After developing a tool for improving its parent company's marketing efforts, the Chicago-based team behind TouchCR was approached by Salesforce about bringing that tool to the masses. This year, the team expects to grow from 25 to 50 employees.
Built on the Salesforce platform, TouchCR lets marketers combine their internal information with third-party data to better understand their customers. The application can gather data from apps across the entire Salesforce ecosystem, from e-commerce platforms like Shopify to third-party sources like credit card data and demographic profiles.
Using that data, marketers can divvy up their customers into precise segments and create marketing campaigns designed with those customers in mind.
The platform was originally developed by McNabb Technologies to support the internal marketing efforts of its own e-commerce brands, Sunology and Cate McNabb.
Chief innovation officer Ritchie Hale said the company decided to build the application on top of Salesforce in order to streamline the development process. But in late 2015, Salesforce took notice of what the TouchCR team was building and approached its founders about a potential partnership.
“They saw the products we were using and how we’d integrated them together,” said Hale. “They came to visit us and asked what we were doing. We showed them the product, and they told us we should join their independent software vendor program and sell the product.”
Beyond the opportunity to sell its software on the Salesforce AppExchange, Hale said the partnership with the CRM giant has provided his team with a lot of support in refining its product and bringing it to market.
One of the biggest challenges to developing TouchCR, Hale said, was packaging a highly complex system in a way that made it approachable to users without data science expertise.
“Some of the biggest issues that marketers face is getting all of their data in one place and to be able to get it in a form that is normalized, manageable and understandable,” he said. “We’re trying to do that on a platform in a way that allows marketers to segment and drill down any way they want without getting quants involved and diving down into spreadsheets.”
TouchCR's 25-person team is distributed between its Chicago headquarters and a Belarus-based development team. Hale said he expects the company to double in size this year as it expands its hiring efforts for Chicago-based sales and customer onboarding roles.
Images via TouchCR.