I'm delighted to announce our acquisition of the market-leader in mobile event lead capture and management, Akkroo. This is Integrate's second product acquisition in the last three months as we continue to deliver a smarter, more scalable approach to unifying the data, channels, technology and human processes required to generate demand for B2B companies.
The pursuit of finding the right solution to modernize field event marketing started a few years ago when our customers began expressing frustration with their inability to capture event leads in real-time and their difficulty of understanding their return on investment.
To highlight the size and expense of this problem, the chart below was published by Forrester and shows the percentage of dollars spent, by channel, in B2B marketing.
Wow. B2B marketers are investing more dollars into events than any other channel. Yet most marketers struggle with capturing and processing event leads in a timely manner, have to settle for incomplete, crappy event data, and can’t fully understand the impact of their event investment on pipeline or revenue.
Formula: Largest amount of marketing spend + huge amount of resources required + little to no visibility on ROI = Massive opportunity.
In the other channels of marketing that Forrester notes above like content marketing and digital advertising, software companies like Integrate are already making it simple for marketers to ensure a real-time flow of clean, intelligent data into their down funnel systems while understanding the channel's contribution to revenue. However, that is not the case in today’s world of field marketing. Tackling the event dilemma fit perfectly inside our mission to unify all channels at the top of the funnel for B2B marketers.
During the summer of 2018, I spent a meaningful amount of time learning more about the companies focused on developing software to help marketers get to spend less time on manual event data processing and to get more out of their event marketing investments.
My journey with Akkroo started in July 2018 when I sent a note to their co-founder and CEO Chris Wickson via Linkedin. Chris and I hit it off from our very first call. I was struck by his bold, yet humble, leadership style. I was drawn in by his intellectual curiosity, his thoughtful point-of-view and by our parallel beliefs on how to build great company culture. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had over fifty employees in London that were all laser-focused on solving the exact problem that our customers had. In addition, their revenue and growth rate was three to four times larger than what I was accustomed to seeing in the space.
Over the next six months, numerous people on my team were in London for meetings and stopped by to visit Chris and the Akkroomates. Each time I would hear: "Wow they feel like us a few years ago"; "I can't believe how similar our culture is, even their values posted on the wall are similar to ours"; and "They are solving the exact problem that our customers are asking us to solve next."
I also visited them in London several times and always felt right at home.
Chris and his co-founder Andy also made the trip over the pond to visit our HQ in Phoenix, Arizona.
We spent a meaningful amount of time together throughout the M&A process because I believe that the two most important filters to any acquisition are mutual trust and cultural alignment. If you have a common set of beliefs and a high degree of certainty that you can trust one another, the chances of success rise exponentially. Having both nailed, we needed to validate the product.
After testing Akkroo at a few of our events the direct feedback from our field marketing team led by Kate Athmer was:
- Instead of spending 4+ hours manually processing lead lists from one event, we spent 30 minutes setting up the Akkroo + Integrate campaign in advance of the event and our platform took care of the rest.
- Instead of capturing detailed data by hand on paper, we customized the Akkroo forms to capture the data we need electronically, with no handwriting challenges.
- Instead of sales getting access to event leads 5+ days after the event ends, they accessed them within seconds of the scan, and in some cases even set up another meeting while still on-site at the event.
- Instead of sharing one lead scanner among eighteen people, everyone had the Akkroo app on their own mobile device. This helped us capture 5x more booth leads and record 40% more sales meetings away from the booth, compared to the same events the previous year.
- Instead of uncertainty with who spoke with a specific lead or how valuable they were, Akkroo records who scanned each lead and additional qualifying info, making routing and follow-up easier and more personalized.
We also learned that nearly 20% of Integrate's customer base was already using Akkroo, which made it easy to get feedback on their product, team, and results. 100% of those customers told us they planned on renewing their partnership with Akkroo and were both relieved and excited that they had found a real-world solution for their event marketing pain.
Now that the acquisition is complete, we are thrilled to have the Akkroomates join the Integrators to form one global team. For now, we will keep the Akkroo brand going and work has already begun on integrating our platforms. The connection between our platforms is already live which means our customers are sending event leads from Akkroo to Integrate in real-time to get lead data validated, compliant, standardized, processed and appended before immediately being injected into CRM and/or marketing automation.
Thank you to our customers, partners and our 250+ person team, Integrate has evolved tremendously over the past eighteen months. We’ve launched many new capabilities as part of our aggressive product development roadmap and are bringing new technology to market as a result of our targeted acquisition strategy.
I encourage you to take time to learn more about what unifying the top-of-funnel is accomplishing for our B2B marketers. The best way to learn more about Integrate is to set up a time to chat with our team. You can do so by clicking here.
Please join Integrate and Akkroo for our first joint event webinar on April 30th: Capture, Connect, Control: How Top Marketers Win at Event Lead Management. Register here.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our exciting news and I wish you a wonderful day! Onward!