It takes a great team to make a great product, but oftentimes, finding the right market for that product can be the missing piece a company needs for success. Zaius CEO Mark Gally is a 20-year veteran of the software industry, and his special talent is finding that missing piece.
Of his two decades in tech, the last 14 years have been spent leading the go-to-market strategy at companies like TribeHR, VideoIQ, Merced Systems, and of course Zaius—the B2C CRM company he leads today.
At TribeHR, he proved his uncanny ability to identify fragmented markets that need consolidation and helped bring their HR software—which brought the entire SMB HR tech stack under one roof—to market. His efforts delivered 1,100% sales and 470% customer growth for the startup, and their success would lead to its acquisition by NetSuite in 2013.
After the acquisition, Gally went to work on NetSuite’s Human Capital Management product line, but while he had a positive experience there, he wanted to work in a startup environment again. “I really had the itch to do another startup,” he said. “It's kind of in my DNA.”
It was around this time that Gally was first intrigued by Zaius when he saw that Matrix Partners—who had previously invested in TribeHR and VideoIQ—led a $6.3M Series A for the company in 2014.
He was interested in the company for two reasons; the first was that he was intrigued by the company’s data analytics component, and the second was the founding team, which is made up of Endeca, Netezza, and LogMeIn alumni.
Gally was especially impressed by the technical team, calling them “the best technical team I have seen this early in a company's lifecycle.” And, after seeing Zaius’ platform in action with an early customer, it was apparent that the product was highly scalable and could consolidate the fragmented number of applications that B2C marketing teams were using to run their business into one application.
He joined as Chief Revenue Officer in February 2015, before being appointed to CEO that December. His objective was straightforward in terms of working with the team to bring Zaius’ platform to market and replicate the success as witnessed at TribeHR.
A CRM Built for Marketers
Zaius was commercially released in 2015 as a B2C CRM that helps brands unify all customer interaction data into a single platform.
Before Zaius, marketers had to use multiple applications to run their business and reach consumers—one for marketing automation, one for email, another for push notifications, and so on. Now, with Zaius’ platform, a marketer’s entire tech stack is brought under one roof.
“The average B2C marketer uses twelve-and-a-half different systems, so they've deployed this patchwork of solutions with nothing in the middle that gives them the ability to make sense of all of the different systems they're using,” Gally said. “How do you stitch all of that activity together, but then, how do you make sense of all of the data that sits on those different systems? That is the problem we're solving.”
Zaius offers a complete suite of tools for marketers to run campaigns and reach customers, but it’s also integrated with third-party applications in case, for example, a company has a pre-existing relationship with an email provider that they want to maintain.
The company’s platform can unify all customer interactions into a single system of record. “We plug into all of those distinct systems, and then we not only harvest the data out of it, but we’ve also stitched the users together. A marketer can actually see not only what a person did, but also all the aggregate behaviors and activities of a consumer.”
Second, by getting a rich picture of a consumer’s cross-channel behaviors, a marketer can now create more personalized interactions with that shopper. For example, if I like receiving push notifications instead of emails, Zaius will know to communicate with me primarily via push notifications. And through this data, Zaius can automate scheduled emails, mobile/browser push notifications, social media advertising, and more, to targeted groups of customers.
“Our software helps marketers understand which individual campaigns are driving first purchases, repeat purchases, customer loyalty, average order value, and other customer-centric metrics, regardless of channel, and makes it easy to automate and optimize cross-channel campaigns to drive performance against those metrics,” the company’s website explains.
Since Gally joined, the company has seen significant success, raising two Underscore VC-led venture rounds totaling $14.5M (out of $20.8M total funding). They’ve also grown to 69 employees—doubling their headcount from the previous year—and Gally says that the company has another great year ahead of them.
“We had a fantastic 2017. We more than doubled headcount in 2017, along with some hires that we’ve already made in 2018,” Gally said. “We hope to be one of Boston’s anchor companies in the near future.”