Even if they don’t admit it publicly, consultants have their favorite clients – and Forrester analysts are no different. Back in 2015 as a newly minted principal analyst, I first met Carson Conant, Mediafly’s Founder and CEO when he and his team requested an advisory session. I had been on the job for two weeks and the bosses sent me in with wingman extraordinaire Michael Facemire. Rightfully so, they wanted to be sure I didn’t get myself into any trouble and to guarantee the advisory session would be a Forrester branded experience. Mike, Carson, the extended Mediafly leadership team, and I had a dynamic and productive session – I was hooked. It was a special day for me, the beginning of what would become a long-term connection between Carson, me, and Mediafly.
Carson and I have worked together in one capacity or another for almost a decade. First when I was an analyst, then as an advisory board member, and now as Mediafly’s co-CEO. Relationships, business or otherwise are rarely easy but when you have mutual respect, face conflict head-on, exhibit grace under pressure, and infuse all of it with a bit of humor — I find they not only survive but also thrive.
I am honored to continue my professional journey with Carson and the Mediafly team as we lead the company into its next stage of growth and innovation.
WHY MEDIAFLY? WHY NOW?
The revenue tech industry is at a critical juncture – it’s a noisy marketplace full of category overlap; there are new buyers, more buyers, and confused buyers; and there’s plenty of fear about global financial markets. But I love a good challenge and I wholeheartedly believe these watershed moments provide meaningful opportunities for innovation and disruption — and we intend to do both!
Having followed the company and space for over 10 years, Mediafly is in a unique position to take advantage of this complicated market moment thanks to:
- An incredibly talented team, committed to continuous innovation
- A customer roster featuring the world’s largest and most recognizable brands
- A collaborative and inclusive culture where everyone is encouraged to fiercely defend their ideas – but not their egos
- A tightly-integrated, yet modular, revenue enablement platform
- A market frustrated with sales tech point solutions
As our unicorn friends amassed large financial war chests Mediafly chose a different path. Over the years a consortium of successful individuals and Boathouse Capital have loyally supported and advised the company. While this non-traditional route likely cost Mediafly some market recognition, today this “Midwest” approach appears wise.
Fast-forward to the past 6-10 months. As competitors and adjacents hunkered down and paused innovation to slow “burn” to avoid “down rounds,” Carson and the Mediafly team quietly acquired and integrated five companies — revenue intelligence provider InsightSquared, conversation intelligence providers ExecVision and Sonero, the enablement workflow solution, UserIQ, and talent intelligence provider Aptology. All companies that had great and complementary tech and talent but were not thriving because they were under-capitalized and lacked robust distribution channels.
WELCOME TO THE GREAT REORDERING
Life is full of tradeoffs and it’s no different in business. Forgoing large institutional investment in the early days meant that Mediafly often lacked the resources to engage in large brand-building activities. While limited brand recognition has challenged Mediafly’s sales team, the choice to rely more heavily on individual rather than institutional investors means the company is now in a position to control its own destiny.
Pavillion CEO Sam Jacobs recently described this phenomenon in a LinkedIn post as the “Great Reordering,” where companies that may have been under-resourced and undervalued in the past are now in an enviable position to “build a powerful and authentic brand” that zigs while the competition zags.
I couldn’t agree more with Sam that the timing is right for companies like Mediafly to both redefine the landscape and their position therein.
Without tipping my hand too much here are a few things you can expect to see and hear from us in the upcoming months. We will:
- Expand and deepen the value we deliver to customers
- Partner with more large global brands
- Rebrand and rename our company
- Create provocative and actionable thought leadership
- Innovate through organic and inorganic product development
I’m hitting the ground running and my commitment is to:
- Ensure our customers maximize their partnership
- Help our employees reach their full potential
- Drive scalable and self-sustaining growth
- Promote a culture of continuous innovation
- Influence the evolution of the Revenue Enablement category
The revenue tech industry is at a critical and exciting crossroads which includes the rise of digital buying and selling, sweeping generational shifts, rapid technological advancement, the proliferation of tools focused on efficiency, and market and tool consolidation. We will continue to build onto our platform, integrating each new asset through a modern and scalable data architecture, complete with a revenue business intelligence layer. The result — Revenue360 — the most complete revenue enablement platform in the market.
If you’re looking to improve seller efficiency and effectiveness, deliver immersive buyer experiences and/or consolidate your tech stack feel free to reach out to me directly – I am here to help.