As I’ve mentioned in this space before, our company was born out of the needs of a full-service marketing agency. Initially envisioned as an internal agency tool for campaign optimization, social media management, and customer analytics (among other things), there was always the idea that it could become something greater.
So, while we spent time gradually onboarding agency clients onto the platform, it wasn’t until the end of 2016 that we landed our first non-agency customer and truly acknowledged the larger opportunity for an independent platform. So, we put ourselves on a path towards separating software from services and in September 2017 we became what we are today: Explorics. What a difference a year makes!
Looking back at our first year of existence, there have certainly been some challenges. One massive one is no one knowing who the heck you are. It is one thing to name-drop an established brand and get a meeting with a potential customer, but as a new company that nobody has heard of, you must work extra hard and do things outside of your comfort zone. Coming from more of a product/technology background and only ever in a supporting role for sales, I’ve learned first-hand to never underestimate the value of an established sales and marketing machine. Success isn’t created overnight, and it takes the right kind of ingredients to maximize forward momentum. Building relationships are hard. More conversations and better conversations are key. Persistence is crucial.
Thankfully one thing in our favor is that the problem that Explorics solves for is something many marketers face and suffer from, whether they’d like to admit it or not. To monitor and analyze performance, marketers often have to do work that is tedious, time-consuming and error-prone, and there are benefits in a solution like ours to augment marketers’ efforts.
Marketing and analytics as industries are constantly changing and evolving, and we certainly have not been immune to these changes as we tweak and adapt our product. Marketing is not getting any less complex. There’s an increasing number of systems and solutions available for marketers to use. There’s a greater focus on consumer data and privacy. These have changed ways that a solution like Explorics has to operate.
Some of our competitors have been acquired in the past year by big players. New competitors have entered the fray. I think this really validates our work and shows that what we do is valuable.
We’ve also learned a great deal from our customers about what matters most and what doesn’t matter so much. That has changed our solution in unexpected ways but ultimately for the better. I take pride in the fact that we can be very nimble adapting to change while still accomplishing a lot with a small team here at Explorics.
As we look to the future, I think a one-size-fits-all approach to product won’t cut it. I believe marketers will embrace a more verticalized approach to solutions. I anticipate going deeper instead of broader in a few key verticals. This will forever be balanced with a simple to setup and easy-to-use product for the modern marketer.
In the end, my company goal is simple – to build the best software that we can and do it with both happy customers and happy employees. Here’s to an exciting Year number two!