Located: San Bruno, California
Market: Business to Consumer Marketing Automation
Products: Responsys Interact
Key Customers: Continental Airlines, Corel, Carlson Hotels, E-Loan, RSA and Salesforce.com
I asked John Berkley, Vice President of Product Marketing at Responsys a few questions about his business and his view of the SaaS market in 2009.
Did you start out as a Software-as-a-Service company?
Responsys was founded in 1998 and there have been many chapters of the company’s history. The current chapter is about five years old, when the current management team arrived. Responsys has always been a SaaS company, and it is core to our business strategy. We live and breath SaaS and our future roadmap is all based on SaaS.
The current chapter of Responsys is all based on building out our platform and managing all the data that we store for our customers. Our strategy is to enable sophisticated, high-impact marketing campaigns for our clients. Our biggest verticals are travel, technology and retail – although we serve a number of others as well. Responsys is ideal for these types of firms who require automation of very complex processes; importing/exporting of data, business rules, personalization, analysis all related to managing sophisticated marketing campaigns.
Why do your customers buy from Responsys?
Our customers appreciate Responsys’ ability to handle the marketing campaign complexity required for huge product catalogs, directed at thousands or millions of customers. For these types of promotions, granular personalization and targeting is critical for the campaigns’ success. We also automate all aspects of the marketing workflow, like the transfer of data and meaningful analytics, this helps to make our customers much more efficient.
We make our customers more efficient, so that they can do more sophisticated marketing campaigns, all without having to expend additional effort. Email programs can also be used to build loyalty using strong, targeted content. Doing more with less is important in this current economic climate and email is an affordable, interactive channel.
Good email marketing campaigns have very high ROI because it is measurable. For our customers, most who are business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, they can track the actual campaign results directly to increased revenues. This tracking can be handled either inside of Responsys or with their preferred Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
The Responsys platform provides an ideal solution for global organizations and their marketing needs. We have offices in London, Singapore and Sydney to provide local support to our regional customers.
What do you see as the key trend emerging in the SaaS industry?
For industry pioneering SaaS companies like Salesforce and Omniture, the big trend has been the demands placed on their SaaS applications by larger customers - more complexity, data intensive, and transactional.
Over the past ten years SaaS firms have had to address these enterprise challenges and now there is no longer major barriers that SaaS solutions can’t handle. There is an increasing range of SaaS solutions that can now handle the most challenging back office requirements, what some people are now calling ‘SaaS-Heavy’.
What is your outlook for 2009?
This has been a good year for Responsys. Clients are moving more budgets into the email marketing automation because it is a cost-effective way to promote their brands and increase revenues. Our pipeline going forward is strong and we feel like we in a good position in the right market. We have a proven solution, which is valuable no matter what the economy looks like and even more in demand during a down market. Tighter economic times have focused our customers on real value, which is definitely good for us.
Thank you to John Berkeley and Raksha Varma for contributing to this profile.