top line and bottom line.

U.S. hunters face myriad rules imposed by federal and state agencies on what trophies they can bring home from exotic safaris abroad.

So, Jeff Coppersmith, president of customs broker and freight forwarder Coppersmith Global Logistics, turned to Parallel 6 Inc., a San Diego-based startup that provides social media services, to boost traffic at Coppersmith’s niche Web site, HunterTrophy.com.

Parallel 6 put up a HuntingTrophy.com fan page on Facebook and informational videos on YouTube, as well as opening a Twitter account, where it can send out tweets on behalf of Coppersmith Global about what’s happening in the world of hunting and hunting regulations.

Taking Care of Web Business

“We had a static Web site, but we wanted to do something with it,” said Jeff Coppersmith, owner of the El Segundo-based company, who’s working with his 23-year-old son, Michael Coppersmith, on the project. “We ended up hiring them; they can do the whole thing. They don’t just make a Web site for you and walk away.

“They really get into the how far you can reach with it,” he added.

Coppersmith said he and his son have been particularly pleased with the reaction from hunters, who comprise a loosely linked international fraternity who like to stay in touch.

“A lot of them like to brag to each other, and now they can do that,” said Coppersmith, noting that fans can post photos and videos of their prized trophies, as well as engage in online discussions.

It’s all in a day’s work for one-year-old, angel-investor funded Parallel 6, currently in talks for its first round of venture capital funding.

“We work with an existing team our clients may have in house, or we can manage the social media marketing initiatives,” said CEO David Turner.

“We open up a social media channel for their business online, and we populate that channel with communities of interest,” he said. “We then message through that channel and gain the trust of the consumer on the brand’s behalf, or the company’s behalf that is our client.”

Turner said his company then carefully measures the results of each campaign, and makes the necessary changes to make sure each campaign is working.

Other clients include the San Diego area franchisee of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Massage Envy, plus related franchisees in Southern California’s Inland Empire, St. Louis, Mo., and Tampa, Fla.

“We run social medial campaigns for Massage Envy,” said Turner. “As a result, we produce more visibility and more credibility, and help them drive membership.”

In December, Parallel 6 introduced a marketing platform for mobile devices, such as smart phones.

Targeting Customers

The technology enables very large enterprises to market directly to customers.

Parallel 6’s platform allows these enterprises to hone in on specific customer profiles by gender, age and location, to name a few characteristics.

For example, Parallel 6 can send incentive offers on behalf of a large hotel chain’s spa only to women of a certain age who come within 1,000 meters of a particular hotel property.

“We’re at the bottom of the sales cycle with this, and just launched the technology,” Turner said, noting that his marketing team is in talks with casinos in Las Vegas, as well as one international hotel chain with 35 million rewards customers.

It gives new meaning to the concept of target marketing, said Turner.

“We build communities of interest where our clients can bring products that their customers want through the social media channels,” said Turner. “It reverses the old model in which the customer had to go to find out where the products are.

“We know that when we send out a ‘buy it now’ coupon, we can see how many click on the offer and buy, or just read the message,” he said. “We produce real world ROI (return on investment) for our customers.”

The company employs 17 in San Diego, and it has teams of workers in India and the Ukraine.

The name of the company is taken from the concept of six degrees of separation — that everyone is within six steps from anyone else on the planet.

“Our reach has expanded not only domestically, but we’re getting a following overseas,” said Coppersmith, in large part due to its social media outreach.

He notes that his Facebook fan page now has more than 2,000 fans.

Tom York is a contributing editor for the San Diego Business Journal.

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