Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood was once a hub for entrepreneurship and small businesses. Now, a fast-growing startup is trying to bring a Silicon Valley style company to the community. The digital marketing firm Data Genomix recently secured a patent for Facilitating Highly Targeted Advertising to Identified Audience Members across Social Media, a process that took several years and is helping to put Cleveland on the map for social media marketing.
The patent they secured “enables us to complete industry-leading one-to-one identity-resolution targeting, taking an offline list of people and finding them across all their internet connected devices, and serving them digital ads,” said Data Genomix General Manager Jeremiah Guappone.
Social media channels that can be targeted include Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google, and LinkedIn.
“If an organization was to only use social media systems, the vast majority of people who would see the ad content are not actually who they are trying to get ads in front of,” he said. “The Data Genomix technology matches an offline list of unique individuals to their social media profiles and creates robust targeting based on partisanship, issue advocacy, purchase behavior, demographic information, employment history and more. Better audiences drive better results.”
For those unfamiliar with the patent process, it’s far from an overnight achievement. The process can take years, as it did for Data Genomix.
“It is a lot of work and takes time, two years in this case,” said Guappone. “Once you submit the materials, a Patent Examiner reviews it for a few reasons: whether or not it’s a novel idea (in that it is not already patented or a widely understood idea); and whether all of the ‘claims’ fit together into a cohesive concept (we had a total of 20 claims). We were grateful for the services of the Intellectual Property team at Calfee, Halter & Griswold for all of their expertise and managing the process.”
A growing startup
Data Genomix launched in Cleveland as a start-up in 2016 and has grown by leaps and bounds ever since. The company was acquired by Crawford United Corporation in 2019. This acquisition freed the company from the stresses of having to search for funding, allowing all energies to remain focused on the work. The company employs a staff of 10 and the annual revenue is upwards of $2 million.
“Most of our team members are Ohio-born-and-raised, and we are proud of that,” says Guappone. “There is no reason that innovation has to happen in Silicon Valley. Cleveland has the opportunity for a great renaissance, and we want to be part of that.”
Their growing list of clients, both locally and nationally, includes the Great Lakes Science Center, Avatar Fleet, Jennasis & Associates, CPT Group, Clifford Moss, Davies Public Affairs and the forthcoming Friendly Patch Company (a direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand of topical patch products). Data Genomix’ unique marketing strategies assisted the Los Angeles Unified School District in their attempts to pass a $7B bond measure earmarked to implement repairs and upgrades to outdated facilities and technology, as well as improve safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 was an exceptional year for Data Genomix, even with the challenges of the pandemic. The firm won six AAPC (American Association of Political Consultants) “Pollie” Awards – two of them Gold Awards for “Best Ad Technology Innovation” and “Best Data Analytics Solution.”
Investing in Glenville
Data Genomix is one of several companies under the Crawford United Corporation umbrella, managed by CEO/Chairman Brian Powers. The building, located at 10514 Dupont Avenue, housed the Hickok Waekon Company for more than 100 years. Hickok Waekon is now one of the building’s tenants, but not included under the umbrella.
Over the past five years, Powers has invested $500,000 to renovate and modernize the building, and his community-minded efforts have helped the business fit well in the Glenville neighborhood.
Crawford United has created strong partnerships throughout the community, one of them being the Pilgrim Church of Christ. The company supplied tablet computers for the Church’s after-school tutoring program, and staff members have donated their time to help the students. They are also involved in the Church’s twice-annual gift basket giveaway for residents in need. In addition to offering financial assistance, the offices of Crawford United serve as the gift basket creation station, and drive-thru pick-up point.
Also, nearby land is rented to neighborhood residents at $1 a year for community gardening.
There’s also the Cleveland Training Center, located within the building, where training is provided for neighborhood residents to learn how to manufacture aerospace parts and develop entry-level job skills, earning $15 an hour. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Training Center is currently closed.
“We try to be of this neighborhood; we ask the councilpersons Kevin Conwell and Anthony Hairston how we can help,” said Powers. “We think it’s important that when you’re here, you’re not just a bunch of people driving in from the suburbs and getting out at the end of the day.”
“We want to be good neighbors; that’s what counts.”
Born and raised in East Cleveland, Nate Paige has contributed more than 25 years to local journalism. He got his professional start at the Cleveland Call & Post and would later get his foot in the door at Cleveland.com as a copy editor. While there, he held a number of positions including entertainment reporter, community editor, hyperlocal producer, and social media coordinator. He currently handles social media for the city of Shaker Heights.