The origins of CleverTouch started in Y2K - the year all IT systems were expected to meltdown. Adam Sharp, our group MD, was running marketing in EMEA for a $6bn high-tech business. Europe was a big marketplace ($1.8bn) but the company was very reliant on distribution and OEMs. As a retail and consumer division was launched and new companies acquired, they wanted to use the web as a major route to market.
At the time marketing automation didn’t exist but CRM did. The big incumbents were Siebel, Vantive and Clarify. The vision of the organisation was to create a marketing hub and integrate a 5-language web and ecommerce platform with a multi-language telemarketing function - all integrated into Vantive, our chosen CRM for a single view of the customer. This proved a lot harder than expected. Systems were cumbersome and slow to configure and it was soon discovered that integration is easier in PowerPoint.
Shortly afterwards in 2001 Salesforce was launched. The cloud-based service was brilliant - nimble and configurable so we quickly replaced Vantive with it. Salesforce.com had a marketing suite but we soon realised that you can’t market from a CRM - something that is still true today.
Broadband was now gaining traction. Netscape offered end-users a GUI browser and 2001 was the start of a free but extremely simple end-user product. It redefined the way companies went to market and how consumers became self-empowered. This product was Google.
While Salesforce lacked functionality relevant to marketers, the ‘no software’ and ‘software as a service model’ redefined the way companies went to market. But the same problems existed.
In those days marketing was a frustrating area to work in. We had read our Peppers & Rodgers and bought into their concepts of personalisation and one-to-one marketing. Their philosophy was augmented with Seth Godin’s approach to Permission Based Marketing, which only increased the delta between our goals and the reality of the technology.
Our marketing nirvana at the time was:
- Campaigns - several per quarter (and continuous)
- Personalisation = mini-campaigns, multiple segments & messaging
- High yielding campaigns
- One database, updated dynamically
- Sales fully integrated
- Channel fully integrated
- Truly scalable marketing
- Marketing as a respected Service Provider
- One historical view of each prospect
- 100% leads assignment - even to Channel
- Time to be creative & meet customers
- Instantaneous reporting not treasure hunting
- A team not sweating the little stuff
The company was built in on 3 principle tenets
Co-founders Adam and Nick were now working together in a technology start-up. Here they had the opportunity to implement a number of platforms.
- Genius - at the time, not a true Marketing Automation platform more a sales enablement platform for individual users.
- Treehouse Interactive - a pioneer of Marketing Automation and a specialist in Channel partner marketing.
Some of the steps towards marketing nirvana had been achieved but much was still left to do.
In the emerging Marketing Automation world, Nick and Adam decided to build a company based on their own marketing experience, their understanding of many of the marketing automation platforms and where CRMs stop and MA start.
CleverTouch has now helped over 75 customers accelerate their time to marketing automation understanding and to drive faster, more predictable revenue. We have practical experience of more marketing automation platforms and environments than any other organisation, globally.
Today we build increasing levels of intelligence both in marketing automation environments and between marketing automation and other systems such as data warehouses or teleconferencing technology.
Marketing Automation as an infrastructure is here to stay. Organisations not only want to reduce the number of marketing silos. They want to have a truly single view of the customer and manage the dialogue through smarter marketing - personalised, device independent and customer behaviour-led.
As reputation management and data governance become as important a currency as revenue, organisations that build a coherent strategic marketing technology framework will be the winners.
CleverTouch wants to help all our clients become winners by growing at a multiple of their competitors in both revenue and reputation.
To do this we will be expanding our footprint across Europe. We will also focus on delivering increased sophistication and personalisation to our customers seamlessly. This will be achieved by investing in our own technology in support of platforms such as Eloqua for the enterprise, Silverpop for the B2B2C and Act-on for the SMB.
We will also ensure that we further share our best practices and the breadth of knowledge gained from many years experience in marketing automation.