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Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Jeff Giesea, founder of FierceMarkets, is the new chairman of , a social media marketing and research firm after making an investment in the company.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Giesea’s funding is the first outside money the company has received, according to Chief Executive Officer Zach Clayton. Three Ships Media, which is based in Raleigh, launched in 2009 and already has more than 30 clients.

Clayton, a recent graduate of Harvard Business School, is the firm’s founder.

“For many years, Jeff has been a mentor and thought partner, and since the inception of Three Ships Media, he has served as an advisor,” Clayton said. “The investment of both time and financial capital into the company strengthens our ability to help clients take advantage of the massive social media marketing opportunity.”

Giesea built a company that produced a series of targeted e-mail newsletters. He sold the firm to Questex Media in 2008.

Three Ships Media is also looking to expand its staff. The firm is looking to hire a marketing director, account manager and sales associate.

Its Emerging Media Research Council, which conducts research for clients, also is growing, topping 30 clients, including national associations, marketing service firms and Fortune 100 companies.

According to Clayton, Three Ships Media has also helped clients place Web advertising at well under Google Ads rates, produce higher page rankings in Google and improve qualification of leads.

“Social media marketing budgets are forecast to grow more than 30 percent annually for the next four years,” Giesea said in a statement. “Three Ships Media is already demonstrating value for customers, and I’m thrilled to support the Three Ships team.”

“Interruption marketing can only get you so far,” Giesea added. “Social communication has become an essential piece of the marketing mix, and Three Ships is bringing business discipline and know-how to help marketers through the process.”