Why blending software rather than one vendor focus will be the way of the future

| January 15, 2020

Blended Digital, a marketing automation and digital transformation consultancy, founded by Adam Crow and Damon McMillan, smashed its first-year financial targets to surpass the million-dollar mark and is projecting significant growth into its second year.

The co-founders have used their unique skill sets and experience with the Salesforce and Adobe platforms to offer its customers a different kind of consultancy, focused on outcomes instead of vendors.

Rather than offering traditional consultancy based around specific platform expertise, the co-founders joined forces to ensure that their startup delivers for its clients without bias towards platforms.

Once they are engaged with their customers, they put technology blockers aside and focus on driving customer experience and brand engagement through transformation.

“Every organisation is looking to technology to transform customer experience, but with over half of all enterprise technology investments failing, and almost all falling short on promised outcomes, we knew there was a better way to ensure success for clients and deliver on the promise of enterprise technology platforms like Salesforce and Adobe,” Mr McMillan said.

The decision to blend their experience and create an agnostic offering has proven successful. Blended Digital reached $1 million in sales in their first year. The team is now on track to reach the $2 million mark in their second financial year. Blended Digital gets no commission from partnerships with vendors and is a pure consultancy driven business.

In the first five months, Blended Digital was operated by only Damon and Adam. They were called to put out fires for new clients and ended up building relationships which would allow their business to scale. In the remainder of their first year, Blended Digital hired 7 employees, a non-executive director and is now looking to scale further at the start of 2020.

Due to its agnostic offering, Blended Digital are supporting clients on a variety of platforms, the main ones being Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Hubspot, SAP Hybris, Marketo, Tableau, Google Analytics and many more.

Blended clients include not-for-profit YMCA, ANZ Bank, Mercer Financial Services, TTI Group, The Victorian Government, CGU Insurance, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), MercerBell and Publicis Groupe.

Mr Crow said marketing campaign managers & co-ordinators need to be enabled to know how to use the platforms that their businesses adopt.

This is often an afterthought. Our services model has a core focus on enablement to ensure that marketing teams become self- sufficient over time and can manage their own BAU campaigns. Building up trust with our clients is a key factor for us ensuring that our success becomes their success over time through a more sustainable partnership which isn’t solely measured on specific projects.

“For each of our clients, we aim to deliver holistic and personalized marketing automation solutions by blending disparate systems and data around our client’s customer. This allows us to strive for the highly sought after and often thought as the mythical combination of, a single customer view, intelligent behavioural audiences and personalised customer touchpoint interactions at scale. All of these outcomes are designed to pair data, automation and tailored processes to deliver a unique working model that ensures a maximum return on investment to our client.

Eight months ago, Adam and Damon expanded the business to Sydney to focus on the small to medium business market. Whilst most of the work they do supports Enterprise businesses, they now also assist SME’s with less budget to find their blended digital solution at an affordable price.

“Part of our core differentiation is that we are one of the few truly agnostic agencies. Our unique blend of founder technology credentials, experience and expertise allow us to “put our money where our mouth is” in agnostic technology consulting where others can’t,” Mr McMillan said.

“We are not technology suppliers, but instead, are our client advocates for technology investment and digital transformation. Our success is very much delivered by how we work with clients; we have a proprietary model for this, and it lets us actually commit to success with clients who commit to our unique model. This is strange in our industry as over 60% of investments in marketing technologies fail. Our unique digital transformation initiatives ensure the success of those investments and supercharge the outcomes.”