The brains behind the UK’s fastest-growing marketing automation platform Force24, have now ploughed £5m in the development of the technology – 100 per cent of which has come from director funds or organic re-investment.
The milestone comes in the year that the business has seen a 300 per cent increase in user adoption, with net recurring revenue growth up 80 per cent over the past 12 months.
Once a product suitable only for enterprise clients, investment over the past three years has seen the emergence of a version for SMEs, with self-service functionality also available depending on client requirements. Since the start of 2017, client numbers have consequently risen by 150 per cent, and the Leeds-headquartered team at Indigo Blu now handles 400 trillion data exchanges through the platform, per annum.
Founder and managing director Adam Oldfield said: “We did see an uplift of interest ahead of the implementation of GDPR – our message to marketers was always ‘don’t panic’, as the changes are for the best! But I think the surge of enquiries did reflect the fact that many brands were not compliant, and teams finally started saying no to their data being shipped and stored overseas. Coupled with the fact that Force24’s DPO is a fully accredited GDPR practitioner, many brands felt Force24 was one of the strongest routes to aiding compliance.
“We also launched a new website in late 2017 which better conveyed our offering – our tech is built for marketers, not scientists, and we want to make them slicker and savvier in the work that they do. We know that some simple tweaks can have a demonstrable impact on ROI – with engagement and conversions often 12 times higher than before clients made the switch.”
People have also proven a crucial piece of the jigsaw, Adam added. “Our proposition is as much about the support services we offer to marketers. From a lifetime of free training for clients who prefer the DIY approach, to a team of creative minds and automation support specialists for clients who prefer an account management ‘helping hand’, this sets us apart from competitors – many of whom are American-owned and comparatively faceless brands with frustrating ticket or webinar style support desk systems.”
Force24 has this year been hailed as a disruptor in the travel sector, on the back of many high-profile wins and membership with the Institute of Travel & Tourism and Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO). However, the marketing automation platform is used by clients in industries ranging from financial services, HR and tech, through to home furnishings and blue-chip retail. Notable customers include Thomas Sanderson, Magnet Kitchens, WorldPay and Npower.
Further 30 per cent revenue growth is anticipated by the end of 2019.