Centric team
Shannon Brown (holding cupcakes) with the Centric team.

Brown Marketing Strategies, a San Diego-based marketing and advertising agency founded by Shannon Brown on Aug. 7, 2007, has been rebranded as Centric.

Brown said the agency’s new name relates to the definition of “centric,” which is “in or at the center of.” The agency’s slogan is “Marketing Centered on You.”

“The name change is reflective of the agency’s community-centric, human-centric and client-centric approach,” Brown told Times of San Diego. “We choose to rebrand to Centric to represent our vision of inspiring individuals and enriching communities. Our customer-centric approach weaves compassion and collaboration into marketing strategies that connect, inspire and fuel results for our clients.”

Brown said the previous brand was mainly a reflection of her and she wanted the new brand to coincide with the growth of the agency.

“We are entering our 15th year of business and our growth has been amazing,” Brown said. “We are moving into a team-managed environment and scaling to the next level.

“We have had an average annual growth of 65% since 2018. We’ve been able to exceed our customers’ expectations due to bringing our digital services in-house and implementing and managing directly. In addition, we were able to pivot during COVID and help our clients go virtual with marketing and events to keep their awareness out there.”

Centric’s clients include the San Diego Association of Governments, County of San Diego and County of Orange, as well as private companies such as Altus Schools and Civic Communities.

The agency has earned certifications as a Small Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and been recognized as a Women’s Business Enterprise.

Brown said Centric has 20 employees, some of whom work remotely in Mexico and North Carolina while others serve part-time as brand ambassadors at client events. Offices are located on Nimitz Boulevard in Point Loma.

Mindgruve Appoints Rachel Gigli Carrieri as VP Client Services

Mindgruve, a San Diego-based independent marketing agency, has named Rachel Gigli Carrieri as VP of client services.

Rachel Gigli Carrieri

Gigli Carrieri, with 17 years of global account management, will provide strategic oversight for client projects and execution. A Mindgruve statement said, “Gigli Carrieri’s rich global experience in account management and servicing client account portfolios will enable the agency to continue providing world-class service to its clients.”

Her previous agency jobs have included: Wunderman Thompson Seattle office (working remotely from San Diego) 2021-2022; VITRO in San Diego, 2015-2021; Mirum Agency in San Diego (formerly Digitaria), 2012-2015; J. Walter Thompson in London, 2008-2012; Wunderman in London, 2006-2008.

Her client experience has included BMW, Kraft Foods, Johnson & Johnson, CBRE, Petco, Nestle, Brand USA Facebook, El Pollo Loco, San Manuel Casino, California Smokers’ Helpline and T-Mobile.

“September 2022 will be my tenth anniversary of living and working in San Diego,” Gigli Carrieri told Times of San Diego. “When I first moved here, I was surprised at the difference between the advertising culture here versus in London. The ad scene here is much more specialized in digital marketing with a strong focus on technology. The culture here is refreshing versus the ad culture in London where long pub lunches and boozy bar afternoons dominate any agency get-together. Thankfully, San Diego is a little more exciting and thoughtful.”

“We are excited to have a talented leader like Rachel Gigli Carrieri join our executive team,” said Chad Robley, co-founder and CEO, Mindgruve. “With her unique global experience managing high-profile accounts and proven ability to drive client results, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction, adding Rachel to our leadership team was a natural fit. Rachel has a strategic approach to client service, one that will bring significant value to our clients and drive business growth for brands.”

“I’m thrilled to join Mindgruve during such an exciting time of growth,” said Gigli Carrieri. “The agency’s data-driven approach to marketing makes it easy to prove ROI and measure success. I look forward to providing the expertise needed to ensure client success through every stage of the funnel.”

Marketing Technology Award Presented to Ezoic

The Business Intelligence Group, an industry group that presents business awards to organizations, products and individuals, has presented a Sales and Marketing Technology Award, called a “Sammy,” to Carlsbad-based Ezoic, creator of an AI-driven platform for digital publishers.

Ezoic said its Ad Tester enables digital publishers to handpick potential ad placements for their websites and then find the best combinations to increase overall ad visibility and monetize content with display ads.

“Ezoic’s Ad Tester is a game changer for digital publishers as it’s the only online ad management tool to effectively use machine learning to pick the best ad positions on website pages and optimize them for increased clicks and ad revenue,” said Tyler Bishop, Ezoic chief marketing officer. “We are honored by this Sammy award and grateful to the Business Intelligence Group for this program that recognizes innovation and excellence in marketing technology.”

“We are proud to reward and recognize Ezoic for their innovation and dedication to helping both the organizations using their technology and the ultimate consumer,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer, Business Intelligence Group. “It was clear to our judges that their efforts will improve how we all connect with the brands we love for years to come.”

With additional offices in San Francisco, London, and Newcastle in teh United Kingdom, Ezoic reports 1.7 billion visits a month to websites and large media brands using its technology. Ezoic is a Google Certified Publishing Partner that hosts more than 35,000 domains, enabling them to streamline implementation, optimization and testing of ads and ad partners.

Digital Marketer Cordial Raises $50M in New Funding

San Diego-based Cordial, offering a cross-channel marketing platform for retail brands, has announced it has raised $50 million in a third round of venture capital funding.

The latest round brings the total raised by Cordial since it was founded eight years ago to $85 million. Funding for the Series C third round was provided by VC firms NewSpring, a previous investor, with new investor ABS Capital. Other previous investors included High Alpha and Upfront Ventures.

Cordial said it will use the new capital to make platform enhances that will help marketers create new revenue streams and maximize the value and impact of each customer message. New funds also will transform how marketers activate data, set new precedents for the amount and type of first-party data possible in one-to-one customer engagement.

Current Cordial customers include Boot Barn, Eddie Bauer, Forbes, Revolve, Backcountry and Purple, among others.

Cordial said it is uniquely positioned to lead the $8 billion global marketing automation market.

“The fundamentals of customer engagement have radically shifted. If marketers are not connecting all of their data to marketing execution they are at a significant disadvantage,” said Jeremy Swift, CEO and co-founder, Cordial, in a statement.

“Cordial gives marketers the technology and tools to use customer and business data for hyper-personalized messaging in real-time, in one platform. We created Cordial with great intention, building for this new horizon of customer engagement. Cordial gives marketers the ability to use data to engage customers in ways that legacy marketing clouds and next-generation providers simply cannot. This new capital allows us to create even more ways for enterprise marketers to deliver outsized value to their customers while continuing to transform our category.”

A statement said Brian Kim of NewSpring will join Cordial’s board of directors and Bion Ludwig of ABS will serve as an observer on Cordial’s board.

“Cordial stands out in its ability to consistently deliver value to marketers in need of a dynamic answer and all-in-one solution for personalization and automation,” said Kim. “Cordial offers what other solutions lack in breadth, scalability and enterprise-grade support, truly partnering with marketers to make the most of their first- and zero-party data. We are excited to partner with Jeremy, Cordial’s leadership team and our co-investors as the company continues to redefine customer engagement.”

“We are impressed with the innovation and intention Cordial and its leaders are executing within a market keen for a transformation,” said Ludwig. “A combination of a great product and an even better company culture drives Cordial’s growth, and its track record shows its potential to outpace legacy providers.”

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.