Picmonic Closes $1.25M Convertible Note to Scale Leading Visual Learning Community
Total Picmonics Learned Surpasses the 15 Million Mark
PHOENIX, Ariz. (October 22, 2014) – Picmonic is the fast-growing visual learning community where people create, share and explore highly effective, audiovisual study cards featuring pictorial mnemonics called “Picmonics.” The EdTech startup announced today that it has closed $1.25 million in a convertible note financing, bringing total funds raised by the company to $2.6 million.
Picmonic’s visual learning community provides a platform in which learners can author and share visual mnemonics for high stakes knowledge. While visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are growing rapidly online, there is no visual platform for learning. Picmonic’s visual learning community currently focuses on medical, nursing and pre-health learners spanning more than 500 U.S. and international schools. These members have learned more than 15 million Picmonics, helping them retain and recall difficult information long after their exams.
The financing comes after a momentous third quarter during which Picmonic successfully launched the newest platform, Picmonic Version 2 (V2), which is designed to strike higher level of learner engagement and proficiency. As well, after its initial introduction in the medical market, Picmonic is now expanding into the tertiary markets of nursing and postsecondary.
“This influx of capital will help accelerate Picmonic’s expansion into new learning markets and support the release of our native mobile application, enhancing the learning experience for users on the go.” said Ron Robertson, Picmonic CEO and co-founder. “Its an exciting milestone that reflects the great growth we have achieved over the past year.”
Leading EdTech entrepreneur and angel investor Matthew Pittinsky, CEO of Parchment and co-founder of Blackboard, led the new financing. “Few online trends are as transformative as visual and social sharing,” said Pittinsky. “Picmonic is uniquely positioned to harness the potential of visual platforms for learning, creating a vibrant online community in the process.”
Three major Arizona professional angel investment groups, including Arizona Tech Investors (ATI), The Desert Angels and individuals from Canal Partners, participated in the financing. Bob La Loggia, representative of the angel groups, stated, “Both the Arizona Tech Investors and the Desert Angels are very excited to be a part of the Picmonic story. We were very impressed with the company’s early traction and the platform’s recent technology advancements. Picmonic is a great example of the dynamic EdTech cluster that’s developed in Arizona.”
As part of the financing, Matthew Pittinsky and Bob La Loggia have joined Picmonic’s Board of Directors.
The $1.25 million bridge investment funding for Picmonic closed in September 2014. For more information about Picmonic, please visit picmonic.com.
Picmonic brings the power of social visual platforms to learning. We help people create, share and explore highly effective audiovisual study cards, called “pictorial mnemonics” or Picmonics. Picmonics are proven to increase memorization capacity and improve long-term recall of information by incorporating humor and unforgettable graphics to make learning fun. The Picmonic vision is of a social, educational platform where anyone can author, share and discover Picmonics to improve academic, professional and personal learning outcomes.
The Picmonic story began in medical education, where thousands of learners around the world are utilizing Picmonics to learn high-stakes pre-medical, medical and nursing content and increase their test scores — but that is just the beginning. Millions of postsecondary and professional education students across the globe will learn with Picmonic and have fun while mastering information like never before. Picmonic gives every student the power to create an engaging and personalized learning experience, while building a connected and collaborative learning community.
Established in 2011, Picmonic Inc is headquartered in Tempe, AZ.
Picmonic Media Contact:
The post Picmonic Closes $1.25M Convertible Note to Scale Leading Visual Learning Community appeared first on Picmonic.
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Here is a common scenario that many marketers face: You collect names and email addresses of people who have visited your booth at a trade show, or who have attended a live, in-person, event. Some of these people may already be in your CRM as a Lead, and some are new Leads, but you want to get them into a CRM marketing list so you can follow up with them. You don’t want to have to manually add them one by one, and there’s no easy way to check your list to see which ones are already in your CRM. And you don’t want to create duplicates of the Lead records if they are already in CRM.
This is a difficult scenario to address with CRM’s Data Import tools. But here is one trick to getting this done in a matter of minutes.
- Create a temporary entity to hold your list. We have called ours “Imported Prospect”.
To this entity, I have added three fields:
– First Name (text)
– Last Name (text)
– Email Address (lookup to Lead entity – TIP: this is the important one!)
- If you have collected the list of people who have visited your booth or attended your live event in a spreadsheet, save it as a CSV file.
- Use the CRM Data Import Wizard to import your CSV file to the “Imported Prospect” entity. The trick here is that you will map the Email Address field to the Lead lookup:
a. Map your CSV file to your new entity “Imported Prospect”. Map the “Email” field to your custom lookup field that links to the Lead:
b. Map the “Topic” field from your CSV to the “Name” field on the “Imported Prospect” record, and map the First Name and Last Name fields to “First Name” and “Last Name”. Then, map the “Email” to your “Email Address (lookup)” field, which is the lookup that links the record to the Lead:
- Run the import. This will result in new “Imported Prospect” records being created only for those records that already have a “Lead” in CRM:
- On the “Import” record, click on “Failures” – you can export the failed records into a .txt file. These are people who visited your booth, but who were not in CRM already as Leads. We will come back to this list at the end:
- Exporting the failures gives you a .txt file (We will come back to this at the end):
- Use Advanced Find to locate Leads who have a related “Imported Prospect” record and add them to your marketing list:
Here are my Leads that got an associated “Imported Prospect” record created from my first import:
- Next, import the failed.txt file directly to the “Leads” entity (not to your custom entity). From the “Import” record, you can add the new Leads directly to the marketing list:
Now my marketing list contains both the Leads who were already in CRM but who got a new “Imported Prospect” record imported and associated with them, as well as the Leads who really are new and hadn’t been in CRM previously.
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At the recent Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Idea Conference, a group of industry experts shared their marketing success stories. The entire conference was full of great ideas, but we’ve assembled a few of the best tips to fuel your marketing creativity. Click the link with each tip to listen to the full presentation and get even more great ideas!
1. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Use sales and marketing metrics to take snapshots of your performance over time. Watch the trends, understand what they mean, and respond accordingly to these trends as they emerge in your reporting. Get more marketing strategy insight from John Gravely, CEO of ClickDimensions.
2. Go beyond “opt-outs” on your subscription management page.
Not only allow a recipient to change their email preferences, but use your subscription management page to strategically gather marketing data. Use surveys to get customer feedback or use a web form to collect support requests. Learn how animal health company Merial did this from Courtney Carter their Sales and Marketing Business Partner.
3. Don’t limit your nurture programs to email communication only.
As part of your nurture campaign, include a phone calls from the salesperson. From within the nurture, trigger a CRM workflow that creates a reminder for your salesperson to place a follow-up call to the lead being nurtured. Learn more about nurture marketing strategies from Brad Burks, Director of Sales at ClickDimensions.
4. Sales and marketing must work together to achieve results.
With tools like Microsoft CRM and ClickDimensions, sales and marketing can use the same database to nurture prospects, score leads, and measure the results. Learn how to achieve “SMarketing” success from Rob Triggs, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CRM Dynamics.
5. Simplify your email marketing using dynamic content.
Don’t create dozens of different email templates to communicate the same message to different audiences. Build one template and use dynamic content to create a custom experience for each recipient. Learn how to do this from Steve Pestillo, President and Owner of P2 Automation.
6. Combined with CRM, use marketing automation tools to manage your live events.
Use web forms to collect registrations, email marketing to send “save the date” and other reminders, or connect CRM with Eventbrite to gather even more data about your event. Steven Foster, who works in CRM Product Marketing and Management at Intergen, shares the details about their Dynamics Day event.
7. Marketing automation is not just for marketing anymore!
Use the same marketing automation tools that you use to communicate with your leads to send regular touches to your existing customers. Create customer “advocates” by keeping them engaged with your product or service. Click here for more customer service tips from Matt Wittemann, ClickDimensions’ Chief Customer Officer.
8. Expand the power of your marketing automation tools with CRM workflows.
For example, evaluate your survey answers and forward negative responses to the appropriate person in your organization using a custom CRM workflow. Learn how to do this from Mark Purnell, Principal Microsoft CRM Consultant at Newdesic.
9. Don’t just use social media to communicate with your customers; collect social data, analyze it and use it.
Use CRM to collect social data and match it with your other sales and marketing information in order to better understand your customer. Social data can provide insights to improve the way you market to, sell to, and serve your customers. Click here to learn more about social CRM from Ryan Teeples, Marketing/CRM Consultant at Foundation xRM.
10. Think through your business to generate the best marketing ideas.
What are your customers looking for? Use Google Analytics to find out. Don’t have the time or money to spend on content marketing? Look inside your company for resources or expertise that is already available. You don’t need a giant marketing machine to be effective; just think through your existing business processes to find ways to reach your audience in a meaningful way. ClickDimensions CEO John Gravley shares how his company did exactly this.
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2014 seems to be going by very quickly! The end of the year will be here in a matter of weeks. If the task of preparing your email marketing strategies for the holiday season seems daunting, don’t panic! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you gear up your holiday marketing plan:
- Slim Down. Check your Marketing Lists, Contacts, Leads, and Accounts within CRM. Now is the time to take care of any duplications or update any records. Remember, ClickDimensions automatically de-duplicates email addresses as the Email Sends are executed! It might be hard to cut some of these records, but what you’re actually doing is trimming the fat and keeping the records that are most likely to drive results. See our prior post about re-engaging inactive subscribers. Many organizations may practice this in light of the New Year, which makes sense, but you’ll be able to benefit from this practice as we head into the holiday season, as email marketing activity escalates.
- Check Automation. What is the state of your automated processes? Is everything updated and ready to execute for the holiday season? Have you checked your Auto Responders, Workflows, and Nurture Programs? Have you tested the functionality with test Marketing Lists? If not, test them now! Make sure the records you are generating are mapping correctly.
- Involve Your Recipients. Advertisement emails can be overwhelming – especially when the volume of marketing emails tends to increase this time of year. Engage your customers; include a “call to action” in your messaging. Generate excitement and activity by implementing more fun and engaging campaigns and emails. The holidays provide a great excuse for giveaways, contests, exclusive content, etc. This is easily achieved with ClickDimensions. Utilize Campaigns, Web Tracking, and Form Capture, even integrate with Social Media.
- Shorter is (Usually) Better. Keep your messages succinct – let them make the biggest impact in the most direct way. Now is a great time to utilize your best subject lines, include your most “clickable” templates (practice Split Testing to see which version generates the most clicks or opens). Everyone seems to have more to do with less time to do it during the holiday season. Don’t let possible customers pass up your emails just because they are too long!
These are just a few tips to keep your marketing strategy on track for the 2014 holiday season! Check out the links above to explore how ClickDimensions can work for you and help you achieve success in Marketing! Happy Holidays!
Written by Molly Lambeth, Marketing Success Manager at ClickDimensions
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Please join us in welcoming Missy Nudell to the ClickDimensions team! Missy is our newest Account Manager and will be working in our Fargo office. Missy has lived all of her life in North Dakota, except when she attended Nettleton business college where she earned a degree in business management. Prior to joining ClickDimensions, Missy worked in account management for Microsoft for 10 years, and before that was an office manager. Missy has a son, and she enjoys reading, cooking, going out with friends, and collecting vintage jewelry and creating new things from the broken pieces. Missy says she is “super excited” to be here and we couldn’t agree more!
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Picmonic receives $1.25 million in financing from local investors
Picmonic, the Tempe-based company that develops audiovisual study cards for medical students, has closed on $1.25 million in financing from local investors.
Picmonic CEO and co-founder Ron Robertson said the money will help support the company’s move into the mobile industry and open up new markets in education. This financing, which closed in September, brings the company’s total money raised to $2.6 million.
The company’s first iOs app is coming out by the end of the year and its second product line for nursing students will be released in January.
“We are very appreciative of all the support we’ve received,” Robertson told me today. “We’re also excited for our fast growth.”
Picmonic brought on 11 new employees last quarter and has plans to hire 10 to 15 more in the next six months. The company always is looking for developers, and also will hire in marketing, support staff and content production. Picmonic has 25 employees.
In June, Picmonic was one of six early-stage companies to win the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Spring 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge.
Picmonic is used by more than 50,000 members in over 75 countries and 500 schools. The company first offered its online platform to medical students.
Picmonic’s audiovisual study cards feature pictorial mnemonics, called picmonics, which are proven to increase memorization capacity and improve long-term recall of information by incorporating humor and graphics to make learning fun, according to the company.
Arizona Tech Investors, formerly Arizona Technology Investor Forum, Tucson-based Desert Angels and individuals from Canal Partners, a Scottsdale-based private equity firm, also participated in the financing.
Reprinted from Phoenix Business Journal: http://m.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2014/10/exclusive-picmonic-receives-1-25-million-in.html?ana=twt&r=full
Now that I can breathe, look over my shoulder and see the behemoth otherwise known as STEP 1 behind me I think it is only fitting that I offer some advice to students on their own journey.
Just as with many other students I saw the monumental tower of information somewhat overshadowing any chance of happiness until after the exam. For STEP 1 review, my school provided online access to the Kaplan video series as well as Kaplan Qbank.
Day 1 of my review was a Monday. I opened the first Kaplan book and began watching the videos while following along, just as Kaplan had intended for student success. As I worked through several videos, I would stop and open Picmonic. I would search and create a playlist with the Picmonics that were relevant to the Kaplan video I just viewed. When I felt like my brain needed to relax between videos I would sit back, learn, and review the playlist of relevant Picmonics.
Any Picmonics I added to the my playlist on day one ended up being called “Monday-Playlist.”
At the end of each day I would then review any notes from the Kaplan videos that I had made as well as review the Picmonic playlist I had created.
Each day of the week ended up getting its own Picmonic playlist and corresponding Kaplan notes. During the course of my 6 week Kaplan video review I reviewed these materials each day. Each Monday I reviewed my Picmonic “Monday-Playlist” and on Tuesday my “Tuesday-Playlist” and so on.
After finishing the Kaplan video series I began practicing questions with the same frame of mind. I continued watching my set of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Picmonic playlists but found myself skipping many of them because I was able to recall the information before the Picmonic even finished. I probably found this even easier due to the fact that I was using Picmonic during my regular coursework in school.
I still feel like I can sit down and draw Methimazole at a moment’s notice. Even though it would be a stick figure “Moth Missile” the images are solid in my memory.
As I would review practice blocks of questions, I was able to create a consolidated playlist of Picmonics in my final review stages which I dubbed “Needs Improvement.” I forced myself to watch this list of about 80 items as often as possible and removed them one by one as I mastered them. I also found myself watching my “Day” Picmonic playlists but was able to go through them at a rapid pace because I could talk through the image faster than the audio track provided by Picmonic.
Overall I feel as if Kaplan gave me the most thorough review and understanding of my weakest points and then I was able to maximize my recall of information by using Picmonic.
Luckily, I was able to have early access to the “Create and Share” feature of Picmonic that let me pen my own creations to fill in any gaps on topic areas I was exceptionally weak in, like some of those embryological structures and their derivatives. I mean, who likes memorizing those anyway?
When I sat down on my exam day I felt like I had a bit of an edge. What’s the edge you ask? Firstly… Know the concepts. Know how things interact in the body. Kaplan helped me most with that. Secondly… Become a master at memorizing. Of course I was thrown tiny details and thanks to Picmonic I could keep the “Ant with Ties” (anti) and the “Nuns” (Non) categorized in my head.
Best of Luck,
Kendall Wyatt is currently a 3rd year Medical Student attending Avalon University SOM. He enjoys working on a multitude of projects integrating technology and medicine. Kendall aspires to be a serial entrepreneur using his past business experience as a Registered Nurse, Paramedic & technology consultant.
The post USMLE Step 1: Utilizing Picmonic and Kaplan’s High Yield appeared first on Picmonic.
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Good email marketing is about more than maintaining and sending to a large, permission-based marketing list. While it is generally a good idea to get your content in front of as many people as possible, it is also important to monitor the level of engagement those recipients have with your content and, when necessary, trim down your marketing lists by removing inactive subscribers. This can benefit both your open/click rates, and with strong re-engagement efforts, actually increase the number of people engaging with your content.
Engagement is usefully measured by the ratio of opens and/or clicks over a period of time. After looking at 18,000 active marketing lists, Campaign Monitor breaks it down like this:
Open and/or Click frequency
% in average marketing list
2+ times in the past 90 days
At least once in the past 30 days
At least once in the past 90 days
None in the last 90 – 180 days
None in the last 180+ days
None in the last 12+ months / Never
So, based on the above statistics, it is likely that your marketing lists contain a fair number of “Zombies” who have long since stopped engaging with your content (or perhaps never did!). Instead of continuing to send these people content that they will not engage with, it may be beneficial to send them a strong, targeted email asking them to confirm their continued interest in your content, and, if they do not reconfirm, remove them from your marketing list. As this is potentially your last communication with these subscribers, be sure that your re-engagement email includes your very best content, offers, or deals.
Identifying and Re-engaging Your Zombies
You can use Microsoft CRM’s Advanced Find feature to generate a marketing list that contains only a given marketing list’s Zombies. To illustrate, let’s say that you have a “Special Offers” static marketing list targeted at contacts that you know contains a number of Zombies. To generate a “Special Offers Zombies” list, you would follow the steps below:
- Create a new static marketing list targeted at contacts, named “Special Offers Zombies.”
- Click “Manage Members” and use the “Add Using Advanced Find” function to add all contacts who are members of the “Special Offers” marketing list.
- Then, use the “Remove Using Advanced Find” function to remove all contacts who have a Click or Open Email Event that occurred in the last year (or whichever timeframe you decide is best).
Now you’re left with a marketing list that contains only those subscribers who have not engaged with any “Special Offers” content in the past year, and are ready to send your strongest re-engagement content to these subscribers. Once the recipients have had a chance to open and/or click on your content, simply re-run the above “Remove Using Advanced Find” on the “Special Offers Zombies” marketing list to remove members you have successfully re-engaged.
Finally, go back to your original “Special Offers” marketing list and use “Remove Using Advanced Find” to remove all members who are included in the “Special Offers Zombies” marketing list, and you will have successfully removed the truly “dead” subscribers from your “Special Offers” marketing list.
Written by Weston Packard, Marketing Success Manager at ClickDimensions
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