From its inception, Marchex was built on the desire to innovate, and in the early years, it was Russell Horowitz that lead the charge. He’s always looked to the horizon—a visionary with a track record of leading companies and their customers into the future. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Horowitz recently re-engaged and returned to Marchex, a company he helped found 13 years ago. His new role as Executive Director will allow him to help and guide Marchex strategy and customers into the future– enabling innovation in a customer base focused on leveraging technology to outperform the competition.
In today’s digital world, staying competitive means integrating the right software and technology solutions. Software-as-a-Service plays a critical role and empowers a new and different way of accessing software, as opposed to traditional methods of access. Whereas in past, companies generally purchased software and used to load it onto a device—slowing the pace of their business and their ability to connect with customers. SaaS, however, has changed the industry completely, and it refers to a subscription based model – where software is hosted in the cloud and accessed via the internet. Born with the idea of providing technology solutions that help companies drive more calls, Marchex is uniquely positioned to understand what happens on those calls, and help brands convert more of those callers into customers. The actionable intelligence from Marchex’s solutions helps its clients to bridge the gap between companies and its clients, and between the physical and digital worlds, which eventually help brands to maximize their marketing investments and operating efficiencies.
About the Founders
It was in 2003 when John Keister, Ethan Caldwell, Peter Christothoulou, and Russell Horowitz co-founded Marchex. Later on, Horowitz shouldered the responsibility as the principal executive of Marchex. However, investing in a startup was not a new idea for him; it was his fourth company. During the early years of Marchex, Horowitz was the driving force behind it and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, the company grew through a build and acquire strategy and went public in 2004. By the end of their first day on Wall Street, the stock rose more than thirty percent and proving to be one of the most successful IPO in 2004.
Later on, in order to pursue other ventures, Horowitz stepped down as the CEO; however, he remained the largest shareholder in the company. The board of directors asked him to return to the company in October 2016 to collaborate with other leadership, including Mike Arends (CFO) and Caldwell, in a newly formed Office of the CEO. The Office of the CEO has been busy in 2017, guiding the company through several new product launches, establishing key partnerships with top-tier integration partners, and returning the company back to profitability.
After serving as a consultant and a member of the office of the CEO for a brief period, Horowitz recently formalized his return to the company by accepting the role of Executive Director last month.
“I see great opportunities for this company, my co-workers here, and our customers around the world,” said Horowitz while talking about Marchex and its opportunity.
Driving Innovation in a Growing Industry
Marchex believes that shifting to a digital economy is one of the biggest challenges for every organization these days. It’s no secret that the rise of eCommerce and smartphones has changed the industry scenario for both brands and consumers, who now have access to information and purchasing options at just a click away. However, from the business standpoint, it is becoming more and more challenging to capture the customer journey and measure the path of purchase. That’s where Marchex comes in, bridging the gap between online and offline channels.
One of the biggest misconceptions businesses face in this digital economy is the assumption that traditional and offline channels are obsolete. In fact, recent research suggests the opposite – that the phone is the most viable channel; customers who initiate inbound phone calls during the path to purchase have been shown to convert faster, spend more, and churn less than those in other in-bound channels. Online channels are great tools for researching a product or service, but at the end of the day, a human connection still plays a critical role in consumer’s relationship with a brand.
There are more than five-thousand companies in the growing map of MarTech organizations, and Marchex believes they are well positioned for innovation and meaningful growth in the Call Analytics category.
With solutions such as Marchex Speech Analytics and Marchex Omnichannel Analytics Cloud, the company helps organizations bridge the gap between their online and offline interactions. In simpler terms, Marchex help organizations find and acquire their best customers – those who call, wherever they might be.
Purpose-Built Technology Improves Brand Relationships with Customers and Prospects
Marchex believes that the path to the right solution varies depending upon the problem that it is trying to solve for a brand. However, in simple words, the organization helps other companies to connect, acquire, and understand their valuable customers. A few of the benefits include the ability to:
- Connect media and customer calls: Marchex helps brands to connect the traffic that drive calls and eventually new sales and appointments. More specifically, the organization has built connections to all paid media sources, including search, display, social, and website. Eventually, this helps it recognize which traffic is attracting more calls and sales, and organizations can use this data to optimize their paid media strategies in order to optimize acquisition costs. Additionally, when companies use Marchex to track their calls from paid searches, it helps them lower their cost per acquisition even further.
- Understanding each call: The company helps its clients understand what’s happening on each inbound sales call to improve the outcome. For example, companies who use Marchex Speech Analytics can easily understand what their call center agents are saying over the phone. In fact, a very well-known automotive client of Marchex currently uses the speech analytics system to track and analyze approximately 25 million calls yearly across its 2,200 stores. In this case, Marchex is helping the company to better understand which calls should have resulted in appointments and which agents are failing to convert leads into sales. With this solution, clients are now providing better customer experiences, the performance of the sales agents have also increased dramatically, and most importantly, financial returns have improved for their businesses.
- Acquire more customers like your best customer: Products from Marchex help its customers acquire more new customers by building customized audiences of callers for retargeting, or by helping companies target prospects farther down the funnel who are ready to convert sooner.
Prioritizing Customer Experience
At Marchex, customer service and customer experience are top priorities while building and implementing solutions for its customers. The organization builds programs on a trial basis with existing clients before going to market, ensuring software and insights are actionable. Marchex also puts heavy focus on its partnership and integration program to provide clients an opportunity to integrate with platforms or systems they are already using in their daily operations. The best part is; clients don’t need to learn new software or workflows, they can send the data to bid/build management platforms they are already using on an integrated basis.
Future Roadmap and Tackling Turbulent Weather
2017 has been a year of meaningful innovation and momentum at Marchex, launching three new products, including Marchex Speech Analytics, Audience Targeting, and Search Essentials, and announcing various key partnerships with few well-known brands such as Adobe and Facebook. Additionally, Marchex’s new website now helps its customers and prospects find the information they need and inform themselves more deeply regarding the organization’s products and services. As a company, Marchex is intentional and strategic with continuing its momentum, and it is always passionate about its developing leadership in the ever-growing space of call analytics. Innovation and creativity have always been the driving force behind their products, and that mission and drive will remain the same over the coming years making them one of our top SaaS companies.
“We have great strategic clarity, strong organizational alignment, and the company is profitable. I’m excited to continue our momentum and build great products, provide great service and in turn make meaningful differences on behalf of our customers,”– Russell Horowitz.
“Really, we sell expertise,” said Horowitz. “I’ve always believed that expertise is the sum of technology and talent—our team. And at the end of the day, I strongly believe we have the best in the industry.”