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Turning a Marketing Industry Problem into a Thriving Business

James McDermott built Lytics to help marketers gain the insights they need to design effective data-driven campaigns

Comcast Ventures
Jun 5, 2019 · 5 min read

What was the inspiration behind Lytics?

In 2014, my co-founder and I met with 50+ heads of marketing at enterprise companies. They were all struggling to understand their customers and could not transform information about their prospects and customers in IT-managed databases into campaign execution.

  1. Surface meaningful and actionable customer insights, and
  2. Coordinate and manage personalized campaigns based on those customer insights.
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Lytics Optimization empowers enterprise marketers to leverage machine learning that automatically delivers a relevant message in each of your connected channels.

How did you turn this idea into a thriving business?

To grow our business and team, we looked for investors who believed in what we were trying to do. Luckily, we found investors who wanted to help us build from the ground up and support along the way because building a company always comes with its challenges.

What are the benefits of building a business in Portland?

Portland, Oregon is really a great city for startups and software. It’s a great place to live and an incredible place to build a company. We have a committed, mission-driven employee base that believes in what we are doing. And this city attracts people who want to do good in the world and want to work with a company that has a strong mission. We love that. Our customers love that.

What advice would you give new entrepreneurs?

The long hours and evolving industry require a lot from entrepreneurs. Throughout my career, I’ve picked up a few tips I wish I knew sooner:

  1. Get exercise and plenty of sleep. I run at least three days a week and get full night of sleep so I’m ready for each day.
  2. Read books and do activities that aren’t work-related so you give your mind the time and space for new stimulation.
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