Today, Integrate announced its fourth round of venture funding.
I know what you’re thinking: “So what? …Marketing tech companies get new rounds of funding all the time.” That’s very true. And for that reason, I’m not going to wax poetic about “our incredible journey” as if it’s over.
However, there is something different and more exciting than usual about this round – it includes funding from four distinguished MarTech founders and CEOs:
- Scott Dorsey, Founder & former CEO of ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce); currently Managing Partner at High Alpha
- Reggie Bradford, Founder and former CEO of Vitrue (acquired by Oracle); currently SVP of Startup Ecosystem at Oracle
- David Karnstedt, former CEO of Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe); currently CEO at QuantiFind
- Dan Springer, former CEO of Responsys (IPO and acquired by Oracle); currently CEO at DocuSign
In aggregate, the careers of these four marketing tech luminaries have generated nearly $5 billion in shareholder value, changing the DNA of marketing. And they’re now part of the Integrate team.
Why Did They Invest in Integrate’s Future? Its Focus on B2B Marketer Needs
The high-level reasons are meaningful; generating 4x revenue growth and being cash-flow positive over the past four quarters definitely didn’t hurt our case with investors. But those are merely results of a much bigger game plan we put into motion four years ago, and have been working hard to continuously optimize ever since.
In 2013, when I took over as CEO, my main objective was to transform Integrate into a meritocracy focused on doing whatever we could to help our marketer customers succeed. Our goal was and remains simple: "Make our customers wildly successful."
Over the past four years, ensuring our customers’ success has required a range of actions, from relatively minor pivots to far-reaching overhauls of our software and organizational structure. One of the first things I did as CEO was double down on software development to provide a SaaS platform that would fill a glaring gap in the B2B marketing tech landscape; i.e., top-of-funnel marketing automation.
As Reggie Bradford, SVP of Oracle Startup Ecosystem & Accelerator, put it, “Integrate has made significant investments in managing the complex flow of prospect data into the B2B organization and now serves as the de-facto standard for this type of data exchange. I’m optimistic they will own the demand orchestration category.”
This software overhaul has been 100% dependent on an incredibly close, working relationship with both our customers and prospective customers. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
3 Things Marketers Can Do to Be More Customer-Obsessed
Marketing has played a big part of Integrate’s transformation into a customer-obsessed meritocracy. The team has learned much through trial and error. Here’s 3 things I’ve learned about customer-focused marketing while working alongside our CMO Scott Vaughan and his team.
- Listen more than you speak – It’s really easy for marketers to think they must constantly be getting their message out to their audience. While this is important, that message must first be crafted from in-depth conversations with the people you intend to help. As Scott, Triniti, David or Kate will quickly tell you, a marketer who’s never in-market is a half-assed marketer. This means getting on sales calls, teaming up alongside customer success pros working with prospects and current customers, going to trade shows and conferences, setting up interviews – anything you can do to better empathize with your target audience.
- Spend your time on strategic needs – Most marketers are intelligent, well-educated individuals. So, you shouldn’t be wasting your time and brainpower on tasks that could be completed by interns. Successful marketers are the ones that find ways to automate or eliminate low-value, menial processes and instead focus on strategic initiatives that move the needle for the business. More often than not, you’ll find that such initiatives are firmly grounded in improving the customer experience, such as creating more educational content, refining messaging to be more personal, relevant and timely, etc.
- Invest in your customers’ and prospects’ individual careers – Integrate’s marketing team – just like its sales, customer success and product teams – has gone out of its way to highlight the individual efforts of its customers and prospects. Case in point, check out the two Game Changers recognition programs we’ve hosted over the past year. This creates a symbiotic relationship between you the marketer and your extended audience. Not only are you supporting their career advancement (which in itself is enough reason to do so), but you’re also creating a brand loyalty the will payoff wherever that individual’s career may take them.
I’m not a marketer by trade, but I’ve seen firsthand how the tactics above have helped Integrate grow. Notably, each one of these methods helps every individual, team and business involved. And I’m 100% sure that our customer-obsessed culture of rewarding these types of initiatives across our organization is precisely the reason why 4 of the brightest minds in MarTech have invested in Integrate’s future.