As Location 3.0 Emerges, Swirl Adds Executives From Google, Shoprunner

The new roles — CRO, VP Audience Development, and VP Account Management — will chart the expansion of Swirl’s retail-focused Mobile Presence Management and Marketing Platform.

To help build out Swirl Networks’ recent integration of Bluetooth beacons, wi-fi, and GPS location signals on its new Mobile Presence Management and Marketing platform, the company has created three new executive positions: Chief Revenue Officer, VP Audience Development, and VP Account Management.

Swirls’ new trio includes:

  • Dan Dmochowski as CRO. Dmochowski previously held executive leadership executive posts at ShopRunner, BlackHawk Network, and Catalina Marketing.
  •  Mark Marinacci is VP, Audience Development. A media industry executive with nearly 20 years of experience, Marinacci previously focused on publisher issues at Google, Yahoo, and Gannett.
  •  Niall Fitzpatrick will serve as VP, Account Management. His primary focus has been on professional services, operations, and customer support leader from Endeca, Acquia and a number of other startups.

“Retail marketing is at a turning point as traditional retailers accelerate their digital marketing initiatives to keep up with changing consumer behaviors and compete more effectively against e-commerce giants like Amazon,” said Swirl CEO Hilmi Ozguc. “Dan, Mark and Niall join us at a time when our business is rapidly growing and major retailers are looking to take advantage of new data and technology to deliver more effective and increasingly personalized mobile customer experiences.”

In addition to the rollout of its broader proximity marketing platform, which is intended to provide retailers with greater insights into attribution and personalization management, Swirl’s executive addition comes amid times of rapid growth and hiring at location-based marketers like Verve Mobile and continued investment in geomarketing specialists Rover, Unacast, eyeQ, and Blis in the past month.

Beacons Are Just One Part

For Swirl, its growth in the space has included a series of patents and multi-faceted partnerships with brands like Hearst Magazine’s Elle, which drove a collective half-million in-store visits across Barnes & Noble, Levi’s, Guess, and Vince Camuto outlets.

As the five-year-old Boston-based location startup looks to the second-half of 2016, Swirl is positioning itself to enter a new phase, said Rob Murphy, the company’s VP of marketing.

“When we say we’re a Mobile Presence Management and Marketing platform, it sort of expanded from beacon marketing in two directions,” Murphy said. “One is the types of signals you can use. It’s beacons and wi-fi, and GPS, but it’s also expanded in terms of the functionality that you can layer on top of these signals. Yes, there’s proximity marketing across all of these signals, but then there’s also the other things we talked about: the use of attribution, retargeting, ad exchanges. We’ve expanded in both of those directions, and beacons are just one part of it.”

Location 3.0 Emerges

As Swirl positions itself to capture opportunities in the market, it’s sought to broaden its leadership time to develop a sharper focus on distinct areas.

For example, on the audience development side, Marinacci will connect with publishers like Google and Hearst to develop the ideas for using proximity on behalf of retailers.

“For example, we recently announced support for Eddystone EID, which is the secure version of Google Android-based beacon signal,” Murphy noted. “And certainly, with the expansion of Google Now, Mark is the person who has our relationship with Google. He’ll be working with them to make sure that all our platform tools are fully compatible with the types of advances that they’re working on in the space as well.”

The addition of a dedicated account manager is meant to address the evolution that retailers are going through in terms of the use and mix of location marketing technologies.

“As we get more and more clients, and, they are asking for more sophisticated capabilities,” Murphy said. “It was relatively easy for all of these retailers to go create a small test campaign, which gave consumers an offer when they walk in the store.”

But now, as proximity marketing becomes more mainstream, retailers are looking to stay ahead of their rivals who have the same basic one-to-one tools as well.

As they’re starting to think about their strategy and the use of all of these geomarketing capabilities, Murphy identified some of the things that clients are thinking about:

  • How do I personalize the content and what is the sequencing of messages to people in the store?
  • If I want to do online to offline attribution,  how do I understand whether my digital ad spend is working on driving traffic into the store?
  • Can you help me set up test and control groups so I’ll be able to get some learning from that?

“As I think about all those questions we’re being asked, we look to what we call the ‘mobile presence data layer,’ which is all of the information that’s being generated from all of the constant interactions with location signals,” Murphy said. “This represents the emergence of what will be the ‘third generation of location marketing.’ Ultimately, as we’re amassing all of this data, the next question becomes: ‘How can I really use that to personalize every individual interaction with a shopper in a store?’ That’s what we’re working on now.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.