Interview with Atri Chatterjee from Act-On

Atri ChatterjeeAt Dreamforce 2012 we caught up with Atri Chatterjee, Chief Marketing Officer at Act-On:

Integration is key to our customers. We have to fight the battle of integrating with different systems.  If you look at the Eloqua’s of the world, they have taken a different approach.  They have built a marketing database and formal concept of synchronization.  Our concept is how do you integrate from the get go.

Early on in developing our solution we decided that marketers did not need another database.  At the end of the day you want to look at how many leads did I generate, what happened to those leads, how many converted to opportunities, and how many became customers.  You will never get that data in a marketing database alone.  You have to close that loop with the sales system and that is where our product has many benefits.

Over 50% of our users have and the remaining use alternative SFA systems like Sugar CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, etc and a few even use automated FTP synch for flat file synchronization.

We put our money where our mouth is.  If you are using a home grown CRM database then we make the integration without a problem. We can import or export data on a scheduled basis.

I attribute our fast growth to a couple of things.  The things that customers tell us most is that it is intuitive to get started.  We really pride ourselves in getting a customer up and running in a day.  User experience is one of our design pillars. How do you take something that is quite complex and make it deceptively simple.

We do a month to month contract with no long term contracts which puts pressure on us but that is what we have decided to do.  We have to make you successful within the first month. Our renewal rate is 95% and our attrition rate is 5%.  So if we can make people successful in the first month, they don’t leave.  This is attractive business term for marketers as they want to try things out.  Half the people we get are new to marketing automation, they want to see how this works.  If you look at most of our competitors, they tie people in for on year contract.

We try to work with existing systems that you have.  We are not telling you how to redesign your process, we work within your process to connect everything.

We’ve made the decision to go after small and medium business, that is companies that have $5 – 10 million in revenue up to $200 million.  We see the market as huge and see far more companies there.  This goes back to people liked Forrester and David Raab who say the mainstream is coming on.  While large enterprises have used this technology for over a decade, small to medium sized businesses have not had capabilities like this.

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