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Davidson, Grange team up to build mobile marketing platform Layeredi

Layeredi’s long-term vision is to provide a suite of tools for marketers to manage their campaigns in one place.

With a history of software consulting and entrepreneurship (think Tripleseat and, oh yes, Silicon Prairie News), Dusty Davidson, 31, is moving on to his next project: Layeredi.

Still only four months old, Layeredi, short for Layered Innovations, is a platform for managing mobile marketing campaigns. Currently. “The long-term vision is to provide a suite of tools for marketers to manage their campaigns in one place,” Davidson (far left) said. “The toolsets out there right now are fragmented and messy.”

His partner and friend behind this digital marketing command center is John Grange (above, near left), an Omaha entrepreneur, investor and business development guru. “We want to build something big,” said Grange, 27. He has some idea of what that looks like: a previous co-founding venture resulted in a hosting company that’s now the fourth largest provider of web apps for Microsoft.NET.

While Davidson and Grange are working to build out the Layeredi platform with cloud-based hosting and email marketing software, they’re focusing specifically on enabling marketers to connect with the mobile community. “SMS, QR codes, mobile-optimized video … we want to allow marketers to reach out via mobile, managing their campaigns through an online interface,” said Davidson. “If you’re using Bitly, YouTube and a free QR-code generator, you have three different elements, not integrated, that you have to manage or at least visit separately. We want to provide an easy-to-use interface and integrate all these tasks.” A marketing professional could lead users from a QR code on a paper ad to a video demonstrating the hottest Christmas toy to a call to action, all managed from her Layeredi account.

The Layeredi dashboard shows users active campaigns and upcoming ones.

Looking beyond mobile-specific tasks, Davidson and Grange plan for marketing professionals to use Layeredi’s suite of tools (some new, some they’ll already be familiar with) to engage with customers and monitor response. Davidson suggested that the ease of the Layeredi interface will allow marketers to bypass traditional channels that can hold up a campaign. “There has to be constant engagement,” he said. “You can’t wait.”

With competitors as varied as Velti, NetBiscuits and ScanLife, Layeredi is trying to cover a lot of territory by addressing multiple marketing needs under one roof. Grange is confident that Layeredi will be a contender. “We’re very careful about the clients we’re working with now,” he said. “By focusing on the appropriate client, they can tell us what gaps need filled. We can make sure we’re providing the right tools for what they need and what we want to do.”

Layeredi is currently fully funded by an initial group of private investors, and Davidson and Grange are waiting until they have a more built-out product before moving on financially. “Our investors are people we’ve had business relationships with before,” said Grange, stressing the importance of being involved in the local community.

“If you don’t know how to find a business partner, a co-founder, an investor, start by getting involved with the entrepreneurial scene in your city,” Davidson said. It worked for him. Davidson and Grange connected via the entrepreneurial network in Omaha a couple years ago.

For those just beginning in the world of startups, Grange has one piece of advice: “Don’t get picky. Just try it. Do everything.”


Credits: Photos by Chris Wolfgang. Screenshot from layerdi.com.

Disclosure: Dusty Davidson is the CEO of Silicon Prairie News. 

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